LASIK basics

Answers to frequently asked questions about the popular LASIK surgery

What is LASIK? And what does the procedure involve?

beautiful eyeLASIK [Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis] is an eye surgery that involves reshaping the cornea to help those suffering from blurred vision to see clearly. It helps remove one’s dependency on glasses or lenses.

It is a three-step procedure that involves creating a flap of corneal tissue, remodeling it using laser, and finally reshaping it to improve the eye’s ability to focus, improving the patients’ visual acuity.

Which eye defects can be treated with LASIK?

LASIK can help those suffering from conditions such as astigmatism[optical defect that causes blurred vision], myopia and hyperopia.

Before LASIK surgery, the patient has to go under a pre-LASIK eye examination. Once the eye examination is done, the patient has to follow some guidelines given by the doctor till the date of surgery.

Can both eyes be corrected simultaneously?

Almost always the procedure is done on both the eyes in one sitting. However, some people also choose to get one eye treated at a time.

Is there anybody who can’t undergo LASIK?

Usually, most people can undergo LASIK. However, it is not recommended for patients with thin and irregular corneas and patients having keratoconous [degenerative disease in which the corneas start to bulge].

What is the right age to have LASIK laser vision correction?

Any time after 18 years of age. Usually after this age, the prescription for glasses remains stable and this is the principle requirement for surgery. If the prescription keeps changing, experts wait till it remains constant.

Older patients may sometimes still need to wear glasses when reading, because of the hardening of the fine lens that helps them focus.

Does LASIK surgery hurt—during the procedure and after?

Although you may feel some pressure while it is being done, there is no pain in LASIK and that’s one of the top reasons for the popularity of the surgery.

How long does the surgery take and how much does it cost?

The entire procedure takes just 10 minutes for each eye. It costs 35,000 – 50,000 for both eyes.

Are there any negative long-term side effects?

There are no negative long-term side effects, as the laser doesn’t actually make any deep scar or harm any living tissue.

Are the results of the LASIK surgery permanent?

Yes. And that’s the beauty of the procedure—it does not hurt, doesn’t take long to complete, and is a one-time expense.

How soon can I recover and what should I expect after surgery?

Immediately after the surgery, you might experience light sensitivity, irritation and blurred vision. But it clears in a few hours. In fact, the next day your vision is good enough for you to get back to your regular day-to-day activities.

Dr Rupal Shah, MS, DOMS, is the clinical director of Mumbai-based LaseRx: Institute of Laser Medicine and a highly experienced LASIK surgeon.


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