The Lasik Procedure

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,165
    Dr. Dean Dornic of the Laser Eye Center of Carolina discusses how to reduce your dependency on eyeglasses and contacts including the lasik procedure.

    Dr. Dean Dornic: I am Dr. Dean Dornic of the Laser Eye Center of Carolina. We are talking today about how to reduce your dependence on eye glasses and contact lenses and now we are going to be talking about the LASIK procedure. The LASIK procedure works by reshaping the cornea and if we think about the eye as an optical instrument like a camera, there is a lens in this camera and that's the cornea and we find that by reshaping that cornea, we can change the power of the lens and that's basically how the LASIK procedure works. The LASIK procedure is performed in a two step process. The first step involves making a flap on the surface of the cornea. That means, we are going to be lifting up the top layers of the cornea and underneath that flap, we apply the laser to reshape it and then we replace the flap. Now there are several steps done to make sure the patient is comfortable during the procedure. Most doctors will give the patient a sedative like Valium. In addition, we use topical anaesthetic drops to make sure the patient is comfortable during the procedure. The purpose of the LASIK flap is to speed in the recovery of the procedure. It is possible to do the laser right on the surface of the cornea, but in doing so, we would create an abrasion which would take several days to recover from. By creating a flap, we can have a procedure in which the recovery period is much shorter, four or five hours versus four or five days and once you put the flap back down, it is almost as if nothing has been done to the cornea. One of the misconceptions about the LASIK procedure is that this is a new procedure that doesn't have a long track record. The truth is that LASIK is based on a very old procedure that has been around since the late 1950s. This procedure was performed by a Columbian Ophthalmologist. It was a two step procedure. The first step involved taking a cap off the cornea instead of a flap and then using a laser to reshape the cornea. So the LASIK procedure is really just a refinement of this older procedure that has been perfected over the years. The instruments that are used to create a flap have become refined and they are much safer than they used to be. In fact, many LASIK procedures are done using a laser to make the flap rather than a blade. In addition, the lasers that reshape the cornea have refined. There have been a lot of safety features placed in these lasers such as eye trackers to make sure that the laser is perfectly centered on the eye so that if the eye is moving during the procedure, the results are good. We have taken special interest in the elimination of what are known as higher order abrasions which are distortions on the cornea by using a technology called Wavefront guided LASIK or come people refer to that as Custom LASIK.