Even though a large percentage of medical procedures performed today involve some type of laser technology, there is a bit of misinformation that continues to circulate. Our objective in providing care to patients of Central Florida Eye Institute is to guide them to their best decision regarding treatment by offering details – factual details, about their options. Because we have seen more than a few patients linger on false ideas about laser eye surgery, we want to discuss a few points here.
Point #1 – Laser doesn’t necessarily mean heat.
Laser energy has this reputation for being hot and relatively destructive. In the medical setting, there are numerous types of lasers. Some are, in fact, designed to heat tissue in a controlled manner. However, there are also cold laser devices that accomplish different objectives than hot lasers. Cold laser energy is what is involved in laser eye procedures.
An interesting side note about laser eye surgery is that some patients sense a specific odor during their procedure. This gives them the impression that the tissue in their eye is being burned by the laser. In fact, any noticeable odor during laser procedures actually comes from carbon atoms being released by the laser device.
Point #2 – Eye surgery doesn’t necessarily mean pain.
Most eye surgeries are completely comfortable. This comes as a surprise to many patients, even after being told that their procedure will be conducted using local anesthetic. The way that we numb the eyes is with eye drops, too, so it really doesn’t get any more convenient or stress-free. In cases where direct injections may be necessary to assure comfort, administration follows initial numbing with eye drops. The point is, you should feel at ease knowing that your eye doctor takes steps to maximize comfort during surgery.
Point #3 – Laser eye surgery is safe and effective; it’s been proven!
Laser technology has been a part of medicine for several years, including ophthalmologic surgeries. This has allowed time for statistics related to safety and efficacy to be collected. One of the valuable aspects of laser eye surgery is that serious complications are very rare. In fact, no instances of blindness have occurred. Additionally, the corrections that are made with laser surgery maintain for many years.