If you’re tired of wearing corrective lenses and want to return to vision without their assistance, laser eye surgery is a great option. The procedure is safe, very successful, and typically little more than mildly uncomfortable.
You’ve probably heard of laser eye surgery advertised on the radio or TV as LASIK, with these ads quick to tout the many benefits that LASIK surgery offers. LASIK is the most popular version of laser eye surgery, yes, though it is one of three popular variations of the procedure performed here in Alberta.
During your consultation with the optometrist we will walk you through the results of our assessment, the version of the procedure that is best suited for you, and what the appropriate next steps are.
A brief overview of the surgery – Laser eye surgery is a well-understood and practiced procedure, with tens of thousands of procedures being performed in Canada every year. It is one of the safest surgical procedures you can have, with a success rate well north of 95%.
The procedure takes approximately 1 hour to perform, though only 15 minutes of that is actual surgery (the rest is prep).
The eye is numbed and thoroughly disinfected/cleaned. Once ready, your eye is held open using specialized equipment and the surgeon gets to work. You will be asked to stare at a fixed point (clearly identified prior to surgery so you know what to expect). The laser itself is only activated for 5 – 90 seconds (as required to correct your refractive error).
You will be observed for a brief period post surgery and then released. You will not be able to drive, so please ensure you have arranged transportation.
Types of procedures available – In Canada there are three main versions of laser eye surgery performed: LASIK, LASEK, and PRK. While each accomplishes the same outcome, the process of accessing the corneal cells varies among each.
Who is a candidate for surgery? The vast majority of Canadians with corrective lenses are suitable for surgery. In order to be a candidate your eyes must be in good health- prior injuries, infections, or eye surgeries may rule out laser eye surgery as an option.
Laser eye surgery can correct most refractive errors and prescriptions. It can also be used to treat presbyopia, though its results are usually not permanent in the case of presbyopia.
Suitable for nearly all prescriptions and refractive errors, laser eye surgery is a powerful process that utilizes a precision laser to physically reshape the cornea and correct the refractive error that causes impaired vision.
Like all surgeries, laser eye surgery has the potential for side effects and complications. While the risk is low, it is important that you are informed so that you have the information needed to make an educated decision. During the consultation we will clearly inform you of potential side effects.
While low, risks for side effects do exist (though they are most often temporary). If you experience the side effects below, please make an appointment to see us at your earliest convenience. Side effects can include: