What is Refractive Error?
Having the basic knowledge of understanding
refractive errors and how the eye focuses light gives the
patient a better understanding of how refractive surgery
improves vision. When light reaches a curved surface it
bends, this process is called refraction. There are two main
refractive surfaces of the eye. The cornea is the outer
layer of the eye and the lens is the inner layer of the eye.
Light rays enter the eye through the cornea which provides
most of the focusing power of the eye. Light then travels
through the lens where it is fine-tuned to focus on the
retina. If light does not focus directly on the retina
depending on the location of that focus, the eye will either
be nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic. These problems
are called refractive errors.
What is Refractive Surgery?
People who have refractive errors may want to
consider LASIK as an alternative to wearing glasses or
contacts. The LASIK procedure is able to correct refractive
errors by changing the shape of the cornea which changes the
way the eye focuses internally.
Introduction to Surgery:
Just prior to the procedure the patient's eyes will
be anesthetized with a few eye drops. We then lead the
patient into the laser suite and place them in a relaxed
position on the surgical bed. Dr. Rahmani will then adjust
the bed so that the patient's eye is positioned directly
underneath the laser. Then Dr. Rahmani will use an eyelid
holder to keep the eye open during the brief LASIK
The surgical procedure begins with Dr. Rahmani
placing a suction device on the eye. The patient's vision
will be blocked momentarily by the device. The purpose of
the suction is to make the cornea firm enough for Dr.
Rahmani to create the flap.
Creating the Flap
With the IntraLase laser, Dr.
Rahmani uses the precision of a laser to create the corneal
flap. The flap will allow Dr. Rahmani access to the
underlying corneal tissue. The accuracy of the
IntraLase laser (100 times more accurate than a
blade) is unparalleled by any other technology in vision
Folding the Flap Back
Once the corneal flap is made, Dr. Rahmani will
then use a special instrument to gently fold back the flap.
The eye is now prepared for the laser to gently re-shape the
Applying the Laser
Once the eye is prepped for the correction, the
patient will be asked to stare at a fuzzy red light. The
laser process is ready to begin. Based on preliminary
measurements taken by Dr. Rahmani during the pre-operative
examination, a sophisticated computer program controls the
amount of laser pulses needed to reshape the cornea. This
portion of the procedure only lasts a few minutes.
Flap Return & Smooth
Following the correction of the refractive error,
Dr. Rahmani will then fold back the flap to its normal
position on the cornea. Once in place, Dr. Rahmani will use
a special medical sponge to smooth out any bubbles or
wrinkles under the flap.
After both eyes are corrected, the patient will then be
asked to sit up. At that time, Dr. Rahmani will look at the
patient's eyes through a high-powered microscope to check
the placement of the corneal flaps. The patient will then be
taken into a quiet room where they will be given
post-operative instructions. Normally patients can see
immediately after the procedure.