Over the last 10 to 15 years millions of people with refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism (a cornea with unequal curves), have improved their vision through refractive surgery. Despite the economy, Clark Eye Center has invested in the latest laser technology, with the Technolas Perfect Vision excimer LASIK laser and the Technolas Zyoptix Diagnostic Workstation. We want to improve patient experience and outcomes at the Clark Eye Center.
Laser assisted in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK, is a refractive procedure that uses a laser to permanently reshape the cornea. The reshaped cornea helps focus light directly onto the retina to produce clearer vision. The new Technolas 217z laser effectively corrects refractive errors with its small laser beam profile. The laser uses a new iris recognition tracking system known as Advanced Control Eyetracking or ACE, which is only available on the Technolas Perfect Vision workstation. Active iris recognition tracking allows the laser system to positively identify the exact orientation of the eye throughout the entire procedure. Since subtle eye movements are common during LASIK treatment this unique technology ensures the intended treatment precisely matches the eyes prescription. This is especially important for patients who have astigmatism in addition to nearsightedness and farsightedness. Many patients with astigmatism believe that they are not suitable candidates for LASIK; with the advent of ACE this is no longer true.
Our Zyoptix Diagnostic Workstation will help determine whether a custom LASIK treatment would be recommended to improve night driving and correct pre-operative aberrations contributing to glare and halos. The treatment profile is calculated based on aberration analysis that is unique to each of the patient’s eyes.
LASIK is performed as an outpatient procedure using topical anesthesia with drops. The procedure itself generally takes about fifteen minutes. The surgeon creates a flap in the cornea with a laser (blade-free) or a microkeratome (blade). At Clark Eye Center we have both an Intralase FS laser and microkeratomes to make the flap. The flap is lifted to the side and the cool beam of the excimer laser is used to remove a layer of corneal tissue. The flap is folded back to its normal position and sealed without sutures. The removal of corneal tissue permanently reshapes the cornea.
A shield protects the flap for the first few hours after surgery. Vision should be clear by the next day. Healing after surgery does not involve any significant pain. Since the laser removes tissue from the inside of the cornea and not the surface. If needed, eye drops can be taken for pain and usually are only needed for up to 24 hours after surgery.
The surgery may result in undercorrection or overcorrection, which can often be improved with a second surgery. More rare and serious complications include a dislocated flap, epithelial ingrowth and inflammation underneath the flap. Most complications can be managed without any loss of vision. Permanent vision loss is very rare.