What is LASIK surgery?
LASIK is an acronym for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. This procedure reshapes the cornea to improve the eye’s ability to focus light onto the retina, which, in turn, improves vision. LASIK surgeons begin by creating a very thin flap on the cornea’s topmost layer, revealing the deeper cornea (stroma) where microscopic amounts of corneal tissue are removed with an excimer laser. Once the desired shape is achieved, the flap is positioned back in place without sutures.
The objective of LASIK surgery depends on the specific condition involved. For example, nearsightedness (myopia) is corrected by flattening the cornea, while farsightedness (hyperopia) is resolved by increasing corneal steepness. Astigmatism is a condition in which the corneal shape is not perfectly round, and this can be corrected by LASIK as well.
Patients undergo LASIK surgery to achieve optimal vision without the need for corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses. Aside from being quick and virtually painless, the procedure is also remarkable for causing little downtime and bringing near-immediate results.
Is LASIK safe?
Close to 20 million LASIK procedures have been performed in the United States alone with generally excellent patient outcomes. This is attributed to the procedure’s extremely low risk of complications through decades of research. With less than 1% of patients developing adverse reactions, LASIK surgery is unquestionably one of the safest elective procedures available today.
Another significant factor behind patients’ increased confidence in LASIK surgery is the fact that it is one of the most studied elective surgeries today. Since 1993, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been conducting LASIK surgery clinic trials and analyzing outcomes for over 9,000 patients. This opened the doors to bigger and better clinical research devoted to LASIK. So far, there are at least 7,000 peer-reviewed published studies proving that the procedure is both safe and effective.
Best of all, based on numerous published studies on patient satisfaction and value, LASIK has the highest satisfaction rating among all types of cosmetic procedures (not just eye surgeries, but any type of surgery that is done for cosmetic reasons – i.e., not covered by insurance). In many of these published studies, over 99% of people who have had LASIK say they would do the procedure again or highly recommend it to others.