Brinton Vision Answers: "Are Patients Awake During LASIK?"
St. Louis, Missouri -
Brinton Vision, a St. Louis, MO based practice, recently published a new article that aims to clarify whether patients are awake during the popular LASIK procedure. Since many might feel uncomfortable about going under for any length of time, the clinic wishes to help their community understand the process more clearly.
“Are you awake during LASIK? The short answer is yes,” confirms Dr. Brinton. “Everyone expects us to use some sort of anesthesia that will put them under, such as you’d see in the movies. However, we use a local anesthetic in the form of numbing eye drops, to diminish pain in the eye alone without rendering you unconscious. You will be fully awake during the procedure itself.”
Brinton Vision adds that many patients also have concerns that they may twitch, sneeze, cough or make some other involuntary movement that causes the procedure to go awry at the worst possible moment. Fortunately, there is no reason to fear pain or injury here since the patient is not at risk of experiencing either discomfort or risky movements during their LASIK treatment, as the lasers actually track pupil movement. They will be as steady as their LASIK doctor requires from the moment the corneal flap is created to when it is closed.
It is notable that patients generally have almost nothing to do to prepare ahead of time for their LASIK procedure. The sole exception to this is in cases where they wear contact lenses — their doctor will advise them to stop wearing their contacts about a week prior to their LASIK appointment. However, all patients are recommended to have a trusted companion to drive them to and from the surgery center on the day of the procedure. The clinic adds that choosing a driver who can help them keep calm may be beneficial as well.
During the LASIK treatment, many factors promote a safe environment for the patient. Firstly, the surgeon will ask them to lie in a comfortable position and look straight ahead. Since they will be awake, a sophisticated tracking device will be used to monitor involuntary eye movement, thereby enabling the laser to be adjusted in real time. Furthermore, while this system virtually negates all risk, the patient is welcome to warn the surgeon if they feel a sudden urge to cough or blink.
Brinton Vision adds that keeping patients informed during every step of the procedure is key to helping them stay calm as it progresses. Once the procedure begins and they realize there is no pain from the laser, for instance, patients can relax and let the treatment continue as planned. However, the clinic acknowledges that certain patients may feel much more anxious despite their best efforts. Here, the surgeon may elect to compensate by providing them with a mild sedative to help them relax (without falling asleep). The clinic provides patients several other options to help them deal with their anxiety, such as a stress ball, weighted blanket and the ability to choose their own music. If they prefer, someone can also hold their hand during the procedure.
Brinton Vision emphasizes that most patients will feel no pain during their procedure. In the following days and weeks, however, they may experience mild discomfort or dry eyes, which is common for certain vision correction procedures. Brinton Vision provides their patients with special antibiotic and steroid eye drops to assist in healing and prevent swelling. Furthermore, patients are encouraged to contact the center immediately if they experience any cause for concern, such as eye pain or redness.
Patients who inquire about LASIK at Brinton Vision are offered a comprehensive examination that includes precise mapping and imaging of their eyes, vision tests, and a conversation with a LASIK and vision correction specialty doctor to determine if they are a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery. During this consultation, they are advised to ask as many questions as they want until they are comfortable with the prospect of undergoing the procedure. Brinton Vision’s doctors have many years of experience and are experts in the field of refractive surgery.
Those interested in learning whether vision correction is right for them are welcome to contact Brinton Vision today to schedule a consultation. Additional information regarding the vision care center’s services can also be found on their website.
For more information about Brinton Vision, contact the company here:
555 N New Ballas Rd Ste 310
St. Louis, MO 63141