While some prospective LASIK patients may like the idea of being “asleep” during the procedure, there would be many drawbacks… Read More
LASIK, or Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis, is a vision correction procedure that has been available in the United States since the 1990’s. The way it works is by using a cool laser beam to reshape the curvature of your cornea. By doing this, we are able to correct refractive errors that include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. With this procedure, you may reduce or eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses.
Is LASIK Right For Me?
LASIK and laser vision correction are among the safest and most successful surgical procedures performed today. To determine if you could be a candidate for LASIK, ask yourself whether you:
- Are at least 18 years of age?
- Have had a stable eyeglass or contact lens prescription for two years?
- Wish to reduce your dependence on eyeglasses and contact lenses?
If you are considering LASIK, then a thorough diagnostic eye evaluation at Gulfcoast Eye Care is highly recommended. During this visit, one of our doctors will meet with you to perform preoperative testing, and discuss with you 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 evaluation utilizes the most advanced technologies, takes approximately 90 minutes of your time, and is well worth it. Even if you are not a candidate for LASIK, you and your doctor could decide that Photo Refractive Keratectomy, Implantable Contact Lens, Refractive Lens Exchange, or cataract surgery might be a better option for you.
At Gulfcoast Eye Care, we invest heavily in the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies available. A number of these technologies are not available at all LASIK centers. These include custom wavefront guided vision correction with the VISX Star S4 IR Excimer Laser. This utilizes CustomVue Wavefront technology that measures the unique imperfections in the visual system of your eye so that treatment you receive will be entirely unique to your vision. The VISX system uses Variable Spot Scanning (VSS) and Iris Registration (IR) technology to help track your eye for any movements during the treatment and thereby help to ensure that every part of the laser treatment is applied exactly where it has been planned.
While the majority of LASIK procedures today are performed with a microkeratome, a mechanical device that creates the flap, Dr. Manning is also able to offer you the “all-laser” or “bladeless” option for LASIK surgery. Using the Intralase FS laser, a computer-controlled femtosecond laser is used to create the corneal flap through delivery of rapid, painless pulses of light. The femtosecond laser provides a safer, more precise was of creating the corneal flap that produces improved accuracy and superior visual outcomes.
What to Expect on the Day of Surgery
When you arrive at our laser vision center for your treatment, you should expect to stay for approximately 90 minutes. You will need to have someone drive you. Once you arrive, we numb and prepare your eye(s) with a series of eye drops. An eyelid holder is then used to prevent you from blinking during the procedure. We have you lie comfortably in a reclining position while Dr. Manning performs your treatment under the laser. 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. For patients who do not opt for the all-laser LASIK option (Intralase), a microkeratome is used to prepare the cornea. The entire treatment time under the laser is generally less than 60 seconds. Because the eye is fully anesthetized, you do not feel the laser performing the treatment.
What to Expect After Surgery
Our technicians 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. A postoperative visit is scheduled the following day with one of our doctors. 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.
In order to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK or another vision correction procedure, you should undergo a comprehensive eye examination. To learn whether you may be a candidate for LASIK or other types of vision correct procedures and to find out which would be the most appropriate procedure for you, please contact Gulfcoast Eye Care to schedule a consultation with one of our highly skilled eye doctors.