Laser Vision Correction Procedures


      
Before you decide to proceed with laser vision correction, we will perform a complete dilated eye  exam to be certain that you are a good candidate for the procedure.  Once you and your doctor  decide to schedule your procedure, you should perform the lid scrubs routine for at least 3 days  immediately prior to your procedure.

On arriving at the Laser Vision Institute, you will be greeted and taken on a brief tour of the  facility to answer questions and ensure that you are comfortable.  Before proceeding with  laser  vision correction, a final check of your eyes will be completed.  Eyes to be treated are measured  and mapped and the information is reviewed to detect and isolate any irregularities in the shape  of the cornea.

Before performing the procedure, the staff will be available to review the procedure with you,  answer any questions, and conduct additional examinations as appropriate.

Most patients dress casually and comfortably.  You are reminded not to wear make-up or  fragrances.  We encourage patients to bring a companion with them to see the laser vision  correction.  Your companion may accompany you through the entire process.

You will not be given a general anesthetic.  In fact, the only mediations administered during the  procedure are eye drops.  (Anesthetic, antibiotic, and/or non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory  medications may be used, as appropriate.  While allergic reactions to these medications are rare,  please advise the surgeon of any allergies you may have.)

In the laser room, you will lie of the bed of the Allegretto Wave Eye-Q.  The eye that is not being  treated will be covered and the eye to be treated will be aligned with the excimer laser system.  Then, an instrument called an eyelid speculum will be placed between your upper and lower  eyelids to prevent you from blinking.
 

PRK 
To begin, your surgeon will remove the outermost layer on the surface of your eye, which is called the epithelium. The surgeon can either remove the epithelium

1) with a small rotating brush or

2) with a chemical agent. 

You will not be able to feel any of the contact with your eye at this point.  However, the sensation of seeing the surgeon wiping the surface of your eye may surprise you.  Next, the surgeon will ask you to stare at a blinking green light.  The surgeon will then activate the excimer laser and begin reshaping your cornea.  The green light will become more and more difficult to see as the treatment progresses.  While the laser is in use, you will be asked to keep your head and eye as still as possible.  However, a small amount of eye movement should not affect the outcome of the procedure.  If significant movement is apparent, the surgeon will stop the laser until realignment has been established.
 

LASIK     Your eye will be cleansed and draped as a precaution against infection.  A mark for alignment will be made and the surgeon will then place the microkeratome. Once suction is engaged your vision will become dim or dark for about 20 seconds while the flap is created.  This may be somewhat uncomfortable but passes quickly.  Once the flap is created the microkeratome is removed, the flap is examined and the laser is used to sculpt your custom ablation.  The flap is folded over to expose the corneal stroma and you will be asked to look at the blinking green light. The surgeon will then activate the excimer laser and begin reshaping the cornea.  The green light will become more and more difficult to see as the treatment progresses.  While the laser is in use, you will be asked to keep your head and eye as still as possible.  However, a small amount of eye movement should not affect the outcome of the procedure.  If significant movement is apparent, the surgeon will stop the laser until realignment has been established. After the laser is completed the flap is replaced and smoothed for a few minutes before the lid retractor is removed.

Total laser treatment time for most patients is less than 30 seconds per eye.  Your surgeon will tell you how you are doing throughout the procedure.

During the procedure, you will notice distinctive sounds and smells.  For example, the machine makes a clicking or snapping noise whenever the laser is in use.  The surgeon will let you know before the pulse begins so that the noise will not startle you.  Laser treatment of the eye tissues also produces an odd, somewhat unpleasant odor.

Once reshaping of the cornea is complete, additional eye drops are instilled, a protective soft contact lens is inserted, and the eyelid speculum is removed.

If you are having both eyes done on the same day, it will take a few minutes to program the computer and prepare for laser treatment of your other eye.  The total time in the laser room is usually less than 20 minutes.