Laser Refractive Surgery

LASIK, PRK, LASEK Surgery

Laser refractive surgery refers to all the surgical procedures on the cornea (the front tissue of the eye) that correct for near-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism prescriptions. The surgical procedures are performed by surgeons, and our optometrists care for you throughout the post-surgery recovery period. This shared responsibility between the surgeon and primary eyecare optometrist is called co-management.

Our doctors are experienced in laser refractive surgery co-management. They will determine whether you are a good candidate, prepare you for surgery, and take care of you throughout the entire recovery period. We have a dedicated Laser Vision Coordinator who will answer questions and provide information regarding the latest laser treatments for your type of prescription. Laser refractive surgery is typically considered cosmetic and financing is available.

LASIK

Laser refractive surgery refers to all the surgical procedures on the cornea that correct for near-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism prescriptions. The surgical procedures are performed by surgeons, and our optometrits care for you throughout the post-surgical recovery period. This shared responsibility between the surgeon and primary eyecare optometrist is called co-management.

LASIK (laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is the most commonly performed and well known vision correction surgery. Using an excimer laser, the doctor re-shapes the cornea so that images are focused to the correct spot on the retina (the light receptor of the eye). The success rate with this procedure is excellent, with most patients achieving 20/20 vision or better upon completion. The LASIK procedure itself involves little or no discomfort both during the procedure and also usually through the recovery process. Eyesight improvement is quick, with good vision typically achieved within a few days.

Reasons to consider LASIK:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia).
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia).
  • Astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea).
  • Desire to decrease or eliminate dependence on glasses or contacts.

Are you a good candidate?

Our doctors are experienced in laser refractive surgery co-management. They will determine whether you are a good candidate, prepare you for surgery, and take care of you throughout the entire recovery period. We have a dedicated Laser Vision Coordinator who will answer questions and provide information regarding the latest laser treatments for your type of prescription.

The Surgical Procedure

During the procedure, the surgeon administers a local anesthetic via eye drops. A speculum device is then placed over the eye to prevent the patient from blinking. Next, the surgeon creates an extremely thin flap from the outer layer of the cornea, using either a microkeratome (a small blade specially designed for this purpose) or a laser. The flap is folded to the side, and the excimer laser, programmed with the individual map of the patient’s eye, removes corneal tissue with quick pulses of concentrated light. This process usually takes less than a minute. Once this is done, the surgeon folds the flap back into place and surgery is complete. Click on this LASIK video to learn more

Co-Management Throughout Recovery

The patient may go home shortly after surgery. However, someone else must drive or alternate transportation must be arranged. Patients will be asked to get lots of rest, avoid any strenuous activities, and avoid rubbing the eye area for a period of time. The patient will have follow-up appointments beginning 24-48 hours post-surgery and periodically over the following weeks and months with our optometrists. These follow-up co-management exams concentrate on proper healing and detecting infection.

PRK

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) uses the same excimer laser as the LASIK procedure to reshape the outer layer of the cornea. PRK is an alternative for patients whose corneas are too thin for the more common LASIK procedure.

Reasons to consider PRK:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia).
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia.
  • Astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea).
  • Cornea too thin for LASIK.
  • Pupil too large for LASIK.

Are you a good candidate?

Our doctors are experienced in laser refractive surgery co-management. They will determine whether you are a good candidate, prepare you for surgery, and take care of you throughout the entire recovery period. We have a dedicated Laser Vision Coordinator who will answer questions and provide information regarding the latest laser treatments for your type of prescription.

The Surgical Procedure

In preparation for surgery, anesthetic eye drops are administered. Next, a speculum device is placed over the eye to prevent blinking. While the patient fixes his or her gaze on a target, the laser reshapes the cornea by removing tissue (a process called ablation) under the close monitoring of the surgeon. The ablation usually takes around a minute for each eye, but it can vary slightly depending on the level of the patient’s glasses prescription. Most patients feel no pain during the procedure. After the procedure is complete, a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye.

Co-Management Throughout Recovery

The patient may go home shortly after the surgery; however, someone else must drive or alternate transportation must be arranged. He/she may go home with a prescription for oral pain medication and high dose vitamin C. Our Laser Vision Coordinator will schedule several appointments with the optometrist to monitor the healing process and check for complications or infections. The optometrist will also remove the bandage contact lens at the proper time. During the recovery process, the patient should rest, and refrain from any strenuous activities.

LASEK Surgery

Laser refractive surgery refers to all the surgical procedures on the cornea that correct for near-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism prescriptions. The surgical procedures are performed by surgeons, and our optometrists care for you throughout the post-surgery recovery period. This shared responsibility between the surgeon and primary eyecare optometrist is called co-management.

LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis) is a relatively new type of corrective laser eye surgery. It employs an alcohol solution to loosen the outer epithelial layer of the cornea. The laser then treats the exposed cornea surface, and the epithelial flap is replaced as a natural bandage. LASEK is an alternative for those patients who are not candidates for LASIK surgery.

Reasons to consider LASEK:

  • Wish to reduce or eliminate dependence on glasses or contacts for those with myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism.
  • The epithelial layer is kept, reducing healing time and pain compared to PRK.
  • An alternative for patients with thin corneas who are not candidates for LASIK.
  • Reduces the chances of post-operative corneal haze, compared to PRK.
  • Patients experience dry-eye less often after LASEK than compared to LASIK.

Are you a good candidate?

Our doctors are experienced in laser refractive surgery co-management. They will determine whether you are a good candidate, prepare you for surgery, and take care of you throughout the entire recovery period. We have a dedicated Laser Vision Coordinator who will answer questions and provide information regarding the latest laser treatments for your type of prescription. Laser refractive surgery is typically considered cosmetic and financing is available.

The Surgical Procedure

For the LASEK procedure, the surgeon first creates an epithelial flap. Alcohol is used for about 30 seconds to loosen the epithelial cells. Then the epithelium is lifted, with the help of a trephine blade, and folded aside, to allow access to the inner layers of the cornea. At this point, the excimer laser ablates the carefully-exposed, underlying cornea tissue, just as in LASIK and PRK, by removing corneal tissue. The laser works on enough tissue to counteract the patient’s prescription. After the laser correction is complete, the surgeon replaces the epithelial flap, and applies a bandage contact lens to aid in healing.

Co-Management Throughout Recovery

Usually the patient must wear the bandage contact lens for ~7 days. The patient should rest and refrain from any strenuous activities. Most patients can return to work in a few days. Our Laser Vision Coordinator will schedule several follow-up checks with our optometrists, starting at day 1 post-surgery, to monitor the healing process. The post-surgical checks will focus on proper healing, inflammation control, and infection prevention. Your optometrist will also remove the bandage contact lens when the timing is correct.

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