What to Know Before AST Surgery

May 4, 2023

For many Americans, LASIK is the household name they trust for enhancing vision and correcting refractive errors. So, when some patients learn they are not eligible for LASIK surgery, they may be devastated. Fortunately, advanced surface treatment (AST) is an alternative that provides equally impressive results.

AST has become recognized as a suitable alternative for those whose eyes or refractive errors do not qualify for LASIK. Despite this, many patients have yet to learn what AST entails or how it could help them see more clearly. Read on for everything you need to know about this treatment!

What to do before AST surgery

If you are interested in clearer vision but aren’t a good candidate for LASIK, AST may be suitable for you. During the consultation, we will evaluate your eyes and review your health history to ensure you are eligible for surgery.

AST is ideal for those with thin corneas, chronic dry eye, or other select conditions that prevent them from undergoing LASIK. Though recovery time is longer than LASIK, AST is an excellent option for those who want to improve conditions like myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism.

During AST surgery and recovery

On the day of the surgery, you should arrive early to give yourself enough time to complete any paperwork and get settled. Before the procedure begins, we apply numbing drops and use a small device to keep your eyes open during the surgery. You will also be given a small dose of Valium to ease nerves.

During AST, our experts correct your refractive error on the cornea’s surface—rather than creating a flap like they would with LASIK. At the end of the surgery, a soft contact lens will be applied over the eye, acting as a bandage of sorts while your corneal tissue regenerates.

After the procedure, you will wait for a brief period to ensure that there are no immediate complications or reactions. Then, you can go home with someone else driving you. Your corneal tissue will regenerate and heal in a few days, at which point the contact lens will be removed. Within just a few weeks, your vision will gradually improve and stabilize.

At that time, you’ll be able to enjoy the clearer, improved sight you’ve been waiting for! Since AST does have a longer recovery time, patients are advised to have one eye operated on at a time to make the recovery process easier and smoother in their day-to-day life. Though the recovery period for AST is longer when compared to LASIK—the results are equally impressive.

If you aren’t a good candidate for LASIK but still want to correct your refractive error, consider AST with our team. If you’re ready to reach your vision goals, call 614.939.1600 to schedule an appointment at Columbus Laser & Cataract Center today.