LASIK laser eye surgery to correct a person’s vision has been in use for many years, but it’s always hard to gauge the long-term outcome until enough time has passed. LASIK recipients can rest easy: studies have shown that the surgeries are now safer and more beneficial, with excellent long-term results.
LASIK, laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is a surgical procedure that utilizes a laser to permanently change the shape of the cornea. Nearsightedness and farsightedness are both caused by distortions in the cornea, so laser surgery is used to correct vision.
A flap is created in the cornea so that a computer-controlled excimer laser can vaporize a portion of the stroma, which is located in the middle of the cornea. The flap is closed again, once the curvature of the cornea has been adjusted to improve vision.
Dr. Marc Werner, an ophthalmologist at the Stahl Eye Centre in New York City, says “We still have lots of people we started on 18 to 19 years ago who are perfect. It’s still a very good procedure with long-term results.”
In a 2008 retrospective study of LASIK procedures, Spanish researchers followed up with 70 patients for 10 years and found that, overall, participants had healthy corneas and that their vision remained accurate.
The procedure has become even better as advances in laser eye surgery and technology have also improved.
In the mid-1990s, surgeons used a surgical blade to create a flap in the cornea; now Optilase Clinics use a femtosecond laser. The laser separates tissues by creating a layer of bubbles, then making an incision to create the flap.
Optilase also conduct a thorough preoperative testing process, monitoring multiple elements of the cornea to ensure LASIK is proper for the patient.
The procedure is approved for adults for adults age 18 and over.
As there are now more long-term studies then were available at the advent of the surgery, the safety and effectiveness of the surgery has been proven worldwide.