LASIK Surgery

LASIK, or “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis,” is the most commonly performed laser eye surgery to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Dr. Allen Zieker performs CustomVue and standard LASIK at the Albany Regional Eye Surgery Center in Latham, New York. Personal Best Vision™ – The Advanced CustomVue™ laser vision correction procedure can improve your nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, and help you achieve a new level of vision.

Like other types of refractive surgery, the LASIK procedure reshapes the cornea to enable light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina for clearer vision. In most cases, laser eye surgery is pain-free and completed within 15 minutes for both eyes. The result, improved vision, can usually be seen in as little as 24 hours.

How is LASIK surgery performed?

  1. First, Dr. Allen Zieker uses a mechanical surgical tool called a microkeratome laser to create a thin, circular “flap” in the cornea.
  2. Then Dr. Allen Zieker folds back the hinged flap to access the underlying cornea and removes some corneal tissue using an excimer laser. 
  3. This highly specialized laser uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to remove (“ablate”) microscopic amounts of tissue from the cornea to reshape it, refocusing light entering the eye for improved vision.
  4. For nearsighted people, the goal is to flatten the cornea; for farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired.
  5. After the laser reshapes the cornea, the flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed.
  6. Then the cornea is allowed to heal naturally.

LASIK eye surgery requires only topical anesthetic drops, and no bandages or stitches are required.

Before LASIK Surgery

Dr. Allen Zieker will perform a comprehensive eye exam to ensure your eyes are healthy enough for the procedure. He evaluates the shape and thickness of your cornea; pupil size; refractive error; as well as any other eye conditions.

You should stop wearing contact lenses for a period of time advised by Dr. Allen Zieker (typically around two weeks) before your eye exam and before the LASIK procedure, as contacts can alter the natural shape of your cornea.

Immediately After LASIK Surgery

Dr. Allen Zieker will have you rest for a bit, and typically you can return home right away (you will need someone to drive you). You may feel a temporary burning or itching sensation and tearing in your eyes immediately after surgery.

You should expect some blurry vision and haziness immediately after surgery; however, this should clear up by the next morning.

Your eyesight should stabilize and continue to improve within a few days, although in rare cases it may take several weeks or longer. For most people, vision improves immediately.

Generally, you will return to see Dr. Allen Zieker the day after surgery. At this initial check-up, he will test your vision to make sure you are legal to drive without glasses or contact lenses. In most states, this requires uncorrected visual acuity of 20/40 or better.

Long-Term Results

LASIK eye surgery offers numerous benefits and may dramatically improve your quality of life. Often most people achieve 20/20 vision or better after the surgery, but LASIK results can vary. Some people may achieve only 20/40 vision or less with uncorrected vision.

You may still need to wear glasses or contact lenses following laser vision correction, though your prescription level typically will be much lower than before.

While the procedure has an excellent safety profile, post-operative LASIK complications can occur and may include infection or night glare (starbursts or halos that are most noticeable when you’re viewing lights at night, such as while you’re driving).
A small percentage of people have an enhancement, or “touch up,” LASIK procedure for further improvement in vision.

You may also still need reading glasses once you reach your 40s, due to a normal age-related loss of near vision called presbyopia.

While LASIK surgery has a high success rate, it is important that you discuss all facets of the procedure with Dr. Allen Zieker prior to consenting to the surgery.

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