Laser Vision Correction – LASIK – Advanced Surface Ablation (PRK/LASEK):
See the Wonders of your World
Imagine reading the numbers on an alarm clock as you wake up in the morning. Or enjoying snow and water skiing without the aid of contacts.
That’s the beauty of technology. It’s the wonder of a procedure called laser refractive surgery. Designed to correct and enhance your vision, this state-of-the-art procedure, also known as laser vision correction, is changing the way people see life. Vividly. Clearly. And, without dependency on glasses or contacts.
Today, millions of Americans, including athletes, business associates and the neighbor next door, are choosing laser vision correction to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It’s a new form of freedom to see and share the wonders of your world. See what our patients have to say.
Laser Vision Correction:
The Technology to See Things Clearer
Laser Vision Correction (LVC) is performed using the excimer laser, a computer-controlled, “cool” ultraviolet beam of light. The laser sculpts the cornea into a shape that allows light to focus more directly on the retina, which eliminates or reduces a variety of eye abnormalities.
There are two types of laser refractive procedures used to correct vision, LASIK and Advanced Suface Ablation (PRK and LASEK). With LASIK or Laser In Situ Keratomileusis, a thin flap of cornea is surgically lifted in a single sheet allowing laser treatment of the exposed inner surface. This reshapes the curvature of the cornea and allows light to focus on the retina, resulting in clearer vision. Following the procedure, the flap is repositioned and the corneal tissue quickly and naturally bonds without the use of stitches.
With PRK or Photo-Refractive Keratectomy, the top layer of cells (epithelium) are removed and the laser emits cool pulses of ultraviolet light, directly to the surface of the eye, thus reshaping the cornea. Typically recovery time for PRK is slightly longer than for LASIK.
LASEK and PRK Surgery.
A variation of the traditional PRK and LASIK treatment is LASEK (Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy). This is a relatively new procedure that utilizes a dilute alcohol solution to create a very thin flap of corneal surface cells (epithelium) without cutting a deeper corneal flap as in LASIK. Once the epithelial flap is lifted, the laser treatment is performed as in PRK but the epithelial flap is replaced. LASEK, like PRK, preserves more corneal tissue than LASIK and may be a safer alternative for patients with thinner corneas.
Amazingly, the laser vision treatment process requires only a few minutes from start to finish. The actual pulses occur for about 20-60 seconds. The treatment itself is painless and there may be some minor discomfort in the first few hours or days following the procedure. Many patients experience improved, clearer vision almost immediately following the procedure and return to daily routines such as work or other activities the next day.
LASIK for Myopia (Nearsightedness)
Over 65 Million Americans are myopic, or nearsighted. Nearsightedness occurs when the eye is too long, or the cornea is too steep. This causes light rays entering the eye to focus in front of the retina, instead of directly on it, making distant images blurry.
In LASIK the laser is used to flatten the cornea, moving the focal point back onto the retina resulting in clear vision.
Light focuses in front of the retina causing blurred vision.
LASIK for Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
Farsightedness occurs when the eye is shorter than normal or the cornea is too flat. This causes images to be focused behind the retina resulting in blurry vision.
In LASIK the laser is used to steepen the cornea, moving the focal point forward onto the retina resulting in clear vision.
Light focuses behind the retina causing blurred vision.
LASIK for Astigmatism
Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is shaped such that the eye has two focal points rather than one. This also results in blurred vision.
In LASIK the laser is used to shape the cornea such that the two focal points come together, resulting in clear vision.
Light focuses in two places rather than one.
Wavefront Custom Treatment
Wavefront-guided laser treatment is new technology that provides an advanced method for measuring optical distortions in the eye. First approved by the FDA in August of 2002, this method of measuring and treating these distortions goes beyond nearsighted, farsighted, and astigmatism determinations that have been traditionally used for centuries. This technology is 25 times more precise than measurements using standard methods for glasses and contacts, allowing physicians to customize your laser procedure according to your unique vision correction needs. The goal of wavefront-guided laser treatment is to make corrections in the surface of the cornea that compensate for errors in the total visual system. In this way, a wavefront-guided treatment is customized to the characteristics of each eye and intended to minimize higher-order aberrations so that the greatest quality of vision can be achieved.
At Comprehensive EyeCare, we use the VISX Star S4 excimer laser with CustomVue technology.
Frequently Asked Questions
What glasses prescriptions can be treated?
With advances in laser technology, virtually all but the highest amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism can be treated with laser vision correction.
Am I a candidate for LASIK, PRK, or LASEK?
To assess whether Laser Vision Correction is best suited for your eyes and life-style, a detailed medical examination is conducted by one of our board-certified ophthalmologists.
- Are over 18 years old (21 for farsightedness)
- Stable vision for at least one year and a refractive error (vision prescription) within the range of effective treatment
- Do not suffer from any eye or systemic diseases that may reduce the effectiveness of the surgery or the patient’s ability to heal properly
- Have sufficient corneal thickness to allow for creation of a corneal flap and for laser treatment
- Small- to medium-sized pupils
Less Than Ideal or Non-Candidates:
- History of moderate to severe dry eyes
- Scarring of the cornea
- Unstable vision and/or refractive error
- History of autoimmune or collagen vascular disease
- Pregnant or nursing
- History of ocular herpes
- Extreme refractive errors (myopia beyond -12 D, hyperopia beyond +4 D, or astigmatism beyond 6D)
- Eye diseases such as cataract, advanced glaucoma, or keratoconus
- Currently taking Accutane (isotretinoin) or Cordarone (amiodarone)
- Unrealistic expectations
Is LASIK painful?
Most laser surgery patients note that postoperatively they experience only mild discomfort. During the procedure, a lid speculum that holds the eyelids open may cause some pressure. Eyedrops are used to anesthetize the eye such that there is no pain during the procedure itself. After the anesthesia wears off, typically there is minimal discomfort after LASIK. After surface ablation (PRK, LASEK), there is usually more discomfort, but taking special eyedrops and pain medication (optional) may minimize the discomfort.
How long does it take?
The average length of time at the center is about 1 hour. However, the vision correction procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes in the operating room. Actual laser time is less than 1 minute per eye.
When can I resume normal activity?
If you rest 1-2 hours at home after the procedure, you will notice an immediate difference in your vision. Everyone is different, however a large majority of LASIK patients have legal driving vision the day after surgery. Visual recovery after PRK or LASEK often takes a few days longer. It is recommended that patients take 1 to 2 days off work following surgery.
What types of screening test should I expect?
- Review of ocular and medical history
- Discussion of expectations and lifestyle needs
- Determination of magnitude of refractive error (vision prescription)
- Determination of corneal shape by topography to detect conditions which may produce poor visual outcomes
- Measurement of pupil size in dim lighting
- Evaluation for risk of dry eyes
- Measurement of corneal thickness
- Measurement of intraocular pressure to detect risk of glaucoma
- Bioicroscopic examination of the cornea and front portion of the eyes
- Dilated examination of the retina, optic nerve, and blood vessels
What if I wear contact lenses?
If you wear soft contact lenses, it is important to remove them for at least one week prior to your evaluation. Rigid lenses (hard or gas permeable) should not be worn for at least 3 weeks prior to your evaluation. This is necessary to ensure that the shape of your cornea will return to its natural shape prior to exam.
***Although all of your questions may not have been answered, write them down so you’ll remember ask them at the time of your free consultation. We believe an educated patient finds this procedure less intimidating and much more comfortable.
Clearly, choosing the right physician with the experience and credentials necessary to handle your treatment is paramount. Board-certified ophthalmologist and laser surgeon Dr. George Chioran was one of the first physicians to pioneer laser vision correction in central Ohio in 1995. He had the vision and foresight to recognize that this technology would transform the way many people would see the world.
With laser vision correction, statistics show that 95% of patients are able to drive without the use of glasses or contacts and 75% achieve 20/20 or 20/25 eyesight.
—George M. Chioran, MD, FACS, board-certified ophthalmologist
Our surgeons, Dr. George Chioran and Dr. Steven Suh, are affiliated with central Ohio’s leading health care facilities and networks, including The Eye Center of Columbus.
The Cost of LASIK
Laser vision correction is a clear choice for many people today because it offers long term financial value. There’s reduced dependency, if any, on glasses and contacts. Over the course of just a few years, laser vision correction is projected to be less than the cost of visual aids.
The cost of the procedure includes:
- Exam and Patient Education
- Enhancements for One Year
- Follow-up Care for One Year
At Comprehensive EyeCare of Central Ohio, we offer several convenient payment options to meet your needs:
- Low Monthly Payment Plan
- Cash or Check
- MasterCard and Visa
Convenient and affordable financing is available. Our staff can help you arrange the best method and/or options available to you.