Dr Samir Melki MD - Leading Boston Lasik Surgeon

LASIK 101 and FDA’s Role

lasik-101-and-fda's-role

Are you considering Lasik to improve your vision? Are you looking forward to finally say goodbye to your corrective lenses and your embarrassing daily routine of wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses? Good. You are taking the first step to having a better vision. However, a successful Lasik eye surgery entails more than just courage. It will need your time and effort to make an informed decision to achieve desirable results that you imagine.

Just like you, Lasik has delighted and offered promising results to millions of individuals around the globe. However, this surgical procedure isn’t entirely suited for everyone who has vision problems. When you are considering Lasik eye procedure, it is very important that you do have a very clear understanding of what is all about, the surgery’s advantages and potential risk and most importantly, determining if you are a good candidate for the procedure. This is main reason why organizations such as the International Society of Refractive Surgery and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are continuously developing comprehensive guide to keep every individual informed regarding the Lasik procedure. More so, the Food and Drug Administration or also known as FDA is providing objective details right from the leading experts of Lasik Surgery of the country.

FDA and LASIK

LASIK or known as  Laser in Situ Keratomileusis was first approved as outpatient refractive procedure and for medical use by FDA in the year 1998. Since then, the procedure has already been gaining wide popularity from many patients. It has also been recorded that there are approximately seven hundred thousand Americans who have undergone the procedure every year, where most of these individuals are highly satisfied and happy with the results of their Lasik procedure. However, just like all medical surgeries, there were cases of eye infections and complications which were recorded. Some of these patients, have experienced significant side effects which have also affected their eye conditions and  their daily activities.

LASIK – Understanding the Basics

LASIK, by definition, is an outpatient surgical process that is employ to treat vision problems such as farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. This refractive eye procedure could not be reversed and may not give you the perfect vision, precise vision could slightly diminished in the long run because of age-related vision problems. Therefore, it is very essential to take these into considerations and set realistic expectations before finally undergoing the surgical procedure. In general, LASIK will use a laser in order to reshape the eye’s cornea. By doing so, it will eventually improve the way our eyes focus on the light rays that enter the eye’s retina, which will allow a better vision. During the procedure, a surgical device called an Excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea. The process will start by numbing the eye through a topical anesthetic, the doctor will out few drops on the eyes. Then a device known as speculum will be placed between the eyelids of the patient in order to keep them open and avoid from blinking. Suction ring will then be placed into your eyes lifting and flattening the eye’s cornea, the moment is placed into the eyes the patient’s vision will go black or may appear dim. A hinged flap of the patient’s corneal tissue will be created by the surgeon with the use of an automated microsurgical device. After a paper thin flap is created, it is lifted and fold back, the flap won’t adhere to your eye’s surface as it is of the same strength it has prior to the surgery therefore there is just a very small chance of possibly risk of the flap to be displaced after the operation. The surgery won’t take long, in fact it may just take approximately less than 20 minutes for both eyes to do the LASIK surgery. Once the surgery is done, the doctor will advise the patient to avoid rubbing the eyes, prevent engaging to certain activities and using certain products in the face that may affect your recovery process or contribute to development of eye infection. Sometimes, a surgeon will put a transparent protective shield over the eyes in order to prevent you from rubbing your eyes and protect your cornea. Additionally, there may be prescribed medications and eye drops that will be given after your surgery. This is to keep your eyes moist and avoid severe dry eyes syndrome. It would be highly helpful for you to ask for any prescriptions to reduce any feeling of discomfort during the recovery period.

The Risks and the Rewards

The possibly risk factors which may affect you to choose LASIK surgery are dry eye syndrome, degree of refractive issue age and any health related concerns that could possibly affect the healing process. If you proceed to obtain LASIK procedure even with dry eye syndrome and it is left untreated, you will greatly be disappointed. There is a huge chance of having this condition aggravated by LASIK surgery when it isn’t diagnosed prior to the surgery or adequately treated. This is the reason why initial screening of the overall condition of the eyes is highly required to determine if LASIK is the right refractive procedure for you. In addition, patients who have very high level of refractive errors may not be suited for a LASIK surgery, followup operation may be needed when a patient persists to go for the procedure.

One thing is for sure, LASIK was able to provide great benefits to millions of people. A lot of companies and even researchers are continuously developing more advanced methods and facilities to achieve even greater results. Many surgeons today are employing scanning laser prior to the actual surgery which provide several potential advantages. Therefore it is never a surprise why LASIK has been able to continually attract patients around the world. Many of these patients claim that they are finally allowed to function on their daily activities without their contact lenses and prescription glasses. Although it has been also previously said that results cannot be guaranteed, just like all surgical procedures, many patients were able to obtain improved vision, better lifestyle and even better quality of life.

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