If you are frustrated with your dependence on glasses and contact lenses, Drs. Walter Choate can perform LASIK surgery at our Goodlettsville, TN, practice to correct a variety of visual problems. With this simple refractive surgery, patients who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism can significantly reduce and even eliminate the need for corrective eyewear. The procedure is safe and quick, with little downtime.
Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, called LASIK for short, is a laser eye surgery used to correct visual errors. While the procedure may not always be able to completely eliminate a patient’s need for corrective eyewear, it can greatly reduce dependence.
LASIK works by reshaping the outermost portion of the eye, known as the cornea. This transparent tissue covers the front of the eye, protecting it and helping to focus light onto the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye). Any irregularities in the cornea can distort light entering the eye, resulting in fuzzy vision at certain distances. By modifying the cornea’s shape, LASIK can correct these errors and help patients achieve clear vision at all distances.
Like PRK, the first successful laser vision correction procedure, LASIK reshapes the cornea by removing microscopic amounts of tissue from its inner layers. The main difference between the two is how this tissue is accessed. In PRK, the outermost layer of the cornea is removed completely. This is preferable for some patients but also leads to a lengthier recovery. To perform LASIK, Dr. Choate creates a thin, circular, hinged flap on the cornea, which is folded back to allow access to the tissue beneath.
LASIK offers some unique advantages, including:
Patients should keep in mind, however, that there is a small risk of developing complications related to the flap. Our doctors can recommend which corrective surgery is best suited to your needs during your first consultation.
LASIK surgery is an outpatient procedure, usually lasting no longer than 10 minutes per eye. The surgery is relatively painless and in most cases, only numbing eye drops are needed to keep the patient comfortable. However, Dr. Choate can provide a mild sedative for those who are anxious about the procedure.
Most patients notice improved vision within 24 hours of their LASIK surgery and make a full recovery within a few days.
To ensure you do not blink or move your eyes involuntarily, a lid speculum and suction ring will be applied to each eye. Once you have been prepped, you will be positioned so that your eye is directly underneath the LASIK device. During the procedure, you will be instructed to focus on a target light.
Before your procedure, your specific prescription will be uploaded into the LASIK device’s software. This acts as a guide for removing corneal tissue in order to flatten, steepen, or smooth out the irregularities that are causing your unique visual problems. After the cornea has been sufficiently reshaped, the flap is laid back in place and allowed to heal naturally. No stitches or bandages are necessary.
The recovery process after LASIK typically lasts several days. Patients should expect blurry vision and some minor burning or itching immediately after their appointment. Because your vision will not be clear enough to drive, you will need a family member or friend to escort you home after your appointment.
Most patients notice improved vision within 24 hours of their LASIK surgery, although in some cases it may take longer. You will need to attend a follow-up appointment with Dr. Choate the day after your procedure. Patients are usually able to return to work and driving at this time.
With state-of-the-art technology and a dedication to long-lasting relationships with our patients, our team strives to provide the most comprehensive eye care possible. Contact our practice today to learn more about LASIK, treatment cost, and if the procedure is right for you.