Laser vision techniques and instrumentation continue to evolve and through our close affiliation with TLC Laser Eye Centers we know that nobody does it better! Tired of wearing your spectacles and contact lenses? This may just be the right time to take the laser plunge!
- Is Laser Vision Correction for Me?
- What is LASIK?
- What are the advantages of LASIK?
- What is PRK?
- Will the procedure be painful?
- How soon after the procedure will my eyes reach their level of correction?
- Will my vision be hazy or foggy?
- Will my nearsightedness return?
- What are the office procedures?
- How much will it cost?
Although this can only be definitively answered after we have conducted a thorough pre-operative exam, if all or most of the following statements are true for you, then you may be a good candidate for laser vision correction:
- My dependence on eyeglasses and/or contact lenses has always felt like a handicap.
- I am an avid sportsperson, and I feel my performance would be enhanced without my corrective lenses.
- My career opportunities would be improved if I did not have to rely on eyeglasses or contact lenses for distance vision.
- I prefer the way I look without glasses.
- I adapt well to change.
- If laser vision correction can reduce the hassles of contact lenses or glasses, and improves the quality of my life, it is worth the investment.
LASIK is an extremely effective outpatient procedure that is suitable not only for higher prescriptions but also for patients with moderate to low prescriptions. LASIK dramatically reduces your recovery time. The procedure takes only a few minutes to complete and involves minimal discomfort. LASIK requires more technical skill and training than other laser procedures. For this reason, our patients are treated only by the most experienced surgeons at TLC. These surgeons are center medical directors who have performed thousands of LASIK procedures with impressive results.
The LASIK procedure involves two basic steps. The first is the creation of the corneal flap. The surgeon utilizes a microkeratome (an automated microsurgical instrument) to create a flap from the very top layer of the clear covering of the eye (cornea). The excimer laser utilizes a cool beam to gently reshape the layer underneath and the flap is then closed.
Each pulse of the layer can remove 39 millionths of an inch of tissue in 12 billionths of a second. This enables surgeons to achieve remarkable accuracy while maintaining excellent control throughout the procedure.
- Brief recovery time
- Very low infection risk
- Relatively quick procedure to complete
- Very low risk of scarring
- Minimal discomfort
- High degree of predictability
- Reduced need for re-treatment
- Excellent ocular integrity post-treatment
- Widest range of correctable prescriptions
PRK or Photorefractive Keratectomy uses a cool, ultra violet excimer laser beam to reshape the outer surface of the cornea, which is the most accessible way to modify refractive imperfections. Close to 95% of typical PRK patients achieve 20/40 or better vision after one treatment; excellent vision stability is reported more than 5 years after treatment; corneal strength is preserved. It should also be noted that the healing of the eye involves a careful regimen by the patient and close monitoring by the doctor for several months following PRK, a minor degree of over or undercorrection may be present, “night glare” may occur in low light, and some patients experience post-operative discomfort or pain (which varies greatly from individual to individual and disappears completely in just a few days).
The actual procedure itself is painless as local anesthetic eyedrops are instilled before the surgery begins. After the anesthetic wears off, you may feel some discomfort. This might consist of a mild gritty sensation accompanied by watering. This usually lasts only 3 to 4 hours. Most patients benefit from a short nap after the procedure.
Most patients see 20/40 or better by the next day. Patients can usually resume driving by the second or third day. Most patients return to work after 2 days.
Almost everyone experiences a trace degree of corneal hazing during healing, although most patients are not aware of it. It is usually only visible to the doctor under microscopic examination and permanently clears in almost all patients by their one week check-up.
Regression, or a shift back toward myopia after laser vision treatment, occurs to a small degree in all individuals and therefore the computerized laser is programmed to adjust for this. This process generally stabilizes within 3 months. Small variation of under or overcorrection may be expected. Part-time or full-time corrective lenses or a subsequent laser procedure may be needed to further enhance vision. More than 10 years of investigative trials with laser vision treatment show excellent eye stability years later.
The first visit, the screening visit, will last approximately 30 minutes and will determine whether or not laser vision treatment is suited to the condition of your eyes and lifestyle. It will also provide extensive education on the procedure. The pre-operative visit, lasting about 2 hours, is devoted to gathering detailed and precise measurements of your refractive error, corneal shape, and internal and external ocular health. This evaluation involves the use of dilating drops which blur vision for several hours after the exam. It is recommended that you bring sunglasses, and if possible, a friend or relative, should driving be required. The laser treatment is the next step and you arrive before your procedure for an additional consultation with the surgeon. A final map of your eye is made to calibrate the laser’s computer. A medical assistant will begin a series of drops to anesthetize your eyes and a speculum will be used to restrict eyelid movement. After the procedure, the eye(s) will be fitted with a clear shield to be worn overnight. You will be seen in our office the next day and then again 1 week later. You will return to our office for ongoing follow-up visits at regular intervals, typically 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. Thereafter, yearly eye examinations will help to ensure your continued visual and ocular well-being.
Please call our offices for full details on the cost of this procedure which includes pre-operative exam, the laser procedure, one year follow-up care, and any future enhancements if necessary. Financing plans are available.
For more information about this procedure, please call our office at (212) 355-5145 or (516) 365-4500 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. An informative pamphlet on this procedure is available.