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We serve as a key link between you and the refractive surgeon. Our LASIK co-management services include both pre-operative and post- operative care.
In our pre-operative care we determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery by performing a comprehensive eye examination and corneal topography testing. Based on the results of these tests, our doctors will give you unbiased advice about the procedure and whether or not it LASIK surgery is right for you.
Should LASIK surgery be an option, we will assist you in setting up a surgery date with Dr. Stephen Coleman of Coleman Vision www.colemanvision.com, a leading surgeon in our region. After your surgery, we will provide all post-operative follow-up care in our office.
We take great pride in knowing that 99% of our patients are pleased with their results and would recommend the surgery to a relative or a friend.

What is LASIK

LASIK stands for “Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis”. LASIK is a surgical procedure that is now the most popular of all laser vision correction procedures. Approximately 1½ to 2 million LASIK procedures occurred in the United States during the year 2000. This highly successful procedure combines the minimal postoperative discomfort and rapid visual recovery of the Automated Lamellar Keratoplasty (ALK) procedure with the computer-controlled precision of the Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) procedure. LASIK is an outpatient procedure. While the actual laser procedure takes only a few seconds per eye, the procedure requires a couple of hours at the surgery center. Some of this time is spent preparing the patient, and a few minutes are required afterwards for post-operative instructions and departure preparation.

Summary

The first step in LASIK is creation of a flap of tissue from the outer layer of the cornea’s central zone. The surgeon uses a microkeratome to perform this procedure. The surgeon then folds the flap back out of the way and holds it ready for replacement at the conclusion of the procedure. An excimer laser then sculpts the remaining central zone of the cornea in accordance with pre-determined data stored in the laser system’s computer. Under this precise control, the laser reshapes the cornea’s curvature to correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. After the laser sculpting concludes, the surgeon replaces the corneal flap. LASIK does not require any sutures. After the procedure is over, the surface of the eye will normally heal by itself. Most patients can see quite well within 24 hours or less. Complete healing of the cornea takes about one month

Advantages

The LASIK procedure has several advantages over both the ALK and the PRK procedures on which it is based. Although LASIK employs the Excimer laser precision control and accuracy of the PRK procedure, the LASIK procedure does not remove any part of the cornea’s outer protective layer, and there is less chance of scarring with LASIK than with other procedures. The primary healing process with LASIK is the resealing of the corneal flap. This usually happens within 24 hours and patients usually experience little post-operative discomfort. The LASIK procedure can also handle successfully higher degrees of myopia than PRK and can be used to treat cases of farsightedness and astigmatism.

Step 1

The LASIK procedure has several advantages over both the ALK and the PRK procedures on which it is based. Although LASIK employs the Excimer laser precision control and accuracy of the PRK procedure, the LASIK procedure does not remove any part of the cornea’s outer protective layer, and there is less chance of scarring with LASIK than with other procedures. The primary healing process with LASIK is the resealing of the corneal flap. This usually happens within 24 hours and patients usually experience little post-operative discomfort. The LASIK procedure can also handle successfully higher degrees of myopia than PRK and can be used to treat cases of farsightedness and astigmatism.
The LASIK procedure consists of 4 steps: Eye Preparation, Creating the Flap, The Excimer Laser, and Post Operative Procedures. This section describes the LASIK process so you can know what to expect if you undergo the procedure. Step 1: Eye preparation Before the procedure begins, a nurse or technician talks to the patient about any immediate health problems that may affect his or her readiness for the procedure. Antibiotic and anesthetic eye drops are then placed in the eye to numb it and prevent infection. The eye is swabbed with a sterile solution. The eyelid is then propped open with a lid retainer, and a paper or plastic “mask” is placed over the eye to keep eyelashes out of the way. Then the cornea is marked with a blue “dye ring,” which serves as a reference point for the surgeon throughout the procedure. Because the cornea is numb, most patients experience little if any discomfort during these pre-operative preparations.

Step 2

Step 2: Next, the doctor creates a flap from the central zone of the cornea using the microkeratome. This precision instrument works much like a miniature carpenter’s plane. It contains a disposable cutting blade that is preset according to the thickness of the cornea — usually about 160 to 180 microns or 1/3 the depth of the cornea. The microkeratome operates in conjunction with a suction ring that holds the eye perfectly still, and when activated by a vacuum tube, it raises and flattens the cornea so it can be reached easily for cutting the flap.

Step 3

Step 3: After the flap has been folded back from the center of the eye, the doctor dries the underlying cornea with a sponge-tipped swab and aligns the Excimer laser’s microscope with the central corneal area in order to monitor the laser’s sculpting pulsations. The patient is asked to focus on a fuzzy red light inside the laser. As the doctor activates the laser, there is a “popping” or “tacking” sound, and a slight odor similar to that of hair burning, but the patient experiences no discomfort. The number of laser pulsations will depend on the nature of the refractive vision problem being corrected. This phase of the procedure takes only a minute or so. The doctor then carefully folds the flap back in place and irrigates the eye with a sterile saline solution. The corneal area may be dried with a gentle blower, which helps seal the flap. In addition, a contact lens may be placed in the eye.

Step 4

Step 4: Post-operative measures When the LASIK procedure is complete, additional antibiotic drops are placed in the eye, and it may be covered with a plastic shield. For a short while after the procedure, the eye is numb from the anesthetic drops. As the numbness wears off, the patient may experience some light sensitivity and a scratchy or dry sensation as though something is in the eye. This feeling usually goes away within a few hours. Patients must not drive themselves home following the procedure. The patient returns to the doctor’s office the next day for a post-operative examination. The doctor checks the flap to see if it is healing properly. If a contact lens was placed after surgery, it will be removed at this time. Vision is checked and, for most patients will range from 20/20 to 20/40 depending on the number of laser pulsations received. For some patients, vision may continue to improve for several weeks before totally stabilizing.

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