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LASIK in Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, and Palm Harbor, Florida
LASIK is a popular laser vision correction surgery that can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism in order to reduce or eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses. The team of eye doctors at Gulfcoast Eye Care includes experienced LASIK surgeons who specialize in personalized vision correction and advanced LASIK techniques.
How Does LASIK Work?
The technical name for LASIK is Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis. LASIK is a refractive surgery, which means that it corrects refractive errors. Common refractive errors are myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. A refractive error occurs when the shape of the eye does not allow light to focus correctly. LASIK works to correct vision in a two step process. In the first step, the eye surgeon creates a very thin flap in the cornea, which is the surface of the eye. In the second step, a laser is used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue in order to correct the shape of the eye so that it can focus properly. After the cornea has been precisely reshaped, the corneal flap will be returned to its initial position and will act as a natural bandage as the eye heals. There is no need for stitches of any kind since the flap is self-sealing.
While many LASIK procedures are performed with a microkeratome, a mechanical blade device that creates the flap, Dr. Michael Manning instead performs the “all-laser” or “bladeless” option for LASIK surgery. Using the Wavelight FS200 Femtosecond laser, the surgeon creates a corneal flap through delivery of rapid, painless pulses of light. The femtosecond laser is very precise in creating the corneal flap, which may result in improved surgical accuracy with superior visual outcomes for the patient.
Is LASIK Right For Me?
LASIK has improved quality of life for many of our patients. You could be a candidate for LASIK, if you:
- Are at least 18 years of age
- Have healthy corneas
- Have had a stable eyeglass or contact lens prescription for two years
- Wish to reduce your dependence on eyeglasses and contact lenses
People with certain medical conditions and women who are pregnant or nursing are not candidates for LASIK. The best way to determine if LASIK is right for you is to schedule a free consultation at Gulfcoast Eye Care. During this visit, one of our experienced LASIK specialists will meet with you to perform preoperative testing and discuss with you candidacy, risks, alternatives, and expected outcomes. Your doctor will assess a number of factors with you, including your age, the health of your eyes, your overall health, anatomical variations of your eye, and your vision goals to determine if LASIK is an option for you. This advanced evaluation typically takes approximately 90 minutes. Even if you are not a candidate for LASIK, you and your doctor could decide that PRK, Implantable Contact Lenses, or Refractive Lens Exchange, might be a better option for you.
If you would like to get a general idea as to whether you may be a candidate for LASIK, please take our LASIK Self-Evaluation Test.
What to Expect on the Day of Your LASIK Eye Surgery
When you arrive at our laser vision center for your treatment, you should expect to stay for approximately 90 minutes, although the actual laser surgery only take about 10-15 minutes. You will need to have someone with you to drive you home after the procedure. At the beginning of your appointment, we numb and prepare your eyes with a series of eye drops. An eyelid holder is then used to prevent you from blinking during the procedure. You will lie comfortably in a reclining position while your LASIK surgeon performs your surgery. Depending on the type of LASIK you select, there may be two different lasers used. One is a femtosecond laser used to prepare the cornea for treatment and the second is an excimer laser used to reshape the cornea. Because the eye is fully anesthetized, you should not feel the laser performing the treatment.
Our LASIK team will advise you about what eye drops you should use and how often to use them during your healing process. You will be given a kit with the drops and instructions along with eye shields for you to wear while sleeping during the first week. During the first 12 to 24 hours, you may feel slight discomfort, sensitivity to light, and a scratchiness or foreign body sensation. These symptoms are generally improved with use of moisturizing eye drops as well as an over-the-counter pain reliever.
You will be scheduled for a postoperative visit the day after your procedure to check your results and ensure your eyes are healing correctly after LASIK. Patients typically return to work two days after their LASIK procedure.
LASIK results are almost immediate and you can expect to experience improved vision the day after your procedure. A recent study shows that over 98% of patients who have had LASIK eye surgery are satisfied with their results. One of the major advantages of LASIK is that the corrections made during surgery are permanent, which allows patients to enjoy reduced reliance, and possibly even total freedom, from eyeglasses or contact lenses for many years. With this in mind, it’s important to note that future changes inside the eye can still occur over time, which can have an effect on your vision. For example, as you age you may encounter conditions such as presbyopia or cataracts, which would require additional treatment to correct. It is also possible to experience a change in the natural lens of your eye that affects vision and may be treated with a LASIK enhancement procedure to make adjustments for new refractive errors.
Why Choose Gulfcoast Eye Care for LASIK?
We know you have choices in vision care and we thank you for considering our practice. We are honored to have helped many patients improve their vision. Some of the reasons patients love Gulfcoast Eye Care include:
- Technology – We invest in advanced technology to provide optimal treatment, including custom wavefront optimized and wavefront-guided vision correction with the Alcon® WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser.
- Experience – Our highly skilled LASIK surgeon Dr. Michael Manning is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and has helped many patients achieve improved vision.
- Integrity – We are committed to educating patients, providing personalized care, and sharing transparent pricing.