The Ultimate Guide to Laser Vision Correction: Everything You Need to Know

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Achieving better eyesight and visual improvement has been a long-term objective throughout history. Eyeglasses and contact lenses were the primary modes of vision improvement in the past. However, the world of ophthalmology has seen a paradigm shift due to various technological developments that have fundamentally altered the field of vision correction. One such advancement is laser surgery for eyes, which has completely changed how we correct vision issues by employing different kinds of lasers to either completely replace or drastically minimise the need for glasses or contacts.

What are the benefits of laser surgery?

In comparison to conventional vision correction techniques, eye laser surgery has many benefits, including long-term vision improvement, quick recovery, little discomfort, and a much higher success rate. Majority of patients undergoing laser surgery achieve 20/20 vision and experience tremendous relief from existing eye conditions. Most patients can completely eliminate or greatly reduce their dependency on glasses or contact lenses.

Why should one get a Laser operation for eyes?

Of course, leading a life free of glasses and contacts is the biggest goal of laser eye surgery. Depending on various factors, the use of eyeglasses and contacts may be reduced or eliminated after laser eye surgery. While not all laser eye surgery patients achieve 20/20 vision, many achieve a significant improvement in their vision, requiring glasses and contacts solely for tasks requiring fine detail.

Patient outcomes for laser eye surgery have significantly increased since the procedure was first made available in 1995. Improved eyesight and quicker healing periods have been achieved as a result of technological advancements such as the development of LASIK and wavefront-guided lasers. Laser eye operations have become way more sophisticated, accurate and efficient since their introduction a few decades ago.

The anatomy of the eye

Before jumping into laser surgery and its scope, let’s first understand the human eye and see what are the various parts that help in its proper functioning.

Our eye consists of cornea, lens, iris, retina, and optic nerve with all having their functions and work together to aid our vision. Our eyes follow a pretty complex mechanism where light is focused onto the retina by the lens after travelling through the pupil and the cornea. The retina then transmits messages to the brain resulting in the creation of the image in front of our eyes.

Poor functioning of any of these organs can lead to various vision problems. For example, an excessively curved cornea causes blurry vision on distant objects. This condition is also called Myopia. Similarly. Hyperopia, caused by a short eye or a flat cornea, causes blurry near vision. Astigmatism, caused by an irregular corneal or lens shape, causes blurry vision and can accompany myopia or hyperopia. Presbyopia, which develops as the lens becomes less flexible with age, impairs the ability to focus up close and frequently necessitates the use of corrective lenses.

Types of laser eye surgery

To help you decide which eye laser surgery is the best option for your vision needs, let’s explore the various forms of laser surgery and other related factors that will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of laser operation for eyes.

Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, or LASIK

LASIK is the most common and well-known form of laser eye surgery. In this process, a flap is made on the cornea with a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. The flap is then raised, and the underlying corneal tissue is reshaped using an excimer laser to rectify the refractive defect. After being repositioned, the flap adheres naturally without the need for stitches.

Photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK

LASIK’s predecessor, PRK, is a more traditional surgery. In this process, in place of making a flap, the excimer laser is used to remodel the corneal tissue after the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) has been removed. During the next few days, the epithelium regenerates. Patients having thinner corneas or issues for which LASIK is not suitable are usually advised to undergo PRK.

Small Incision Lenticule Extraction, or SMILE

SMILE is a comparatively new and minimally invasive method in which a femtosecond laser is used to create a tiny, lens-shaped piece of tissue inside the cornea. To alter the cornea’s shape and cure the refractive problems, the surgeon makes a tiny incision and removes the lenticule. Patients who cannot undergo LASIK or PRK for various reasons usually opt for SMILE, which is typically used to correct myopia and astigmatism.

Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis, or LASEK

LASEK is a variation of PRK that keeps the epithelium intact throughout the process. Before employing the excimer laser to restructure the cornea, the surgeon first uses an alcohol solution to loosen the epithelial layer, which is then gently moved aside. After realigning the epithelium, a bandage contact lens is applied to the eye to promote healing. Patients who are not the ideal candidates for LASIK for various reasons may be advised to undergo LASEK.

LASIK vs PRK vs SMILE, which is the better option?

LASIK vs PRK vs SMILE surgery methods has specific benefits as well as some demerits. While laser eye surgery cost might be a factor for some, the existing health condition might also be a decisive factor. Coming to which of these options are best, each have their own specialities. PRK and LASEK may have longer recovery times, but they are more suitable for individuals with thinner corneas. Similarly, LASIK is known for its quick recovery time and low discomfort. On the other hand, SMILE is widely known as “a less invasive option” with a smaller incision and a quicker recovery period. However, it is currently limited in the variety of refractive errors that it can correct.

Based on your eye health, lifestyle, and the particular vision issues you want to address, your eye surgeon will help you choose the surgery that best meets your needs.

Laser surgery process : It starts with making the right choice

Choosing the right hospital

To ensure that your eye laser surgery goes well, selecting a renowned and super speciality hospital is essential. Think about the following things while choosing an eye hospital:

Hospital’s track record : Ensure that the hospital of your choice is a well established one with a solid reputation in the industry. The experience of hospital in handling laser eye surgery cases is one of the foremost considertaions you should make.

Team of doctors : Our eyes are extremely sensitive and while laser surgery is an extremely simple process, it’s simplicity and success rate all lies in the hands of surgeons. Do ensure your hospital of choice has a team of reputed doctors with years of experience under their belt.

Advanced infrastructure : Laser eye surgery is a process that depends on the quality of medical infrastructure available. Ensure your hospital of choice is well equipped with cutting-edge technology such as ‘LensAR Laser System’, Alcon Centrurion among other similar equipment which will ensure a quality experience for you.

Nethradhama Super Speciality Eye Hospital is one place where you will find all the above and much more. It is the first eye hospital in India to get accredited by National Board of Accreditation (NABH) Standards for Hospitals which are ISQUA accredited (The International Society for Quality Health Care).

With a mission of providing vision care par excellence to all their patients, Nethradhama has established itself as one of the best eye hospitals in India.

Once you’ve made the choice of hospital its time you get aquainted with other finer aspects of Laser eye surgery in India.


In order to analyse your overall eye health and establish whether you are an appropriate candidate for laser eye surgery, your eye surgeon will conduct a thorough eye examination during the pre-surgical consultation. This may involve exams to gauge your dry eye disease, corneal thickness, and pupil size. Additionally, your surgeon will provide you with information about laser eye surgery cost, review your medical background and go over any potential risks and side effects of the procedure.

Eligibility for eye surgery

Not every individual is an ideal candidate for laser eye surgery. The following variables could affect your eligibility:

Age: In order to guarantee that the candidates’ eyes have finished developing and their prescription has stabilised, they must be at least 18 years old.

Prescription stability: Prior to surgery, your eyeglass or contact lens prescription should have been constant for at least a year.

Thickness of the cornea: For surgery to be successful, the cornea must be of sufficient thickness.

Existing condition: Candidates should not have any eye diseases including glaucoma, cataracts, or severe dry eye syndrome.

General health: If you have autoimmune illnesses or uncontrolled diabetes, you may not be a candidate for laser eye surgery.

Pre-surgery instructions

Following your surgeon’s pre-surgery instructions is crucial to ensuring a positive outcome and reducing the chance of complications. These instructions may consist of:

Contact lens use : Use of contact lenses should be stopped for a set amount of time before to surgery since they may temporarily change the curvature of your cornea. Based on the type of contact lenses you wear, your surgeon will give you advice on the proper duration.

Avoid using lotions and eye makeup: To lower the risk of infection, avoid using eye makeup, creams, or lotions for at least 24 hours before to the procedure.

Make transportation arrangements: After the procedure, arrange for an attendant with you because you may have an impaired vision and possibly feel sleepy from the sedative.

Fasting : You may be asked to not eat or drink during the day of the surgery. Follow your doctor’s advise regarding the dietary restrictions.

Post surgery care

The recovery period following eye laser surgery varies depending on the method of surgery. Most LASIK patients heal the quickest, with a vast majority getting back to their regular schedules in a day or two. As the corneal epithelium regenerates over longer period, PRK and LASEK patients may require more time to recover. Due to the minimally invasive nature of the operation, SMILE patients also experience a speedy recovery.

It’s vital to keep follow-up appointments set by your surgeon after laser eye surgery. The surgeon will keep tabs on your recovery, deal with any issues, and evaluate the operation’s success during these appointments. With more frequent visits during the first healing period and less visits over time, the frequency of follow-up appointments may vary.

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