The Day of Surgery
Before the surgery, local anesthetic (numbing) drops will be placed into the eye to be treated and you will be escorted into the room with the laser. You will lie on your back in a reclining chair and look up. An instrument will be placed between your eyelids to hold them open during the surgery. There will also be a temporary shield covering the eye not having surgery. You will be asked to listen to the sounds of the treatment so you will be prepared for the noise that the laser makes during the surgery.
The surgery begins with the placement of a suction ring that elevates the pressure in the eye. The vision in the eye will go black as the suction increases the pressure in the eye.
The vision in the eye will go black as the suction increases the pressure in the eye. The movement of the microkeratome in the track of the suction ring cuts a circular corneal flap. The doctor will lift this flap of tissue after the suction is released. Vision will return to the eye after suction is released.
The doctor will then reposition your head in the chair and refocus the microscope. You will be asked to look directly at a blinking light while the laser is running. It is important to fix your gaze on the light for the entire laser procedure. Try to open both eyes without squinting, as this makes it easier to keep looking at the light. Small amounts of tissue will then be removed from your cornea using the VISX STAR S4 Excimer laser system.
PRECAUTION: It is very important that you keep looking at the light during the entire procedure, even if the light fades or becomes dim. You need to concentrate on looking at this light throughout the entire treatment to ensure best results possible.
Typically, the laser beam will be applied to your eye less then 1 minute and, overall, the surgery may last about 10 minutes.
After the laser surgery is complete, some eye drops may be placed on your eye. The surgery is painless because of the anesthetic drop. When the anesthetic wears off your eye may hurt moderately for 1 to 2 days. The discomfort is typically described as “a sandy sensation.” Your doctor can prescribe pain medication to make you more comfortable during this time after the surgery. To promote healing and lessen the risk of infection do NOT rub your eye after surgery.