One of the most exciting advances in vision correction history, and incorporating technology to create a success rate that spans the globe, the LASIK procedure has provided life-changing results for over 30 million people worldwide. Georgia Eye Partners boasts renown the specialists and technologies to provide you with freedom from glasses or contacts.
As much as we love LASIK, it isn’t the only vision correction option, though! One size doesn’t fit all, and our skill in a wide variety of surgical options means that we can offer the best ‘tool’ for your personal needs.
Vision Correction Options @ GEP
- Femtosecond bladeless LASIK
- Topography-guided femtosecond bladeless LASIK
- PRK / LASEK
- Refractive lens exchange
- Laser cataract surgery with multifocal or trifocal lenses
What is LASIK?
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 evaluations are complimentary for patients 45 years old and younger. For patients over the age of 45, the practice will bill his/her medical insurance.
What should I know about LASIK?
Dr. Schoenberg has written an approachable, evidence-based book chapter about common myths and misunderstandings about LASIK. You can read it on our LASIK myths and facts page.
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.