[Laser in-Situ Keratomileusis]
LASIK is the standard procedure for moderate to high myopia, with 90 percent of patients seeing 20/20 or better without glasses and 98 percent seeing 20/40 or better without glasses.
UC Davis ophthalmologists use excimer laser technology in performing LASIK surgery. The excimer laser is a highly accurate, computer-controlled ultraviolet beam of light that sculpts the cornea into the shape required to bring light to focus more directly on the retina. It can be used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
LASIK is performed on an outpatient basis and takes about 15 minutes. The surgeon uses a precision lathe to create a wafer-thin flap on the front surface of the cornea. The excimer laser then reshapes the exposed cornea to correct the refractive error. When treatment is complete, the flap is replaced in its original position where it self-adheres to the underlying cornea.
Recovery is simple. Since only the edge around the corneal flap needs to heal, there is rapid visual recovery and minimum discomfort. After surgery, the eye may tear for a few hours. A protective shield is worn over the eye for the first 24 hours, and there may be some temporary, mild distortion in vision for the first few days after surgery. Most patients are able to return to work the next day.
Risks are minimal. Over- or under-correction of vision, glare, corneal haze, and infection may occur. In rare cases, corneal scarring may develop, and there is a chance of surgical problems related to the flap, but this, too, is very uncommon.