What is LASIK Eye Surgery?

Are you tired of struggling with uncomfortable contact lenses or fumbling with glasses? LASIK is an option that you can consider. Utilizing the Wavefront Technology for Custom LASIK and IFS Intralase (Blade-Free) technology, our highly skilled surgeons have helped thousands of patients achieve outstanding results.

 

LASIK, which stands for laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis, is a non-invasive eye surgery that reshapes the inner cornea so that images focus correctly on the retina to improve your vision. The procedure is effective for many patients with nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism.

 

Three Easy Steps to Better Vision

Consultation

Your first step is a Consultation. This appointment will take 45-60 minutes depending on how many questions you have. We will perform two baseline tests to determine if your eyes meet the general criteria. If you wear contact lenses then you will remove them for the tests. There is no fee for this appointment.

Potential patients should be at least 18 years old, not pregnant or nursing and not have an eye disease.

Evaluation (Pre-Op Testing)

Your second step is testing. This appointment will take approximately 2-2.5 hours and your eyes will be dilated. A series of tests and screenings will be performed before you meet with the surgeon. If you wear contact lenses then you will have to stop wearing them prior to this appointment. The doctor will determine when you should stop wearing contacts. The general guidelines are 14 days for standard and Toric soft lenses and 28 days for hard or gas permeable lenses. The fee for this appointment is $100.

For out of town patients referred by their doctor, with the appropriate planning, we are happy to combine the consultation and evaluation appointments into a single visit.

Surgery Day

For your comfort and convenience, the surgery suite is located within our office. You will need someone to drive you today and you should plan to be at our office approximately 1-1.5 hours.

Your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic drops and a mild sedative will help you feel relaxed. During LASIK, as the femtosecond IFS Intralase laser moves back and forth across your eye, a uniform layer of microscopic bubbles form just beneath the outer corneal surface at a specific depth and position determined by the surgeon. The surgeon will gently separate and lift the tissue where these bubble have formed to create the corneal flap. After the corneal flap is lifted, the Visx STAR 4 excimer laser will re-shape the inner corneal tissue to correct the aberrations or irregularities. Changing the shape of the inner tissue will change how light focuses on your retina to improve your vision.

When the treatment is completed, the corneal flap is set back into place. It will seal to itself without sutures during healing. This process takes 10-15 minutes per eye and most patients will leave the office shortly after their procedure.

 

The majority of patients will observe a striking improvement in their vision shortly after their procedure. Maximum improvement will occur over the next 3-5 weeks. All patients will use steroid, antibiotic and lubricating eye drops after surgery to ensure that the eye heals properly.

 

What Does LASIK Eye Surgery Correct?

Myopia eyesight disorder. Myopia is being short sighted. Detailed illustration.

Myopia (nearsightedness)

Commonly known as nearsightedness, myopia occurs when the curvature of the cornea is too steep. As light enters the eye, this causes the visual image to focus in front of the retina, resulting in a blurred or distorted view.

Hyperopia eyesight disorder. Hyperopia is being farsighted. Anatomy of the eye, cross section.

Hyperopia (farsightedness)

Also known as farsightedness, myopia occurs when the cornea is too flat or the length of the eyeball is too short. As light enters the eye, the visual image focuses behind the retina, resulting in a blurred or distorted view.

Astigmatism eyesight disorder. Anatomy of the eye, cross section.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is caused by an uneven or asymmetrical curvature of the cornea which causes the eye to be shaped like an oval. This shape prevents the eye from focusing clearly, causing distortion due to the uneven bending of the light ray entering the eye.

All Laser (Blade-Free) Custom LASIK

At Laser Eye Surgery of Erie, Dr. Robert Haverly and Dr. Ruben Kuruvilla employ the most advanced eye surgery technology for our patients. By utilizing CUSTOM LASIK and BLADE-FREE LASIK in a single procedure, we offer safe and precise vision correction.

Custom LASIK (Wavefront Technology)

When people speak of custom LASIK, they are referring to Wavefront technology. This technology has reduced aberrations after LASIK and has simply made vision clearer for LASIK surgery patients. Originally invented by NASA for use in high-powered precision telescopes, Wavefront technology has been used in LASIK vision correction since 2005. CustomVue laser vision correction is an exciting new procedure that incorporates WaveScan Wavefront technology and the patented, FDA-approved VISX laser to create a highly effective, personalized treatment plan for patients.

aberrometer

Using a device called an aberrometer (scanning diagnostic instrument which uses Wavefront technology to measure the Wavefront errors) the doctor is able to measure the way light travels through your entire optical pathway and compare it to the way light travels through an optically perfect eye. This creates a WavePrint™, a 3-D map of your cornea that is as unique to you as your fingerprint and 25 times more precise than a prescription obtained using conventional diagnostic equipment. The information from this customized “fingerprint” is transferred electronically to the laser, enabling your eye surgeon to adjust the laser to your unique visual requirements.

IFS Intralase (Blade-Free) Technology

intralase

Dr. Robert F. Haverly and Dr. Ruben Kuruvilla use IFS Intralase Blade-free LASIK technology for greater control and maximum customization. Standard LASIK uses a blade to cut the cornea and create a flap prior to the laser treatment. With IFS IntraLase, a femtosecond laser creates the flap, which is more precise, predictable, and programmable. This improves patient safety and outcomes. The laser can create a smoother flap with variability of 4 microns. In contrast, the mechanical microkeratome, which uses a blade, has a variability of 40 to 50 microns.

In clinical trials, more patients achieved 20/20 vision or better with Blade-Free LASIK. Patients reported better quality vision overall, especially with low light or night vision.

 

LASIK Alternative-PRK

Photorefractive Keratectomy or PRK is a surface treatment option that corrects visual errors without creating a flap. This procedure takes approximately 10-15 minutes per eye. It can be an option for patients with corneas that are too thin for LASIK or have other corneal irregularities, have stronger prescriptions or are involved with high impact activities.

Prior to surgery, patients will complete a Consultation and Evaluation (pre-op testing). Our surgeons will use Custom Wavefront technology to create a precise, personalized treatment plan for your vision correction. The Visx STAR 4 excimer laser will re-shape the inner corneal tissue to correct the aberrations or irregularities. Changing the shape of the inner tissue will change how light focuses on your retina to improve your vision.

Before the procedure, anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye. During the procedure, an instrument holds the eyelid open and the patient is asked to focus on a target light. The surgeon then removes the surface layer of the cornea (the corneal epithelium) and uses an excimer laser to apply computer-controlled pulses of light energy to reshape the cornea.

After PRK is completed, the surgeon inserts a bandage contact lens to protect the cornea as the epithelial layer grows back over the next 3-4 days. This also helps decrease the discomfort experienced during this time, which is generally mild to moderate and can give the sensation that a foreign body is in the eye. Patients usually experience tearing, sensitivity to light and a moderate amount of blurred vision. These phenomena are typically worst on the second and third days after the procedure, but improve greatly by the fourth and fifth days as the surface layer of the cornea grows back. During this time, lubricating and medicated drops are prescribed to help to decrease discomfort, heal the cornea, and decrease the risk of scar formation and infection.

The cornea heals from the edges towards the center, forming a “ridge” of epithelium across the pupil where the healing tissues meet. This ridge usually has formed by the fourth or fifth day, and it is safe to remove the bandage contact lens. The vision is much improved by this time, generally ranging between 20/30 and 20/50, depending on the magnitude of the corrective treatment done. As the ridge of epithelium smooths out over the next 4-6 weeks, the vision will gradually improve. The correction is usually considered to be stable by 3-6 months after surgery, at which time an enhancement could be considered if necessary.

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