Lasik in Istanbul - The Procedure

The ability to see clearly is taken for granted by millions of people and for millions of others, seeing clearly has been possible only through the use of glasses or contact lenses. Advances in laser eye surgery have given countless individuals worldwide the choice to be free from the constraints of corrective eyewear.
LASIK eye surgery is turning dreams into reality for people all over the world. Imagine how your view of the world would change and how the world would view you without glasses or contact lenses.


Today, LASIK is the most popular and advanced laser procedure for reducing dependence on glasses and contact lenses. The reason that LASIK is the top refractive procedure is because it is:

  • painless

  • bloodless

  • quick (4 minutes per eye)

  • safe and reliable (no risk of vision loss)

  • permanent (no or minimal regression)



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It is an extremely effective outpatient procedure that is suitable for low, moderate, and higher prescriptions. It can be used to correct severe prescriptions, and is currently one of the most commonly performed healthcare procedures in the world.

LASIK is the abbreviation of the term "Laser Assisted Stromal In-situ Keratomileusis".
LASIK gives a new shape to the cornea in order to give the eye its natural focusing capacity.


During the LASIK operation, a special instrument called microkeratome creates a partial thickness corneal flap and then excimer laser ablation is performed over the imposed corneal bed. The ablation profile is related to the refractive error.

For myopic corrections corneal curvature is flattened and for hyperopic corrections a half-torus (the shape you obtain if you press a ring halfway on a Dow) shaped corneal tissue is removed in order to have a steeper cornea. For astigmatism crescent or football shaped ablation is performed.

In order to figure out the effect of LASIK, you can roughly imagine that with the excimer laser the cornea is shaped or carved like the shape of the contact lens you need to see clearly. After the laser reshaping process, the corneal dust will be washed away and the corneal flap is gently put back. Thanks to continuous vacuuming function of the corneal endothelium (cells located at inner face of the cornea), the corneal flap adheres easily like a sticky note. The flap naturally keeps its position without sutures or other surgical intervention.

In some practices, eyes are covered after the LASIK operation but we don't cover our patients' eyes after the procedure. We recommend sleeping after the procedure.

The next you can go on with your day as usual. Visual recovery is extremely fast; in low to medium prescriptions more than 80% of the aimed vision is achieved even in the first day.

Here at EyeSTAR LASIK Institute Istanbul, we improved our medical regimen so that most of our patients don't even have the slightest discomfort after the LASIK procedure.


What are the advantages of PRK?

One of the advantages of the PRK method is that it is an easy surgical procedure. Even a novice eye surgeon can accomplish a PRK operation after watching a few videotapes. But precise programming of the Excimer Laser for the desired vision requires years of experience, since every doctor's surgical method and the environmental factors require construction of special nomograms for specific prescriptions and age. Another advantage of PRK is its being a quick, painless and bloodless laser procedure. PRK consumes lesser corneal tissue than LASIK. PRK or LASEK become the obvious choice when corneal thickness is critical (=thin cornea).

What are the disadvantages of PRK?

One disadvantage of PRK is its slow and painful recovery period. Even though many special techniques, such as bandage contact lenses have been developed for relieving the after-operation pain, still some discomfort should be expected for 2 to 5 days. Also the vision is blurry during this period. This may delay PRK patients' resuming "the normal life" which is the very next day for LASIK patients. Since PRK is a technique that harms the epithelium of the cornea, a clear vision should be expected after the total regeneration of the epithelium (2 to 15 days). Also achieving the final visual result may take up to six months and the recovery modulating drops (such as steroids) should be instilled during this time under the surveillance of regular doctor visits. Two more unwanted effects of PRK should be mentioned. These are especially valid for the treatment of high diopters and in case of neglecting some preventive measures:
1. Persistent foggy vision: haze.
2. Regression: After having a normal vision for a while, a portion of the old refractive error may come back.


When do we prefer PRK?

If there is opacity (scarring) or a specific disease at the cornea besides a refractive error, a dual-purpose laser therapy (PRK) may be performed.

If the anatomy of the eye does not allow placing a microkeratome safely on the eye, then we may choose PRK instead of LASIK.

If the cornea is too thin for LASIK then PRK or LASEK may be the procedure of choice.

If the patient wants to have an unnoticeable laser surgery even with the microscope during an eye exam, then we consider performing PRK or LASEK.




LASEK (LASer Epithelial Keratomileusis) is a relatively new procedure that is technically a variation of PRK. The difference is that while in PRK the epithelium is removed, it is preserved and put back in LASEK. As a result, in LASEK there is less pain and the healing is faster than PRK.

LASEK is used mostly for people with corneas that are too thin or too flat for LASIK operation. It has been developed to reduce the incidence of complications that occur when it is anticipated that the flap created during LASIK will not have ideal thickness or diameter.

1- In LASEK, the epithelium, or outer layer of the cornea, is dented like the letter C with a fine blade called a trephine.
2- The surgeon then covers the eye with an alcohol solution for approximately 30 seconds. The solution loosens the edges of the epithelium. It separates the epithelium from the underlying stroma layer.
3- After sponging the alcohol solution from the eye, the surgeon uses a tiny hoe to lift the edge of the epithelial flap,
4- and gently fold it back out of the way.
5- The surgeon then uses an excimer laser, as in LASIK or PRK, to sculpt the corneal tissue underneath.
6- Afterward, the epithelial flap is placed back on the eye with a kind of spatula.
7- Just like other forms of laser treatments, the cornea gains a new shape for ideal focusing.


In many ways, what you can expect from LASEK is similar to what you can expect from PRK. Patients usually wear a bandage contact lens for around four days. You may feel eye irritation during the first day or two afterward. Also, the time it takes to recover good vision is often longer - up to four to seven days although this varies from one person to the other.


...Special Techniques

During childhood, our eyes have the ability to focus on objects as close as our nose and to objects very far away. A young person without any refractive error can see the objects at 25 cm distance to infinity clearly. The lens in our eyes acts as a focusing lens in a camera. When the objects are near, the lens thickens and focuses the light rays on the retina to obtain a clear image.

As each year passes, that ability to "focus" decreases. But typically, by the time we reach our forties, we need an aid, such as reading glasses or bifocals, to focus on objects near to us. This condition is called presbyopia.

When a nearsighted (Myopic) people reach the age of forty, they too experience presbyopia. Because the nearsighted eye has a natural focal point "at near", many nearsighted presbyopes can remove their glasses or contact lenses and read or do close work comfortably. Many myopes choose to wear bifocals to eliminate the need for removing and replacing their glasses. If you plan to have refractive surgery to eliminate or reduce your myopia, like everyone else, you will still experience presbyopia sometime in your forties.

Monovision addresses the problem of presbyopia that most people start to encounter at the age of 40-45 when they begin to need reading glasses or bifocals for close vision. With monovision, the dominant eye (the eye you would use to focus a camera) is focused for distance vision, and the non-dominant eye is focused for near to intermediate vision. This can be done with contact lenses, refractive surgery (Lasik) or intraocular lenses.

With both eyes open, near, intermediate and far objects can be seen well without the aid of glasses.
Monovision certainly isn't appropriate for everyone. However, when paired with the right person, it can be a great fit. Monovision is a blend of near and distance vision, and is ideal for people with an active lifestyle. However, there is a caveat to consider: since it is a compromise, most people's vision isn't perfectly crisp up close or far away. Instead, it offers the best of both worlds.
Most people who opt for monovision go through a brief period of adaptation as the brain "learns" to see with the eye best suited for the task. If you're considering refractive surgery as a permanent form of monovision, it might be best to consider a "test drive" with contact lenses before making a decision.
About 75% of people like monovision. We test our patients with contact lenses before laser treatment to see whether they will be able to adapt to monovision.



Phakic IOL procedures are being used on severely nearsighted and farsighted patients who may not be candidates for the more common laser procedures such as PRK , LASEK, and LASIK. Phakic IOL is the procedure of choice for high myopia and high hyperopia.

The word "Phakic" refers to those who have not undergone cataract surgery and still have their eye's natural internal lens. IOL stands for "intra-ocular lens." In the Phakic IOL procedure, an intra-ocular lens is placed inside the eye. The patient's natural lens is not removed, as it would be in cataract surgery. Unlike in clear lens extraction, the crystalline lens of the eye is not removed so patients undergoing this procedure can retain any pre-existing focusing ability. There are three lens designs. The NuVita lens is placed in front of the iris. The Artisan, or iris claw lens is attached on the front of the iris. The Implantable Contact Lens, or ICL, is placed between the iris and crystalline lens.

Advantages include no effect on corneal thickness, removability and very clear vision.


Eligible Candidates

  • Individuals who have extreme myopia (over -15.00 diopters)

  • Individuals who have extreme hyperopia (over +6.00 diopters)

  • Individuals who are under the age of 40 years of age.

  • Individuals without any health issues affecting their eyes


What to expect on the day of surgery
You will arrive at the surgery center about an hour prior to your procedure. Once you have been checked in, you may be offered a sedative to help you relax. You will then be prepared for surgery. The area around your eyes will be cleaned and a sterile drape will be applied around your eye. Powerful eye drops or a local anesthetic will be used to numb your eyes. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.
Next, a small incision will be made and the intra-ocular lens will be inserted. The Phakic IOL procedure is very quick, typically taking less than 20 minutes. There also is a short recovery time. The results of the surgery are almost immediate, however your vision will probably be a little blurry from the anesthesia, so someone will need to drive you home. You should relax for the rest of the day. You may experience some discomfort, but this is usually alleviated with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Most patients resume normal activities within a day or two.




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