Refractive Surgery FAQs
What is Refractive Surgery?
Refractive surgery is term given to a surgical procedure that is performed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. The most commonly performed surgeries are LASIK and PRK. These procedures use a laser to reshape the cornea (clear front part of the eye) to adjust the focusing power of the eye.
Is everyone a good candidate for refractive surgery?
No. Every eye is different. A screening examination and measurements of your cornea must fall into guidelines that allow for safe and successful refractive surgery. A consultation with your surgeon for examination, lifestyle, and options will be discussed at your appointment. Surgery is performed in those that are 18 years or older.
What lasers do you use?
No blades or microkeratomes are used. We use a femtosecond or the IntraLase laser for the creation of the LASIK flap. The excimer laser, that resphapes the cornea is the VISX with CustomVue technology. The lasers we use are maintained by state-of-the-art laser centers.
Do you perform the procedure at your office?
We conduct all of the pre-op testing and follow-up care in our office. LASIK and PRK are performed at one of the state-of-the-art laser centers that where the lasers are maintained under the proper conditions.
What is the work-up?
The work-up is a comprehensive series of tests we perform on you to determine the measurements of your eyes. These measurements play a very significant role in the outcome of your procedure and determine if you are a good candidate for surgery.
What is monovision?
Monovision is great news for everyone over 40. At around age 40, presbyopia occurs. This is the age-related weakening of the muscles necessary for sight, and causes trouble focusing on objects close up.
Even if you have had refractive surgery, presbyopia will occur around this age and you will need "readers". Though most people who have had refractive surgery are so thrilled that they don't have to wear glasses like they used to, they don't mind slipping on an occasional pair of readers.
However, if you want to be free of readers we can offer you monovision correction. In monovision we sculpt a different prescription into each eye, so you can see near out of one eye and far out of the other. Monovision is not for everyone, though some patients love it.
If you are approaching presbyopic age, we strongly recommend that you "try out" monovision before you have it done. We give you contacts with different prescriptions to give you the same effect that monovision would. This will give you a very good indication of whether or not monovision is right for you.
Are there any risks for LASIK and PRK?
Though there are some risks with any surgical procedure, the incidence of problems with these procedures is quite low. Also, each procedure presents specific risks and benefits that you surgeon will discuss with you.
The most common side effects are seeing haloes or starbursts around lights, to which most people see to some degree with out without surgery. Transient dryness of the eyes is also common. Every possible measure will be taken to reduce the possibility of a problem after the procedure. We are a team of board-certified ophthalmologists, including a corneal specialist, who have spent our lives taking care of people eyes. We encourage you to talk to us about your concerns, and be assured that we have the experience to handle anything that may arise.
Contact our office to learn more about Refractive Surgery or to make an appointment.