LASIK (Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis) has become the most common elective surgical procedure in the United States. The surgery is painless, and it eliminates or reduces the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses to see objects clearly. Patients are usually able to see dramatically better within 12 to 24 hours.
LASIK consists of 2 different parts. During the first part of the procedure, a microscopically thin flap is created by a laser called Intralase. The second part of the procedure consists of tissue removal performed using an excimer laser - a highly precise instrument that produces and controls a beam of cool laser light. After the flap is lifted, the computerized excimer laser gently sculpts the cornea to alter its curvature to the same prescription as your corrective lenses. The procedure improves the way light is focused through the cornea onto the retina and results in improved vision.
We have the ability to "customize" the treatment pattern utilizing the FDA approved VISX CustomVue WaveScan technology. There are distinct advantages to "Custom LASIK." First, the WaveScan map is essentially a fingerprint of one's eye and thus it is able to individualize the treatment plan as opposed to treating one with a generic pattern.
Secondly, the manner in which the excimer laser treats the cornea is more accurate and controlled. Larger treatment areas give ophthalmologists more flexibility in developing a personalized laser vision procedure especially when pupil size is a consideration. Also, the use of eye tracking technology lets the patient relax knowing that the laser is being precisely centered during the treatment.
Most importantly though are the results. 98% of eyes treated with the Custom LASIK technology were 20/20 and 70% of eyes were 20/16 (supernormal vision).
The WavePrint System includes The WavePrint Map 3D ActiveTrak EyeTracker Variable Spot Scanning, which provides a new level of diagnostic information previously unavailable. The WavePrint is derived from technology first developed to correct distortions of light waves from space, allowing researchers to accurately view images of stars and planets. The WavePrint Map uses the same technology to measure light waves as they travel through your eye. This provides a precise and more detailed analysis of your vision.
The Orbscan is a multidimensional diagnostic tool that has drastically improved the diagnostic accuracy of determining who is a good LASIK candidate and who is not. One of the most severe complications from LASIK surgery is ectasia, or a weakening of the structural integrity of the cornea. Ophthalmologists have become much more selective in recommending LASIK to extremely nearsighted patients and patients with thin corneas because of the increased risk of ectasia.
Most medical insurance plans will not usually cover cosmetic ophthalmic procedures such as LASIK refractive surgery. However, vision correction is an excellent investment in an individual's medical and psychological well being. Financial considerations should not be an obstacle to obtaining this important health service.
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Other Laser Vision Correction Procedures:
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) also uses an excimer laser to correct vision, though the treatment is applied to the corneal surface. The long-term results are identical to LASIK, but the visual recovery time is slower and patients are often not as comfortable for a few days. PRK is usually reserved for patients with certain corneal conditions or patients with very thin corneas.
LASEK (Laser Assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy) is a modification of the LASIK and PRK procedures. A flap of epithelial tissue is created with a special solution, then shifted out of the optical zone so that the central cornea may be treated with an excimer laser. The epithelial tissue is then replaced and a contact lens is worn for a few days until recovery is complete.
CK (Conductive Keratoplasty) is a safe, non-laser, FDA-approved technique to eliminate or eradicate farsightedness and presbyopia. CK is one of the first procedures designed specifically for the millions of people with hyperopia.