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LASER-Assisted Keratomileusis

At Associates in Eyecare, our physicians have been performing laser vision correction since it was first approved by the FDA. We offer the latest in laser vision correction technology including all-laser iLASIK and PRK.

What is LASIK?

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The way that your eye focuses depends on the shape of your cornea, which is the clear window on the front of the eye. Typically, in nearsighted persons, the cornea is too steeply curved. In farsighted people, the cornea is too flatly curved. People with astigmatism have an oval-shaped cornea.

LASIK works by gently and precisely reshaping the cornea with a cool laser beam so that the cornea can focus light exactly on the retina. LASIK flattens the cornea in the treatment of nearsightedness, steepens the cornea in the treatment of farsightedness, and rounds out the cornea in the treatment of astigmatism. Each laser pulse changes approximately 0.25 microns of corneal tissue in a tiny fraction of a second.

LASIK, or Laser in-situ keratomileusis, is approved by the FDA for the treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Over 20 million people have experienced this life-changing procedure in the United States alone, with the worldwide figures exceeding 80 million. Custom Lasik laser eye surgery helps people live more active and independent lives. The procedure, which takes approximately 15 minutes, is performed at our laser facility, Clarity Laser Center.

The Ideal LASIK Candidate

The ideal candidate includes those who:

  • Are over 21 years of age and have had a stable glasses or contact lens prescription for at least two years.
  • Have sufficient corneal thickness (the cornea is the transparent front part of the eye). A LASIK patient should have a cornea that is thick enough to allow the surgeon to safely create a clean corneal flap of appropriate depth.
  • Are affected by one of the common types of vision problems or refractive error - myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism (blurred vision caused by an irregular shaped cornea), hyperopia (farsightedness), or a combination thereof (e.g., myopia with astigmatism). Several lasers are now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective for use in LASIK, but the scope of each laser's approved indication and treatment range is limited to specified degrees of refractive error.
  • Do not suffer from any disease, vision-related or otherwise, that may reduce the effectiveness of the surgery or the patient's ability to heal properly and quickly.

About the Procedure

The surgeons of Associates in Eyecare use either a microkeratome or the IntraLase laser to raise a thin flap of corneal tissue. They then use an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. After the sculpting portion is performed, the flap is replaced and it bonds in place. At the conclusion of the procedure, the patient is brought to a relaxation room for several minutes where eye drops and postoperative instructions are administered. The patient is given protective glasses to wear out of the laser facility. Many patients can notice the initial results immediately, which improve for several weeks.

Our LASIK Technologies

Drs. Kokx, Brock and Kruger use only the most state-of-the-art equipment on their patients. Each of our high precision, FDA-approved lasers allows the surgeons the greatest chance of obtaining 20/20 vision for every patient. The degree of accuracy and predictability for these advanced lasers is unrivaled in the field of corrective laser eye surgery.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

Photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, is a type of laser eye surgery used to correct mild to moderate nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism. All laser vision correction surgeries reshape the cornea, or clear window of the eye, so that light passing through it is precisely focused on the retina in the back of the eye. During PRK, the eye surgeon uses a cool pulsing ultraviolet laser to reshape the surface of the cornea without a flap being created in the cornea.

Approximately 90% of PRK patients have 20/20 vision without glasses or contact lenses one year after the surgery; 95% to 98% have 20/40 or better without glasses or contacts. Disadvantages of PRK eye surgery include:

  • Moderate discomfort, including irritation, burning and tearing, for one to four days following the procedure.
  • Longer healing time compared to LASIK to achieve the best vision without glasses or contacts.

Advantages of PRK can include the potential to treat higher degrees of refractive error or patients with thinner corneas and avoidance of potential flap complications. Most large studies show the visual results at 6 months are similar for both PRK and Lasik.

As with all surgical procedures, PRK has risks, some of which may be visually significant. Your surgeon will discuss which procedure is right for you and will cover the risks, benefits, alternatives, and realistic expectations of the procedure recommended.