Refractive Eye Surgery
Modern laser technology offers permanent correction for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. We have guided hundreds of patients through refractive surgery with comprehensive pre-operative and post-operative care.
We work closely with excellent refractive surgeons who utilize the most up-to-date laser instruments available, including Custom Wavefront LASIK technology. Together we can help you learn whether laser refractive surgery is the right choice for your eyes.
What is LASIK?
During LASIK (Laser ASsisted Intrastromal Keratomileusis), the surgeon uses a microkeratome to create a thin flap of tissue within the cornea. An excimer laser is then used to sculpt the cornea by removing microscopic layers of tissue. The corneal flap is then returned to its original position, adhering without stitches. The procedure is usually nearly painless and is performed under topical (eye drop) anesthesia.
What is Wavefront LASIK?
Custom Wavefront LASIK is a procedure that uses the unique visual characteristics of your eye to customize your laser treatment. With Custom LASIK, an instrument called a Wavefront Analyzer measures precisely how light travels through your eye. The Wavefront Analyzer creates a personalized 3-D map of your eye that is then programmed into the laser. Custom Wavefront LASIK helps treat tiny imperfections in each individual’s eye that can cause distortions such as glare and halos. It may result in more accurate vision correction with less nighttime glare than conventional LASIK. While traditional LASIK remains an excellent choice for many people, others will benefit from the higher level of customization available with Custom Wavefront LASIK.
What is PRK?
During PRK (PhotoRefractive Keratectomy) the surgeon gently removes the top layer of cells on the cornea instead of creating a flap. The excimer laser is then used to sculpt the cornea as in LASIK. Although there is often more discomfort and blurred vision during the week following PRK than LASIK, there are some cases in which PRK is the preferable choice. Dr. Wharton and the doctors at the laser surgery center will work closely with you to decide if which choice is the best for you.
Who is a candidate for LASIK or PRK?
Candidates must be at least 18 years old with a stable prescription. Their prescriptions must be within the range of the procedure’s capabilities. Candidates must have no active eye disease. Candidates must not be pregnant or nursing, nor plan to become pregnant for several months after the surgery. For a personal assessment of your candidacy for LASIK, please call our office for an appointment.
What are some of the potential side effects with refractive surgery?
Side effects may include mild discomfort and blurred vision for a few days following the procedure. Transient dryness, nighttime halos, glare and a decrease in best-corrected visual acuity are also potential complications. Although very rare, loss of the corneal cap or irregular astigmatism from malpositioning of the cap can occur following LASIK.
Many people will eventually need reading glasses or bifocals due to normal aging of the eyes called presbyopia. Presbyopia occurs whether or not you undergo refractive surgery. Monovision, in which one is corrected for near vision and the other is corrected for distance vision, is one option with refractive surgery procedures like LASIK.
People who are most satisfied with their LASIK or PRK surgery clearly understand the potential risks and side effects, and have realistic expectations of what their vision will be like after surgery. We will work closely with you and the doctors at the laser surgery center to help you understand your options and their risks.
To learn more about LASIK and other refractive surgeries, visit: www.spivack.com