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LASIK is an acronym for LASer In-situ Keratomileusis, which simply means "to shape the cornea within using a laser." It corrects vision by reshaping the cornea (outer window of the eye) so that light rays focus more precisely on the retina, thereby reducing or eliminating refractive errors.

Using an instrument known as a microkeratome, a thin protective flap of corneal tissue is folded back.

The Excimer laser then removes a predetermined amount of tissue from the inner cornea to correct the individual's refractive error. The cornea is made flatter to treat nearsightedness, steeper to treat farsightedness and/or more spherical to correct astigmatism.

The corneal flap is placed back in its original position where it bonds without the need for stitches. LASIK can treat low to very severe refractive errors.

The process:

  • After your eye has been numbed with "eye drop" anesthesia, an instrument known as an eyelid speculum will be positioned to hold your eyelids open. You will remain awake and comfortable throughout the procedure.
  • A small suction ring will be placed around the cornea and serves as a platform for the microkeratome.
  • The microkeratome separates the surface layers of the cornea, and the corneal flap is folded back.
  • You will be asked to look at a target light while the Excimer laser reshapes the corneal tissue. A clicking sound can be heard as each microscopic layer of tissue is vaporized. This process will last from seconds to minutes, depending on the amount of correction necessary.
  • The corneal flap is then placed back into its original position and allowed to dry for a few minutes.
  • You will be given additional eye drops, and your eye may be shielded for protection. Your vision will probably be a little blurry at first so have someone drive you home and relax for the rest of the day.

Taking LASIK to the next level

The CustomVue procedure tailors a unique correction for each individual. It employs the VISX WaveScan System, a new diagnostic system that captures a "fingerprint" of the eye which is 25 times more precise than what was previously measurable by standard methods. WaveScan evaluates more than nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism; it captures other, more specific imperfections in each individual's vision. This data is then used to generate an individualized treatment for a CustomVue procedure.

For more information about LASIK at the  Eye Clinic, please email Pam Stinson at pstinson@eyeclinicpc.com or call her at (731) 424.2414.

  LASIK Steps