The term LASIK, stands for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis. It is a commonly performed surgery for treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
While the surgery is a simple outpatient procedure, many cannot get it done as it’s not covered by insurance. That’s where Iran comes in as hub for affordable healthcare.
This country has grabbed the attention of many patients for the affordable and high-quality eye care services it offers. If you’re considering this place for your eye surgery, but haven’t found enough information, here we provide all you should know about this procedure and how it’s done in Iran.
LASIK surgery improves the person’s vision through changing the form of the cornea. It is an outpatient surgical procedure that usually takes about 15 minutes per eye.
People who are fed up using eyeglasses and contact lenses opt for this surgery. It can be performed in an eye clinic or hospital. The recovery is short and the results are permanent.
Iran’s ophthalmology has experienced massive improvements and received great attention in the recent years. Reasons include:
Proficient eye surgeons and doctors: The development of medical tourism in Iran owes a lot to the Iranian doctors and surgeons.
In the field of eye surgery, examples include Dr. Ali Asghar Khodadoust, a world-renowned corneal transplant surgeon who has been honored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and UNESCO for his observation of endothelial rejection line which has been named after him as Khodadoust Line, as well as Dr. Hamid Ahmadieh, a top-rated Iranian ophthalmologist in retina surgery who’s been also awarded by the American Academy of Ophtalmology.
Without doubt, if it wasn’t for the successful work and extensive studies of our doctors, we wouldn’t been able to excel in this area and receive many patients from around the world especially our neighboring countries as well as African and European countries.
Specialized clinics and eye centers: Iran boasts a variety of eye clinics and hospitals which offer all surgical treatments for various eye illnesses, be it a major or minor one. The number of successful eye surgeries performed in the hospitals is so remarkable that it has been reported in the media as “Iran registered a new record in eye operations”.
Low cost of LASIK surgery: Low cost of laser eye surgery in Iran compared to clinics in other countries is among the top reasons why Iran can be chosen as the preferred place for this eye treatment.
Depending on where and in which country the surgery is performed, LASIK costs vary significantly.
Fortunately, the price of LASIK eye surgery in Iran is a low fraction of its prices in other countries. LASIK surgery is an outpatient procedure in Iran and costs from $800 to $1,500 per eye (including all the related medical fees).
Costs of laser eye surgery in other countries are higher. For example, the average cost of this procedure in the United States is approximately $2,100 per eye. In the UK, the LASIK costs around £3,000 per eye.
First, the patient is asked to lie on the back and remain still. Topical eye drops are used to numb the eye, so the patient does not feel pain. Also, the area around the eye is washed and cleansed. He or she may also be given a sedative to help relaxation.
After preparation, the surgeon uses an instrument called lid speculum to hold the eyelids open. Then a ring is placed on the eye that creates suction on the cornea. The patient may feel pressure and experience dimming of the vision at this point in the surgery.
Once the ring is firmly in place the surgeon attaches a special device called a microkeratome to the suction ring. Using the blade on the microkeratome, the surgeon creates a corneal flap by cutting approximately the outermost of the cornea and lifts it carefully to one side.
When the suction ring in microkeratome is removed, the surgeon uses pulses from a computer-controlled exciplex laser to reshape the cornea by vaporizing tiny portions of its interior. This part of the procedure usually takes less than one minute. The surgeon then places the corneal flap into its original position and observes the eye for several minutes to ensure bonding. Stitches are not used in this type of surgery, because the cornea bonds and heals on its own.
Finishing the procedure, the surgeon administers antibiotic drops and places a shield over the eye to prevent the patient from rubbing it or from putting pressure on it while the patient is asleep.
The doctor will inform the patient about the risks and benefits of a LASIK surgery, and other possible alternatives to the surgery. The surgeon also will provide information to the patient about what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.
It is important for the patient to learn the facts about the outcomes before undergoing the surgery. For a safe and effective outcome, the surgeon carefully evaluates the patient to determine if he or she, is the right candidate for a LASIK.
Next, eye measurements and check-ups are performed on the patient for dry eyes, large pupils and thin corneas, since these conditions may lead to serious complications. It is also important that the patient informs the surgeon or the doctor about any eye or other medical conditions, because it may result in unsatisfying results.
Recovery from laser eye surgery is an gradual process. It will take around 7 days for you to be able to go back to your normal life. However, during these 7 days, you won’t be much restricted in activities. You should expect to feel itching and burning in the treated eye.
Since the patient cannot drive immediately following the procedure, he or she needs to make arrangements for a ride home. The patient should also keep his/her eyes clean and avoid rubbing them for at least 1 week.
Vision improvement will happen gradually since the first day after the procedure. Generally, it takes around 2 weeks to 2 months and more to fully recover. If you have a higher prescription number, you will experience it a lot faster.
LASIK is a safe procedure as it brings minimum side effects. However, as with any surgery, it is important that before having the procedure, the person,be fully informed about the risks and outcomes of the surgery. Though very rare, these complications include dry eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and other visual symptoms, such as double vision.
Such symptoms are commonly mild and temporary. In addition to that, the patient’s vision may not be fully corrected after the surgery and may not last. It may require vision correction and further treatment to get the desired outcome.
Some patients may still need to wear glasses after the surgery to perform certain tasks. However, reviews from clinical data show that the benefits outweigh the risks when used properly and on the right patients. As a result, most LASIK patients report being satisfied with the results and the benefits of their LASIK surgery.