What is LASIK?
LASIK is a common procedure to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. With LASIK, patients can usually achieve 20/20 or better. LASIK reshapes the cornea, the eye’s outermost layer, to bend light rays on the retina, reducing an individual’s dependency on eyeglasses or contact lenses.
How does it work?
Step 1 is utilization of an extremely sophisticated diagnostic and treatment instrument, newly developed by optical scientists, the iDesign 2-Advanced Wavescan Studio System that creates a 3-D map of the eye to measure imperfections. This iDesign System is 25x more precise than methods used for contact lenses or glasses. The Sensor on the iDesign 2 has 5x greater resolution than current systems used in laser vision correction. With it’s treatment patterns, some patients are achieving visions of 20/15 and even 20/10.
Step 2 is the actual procedure utilizing 2 different advanced technology lasers that work together to improve the shape or curvature of the cornea to deliver excellent quality of vision.
This step has two stages: 1.) Creation of a corneal flap; and 2.) Laser treatment to correct your vision. The purpose of a corneal flap is to avoid postoperative discomfort and to avoid a delay in visual acuity.
What is the Intralase method?
The Intralase method is a blade-free approach to creating the corneal flap – the first step in LASIK surgery. The Intralase laser uses tiny pulses of laser light to form a uniform layer of microscopic bubbles just beneath the surface of the cornea. Intralase is a femtosecond laser where ultrafast pulses at 600-800 femtoseconds per pulse are delivered. The femtosecond laser creates the flap in 12 seconds. The doctor can lift the corneal flap by gently separating the tissue where theses bubbles have formed. After the flap is created, it is folded back to allow the surgeon to perform the vision correcting laser treatment. The flap is then put back in place.
How does the Intralase method differ from other methods of creating a corneal flap?
The other way to create a corneal flap is with a microkeratome which is a hand held blade that makes a cut as it travels over the cornea. The benefits of the Intralase method are greater safety (reduces the risk of complications), more precise, can be customized per patient, and lessens the chance of postop complications. At, RELC, bladed flap creation was abandoned over 15 years ago.
What is CustomVue LASIK?
CustomVue is a laser vision correction procedure (the second stage of LASIK) using the VISX Star S4 IR Excimer Laser with Iris Registration that enables the doctor to treat unique imperfections in a person’s vision with a wavefront system, now improved by incorporation of the iDesign 2 System. resulting in a more precise and individualized treatment. The Iris Registration technology increases accuracy and by centering the treatment precisely.
What is the difference between Standard LASIK and Custom LASIK?
Custom LASIK is an individualized treatment that is wavefront guided by the iDesign System. With the Custom LASIK procedure, individuals have the potential to achieve a new level of vision. Standard LASIK is correcting only the glasses prescription in a generic pattern. It does not correct the imperfections.
What results can a person hope to achieve?
LASIK has proven overwhelmingly successful in reducing dependence on glasses and contact lenses. Clinical studies show that many LASIK patients with mild to moderate prescriptions have the potential to achieve 20/15 visions or better with IDesign 2 treatments after Intralase flap creation. Generally, this means they no longer need or have reduced their dependence on glasses or contacts to drive, play sports, watch TV or a movie, or participate in careers requiring excellent vision.
Who is a good candidate for LASIK?
LASIK can treat a broad range of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Your eyes must almost be healthy. The best way to determine whether you are a candidate is to see your doctor for a LASIK evaluation. With the launch of the new iDesign 2, patients can be candidates at age 18.
How long does the LASIK procedure take?
The entire LASIK procedure takes approximately 15 minutes for both eyes. It usually takes less than 15 seconds to actually make the flap and less than a minute to correct the vision.
Does the LASIK procedure hurt?
LASIK is done under topical anesthetic (numbing eye drops). A mild sedative is also given orally before surgery to help you relax. There is usually no pain involved with LASIK.
What is the recovery process like?
Most LASIK patients usually see quite well the day following surgery and may resume most of their normal daily activities. Although the speed of visual recovery depends on personal healing patterns and how strong the preoperative prescription was, most patients notice dramatic visual results within the first few days following their procedure.
Will I ever need glasses or contacts again?
The vast majority of LASIK patients do not need correction for distance tasks again. However, patients who are in their mid-40’s or older will need correction for reading as the loss of near focus will eventually affect everyone. Patients already in this age range may elect to have monovision correction. This leaves the non-dominant eye slightly under-corrected to leave some ability to read up close. This option must be thoroughly discussed with your eye doctor since some patients cannot tolerate this type of correction.