Laser Vision Correction
LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a safe, reliable and painless way to improve vision and reduce or eliminate the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. LASIK changes the way light is bent, or refracted, as it passes through the cornea so that it focuses properly on the retina and objects can be seen clearly.
During the procedure, a device called a microkeratome cuts a thin flap in the surface of the cornea. Patients are given anesthesia so they can’t feel the instruments. The flap is then lifted and an excimer laser beam reshapes the cornea’s curvature (steepened for far-sighted patients, flattened for near-sighted patients) to improve vision. The flap is then closed and covered with a protective contact lens.
The entire procedure takes only 15-30 minutes per eye, and patients are often ready to leave within an hour or two. The flap heals on its own within a few days with no need for stitches. A common complaint after surgery is sensitivity to light, but this will subside. Antibiotic eye drops will be prescribed for a few days, along with any other post-operative instructions. Full recovery takes a few weeks.
What to Expect
If you are a candidate, your first step is to come in for a complete eye exam. You must be free of contact lenses for at least 2 to 3 weeks for soft contacts and at least 3 to 4 weeks for hard lenses before your exam. During your exam we will carefully measure your prescription before and after we dilate your eyes and examine your eyes to make sure they are healthy. You will also have a scanning topography done to measure the shape, contour, and thickness of your corneas. A Wavescan an “individualized fingerprint” of your eye will also be done . It is this technology that Dr. Pajka will use to customize your treatment for your individual eyes.
It is normal to be a little nervous or anxious the day of your laser vision correction. We will “talk” you through the procedure beforehand and hold your hand during your treatment. We also give you the option of take a mild sedative (Valium). On the day of surgery, plan on being at our office about two hours and bring a driver for your procedure. You should also have a driver for your next morning’s follow-up visit. It usually takes 5 to 10 minutes to align and prepare your eyes in the laser room, although the actual laser treatment usually takes only 30 to 90 seconds. Laser vision correction is a relatively painless procedure. Most patients will have mild burning or “scratchiness” afterwards for the first few hours. Your vision may be “foggy” or “steamy” for the first day.
We will want you to take a nap for two hours immediately after your laser vision correction to rest your eyes. You will be using antibiotic drops for a week and frequent artificial teardrops for a couple of months. Most people experience some drying to their eyes, especially during prolonged reading or computer use, and tear drops help alleviate this.
Most people take a day or two off work, but many people see well enough to go back to work the next day! Some may need more time. Recovery from laser vision correction is different from person to person. Your vision is not immediately clear. Most people notice improvement in vision each day for the first several days after surgery. Many people have a little more difficulty reading and seeing upclose initially after their treatment. This improves after a few weeks, but if you’re over forty-something you’ll need reading glasses for near, unless you choose an option called monovision. In monovision, one eye is corrected for distance, and one is corrected for up-close. This option can be discussed in more detail at the time of your evaluation. It’s not for everyone, but can potentially preserve your ability to see some things up close without reading glasses.
Dr. Pajka utilizes a VISX Star S4 ActiveTrak excimer laser system which includes the CustomVue and Wavescan technology as well. This is the most widely used laser system and the best technology available in the U.S.. FDA studies showed that in qualified patients that recieved CustomVue™ treatments 100% of patients acheived 20/40 vision without glasses, 98% were 20/20 with out glasses, and 70% were actually able to see better than 20/20.
VISX CustomVue™ procedure combines the technologies of the WaveFront and STAR S4 Excimer Laser systems for high-definition, high-accuracy LASIK vision correction. Benefits of the CustomVue process include faster treatment time, elimination of need for pharmacological pupil dilation, minimal heating of the cornea, capability of ignoring errors arising from torsional eye movements, variability of beam size and depth during spot scanning, and individualized treatment with images based on hundreds of data points gathered from each patient’s pupil.
Wavefront technology makes it possible to perform customized refractive surgeries using information gathered from the patient’s own eyes. This allows us to correct the very specific refractive errors that obscure each patient’s vision so patients enjoy the best post-operative vision quality possible.
During the pre-operative examination, we collect a set of measurements called a wavefront. Data from the exam is converted into a waveprint — a unique profile of your optical system that is as personal as a fingerprint. The laser then maps the information in your waveprint onto your cornea, reshaping it for unparalleled vision improvement.
Contact our office to learn more about our procedures or to make an appointment »