Jacqueline D. Griffiths, M.D., P.C.
12110 Sunset Hills Road Suite 50 LL
Reston, Virginia 20190
703-834-9777 Fax 703-834-8187 Toll Free 800-294-1001



LASIK Refractive Surgery


LASIK stands for laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis. It is a minimally invasive laser procedure that is used to correct refractive errors of the cornea. The procedure is virtually painless and usually only lasts for 15 minutes or less.


LASIK Procedure

Prior to the procedure, drops will be inserted into the patient's eye to numb it. The patient will lie down on a table or recline in a chair with a secure head rest to hold the head still. The operated eye will be fitted with a speculum that will keep the eyelid open. A light will be targeted towards the eye and the patient will be asked to fixate or stare at the light. The doctor will make a flap in the cornea (the surface of the eye) to pull it out of the way so that the laser can reshape the eye. The laser treatment usually lasts less than a minute. The flap will be repositioned and drops will be instilled in the eye to help with healing and to prevent infection. Generally, stitches are not used. A clear shield may be placed over the eye.


Risks

Any time surgery is performed with anesthesia drops there is a risk of allergic reaction and complication from the drug used. The patient must inform the doctor if they have ever had a reaction to any kind of anesthesia. Other possible risks or side effects are as follows:


A loss of perfect clarity of the cornea, usually not affecting vision, which often resolves over time (anterior stromal reticular haze).

A sensation produced by bright lights that is greater than normal and can cause discomfort and annoyance (glare).

A halo or hazy rings surrounding bright lights may be seen particularly at night (halo).

An inability to correct your vision with glasses or contact lenses to the level it was before this procedure (loss of best corrected acuity).

An increase in the intraocular pressure (IOP) due to post-treatment medications which is usually resolved by drug therapy or discontinuation of post-treatment medications (IOP elevation).

Overcorrection or undercorrection of vision. Refractive surgery may not give you the result you desired. In some cases retreatment, glasses, or contact lenses could be effective in correcting vision.

Other risks: Loss of corneal flap or malfunction of the microkeratome with the LASIK procedure, requiring further corrective procedures.


Surgery will not eliminate the need for reading glasses and for some people may require their use at an earlier age.


Recovery

The surgeon will send you home with antibiotic drops to be instilled directly into the eye several times a day to prevent infection. Corticosteroid drops or anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed to alleviate swelling. Strenuous physical activity should be limited until the ophthalmologist has determined the eye or eyes have healed properly.


Vision improvement should be noticeable within a few days after surgery and complete recovery will take up to 6 weeks. Vision improvements will be gradual and should reach the final state within 6 months.