Information on What is Laser Refractive Surgery: LASIK?

Laser refractive surgery is constantly advancing with new technology. If you’re looking to get rid of glasses and contacts, there are three types of laser eye surgeries available: photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), LASIK and SMILE. All three of these laser refractive surgeries reshape the front part of the eye called the cornea.

FAQ - Audio Presenter

Dr. Baseer Khan

Dr. Baseer Khan

MD, FRCS(C)
Ophthalmologist
Vaughan, ON
The basics about Lasik eye surgery
Who is the right candidate for Lasik
Who is not a good candidate for Lasik





formation – Laser Refractive Surgery: LASIK

Laser refractive surgery is constantly advancing with new technology. If you’re looking to get rid of glasses and contacts, there are three types of laser eye surgeries available: photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), LASIK and SMILE. All three of these laser refractive surgeries reshape the front part of the eye called the cornea.

What to Expect During LASIK

During the LASIK procedure, the eye surgeon uses a microkeratome blade or a femtosecond laser to cut a 100-micron flap of the cornea. The ophthalmologist lifts the flap up and uses the microkeratome blade or femtosecond laser to reshape the cornea, then puts the flap back down. LASIK can be used to treat:

• Myopia (nearsightedness)
• Hyperopia (farsightedness)
• Astigmatism
• Presbyopia (age-related nearsightedness)

Patients with severe dry eye or autoimmune diseases are not candidates for LASIK. The side effects associated with LASIK include dry eyes, glare and halos at night. The other thing that LASIK patients need to be aware of, especially in the short term immediately after surgery, is that they shouldn’t rub their eyes, in order to avoid dislodging the flap. People who are actively involved in contact sports may not be good candidates for LASIK, because if they get hit in the eye – even 10 or 15 years after having had surgery – they can move the corneal flap.

Other Types of Laser Eye Surgery

Photorefractive keratectomy was the first laser refractive surgery, and it’s still performed today. PRK can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. During PRK laser eye surgery, the ophthalmologist removes the epithelium (the surface of the eye) and applies an excimer laser to resurface, blade or vaporize the tissue on the surface of the cornea.

SMILE laser eye surgery can be used in nearsighted patients, and involves using a femtosecond laser to cut a little wafer of tissue inside the cornea and remove it through a small incision. SMILE and LASIK laser eye procedures have a shorter recovery time than PRK, with minimal pain or discomfort. You may experience slight dryness and irritation, but usually these symptoms don’t last long. After PRK, patients require a bandaged contact lens, because the epithelium has been removed. It can take six to eight weeks for your vision to fully recover. If you consult with an ophthalmologist about laser refractive surgery, he or she will ensure that your cornea is thick enough and that you don’t have any abnormal curvatures.

Talk to your eye doctor if you’d like more information on LASIK. 

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Print this Action Plan and check off items that you want to discuss with your healthcare provider

  • LASIK can be used to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia (age-related nearsightedness).
  • During the LASIK procedure, the eye surgeon uses a microkeratome blade or a femtosecond laser to cut a 100-micron flap of the cornea.
  • The side effects associated with LASIK include dry eyes, glare and halos at night.
  • Patients with severe dry eye or autoimmune diseases are not candidates for LASIK.
  • People who are actively involved in contact sports may not be good candidates for LASIK, because if they get hit in the eye – even 10 or 15 years after having had surgery – they can move the corneal flap.

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