How does LASIK work?
LASIK is the acronym for “laser assisted in situ keratomileusis.” LASIK is a surgical procedure that uses a cool laser to reshape the front of the eye in order to improve vision. The surgical procedure is capable of correcting a wide range of nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism.
In this procedure, a very thin cap of corneal tissue is created. The cap is folded back from the surface of the eye. The computerized laser gently sculpts the cornea, permanently altering the shape of the cornea to correct the curvature. The cap is returned to its original position and adheres quickly back on the eye without needing any stitches.
Am I good candidate?
Good candidates have a strong desire to be less dependent on corrective lenses and are willing to accept the risks of surgery. You need to be 18 or older, have healthy eyes and your vision needs to be stable before surgery.
Not everyone is an ideal candidate for refractive surgery. Eligibility depends on your current vision prescription, the curvature and thickness of your cornea as well as a number of other factors that our doctors evaluate during the course of your pre-operative examination. With major advances in technology, many people are now good LASIK candidates that previously did not qualify. Our doctors are well trained in this area and will make recommendations based upon your eyes and vision requirements.
Why choose us?
Every day you hear and see the marketing hype for LASIK advertised on television, radio and print ads. How can you possibly sort through all the media information in order to make the best decision for your eyes?
Refractive surgery is not a single event but a process that begins with a careful preoperative evaluation and ends with regular postoperative care. In fact, the pre- and postoperative exams are as important as the surgery for maximizing the likelihood of a successful outcome.
At Heights EyeCare, our doctors and staff take the time to conduct a thorough preoperative exam, including all of the necessary advanced tests needed to determine if you are a good candidate for surgery. If you are a candidate for LASIK, we discuss all the variables that go into making the final decisions:
- Which surgeon is best suited for your needs
- Which laser is best for your eye
- Review the different guarantees offered by the laser centers and the diagnostic equipment available.
We will help you make a decision based specifically on your eyes so that your LASIK outcome is the best it can be.
Pre Op/Post Op
Your pre-operative examination will involve a complete medical and eye history and a comprehensive eye examination. Your vision will be checked for stability, your eyes will be tested for glaucoma and a microscopic evaluation of the interior of your eyes is done. Tests will measure the thickness of your cornea, pupil size, a corneal topography (mapping) will be done and your current refractive prescription will be determined.
If you wear contact lenses, you will need to discontinue wearing them for a while before the procedure. Your doctor will give you the necessary guidelines.
During the surgery, anesthetic eye drops are applied to numb the eye. The surgeon applies a suction ring designed to control the eye so you do not have to worry about holding your eye steady. A special instrument is used to create and raise a flap of tissue to prepare the cornea for treatment.
The computer-controlled laser sculpts the cornea’s curvature by removing small amounts of tissue to reshape the cornea to precise measurements. The surgeon then places the flap back into its original position and observes the eye for three to five minutes to ensure flap adhesion. Because the tissue bonds quickly, healing is rapid and no stitches are required. The whole procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes for two eyes.
You will need to make arrangements to be driven home from surgery and you should plan to relax the remainder of the day. You may experience some discomfort and you will be given a prescription for pain medication that you can take, if you need. You will also have eye drops to use. Some patients experience light sensitivity and sunglasses will help make you more comfortable. Most patients can return to work within one to two days.
Your post op visits are usually scheduled at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months. Your visits consist of monitoring the healing process and evaluating your vision correction and overall health of your eyes.
The Next Generation in Laser Eye Surgery – Custom LASIK
Your eyes and vision are unique – as personal as your fingerprint or your DNA.
Until now, the diagnostic measurements taken prior to laser vision correction have involved primarily the cornea – the clear portion of the eye covering your iris and pupil. The Custom LASIK Wavefront™ technology is an important advance in eye care because it analyzes your entire visual system from cornea to retina – from the front to the back of your eye, even including the tear film that covers your cornea.
This diagnostic information, used in conjunction with other tests such as a standard eye chart reading and corneal topography, allows your eye doctor first of all to determine whether you are a good candidate for laser vision correction and to personalize your treatment for the best possible result.
Wavefront™ technology creates a three-dimensional (3-D) corneal map. The information contained in the map guides the laser in customizing the treatment to your individual visual irregularities, beyond myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Prior to the advent of Wavefront™ technology, two people with the same prescription would receive the same glasses, contacts or LASIK procedure.
Wavefront™ technology is groundbreaking because it has the potential to improve not only how much you can see – the visual acuity measured by the standard 20/20 eye chart, but also how well you can see, in terms of contrast sensitivity and fine detail. This translates into a reduced risk of post-LASIK complications, such as glare, halos and difficulty with night vision.
Custom LASIK’s advantage lies in the area of quality of vision:
Greater chance of achieving 20/20 vision Greater chance of achieving better than 20/20 vision Reduced chance of losing best-corrected vision Reduced chance of losing visual quality or contrast sensitivity Reduced chance of night-vision disturbances and glare
Potential also exists for custom LASIK to treat those people who have lost best-corrected vision from any prior refractive surgery: LASIK, PRK or RK procedures, etc.