LASIK is a life-changing procedure and the skilled LASIK surgery team at Eye Surgeons Associates can help you eliminate or reduce your need for glasses or contacts and correct your astigmatism, near or farsightedness.
Since LASIK eye surgery was first approved by the FDA 20 years ago, more than 20 million LASIK procedures have been performed in the U.S. LASIK is among the most studied elective procedures and has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of any elective procedure: more than 96 percent.
Learn about advanced laser vision correction procedures and take our FREE online LASIK self-evaluation test to get started on your journey to your new vision.
LASIK Eye Surgery Procedure
Prior to treatment, the surgeon applies anesthetic eye drops to numb the eye for surgery. A suction ring is applied to hold the eye steady and also confirms the pressure of the eye. LASIK is a two-part laser refractive procedure. In the first part, the surgeon creates a flap in the cornea, using a 100% blade-free iFS laser.
The second part involves your doctor lifting the flap to expose the central cornea. The Visx S4 Excimer laser gently reshapes the cornea using a “cool” laser beam allowing light to focus correctly on the retina. In less than 60 seconds, high-energy pulses from the excimer laser actually reshape the internal cornea with accuracy up to 0.25 microns, or 1/4000 of a millimeter.
The flap is then returned to its original position. The corneal flap serves as a natural bandage, which eliminates the discomfort associated with other types of refractive surgery, and expedites the healing process. The doctor will then watch the eye for five minutes to ensure proper healing. Because of the extraordinary bonding properties of the corneal tissue, stitches are not needed to keep the flap in place postoperatively.
The procedure is completed in 20 – 30 minutes, however, you should plan to spend 1 ½ to 2 hours in the office for pre and post-surgery prep time. Most LASIK patients see well the next day and may be able to resume most of their normal activities.
The loss of ability to read the small print, which begins after age 40 is the result of a progressive loss of flexibility of the lens within the eye. This condition is known as presbyopia.
Presbyopic people who desire the ability to see both at distance and near without correction often elect to proceed with a monovision treatment. This method represents a compromise that requires some adaptation but allows more glasses independence. Essentially the dominant eye is corrected for distance, while the fellow eye sees better up close.
Many love this blended vision, but it may take a little adjustment. Most of the time you will be able to perform your daily tasks without glasses, however, glasses may be needed for extremes of vision, both distance and near.
Am I A LASIK Candidate?
The best way to find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK is to visit us for a free consultation. You should also meet these qualifications:
- At least 21 years of age
- Healthy eyes (especially your corneas)
- At least 3 months out from pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Stable glasses correction
- Contraindicated for patients taking Accutane or who have Scleroderma
- Realistic expectations about the procedure
- Dissatisfaction with contacts or glasses
Take our LASIK self-test.
LASIK is a surgical procedure conducted on the corneal part of the eye, and it is crucial that patients are well educated on the potential benefits and risks of this procedure. As with any type of surgery, risks are involved. After your pre-operative evaluation, you will have a good idea about the risks and what they mean to your specific situation.
It is important to discuss any concern with your surgeon and weigh the risks and potential benefits. Each patient’s vision is different and several treatment options are available in order to give the best possible results.
Click here for a review of the risks listed by the FDA. This surgery is not suitable for all patients, and individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.
SUMMARY OF SAFETY INFORMATION
Laser-assisted *in-situ* keratomileusis (LASIK) can only be performed by a trained physician and is specified for reduction or elimination of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism as indicated within the product labeling.
Laser refractive surgery is contraindicated for patients:
a) with collagen vascular, autoimmune, or immunodeficiency diseases;
b) women who are pregnant or nursing;
c) with signs of keratoconus or abnormal corneal topography;
d) who are taking one or both of the following medications: Isotretinoin (Accutane) and Amiodarone hydrochloride (Cordarone).
Potential side effects of laser refractive surgery may include glare, dry eye, as well as other visual anomalies. LASIK requires creating a flap on the surface of the cornea, potential side effects may include flap related complications.
Consult with your eye care professional and Patient Information Booklet regarding the potential risks and benefits of laser refractive surgery, results may vary for each individual patient.
*Restricted Device: U.S. Federal Law restricts this device to sale, distribution, and use by or on the order of a physician or other licensed eye care practitioner. U.S. Federal Law restricts the use of this device to practitioners who have been trained in its calibration and operation and who have experience in the surgical treatment and management of refractive errors.
What if I am Not a LASIK Candidate?
For some patients, there are instances where LASIK may not be a good choice. Fortunately, there are other options available.
PRK is quite similar to LASIK. Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a procedure in which the surface of the cornea is reshaped by the surgeon using the Excimer laser. The main difference between PRK and LASIK is that with PRK there is no corneal flap that is cut, instead, the laser beam is applied directly to the surface of the eye to reshape the cornea. PRK is less frequently used because of the development of LASIK, but in some individual cases, PRK may still be the procedure of choice.
Even though the initial healing may take several days longer than that of LASIK, the long-term results are the same. In general, PRK patients will have a somewhat slower recovery of their best vision than LASIK patients. Studies at the 6-month postoperative visit in LASIK and PRK patients show essentially equivalent results with similar ranges of nearsightedness.View Video
Refractive Lens Exchange
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) also known as clear lens extraction (CLE) is gaining popularity as an option for people over 40 who want to decrease or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts and who are not good LASIK candidates. Like LASIK, this is an elective procedure.
The aging process causes several issues for the clarity of your vision. When we are young our natural lenses are very soft and elastic. As we age this lens loses elasticity making seeing more difficult. Some people over the age of 40 will begin to experience hyperopia or farsightedness and maybe presbyopia and require bifocal glasses to see anything.
What is Refractive Lens Exchange?
Refractive Lens Exchange is a corrective procedure where the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens, similar to cataract surgery. Currently, this procedure is for people with moderate to high degrees of nearsightedness, or farsightedness.
You may be a candidate for a multifocal IOL if you:
- Are not a good LASIK candidate
- Desire to reduce or eliminate your need for glasses
- Are over the age of 40 and need bifocals or reading glasses
- Are over the age of 60 and starting to develop cataracts
- If you are over the age of 18 and have a high prescription
If you are interested in this procedure, please contact our Refractive Surgery Coordinator for more information at 563-323-9999 or LASIKinquiries@eyesurgeonspc.com. This is surgery and risks exist. Your doctor and their team will counsel you regarding risks specific to your eye and your general health.
LASIK Eye Surgery Questions
A. LASIK has proven overwhelmingly successful in reducing dependence on glasses and contact lenses. Clinical studies show that most LASIK patients (with mild to moderate prescriptions) have the potential to achieve 20/20 vision or near 20/20 vision. Generally, this means they no longer need or have reduced their dependence on glasses or contacts to drive, play sports, watch movies and TV, or participate in careers requiring excellent vision.
A. Some potential complications include conditions such as dryness, night glare, under or over-correction, corneal flap complications, infection and loss of best-corrected vision. The risks of surgery should be discussed fully with the doctor prior to the procedure. Additionally, proper post-operative care helps to identify and address any potential healing complications.
A. There is almost no pain involved with LASIK, but many patients find the procedure to be slightly uncomfortable. Anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye just before surgery begins and typically patients may be given a mild sedative to relax. After the procedure, the eye may feel a foreign body sensation or slight irritation for a few hours, like a grain of sand in your eye, but most patients are very comfortable shortly thereafter.
A. Most LASIK patients usually see quite well the day following their procedure and may be able to resume most of their normal daily activities. Although the speed of visual recovery depends on personal healing patterns, most patients notice dramatic visual results within the first few days following their procedure.
A. The difference between the two is in how the flap is cut prior to the reshaping of the cornea. IntraLase uses a laser to create the flap in the cornea rather than a blade. While LASIK had been performed successfully for many years with the Microkeratome blade, the IntraLase laser offers the surgeon more control, better flap alignment, and reduced flap complications compared to Microkeratome Lasik.
A. LASIK sculpts the cornea, the front part of the eye. The cornea doesn’t change much over the years, although there is a less than 5% chance you will need an enhancement/ touch up. LASIK, however, does not stop the natural/biological changes as we age from occurring, like cataracts or presbyopia. These changes will happen with or without LASIK and you may once again need some glasses correction to see your best.