How can my refractive error be corrected?

Various surgical procedures (LASIK, PRK, IOL) are employed depending on the patient’s condition (degree and type of refractive error, corneal thickness, quality and shape of cornea, state of the retina etc.), and the extensive preoperative examination is crucial for the problem to be accurately defined and the right solution to be reached. LASIK can correct short-sightedness of up to -12 dioptres, where as far-sightedness and cylindrical vision can be corrected up to +6 dioptres, which is determined by the thickness of the cornea.

How long after the procedure can the effects be seen?

LASIK does not stop a patient’s refractive error from increasing (this usually happens once the patient reaches 25 years of age) but it eliminates the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. If the eye has completely developed and the cornea has finished growing then the refractive error most often never returns.

How long before the operation should I stop wearing contact lenses?

If you wear soft contacts, you should remove them at least ten days before the procedure, while those patients who use hard lenses must go without for at least a month before an operation.

What are the risks involved?

Complications do exist, as in every surgical procedure, but they occur fairly rarely. The usually manifest themselves in the form of occasional glare, haloes and reduced contrast capacity. Some patients experience ‘dry eye’ after the procedure, which can be successfully remedied through a treatment of artificial tears. The degree of success depends on the pre-operative condition of the patient.

How long do the examinations and operation last?

The pre-operative examination lasts two hours, and on the day of the operation you’ll spend roughly the same amount of time at the clinic. After the procedure, you will be able to go home, without bandages or stitches, using a protective lens only at night-time and eye drops during the day to ensure quicker healing and minimize risk of infection over the following week.

When do you perform operations?

Our operating days are Tuesday and Thursday, and post-operative controls are scheduled for the day after, 3-4 days after, 3 months and 6 months after the procedure. The examination would be carried out on a Monday, the operation would take place on the following day, Tuesday, and on Friday you would already have your second post-operative control. Further monthly controls could take place at your local ophthalmologist.

Who can perform LASIK surgery?

Only ophthalmologists who have been specially trained by authorized instructors in LASIK can perform the procedure, and the more experienced the surgeon the better. This is because LASIK is an operation that depends largely on the ability and experienced of the surgeon performing it. He must also possess certified proof of having undergone specialized training in refractive surgery.

Who is a good candidate for refractive surgery?

The patient’s refractive power must have been stable for at least year. For most patients, stabilization occurs beween the ages of 18 and 21. Children should never undergo PRK or LASIK surgery as they as still developing physically, meaning that their myopia or astigmatism are similarly increasing. Furthermore, healing responses and processes in children are likely to be far more aggressive than in adults which may potentially lead to regression and/or scarring, especially with treatments such as PRK, LASEK or epi-LASIK.

Which factors most affect the level of success of the procedure?

There are three important factors which can affect precision: the thickness of the cornea, the size of the patient’s pupils in the dark and the respective level of refractive error to be corrected.

Does LASIK hurt?

No, not at all. LASIK is conducted under local anesthesia in the form of eye drops. No injections or general anesthesia are necessary. The patient only feels a gentle suction on his eye during the creation of the flap. In fact, many patients are pleasantly surprise at how painless the procedure really is.

How long after the procedure will I be able to return to my daily activities?

You will be able to return to work and even sport activity two days after the operation itself. However, where water sports are concerned it is better to wait at least a month before resumption and contact sports should be avoided for at least 6 months.

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