The LASIK Procedure

Literally in the blink of an eye, Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Wörtz can treat a lifetime of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.  Most cases typically take about 10 minutes per eye, but the bulk of that time is actually spent “prepping” the eye for surgery. Actual “laser time” ranges from 30 seconds to 1 ½ minutes.

Prior to surgery, each patient is given a dose of medication to help reduce any stress or anxiety. Being relaxed makes the whole process much more comfortable.   The eye is numbed using an anesthetic drop, and then a “lid holder” is placed between the eyelids to prevent blinking.  The flap is then created.  During this process it is common to feel pressure, the same feeling you get when you press your fingers firmly on your eyes when they are closed.

The flap is then folded back while you look at a target light and the excimer laser painlessly reshapes the cornea within seconds.  The flap is then folded back into position and self seals.

As we expect a bit of postoperative scratchiness, we pre-treat with an oral medicine, and ask that you keep your eyes closed as much as possible for the rest of the day.

All-Laser LASIK (Ziemer)

For patients with thin corneas or desire the most advanced technology, LASIK flaps can also be made with the Ziemer Femtosecond Laser. This is commonly known as “all laser LASIK.” Laser flaps have the advantage of being thinner than mechanical flaps, which can be beneficial to individuals with thinner corneal tissue.  Today, the vast majority of patients select this remarkable technology.

Custom LASIK (Zyoptix)

Zyoptix is the Technolas 217 version of “custom LASIK”.  Your unique optical are mapped by a Zywave aberrometer, creating a custom treatment program for each eye.  Zyoptix maximizes visual quality and accuracy and allows better contrast sensitivity and better night vision.  The benefits of Zyoptix are worth considering. A test will be performed during your FREE evaluation process to help determine if you will benefit from custom LASIK, particularly if your optical pattern shows significant irregularity

PRK

Although LASIK is a fantastic procedure that changes the lives of thousands of people annually, it certainly isn’t for everyone, but fortunately, there is a vision solution for everyone.  Photorefractive Keratectomy or PRK is one of these solutions.  For those with excessively thin corneas, we can forego creating a flap and simply remove a circle of surface epithelium.  The laser then reshapes the underlying corneal tissue just as in our LASIK patients.  PRK patients, however, take longer to recover good vision as the surface cells take 3 to 7 days to regenerate, and then the surface remodels with further healing: typically vision is good at 1 month postoperatively and identical to LASIK patients vision results in 3 months. Due to the slower recovery and normal fluctuations in vision, Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Wörtz typically perform PRK on one eye at a time. Generally speaking, final visual outcomes are typically the same as LASIK in 3-6 months.

Some laser surgeons prefer PRK over LASIK for all candidates. However, Commonwealth Eye Surgery stresses the need for careful individualized planning and ensures that the risks and benefits of each procedure are thoroughly explained.  Again, the best procedure is the one that is best for you!