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LASIK is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye, using an excimer laser. LASIK is intended to reduce your dependency on glasses or contact lenses if you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism.
Dr. Miller performs the LASIK laser vision correction using a topical anesthetic drop, so the patient remains awake during the 15-minute procedure. LASIK is fast, in most cases pain free and has a quick recovery time.
For the procedure, the patient will lie down in a reclining chair in a room containing the two laser systems that are used to execute the procedure. The first laser is used to make the flap, while the second laser is used to perform the correction.
A numbing drop will be put in the patient’s eye, the area around the eye will be cleaned, and a lid protector will hold the eyelids open. At Advanced Valley Eye Associates, Dr. Miller will use a laser to create the initial flap on the cornea. The patient’s vision will lessen and slight pressure may be felt, but typically no significant discomfort. Laser energy is focused inside the corneal tissue at a precise depth, creating thousands of small bubbles that define the flap.
It's normal for the patient to have fluctuating degrees of blurred vision during the remainder of the procedure. Next, the doctor will lift the flap, fold it back on its hinge, and dry the exposed tissue. The excimer laser will be positioned over the eye and the patient will be asked to stare at a light to keep the eye fixed on one spot once the laser starts. If the eye moves, the laser has a sophisticated eye tracker that will track any eye movements. If the eye moves off center, the laser will automatically stop. The laser is programmed to restart and proceed with the treatment when the eye is realigned. While this happens, it is expected, and will not affect the vision results of your surgery!
At this point in the surgery, the patient may be aware of sounds and odors, such as the pulse of the laser making a snapping noise. A computer controls the laser energy delivered to the eye. Prior to LASIK surgery, the doctor will have programmed the laser to make precise levels of correction based on the measurements taken before to surgery. After the laser energy reshapes the cornea, the protective flap is put back into position, adhering almost instantaneously.
At the end of the procedure, a shield or glasses will be placed over the eye(s) as protection, because no stitches are used to bond the flap in place. It is important for the patient to wear this to prevent rubbing and putting pressure on the eye while sleeping. This also protects the eye from accidentally being hit or poked until the flap has healed.
At Advanced Valley Eye Associates, our goal is to satisfy your expectations, every time! We'll spend a great deal of time to make sure that you know what to hope for. We strive for excellent vision for every patient, so that you can mimimize your dependence on glasses and contacts. Of course, we warn our patients about unrealistic expectations for "perfect" vision, but the results are almost universally extraordinary, with very happy patients!
FDA clinical study data presented at a recent American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons Conference (ASCRS) indicated that:
98% of the clinical study participants could see 20/20 or better after LASIK.