girl-with-computerLASIK is actually short for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis.” ‘To shape the cornea from within’. LASIK has advantages over other procedures, including a relative lack of pain afterward and the fact that good vision is usually achieved by the very next day – most New York and Manhattan residents return to work and regular activities the day after the procedure. It is virtually painless.

An instrument called a microkeratome is used in the LASIK eye procedure to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea. This special instrument has been used in eye surgery for over 40 years, and the newer microkeratomes are very safe and accurate. Another, newer way of making the flap is with a computer driven femtosecond laser (Ziemer laser). The laser creates a flap by focusing laser light at a certain depth in the cornea, creating a very smooth and precise flap. After the flap is made, the surgeon folds it back out of the way, and then reshapes the corneal tissue underneath using an excimer laser. The excimer laser uses a cool light beam to precisely remove (“ablate”) very tiny amounts of tissue from the cornea.

The excimer laser is applied in a specific pattern that has been determined from your measurement data. The number of spots and the pattern of application are delivered under computer control by the laser and monitored by the LASIK surgeon so that the curvature of the cornea is altered to achieve the desired correction.

When the cornea is reshaped in the right way, it works better to focus light entering the eye – providing clearer vision. The flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed and seals within minutes. Due to the special bonding properties of the cornea, no stitches are needed.

Both nearsighted and farsighted people in New York and Manhattan can benefit from the LASIK procedure. Many people do not realize that LASIK can also correct astigmatism by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more normal shape. By not disrupting the outermost optical surface of the cornea during the treatment, LASIK produces a quick visual recovery.