LASIK is short for Laser Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis. It is a procedure designed to reduce or eliminate nearsightedness or farsightedness with or without astigmatism. Nearsightedness, also called myopia, occurs when the shape of the eye is elongated resulting in the light being focused in front of the retina (the "seeing" part of the back of the eye). Farsightedness, also called hyperopia, occurs when the shape of the eye is shortened so that light is focused behind the retina. Astigmatism is a condition in which light that enters the eye is focused at more than one place inside the eye. This happens when the cornea (the clear window in the front of the eye) has different curvatures at different points (similar to the shape of a football).
LASIK corrects nearsightedness by flattening the cornea. It corrects farsightedness by steepening the cornea and it corrects astigmatism by reshaping the cornea into the shape of a basketball.
In the first step of the procedure, a thin flap of tissue is partially lifted off the cornea. Some clinics use a razor blade Microkeratome to make the flap, but in the second step, a small amount of the cornea is ablated (vaporized) under the flap with the VISX S4 excimer laser. The flap is then placed back in its original position and remains in place without stitches.
Valley Eye has been using the ultra-fast and ultra-safe Femtosecond laser (IntraLASE) since 2002, longer than any clinic in Wisconsin.
Dr. Vrabec has performed thousands of the all-laser LASIK during this time, with a patient satisfaction rate of 99%. There have been more than 17 million procedures performed worldwide to date with approximately 3.5 million in 2007 alone. LASIK is an approved procedure by the FDA (United States Food & Drug Administration).
Has LASIK been perfected?
iLASIK is the premium laser vision correction procedure and is the culmination of everything we've learned about LASIK over the past decade. iLASIK means all laser LASIK, using the IntraLASE to make the flap, and the VISX S4 excimer laser to correct your vision defect. It provides proven results with superior safety. Now that the iLASIK procedure is available, and if you are deemed a good candidate, then there's really no reason to put off having laser vision correction.
How is iLASIK Different from LASIK?
- It's not your fathers LASIK! It's the LASIK of today and an investment for a lifetime of good vision.
- The i stands for both innovation and individualization.
- iLASIK is the first vision correction procedure ever to be fully tailored [individualized] for the unique characteristics of your eyes.
- iLASIK combines two computer-guided lasers to custom correct your vision 25 times more precise than standard methods used to measure glasses or contact lenses, providing today's only 100% customized, all laser LASIK
- It was the advances in technologies used in the iLASIK procedure that convinced the US Military that iLASIK was appropriate for their fighter pilots, and Navy Seals. NASA now also approves it for their astronauts.
- The iLASIK procedure boasts an outstanding safety profile thanks to the elimination of the microkeratome (razor blade), as in earlier generations of LASIK.
- iLASIK is simply the most advanced option for laser vision correction.
- iLASIK offers a new generation of patients the potential for 20/20 or better vision with superior safety through reduced flap complications.
The iLASIK procedure is 100% tailor made for you, your vision and the unique characteristics of your two, individual eyes. It employs the VISX WaveScan system. The WaveScan captures a 3-D map or fingerprint of the eye which is 25 times more precise than what was previously measurable by standard methods. The WaveScan evaluates more specific imperfections in each individual's vision. This data is then used to generate a customized treatment plan.
Who is a candidate for iLASIK?
People who experience difficulty wearing glasses and contact lenses due to allergies, dryness of the eyes, astigmatism, or other irritants. Generally the best candidates have low to moderate levels of myopia (-1.00 to -8.00 diopters) or hyperopia (+1.00 to +2.00 diopters). In addition, their lifestyle or career may require good vision without the use of glasses or contact lenses to function well. Candidates are encouraged to attend a free educational seminar or schedule a visit to the office for a FREE VIP Consultation. A thorough eye examination and evaluation is required prior to having iLASIK.
No single formula can provide the perfect correction for everyone. This is why the individual evaluation with the doctor is so important in planning for iLASIK. For example, if you spend 8 hours a day working at a computer screen, your visual needs will differ from someone who spends much of the day driving. If you are over 40, you may experience problems with your near vision, focusing up close. By leaving one eye slightly undercorrected (if you are nearsighted), or slightly overcorrecting one eye (if you are farsighted), the need for reading glasses can be reduced. This technique, called monovision, has proven successful in helping individuals cope with the natural aging process. Your specific needs in terms of lifestyle and career goals are taken into consideration when your surgical plan is developed.
What happens during the examination/evaluation?
A thorough eye examination and evaluation includes, but is not limited to:
- Review of personal medical history.
- Evaluation of prescription.
- Pentacam corneal mapping to evaluate the surface of the cornea.
- WaveScan analysis for customized treatment.
- Pachymetry (corneal thickness measurement).
- Evaluation of the tear layers to screen for a dry eye condition.
- Evaluation of pupil size.
- Consent video and counseling session with the doctor.
- Scheduling of the procedure with a Refractive Counselor.
- Assistance with financing, if needed.
iLASIK is performed in the professional atmosphere of a laser center. In this relaxed center, you will receive professional, experienced care. The staff is there to answer your questions and prepare and assist you during the procedure.
What happens prior to my treatment?
- You will receive a list of instructions, which will begin a couple of days before your scheduled treatment day.
- It is required that you arrange for a driver for both the day of your treatment and the follow-up appointment the next morning.
- If you wear soft contact lenses, you will be instructed to stop wearing them 3 days prior to your eye examination and treatment. If you wear hard contact lenses or gas-permeable lenses, these lenses need to be out 2 weeks and sometimes longer, prior to your eye examination. This is to ensure your corneas resume their natural shape prior to your treatment.
- Upon arrival at the laser center, you will receive a mild sedative (usually a Valium pill), to help you relax during the treatment.
- A topical anesthetic (numbing drops) is all that is usually needed so that you will be comfortable throughout the procedure.
- You will be positioned on a comfortable reclining chair under a microscope. This microscope is used to view your eye during the procedure. You may feel slight pressure from the instrument that holds your eyelids open.
- The actual procedure will only take 1 to 2 minutes per eye.
- Once the procedure is completed, you will be given a pair of clear goggles. These goggles are not to be removed before your follow up appointment the next day, except to put drops in your eye.
- Further written instructions for the care of your eyes will be given to you at your follow up appointment the next morning.
- Most importantly, avoid rubbing or bumping your eye(s) the first day after iLASIK. You do not want to risk moving the flap. This becomes highly unlikely after the first night.
- It is normal to experience minor discomforts such as scratchiness, tearing, burning or other sensations. You will be given a prescription for pain medication and a bottle of comfort eye drops to aid with this discomfort. Over the counter pain medications may also help. The discomfort is usually tolerable and subsides before the next morning.
- Limitations on activities vary from person to person. However, generally speaking, you may immediately resume normal activities like bending, watching TV, taking a shower or reading. Contact or racquet sports should be avoided for 1 week.
- Most people may return to work the next day. If you work in a dirty, dusty environment, then several days off from work is highly recommended.
- The first week after your procedure, swimming is to be avoided. You may then swim in a chlorinated pool, but ocean or lake swimming and water skiing should be avoided for 1 full month.
Generally you are seen at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, and 6 months after iLASIK. More frequent visits may be necessary and are also included for the first 6 months after your procedure. At one year after your procedure and then once every year or two after that, patients should have regular eye examination by their eye care professional. Regular eye examinations are essential to maintain healthy eyes.
What are the risks of iLASIK?
- As with any procedure, there is always a slight risk of infection, although this is minimized by the use of antibiotic eye drops, which are started several days prior to your procedure and used a full week thereafter. Infections are very rare in our practice.
- With iLASIK there is a chance that the eye will be overcorrected or undercorrected. The use of glasses or contact lenses may be required to achieve your best personal vision. An enhancement (additional laser treatment or touch up) may also improve your outcome. If an enhancement is needed, it is usually done 4 to 6 months from the time of your first treatment. There is less than a 5% chance you may need a touch up.
- In the first weeks after your procedure, you may be more sensitive to bright lights or see starburst around lights at night (glare). This almost always decreases several weeks or months after treatment.
- You may also experience dry eyes, which could cause temporary blurring of vision. You may need to use artificial tears or an eye drop called, Restasis. These eye drops usually take care of this situation.
- This is not a complete list of all potential unanticipated events of iLASIK. No guarantee or warranty can be made as to the results.
The goal of iLASIK is to reduce your dependence on glasses or other optical aids, although there are patients who see better after the procedure without glasses than they did before iLASIK with glasses. If needed, glasses or contact lenses can be worn after iLASIK to achieve your best near or far vision. The final result of iLASIK will depend on your cornea's response to the laser and the healing process. While the procedure usually can be done more than once, it cannot be performed an infinite number of times.
How much will iLASIK cost?
Your payment will cover the surgeon's fee, facility fee, and six months of follow-up care by your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Also included at no charge is an eye-care kit filled with most of the supplies needed to care for your eyes after your procedure.
Prior to iLASIK, you can meet with a financial counselor who will answer your questions about the fees. For our patient's convenience, we accept cash, cashier checks, MasterCard, VISA and Discover Card. A discount for cash payment is available as well as a zero percent interest-free financing plan.
Payment in full is required 5 business days before the procedure, unless financing arrangements have been made. If payment is not received 5 business days before the procedure, the procedure will be postponed.
Insurance rarely covers refractive surgery, however, we do encourage you to call your insurance provider before having any procedures.
Where can i get more information about iLASIK?
We recommend iLASIK.com for more up-to-date and accurate information about iLASIK.