While plenty of patients who require glasses are interested in laser eye surgery, many do not know what their options are or how to start. The team at SJEA offers clear and honest advice, answering all of your questions and referring you to an experienced and trustworthy ophthalmologist.
Request an appointment to find out if laser eye surgery is right for you.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR LASER EYE SURGERY CONSULTATION
Laser eye surgery is a life-changing experience. While our team will not perform the actual procedure for you, we will be there to guide you through the process; from answering your initial questions to evaluating your recovery.
THE INITIAL CONSULTATION
Before we refer you to your eye surgeon, we must first determine your candidacy for surgery. We will start with a consultation, which includes a thorough eye examination to ensure you do not have any eye health issues that might prevent you from undergoing the operation. We will also look at factors such as corneal thickness, which may impact which type of surgery is right for you.
This appointment is also an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about surgery and the expected results.
If you decide you would like to proceed with surgery and your Optometrist believes you are a good candidate, they will refer you to an experienced ophthalmologist for the procedure.
PREPARING FOR YOUR SURGERY
Our team will talk you through all of the necessary details of your procedure before the date arrives. We will discuss what sort of results you can expect, how you might feel after the operation, what recovery will be like, and how you should prepare for the day of your laser vision correction.
It is our pleasure to answer our patients’ questions any time.
We will get in touch with you shortly after your surgery to find out how your recovery is going and to schedule a follow-up appointment. At your follow-up, we will test your vision, and inspect your corneas. We will confirm that your vision is clear and stable enough to drive.
POPULAR LASER EYE SURGERY PROCEDURES
While most refractive eye surgeries use the same basic principle, the overall effect can be achieved through a variety of techniques. Three of the most popular methods are PRK, LASIK, and LASEK.
While corrective eye surgery has existed since 1948, PRK was the first procedure to employ the use of lasers, gaining FDA approval in 1995.
PRK corrects refractive errors by removing tissue from the front surface of the cornea; reshaping it to help light focus directly on the retina rather than in front or behind it. This procedure is still relatively common today, particularly among patients with thin corneas.
Since gaining FDA approval in 1996, LASIK has become the world’s most popular form of laser eye surgery.
Rather than reshaping the front surface of the cornea like PRK, LASIK uses the flap method. The ophthalmologist creates a flap in the outer layers of the cornea, folding it back. Then, the surgeon uses a laser to reshape the now-exposed middle layers of the cornea. Once the desired shape is achieved, the flap is replaced.
LASIK tends to heal quite quickly, and many patients find their vision has stabilized within a few short days.
LASEK also uses the flap method, however, the flap is very thin, made only from the outermost layer of corneal tissue. Just like with LASIK, this ultra-thin flap is folded back, allowing the surgeon to reshape the exposed layers of the cornea.
Once this process is complete, the ophthalmologist replaces the flap and secures it in place with a special contact lens. The lens functions similarly to a bandage; keeping the flap in place until it has the chance to heal. The ophthalmologist will remove the contact lens at a follow-up appointment once they are satisfied that your cornea has healed properly.