LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is one of the most popular refractive vision correction procedures. It has helped millions of people in the United States and abroad eliminate or reduce their dependence on glasses and contact lenses. Our experienced eye surgeons use LASIK to effectively correct the conditions of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
The sophisticated, precise LASIK procedure usually takes less than 10 minutes and many patients experience significant vision improvement by the very next day. In fact, with the advanced technology used by our surgeons to customize each patient’s vision correction, most of our LASIK patients achieve 20/20 vision or better. The remarkable LASIK success rate, coupled with the relative convenience of this procedure, explains why more and more people are undergoing this vision correction surgery.
While LASIK surgery itself can take as little as two minutes, each of our patients undergo a comprehensive evaluation prior to the LASIK procedure. Your optometrist can perform this evaluation to determine your candidacy and provide information on the treatment options available for your vision needs. Our doctors then perform an additional examination and advanced diagnostic tests to finalize the treatment plan.
One of the advanced tests our LASIK surgeons use is a sophisticated computerized technology called “wavefront” to create a highly personalized map the eye. This technological breakthrough allows us to create a detailed 3-D image, capturing irregularities that go untreated in traditional LASIK procedures. In fact, the custom treatment our surgeons use is 25 percent more precise than traditional LASIK treatments. The increased level of detail means that your treatment will be highly customized and precisely targeted allowing more of our patients to achieve their personal best vision.
LASIK procedure involves two steps – the precise creation of a corneal flap and the gentle reshaping of the underlying corneal tissue. Prior to treatment, our surgeons numb the eyes with anesthetic eye drops and place a retainer device over them to keep the patient from blinking. Then our experienced surgeons begin the treatment by creating a thin flap in the cornea (the clear surface of the eye). This procedure can be done either using an instrument called a microkeratome or a special laser called the IntraLase femtosecond laser.
During the second step of the LASIK treatment, our surgeons carefully lift the corneal flap to expose the underlying corneal tissue. The excimer laser, which uses a very precise beam of cool ultraviolet light, is applied to gently reshape the cornea. The goal is to adjust the corneal shape so that it focuses light rays properly, which is the key to better vision. The LASIK procedure is completed by folding the corneal flap back into place. The flap serves as a natural bandage, which means that our patients do not require stitches or eye bandages.
During the procedure, patients might experience mild discomfort, which our surgeons can ease by administering special sedatives. After the treatment, our patients rest for a little while, and then they can go home with the assistance of a responsible adult driver. While many of our patients are able to return to work the next day, some patients choose to take a few days off to ensure smooth healing.
After the LASIK procedure, patients must return either to our facility or to their optometrist for follow-up care. These visits typically span a period of three months and help ensure that the eyes are healing properly.
When it comes to vision correction, one size does not fit all. While many people are excellent candidates for LASIK surgery, this procedure is not for everyone. Since every patient’s situation is unique, only a thorough evaluation can determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure. The ideal LASIK candidate is an adult with generally healthy eyes and a stable vision prescription. If you have certain eye conditions, such as dry eye, LASIK may still be an option if the condition is controlled prior to the procedure.
Our surgeons are experienced with a full spectrum of vision correction treatments to provide our patients with the care that best fits their specific needs. If you are not a candidate for LASIK, some of the other alternatives our surgeons can discuss are PRK, Visian ICL, Intraocular Lenses, Conductive Keratoplasty, and INTACS.
Please visit our contact page to schedule a consultation at one of our centers or to find out if your optometrist can provide the initial evaluation.