LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a safe, reliable and painless way to improve vision and reduce or eliminate the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. LASIK changes the way light is bent, or refracted, as it passes through the cornea so that it focuses properly on the retina and objects can be seen clearly.
During the procedure the excimer laser creates a thin flap in the surface of the cornea. Patients are given anesthesia so they can’t feel the instruments. Next, the flap is then lifted and the laser beam reshapes the cornea’s curvature to improve vision. The flap is then closed and covered with a protective contact lens.
The entire procedure takes approximately 15 minutes per eye, and patients are often ready to leave within an hour or two. The flap heals on its own within a few days with no need for stitches.
A common complaint after surgery is sensitivity to light, but this will subside. Antibiotic eye drops will be prescribed for a few days, along with any other post-operative instructions. Full recovery takes a few weeks.
LASIK is an excellent choice for many patients. Custom LASIK is a laser vision correction procedure that helps your LASIK surgeon further customize the correction to your eyes. Our surgeons are able to focus on the quantity as well as the quality of your vision. Custom LASIK may result in clearer, sharper vision than ever before.
How Custom LASIK Works
Custom LASIK uses Wavefront Technology to measure the way light travels through your eye. This technology performs a detailed analysis of your eye that examines the entire optical system. The instrument used provides information about the unique visual characteristics of your eye, allowing for an additional level of data about your vision. This, in turn, enables our surgeon to further customize your vision correction. The data is used to guide the laser during your Custom LASIK laser vision correction procedure for optimal results.
Better Quality Vision
Custom LASIK is necessary for some patients and desirable for many. Everyone’s eyes are different. A pre-procedure consultation with your doctor will help determine if Custom LASIK is right for you based on your prescription, healing profile and expectations.
Compared to other forms of laser vision correction, Custom LASIK has been shown or is believed to provide patients with:
- A greater chance of achieving 20/20 vision (1)
- The potential, in certain cases, for better vision than possible with contacts or glasses
- Less incidence of glare, halos and night vision disturbances (2)
Source 1: TLC company data / Source 2: As noted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in its approval of Custom LASIK
About Visual Aberrations
Several types of visual inperfections, referred to as lower- and higher-order aberrations, exist within the eye. These imperfections can affect both the sharpness (acuity) and quality of vision.
Lower-order aberration commonly measured and treated with LASIK include:
Higher-order aberrations cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or LASIK treatments. In fact, some researchers have found that such imperfections may actually be increased by conventional (non-customized) laser eye surgery.
About Wavefront Technology
Wavefront analyzers measure aberrations in your eyes. A perfect wavefront is completely flat. When light rays enter the eye and pass through the different structures inside, the wavefront surface changes, taking on a shape unique to that eye. These variations are called wavefront errors.
The wavefront analyzer’s software performs complicated measurements and presents a visual representation of how light is bent by your eye for the surgeon to evaluate. Data from this process is transferred to the laser and used by your surgeon to create a treatment plan for your refractive error including both low and higher-order aberrations.
Benefits of using Wavefront Technology
- Greater clarity of vision
- Fewer complaints of glare or night halos
What is Contoura™ Vision/Topography-Guided LASIK?
Contoura™ Vision is a topography-guided LASIK treatment that is the latest FDA approved LASIK eye surgery technology available in the U.S. This new technology has unique capabilities that provide our surgeons a greater degree of personalization. No other LASIK procedure available in the U.S. is this precise and individualized. The procedure is redefining the term “quality of vision” with studies showing that many patients experienced better vision than they ever did with glasses or contact lenses.
Contoura™ Vision provides our surgeons much more detailed information on the structure of the cornea than prior generations of LASIK procedures. The data provided measures the unique characteristics of your eyes that cannot be measured with traditional technology. This data provides an individual profile for each eye that our surgeons can use to perform personalized laser eye surgery procedures.
How Does Topography-guided LASIK Work?
Using the topographer and the WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser together, the treatment changes the shape of the patient’s cornea after surgery, significantly improving vision. By also addressing the uniqueness of a patient’s cornea during the treatment, the risk of experiencing light sensitivity, glare and halos after the procedure is reduced.
The custom treatment uses a variety of extremely detailed images on each of your eyes, to assess your vision correction needs. The patient’s eye is imaged and analyzed using 22,000 unique elevation points in the cornea. This data is then sent to a surgical planning computer to create an individualized, custom profile to optimize your vision.
The entire procedure typically lasts about 15 minutes. Most patients report little to no discomfort throughout the surgery.
What To Expect with Recovery
Most LASIK patients notice dramatic visual improvements immediately following their Contoura™ Vision LASIK procedure, however recovery time varies for each individual person. Some patients with higher prescriptions might recover more slowly. In addition to resting with protective eye shields in a post-operative room for about an hour, your surgeon will recommend:
- Bringing someone with you to drive you home and help you pick up any medications you may have been prescribed
- Keeping your eyes clean and avoid rubbing them
- Resting comfortably at home for at least a few hours with your protective eye shields
- Following additional post-operative instructions you may have been given
It is not uncommon to experience mild to moderate discomfort during the first few days after surgery as your eye heals. Some people experience minor issues such as watery or red eyes for the first few days after the procedure, but others are able to return to work the next day. Your eye doctor will prescribe medications to help with any discomfort. Your eye doctor may also schedule a follow-up appointment the next day to test your vision and ensure your eyes are healing properly.
PRK or photorefractive keratectomy is one of the safest and most time-tested laser vision correction procedures available. Before LASIK, PRK was the most common refractive surgery procedure. Like LASIK, it reshapes the cornea to improve vision. PRK is now used mainly for patients with large pupils or thin corneas.
The first step in PRK is to remove the epithelium, a thin layer protecting the cornea. Then the surgeon uses an excimer laser to vaporize a small amount from the top of the cornea. LASIK, by contrast, cuts a deep flap in the cornea using a sharp microkeratome blade. This weakens the cornea, makes it difficult to replace the flap in precisely the right place, and can cause other complications including flap irregularity, epithelial ingrowth and corneal ectasia. PRK avoids these risks.
Studies have shown that 90-95% of patients with a correction of up to -6.00 diopters achieve vision of 20/40 after PRK, and up to 70% achieve 20/20. Patients needing less correction generally achieve better results. The risks of PRK include infection, haze, slow healing, scarring, over- or under-correction of the visual condition, and development of astigmatism.