LASIK

LASIK or “Laser assisted in situ keratomileusis” is a procedure which uses an excimer laser system to reshape the central corneal tissues underneath the outer epithelial layer.

During LASIK, a thin layer of the cornea is folded back from the outer surface of the cornea. A femtosecond laser is used to create this thin flap on the surface of the cornea. The use of a laser to make the flap is commonly referred to as an “all-laser” LASIK procedure.

As with PRK, an alternative FDA-approved method of laser vision correction, the excimer laser then reshapes the cornea. The flap is then gently folded back into its original position where natural suction forces in the cornea hold it in place.

Unlike PRK, the LASIK procedure preserves the outer epithelial layer of the cornea which is removed during the PRK procedure. Preservation of this surface epithelial layer avoids most of the discomfort associated with PRK. In addition, replacement of the smooth epithelial surface allows for rapid recovery of vision.

Healing after LASIK is fast and vision can improve within hours of the procedure. Most patients are able to drive and return to work the next day.

 

  • Who is a Candidate?

Laser Vision Correction is available to people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or who have astigmatism.

Depending upon your individual exam, the amount of each condition that can be treated varies, but in general we can treat up to 10 diopters of nearsightedness, 5 diopters of farsightedness, and 4 diopters of astigmatism. The laser can also be used to add focusing power onto the surface of the cornea to restore near vision and reading. This condition is called presbyopia and is particularly troublesome for patients as they enter their forties and fifties.

To undergo laser vision correction patients should be at least 20 years of age and have healthy corneas and stable vision over the past year.

For patients who are not suitable candidates for LASIK  due to farsightedness beyond 5 diopters, clear lens extraction is another option we offer. This surgery is essentially cataract surgery to remove a patient’s clear natural lens with a new intraocular lens that has the extra focusing power. While a more invasive surgery for significant farsightedness, it offers the distinct advantage of placing the extra focusing power needed by the eye in a position where it naturally belongs: right behind the iris where the original underpowered natural lens resided. At the time of surgery, either a conventional monofocal lens can be implanted or a multifocal lens implanted to reduce dependence on reading glasses.

Our office offers financing.   Please contact Jenny in our office for further details and to see if you qualify.

What to expect during your LASIK work-up and treatment

Before undergoing the LASIK procedure, it is important to have a full eye exam to make sure the eye is healthy to undergo an elective procedure such as LASIK. Dr Phillips performs all of these exams himself. If no contraindications for LASIK are found during the exam such as cataracts, glaucoma, or corneal diseases, you are a candidate for LASIK. The next step is a discussion of the risks and benefits of LASIK surgery with Dr Phillips to decide if you want to proceed with surgery. The whole process takes between an hour and an hour and a half. If you wear contact lenses please leave them out for five to seven days prior to your workup. Hard contact lenses are ideally left out for three to four weeks prior to the workup. If you have questions concerning your upcoming workup, please call Jenny, the LASIK coordinator in the office.

The LASIK treatment is performed at the laser Center. The day of surgery you will arrive and be greeted by the technicians.

You will be taken to the laser room and the procedure will be performed. Once completed, your vision will still be somewhat blurry but you should not feel any discomfort. You will be taken back to an examining room where Dr Phillips will personally go over post-operative instructions and examine the eye. You should have someone drive you home after LASIK. At home you should rest and use the drops as directed.

The pain is generally mild after LASIK and tends to resolve three to four hours after surgery. The vision also clears during this time, but clears most significantly after a night of rest.