More and more people are becoming interested in laser vision correction. By undergoing surgery such as LASIK or PRK, a person is able to see clearly without the aid of glasses or contacts. This provides a freedom that cannot be discounted. In fact, many patients prefer to undergo LASIK than wear glasses or contacts because of how effective the surgery has proven.
With this in mind, we do take all steps of the procedure seriously in order to prevent potential infection and other serious complications. We want to take this opportunity to consider the topic of infection after LASIK and show you how risk of infection is greatly reduced through technology and can be further minimized through proper pre-op and post-op care.
About LASIK Surgery
LASIK is a refractive surgery in which a laser reshapes the cornea, which is the clear frontal portion of the eye. In order to reshape the cornea, a flap must be created in the topmost part of the cornea, known as the epithelium. The flap is set down again after surgery to heal.
Is infection a common problem with LASIK?
Infection is a possibility after any surgery, and LASIK is no exception. That said, infection after LASIK is generally rare.
One possible vector for infection in the past was the microkeratome. This was a physical surgical tool that was used to create the epithelial flap in the cornea. Since it's a physical object coming into contact with the eye, there was potential for infection. Luckily, modern sterilization techniques made infection risk from the microkeratome very low.
Modern LASIK Is Blade-Free
Now, most patients and surgeons don't have to worry about the microkeratome at all. Many LASIK professionals have gone with bladeless, all-laser LASIK. This blade-free form of LASIK does away with the microkeratome and instead uses a special laser to create the corneal flap. When blade-free LASIK is combined with custom LASIK surgery, it offers the best possible laser vision correction available today.
Benefits of Blade-Free LASIK
The obvious benefit of blade-free LASIK is the reduction of infection vectors when performing the LASIK surgery itself. In addition, patients tend to heal better and faster with blade-free LASIK, and there is less chance of surgical error since the laser is computer guided.
Reducing Infection Risk Through Pre-Operative Care
In addition to technological advances, infection risk can be managed by patients. Before arriving at the surgical suite for LASIK, patients are advised to not wear creams, lotions, or makeup on the face or around the eyes. This helps avoid possible infection from foreign particles/substances getting into the eyes during the surgery.
Reducing Infection Risk Through Post-Operative Care
Post-operative care is essential for avoiding infection. Patients are asked to do the following until instructed by their surgeon:
- Avoid showers, swimming pools, and saunas
- Avoid getting water in their eyes
- Avoid rubbing their eyes
- Avoid using eye makeup or facial creams
- Avoid dusty or smoky environments
- Wear facial protection while sleeping to prevent incidental eye rubbing
By following all pre-op and post-op instructions to the letter, you help ensure the best possible results from your LASIK surgery.
Learn More About LASIK Surgery
For more information about LASIK surgery and your many options out there for advanced eye care, be sure to contact our Toronto LASIK surgery centre today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible results.