Lasik Surgery Overview
LASIK, the common term for laser in-situ keratomileusis, is a surgical procedure that reshapes the eye for optimal function. As light enters your eye, the cornea processes the light and projects it onto your retina. If your cornea is even slightly imperfect, the images projected on the retina appear out of focus, creating the conditions known as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. LASIK reduces or eliminates these common vision problems in the majority of patients.
If you are considering LASIK surgery for vision correction, it is important that you seek a reputable provider. Contact our practice today for a free LASIK consult to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. A good candidate is someone whose vision has not changed for at least two years, has no history of corneal disease or other disorders of the eye, has no fluctuations in vision due to other health conditions or medications, has adequate thickness of the cornea, is not pregnant or nursing, and is at least 18 years of age. At the initial evaluation, your eyes will be comprehensively tested and measured, and your medical history will be reviewed. At the end of the evaluation you will know if you are a good candidate for LASIK.
The LASIK procedure is performed under local anesthesia and takes less than 30 minutes to complete. Dr. Miller or DeMill will use femtosecond laser, or in some cases a specialized instrument called a microkeratome, to cut a small flap in the cornea of the eye and access the corneal tissue beneath. This tissue is reshaped with an excimer laser, an extremely safe and precise instrument that is regulated by the FDA. The corneal flap is replaced, and the surgery is complete. Follow-up care is the important final phase of the LASIK procedure.
What is PRK?
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is similar to LASIK in that an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea. The difference is that no flap in the cornea is created in PRK. In PRK the epithelium (surface) of the cornea is gently brushed off, followed by the excimer laser treatment.
Should I choose LASIK or PRK?
Both LASIK and PRK produce similar long-term results. In general, LASIK has a quicker visual recovery and less postoperative discomfort than PRK. In PRK, it takes 3-4 weeks for the vision to reach it’s full potential. Long-term risks are uncommon with either procedure, but risks are generally fewer in PRK as no flap was created.
Most people will be candidates for either LASIK or PRK. However, there are certain situations where we would recommend one procedure over the other.
If you have more questions about which procedure is best for you,
If you answer yes to the following questions, LASIK/PRK may be the right choice for you:
- Are you 18 years of age or older?
- Has your prescription been stable for one year or more?
- Is your prescription within –1.00 to 11.00 diopters of myopia, or up to +5.00 dopters of farsightedness, or do you have an astigmatism up to 5.00 diopters?
- Are your eyes healthy and free of disease or serious ailments?
- Are you informed about both the risks and benefits of LASIK/PRK?
- Do you know about the alternatives to LASIK/PRK?
- Do you have realistic expectation about how LASIK/PRK can improve your vision?
These are the questions you should have the answers to before scheduling a LASIK/PRK procedure. Call our office to schedule a free LASIK/PRK consult to see if you are a good candidate for this surgery.
What are the benefits of LASIK/PRK?
LASIK and PRK have both proven to be a very effective procedures. Both eyes can be corrected in one session. The recovery period requires no staples or stitches.
What are the risks?
LASIK and PRK are not without risks. Candidates for these procedures should clearly understand these risks and have realistic expectations of the outcome. Patients may not achieve the desired vision correction and may need additional surgeries or to continue wearing corrective lenses. Vision is permanently affected by the LASIK/PRK procedure and changes to the eye cannot be reversed. A small percentage of patients experience corneal damage or scarring which may lead to vision loss. Some patients report potentially serious complications such as glare, double vision, halos around objects, fluctuating vision, or dry eyes. Inflammation and infection of the eye are additional risks. Having your LASIK/PRK procedure performed by a reputable surgeon, such as Dr. Miller or Dr. DeMill, is key in minimizing these risks.
CustomView by Visx
The CustomVue procedure uses WaveScan technology to measure the imperfections in an individual’s vision and tailor a correction “designed” by the unique characteristics of the patient’s eyes. By providing 25 times more precision than standard methods used to fit glasses and contact lenses, WaveScan technology captures imperfections that could not have been measured before. This information is then transferred to the laser to deliver a new level of precision and accuracy matched to the patient’s individual needs.
For years, glasses and contact lenses have been the standard for vision correction. However, these approaches are limited in their ability to correct unique imperfections in an individual’s vision. In fact, thousands of individuals may have the same prescription, but have different correction needs. With CustomVue, individuals may be able to achieve the full potential of their vision.