LASIK & PresbyLASIK PROCEDURES
LASIK WAVELIGHT ALLEGRETTO – VISION CORRECTION. The most commonly performed refractive surgery procedure. You may hear people calling it “LASIX,” but the correct name is LASIK, which is short for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis.” Why is it so popular? LASIK has advantages over other vision correction procedures, including a relative lack of pain afterward and the fact that good vision usually is achieved by the very next day. (see more info below)
PresbyLASIK – FINALLY GET RID OF THOSE READING GLASSES. The latest advancement in Laser Eye Surgery that allows patients to correct presbyopia, a reduced ability to focus on near objects that often develops with age. Procedure that should only be performed by a highly skilled and trained ophthalmologist, such as Dr. Benefield. No one escapes presbyopia which begins to show up around age 40 for most people. Traditional solutions for presbyopia include multifocal eyeglasses such as bifocals and trifocals, multifocal contact lenses and artificial lenses. PresbyLASIK (multifocal LASIK) is an advanced type of laser vision correcting surgery that changes the shape of the eye’s cornea to create different power zones for seeing at varying distances. (see more info below)
MORE ABOUT THE LASIK PROCEDURE
An instrument called a microkeratome is used in LASIK eye surgery to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea. Another, newer way of making the flap is with a laser. The surgeon folds the hinged flap back out of the way, then removes some corneal tissue underneath using an excimer laser. The excimer laser uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to precisely remove (“ablate”) very tiny bits of tissue from the cornea to reshape it. When the cornea is reshaped in the right way, it works better to focus light into the eye and onto the retina, providing clearer vision than before. The flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed.
Both nearsighted and farsighted people can benefit from the LASIK procedure. With nearsighted people, the goal is to flatten the too-steep cornea; with farsighted people, a steeper cornea is desired. Excimer lasers also can correct astigmatism by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more normal shape.
– BEFORE THE LASIK PROCEDURE
If you are considering LASIK eye surgery, your first step is to consult with Dr. Benefield to determine whether you’re a good candidate for LASIK. He will perform an eye exam to determine if your eyes are healthy enough for the procedure, what kind of vision correction you need and how much laser ablation is required. He will also will look for signs of dry eye disease, which must be treated and cleared up before LASIK can be performed. Even if your eyes have a normal tear film, as a precaution we may recommend treatment to reduce your risk of developing dry eyes after LASIK.
Also, a corneal topographer usually is used; this device measures the curvature of your eye and creates a kind of “map” of your cornea. With new wavefront technology associated with custom LASIK, you also are likely to undergo a wavefront analysis that sends light waves through the eye to provide an even more precise map of aberrations affecting your vision.
Finally, we will ask you about any health problems you have or medications you take. Some health conditions will disqualify you altogether for LASIK, but others may just postpone the procedure until a later date.
– DURING THE LASIK PROCEDURE
LASIK is an ambulatory procedure — you walk into the surgery center, have the procedure and walk out again. In fact, the actual surgery usually takes less than five minutes, and you’re awake the whole time.
Occasionally, you will be given a mild oral sedative beforehand. Even though the surgery is relatively quick, LASIK is a very delicate procedure and it’s important to have it performed by a highly skilled surgeon like Dr. Benefield with proper equipment. You also should have someone accompany you to the surgery center and drive you home afterward.
Before your LASIK begins, numbing eye drops will be applied to your eyes so you don’t feel any discomfort during the procedure.
We will have you lie down, then make sure your eye is positioned directly under the laser. (One eye is operated on at a time.) A kind of retainer is placed under your eyelids to keep them open — normally, this is not uncomfortable.
Dr. Benefield will use an ink marker to mark the cornea before the flap is created. The flap is then created with either a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. Whichever device is used, it is securely attached to your cornea with a suction ring to prevent eye movements or loss of contact that could affect flap quality. During the procedure you won’t actually see the creation of the flap, which is very thin.
An ultra-thin flap is created on the eye’s surface during LASIK corrective eye surgery. After laser energy is applied to reshape the eye, the flap is replaced to serve as a type of natural bandage.
Dr. Benefield uses a computer to adjust the excimer laser for your particular prescription. You will be asked to look at a target light for a short time while he watches your eye through a microscope as the laser sends pulses of light to your cornea. The laser light pulses painlessly reshape the cornea. You’ll hear a steady clicking sound while the laser is operating. You also may smell a mild odor during the laser treatment; this is normal. The higher your prescription, the more time the surgery will take. Dr. Benefield has full control of the laser and can turn it off at any time.
After the procedure is finished, you will rest for a little while. If you’re having both eyes done the same day, Dr. Benefield typically will begin working on your second eye immediately after treatment of the first eye is finished. Some people choose to have their second eye done a week later.
medication for any postoperative pain may be prescribed, but many people feel no more than mild discomfort after LASIK. That’s one advantage of LASIK over PRK, which can cause significant eye discomfort for a few days.
– AFTER LASIK – SHORT TERM
As with any kind of surgery, it’s important that you follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter. Get proper rest, use all prescribed medications as directed and call your doctor immediately if you suspect a problem.
Immediately after LASIK, we will have you rest for a bit, then you can go home (someone else must drive). At home, you should relax for at least a few hours. You may be able to go to work the next day, but we advise a couple of days of rest instead. They also recommend no strenuous exercise for up to a week, since this can traumatize the eye and affect healing. Avoid rubbing your eye, as there is a chance (though slim) of dislodging the corneal flap.
– AFTER LASIK – LONG TERM
With LASIK surgery, most people’s vision improves right away, but some find that their vision gradually improves even more over the next few days or even weeks.
LASIK outcomes may vary. Most people achieve 20/20 or better vision with LASIK. Some may achieve only 20/40 or not quite as good. In fact, 20/40 is fairly good vision. In most states, the law considers it good enough for driving. Some patients still need glasses or contact lenses following laser vision correction, though their prescription level typically will be much lower than before.
Postoperative LASIK complications can include infection or night glare (starbursts or halos that are most noticeable when you’re viewing lights at night, such as while you’re driving).
Rarely, people will experience clear vision after LASIK, then notice a gradual worsening of their eyesight over time (called “regression”). If this happens, discuss it with your surgeon to determine if more surgery (called an enhancement or “touch-up”) will be necessary.
Even if you see perfectly after laser eye surgery, you may still need reading glasses or bifocal contact lenses once you hit your 40s. This is because of a condition called presbyopia, which is a normal, age-related loss of near vision. Your distance vision probably will remain crisp, but seeing up close will be more difficult.
MORE ABOUT PresbyLASIK PROCEDURE
How PresbyLASIK Works
Most people 40 or older can typically see well at a far distance, but require reading glasses for close work or reading fine print. Multiple or progressive reading zones can be added into the glasses they normally wear to provide the extra prescription power they need. Contact lens wearers can order bifocal or trifocal lenses that serve the same purpose as these eyeglasses, but fit over their corneas. Both solutions can be expensive and difficult to adjust to.
PresbyLASIK provides similar zones by reshaping the eye’s clear surface into precise contours that alter the way light rays enter the eye. The brain is then able to select which of these zones provides the sharpest vision – whether the object is near, far or in-between. Unlike contact lenses which can cause vision distortions by moving on the surface of the eye, presbyLASIK provides fixed zones directly on the eye’s surface.