What is LASIK?
LASIK actually stands for Laser in-situ keratomileusis, which is the most commonly performed type of laser eye surgery. This procedure is generally safe, effective, and has very few side effects. LASIK is a great option for many individuals in the Manchester and Hartford, CT areas considering laser vision correction for a variety of very personal and professional reasons. LASIK may not promise perfect vision, however; it is a highly successful procedure that can at the very least reduce a person’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses. The lifestyle benefits can be tremendous for active and social people. These benefits can enable people to more freely pursue their hobbies, sports activities or career options.
The Excimer LASER
LASIK involves the use of an excimer laser to permanently change the shape of the cornea, or the outer layer of the eye. The EXCIMER laser, which is a specific type of “cool” laser, generates its power from light in the ultraviolet range. It cannot be visualized by the human eye. Because the laser does not generate any heat, there is no tissue damage as the result of the laser light. As the treatment with the laser proceeds, microscopic layers of tissue, approximately 1/10th the width of a human hair are removed. The laser is programmed to remove precisely the amount of tissue needed to achieve the desired result.
The LASIK Procedure
During LASIK the surgeon first applies anesthetic eye drops to numb the eye for surgery. The Cornea is then marked with water-soluble ink to guide replacement of the flap. Next a suction ring is applied that is designed to hold the eye steady and also confirms the pressure of the eye. The surgeon then creates a thin corneal flap using a device called a microkeratome. The surgeon tests for laser alignment and walks the patient through the fixation process. The corneal flap is lifted up, and the laser beam is applied to the exposed interior surface of the cornea to reshape the tissue. The computer-controlled excimer laser removes the tissue under the flap and reshapes the cornea of the affected eye.
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 replaced over the treated area. This corneal flap serves a natural bandage, which eliminates the discomfort associated with other types of refractive surgery, and expedites the healing process. Because of the extraordinary bonding properties of the corneal tissue, stitches are not needed to keep the flap in place postoperatively. The entire procedure usually takes twenty minutes to complete.
LASIK is a surgical procedure conducted on the cornea 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 imply to your specific situation. It is important to discuss any concerns with your surgeon and weigh the risks and potential benefits. Each patient’s vision is different and different treatment options are available in order to give the best possible results. The only way to determine if LASIK is right for you is to come in and discuss your options with our Manchester, CT LASIK coordinator.
Frequently Asked Questions about LASIK and laser vision correction
Our LASIK counselors are available to answer any questions that you may have regarding lasik eye surgery or other types of laser vision correction. We offer free patient consultations to help you determine if refractive surgery and laser vision correction is right for you. Call us anytime or contact us online!
Q: How much does LASIK cost?
A: The cost of LASIK changes from practice to practice, although most legitimate medical practices have a similar price. Please call us directly to discuss your vision and a free consultation. The FDA does not regulate the pricing with LASIK eye surgery so there are multiple options. There are also many discount LASIK centers that are guilty of bait and switch LASIK marketing. Beware of this type of marketing to get you in the door. Our counselors are happy to discuss LASIK pricing with you anytime.
Q: Is LASIK safe?
A: There are zero reported cases of anyone going blind from LASIK eye surgery. Most people achieve 20/40 vision or better and millions of people have undergone this procedure. However, LASIK is still surgery and there are still risks. The American Academy of Ophthalmology advertising guidelines do not permit the advertising of LASIK eye surgery as safe.
Q: Is LASIK appropriate for me?
A: The only way to determine your lasik candidacy is for you to have a thorough pre-operative eye health examination. You will be educated on the benefits and risks of LASIK eye surgery and a series of tests will be performed to make sure the surgery can be performed on your eyes. Everyone’s eyes are different so this pre-LASIK exam is absolutely necessary. The advancements in recent technology are helping to widen the realm of possibilities for vision correction. Consult us directly to find out more about your new possibilities for vision correction other than LASIK surgery.
Q: Which LASIK technology is best for me?
A: There are several FDA approved excimer lasers for vision correction. The best way for you to determine the best technology is to speak directly with your surgeon. Your surgeon went through an extensive educational process to choose the best laser. Avoid being influenced by corporate literature designed to tell you their laser is the best. Your surgeon is the best qualified to discuss this information objectively with you.
Q: How does wavefront LASIK compare to conventional LASIK?
A: Wavefront LASIK is also commonly referred to as Custom LASIK or customized LASIK. Wavefront adds an automatic measurement of more subtle distortions (called higher order aberrations) This measurement is used to create a more precise laser treatment “In a few studies comparing wavefront-guided LASIK to conventional LASIK, a slightly larger percentage of subjects treated with wavefront LASIK achieved 20/20 vision without glasses or contact lenses compared to subjects treated with conventional LASIK”. (FDA information 2006)