Laser Refractive Surgery (LASEK)

 

Do you want to reduce the need for contact lenses or glasses?

We now offer LASEK using advanced, customized wavefront technology.  Because we want to provide the best care for our patients, we only use the most sophisticated and precise laser  – the VISX CustomVue system with Wavescan technology.

 

The VISX CustomVue system provides a distinct correction for each individual using WaveScan technology.  The Wavescan produces a detailed map of the eye, much like a fingerprint, and transfers this digital information into treatment instructions for the laser.  This technology captures unique imperfections in each person’s vision that could not have been measured before.  This new measurement provides 25 times more precision than standard measurements for glasses and contact lenses.  This high level of precision and accuracy results in better quality of vision.

 

How safe is LASEK?

Because the LASEK technique involves no cutting of the cornea, there is much less risk of weakening the cornea compared to other techniques.  In fact, LASEK is the method of choice for the U.S. Military. 

 

What can I expect after the procedure?

A contact lens is placed on your eye after the procedure to help with healing.  The contact lens is removed after a few days once the eye is healed.  The eye may feel irritated for a few days after the procedure.  The vision will get sharper every day as your eye heals.  While fast visual recovery is typical after the operation, it can take up to several months before some patients achieve their final vision after laser vision correction.

 

How much will my vision improve?

The large majority of patients who have laser vision correction will be able to see well without corrective lenses. According to the figures provided by VISX during the FDA trials, 98% of eyes achieved 20/25 or better and 100% were 20/40 or better within 6 months.  In most regions, this is good enough to drive without having to wear contact lenses or glasses.  Nevertheless, as with all refractive surgeries, patients may still need to occasionally wear corrective lenses to achieve the sharpest possible vision.

 

Who is a good candidate for LASEK?

In general, patients should be between the ages of 21 and 55 years old.  It is important for your glasses or contact lens prescription to have been stable for several years.  We will need to examine your eyes to rule out conditions, such as a cataract, that may interfere with the outcomes of the LASEK procedure.

 

Will I need reading glasses after LASEK?

If you are over 40 years old and are corrected to achieve excellent distance vision, you might have to give up some of your near vision because of presbyopia.  Presbyopia is caused by natural changes within the eye's lens as one gets older and is why everyone over age 40 needs to use reading glasses to see things up close.  Laser vision correction does not prevent the onset of this condition nor does it treat it.  If you are over age 40 and prefer not to wear reading glasses, you could consider a “blended vision” treatment.  A “blended vision” treatment means that one eye is corrected so it is clear for distance vision while the other eye is corrected so it is clear for near vision.  If you are interested in this, it is best to try it with contact lenses first to make sure that you like it before having LASEK.

 

Do some patients have glare or halos in their vision after surgery?

Most patients do not have these symptoms after LASEK.  For the patients that do experience these symptoms, the symptoms usually subside within 6 weeks.  However, some will continue to experience them for a greater length of time.