Eye Laser Surgery is a procedure that uses a laser to change the shape of your cornea (the clear front surface of your eye). The surgeon uses this treatment to correct refractive errors, including short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism.
During the treatment, your surgeon will use a small blade or laser to create a thin flap in your cornea. This flap is raised to allow the surgeon to reshape your cornea, which will refract light better and allow you to see more clearly.
This is a painless procedure. Your ophthalmologist will apply numbing drops to your eyes before performing the surgery. He or she may also put a small shield over your eyes during the procedure to protect them from direct contact with the blade or laser.
Next, your surgeon will use the laser to reshape your cornea so that it can properly refract light. This is done based on the images your doctor took during diagnostic corneal mapping.
Your ophthalmologist may make a clicking or ticking sound while using the Vancouver laser eye, but this is not painful. After the laser has finished reshaping your cornea, your surgeon will fold the flap of tissue back down to prevent it from moving while the healing process begins.
After the surgery, you can go home and rest, but it is best to stay away from vigorous activities for 3-7 days, depending on the type of surgery you have had. Your eyes will be dry, so you should use prescription eyedrops to keep them moist and to prevent infection.
Afterward, you can return to normal daily activities. You may have a bit of blurry vision and redness in your eyes for a few days, but most people recover quickly.
Some patients need to use glasses or contact lenses after laser eye surgery, especially if they have a high eye prescription or significant astigmatism. If you wear contact lenses, it’s important to remove them before going to the doctor for your follow-up appointment.
A few weeks after the procedure, your eyesight might be blurry and you might experience glare from oncoming headlights. This is called postoperative glare and usually goes away within a few months.
If you have cataracts, the natural lens in your eye might need to be removed and replaced with a new, artificial lens before your eyesight improves completely. This can be a good option for older patients who are not suitable for LASIK or PRK.
Another alternative is PIOL, which is also called an intraocular lens exchange. PIOL is a good option for younger patients who are not suitable for LASIK because they have a high eye prescription or a significant degree of astigmatism.
Like LASIK and PRK, PIOL involves a small flap in your cornea that is lifted before reshaping it. In this procedure, your ophthalmologist uses a computer-assisted laser to gently sculpt your cornea, removing cells according to your prescription. This part of the operation is also painless and typically takes less than 30 minutes.