Laser Refractive Surgery (LASIK)
LASIK is an innovative laser vision correction surgery that treats nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Our fellowship-trained ophthalmologists use safe and accurate LASIK technology to provide you with improved vision you've always dreamed of. Ultimately, LASIK may help reduce your dependency on contact lenses and glasses. Imagine a life where you:
- Spend less money on contact lenses and solution
- Spend less money on glasses
- Swim and play sports without glasses or contact lenses
- Don't squint to see the alarm clock in the morning
- Don't worry about sleeping in your contact lenses
Am I a Candidate for LASIK?
To determine if you are a candidate for LASIK, a comprehensive eye exam will need to be completed along with diagnostic testing. However, there are a few basic requirements that should be considered:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Have a stable prescription for one year or more
- Should be free of certain eye conditions such as dry eye, thin corneas, and cataracts
If it is determined you are not a candidate for LASIK, another laser vision correction procedure such as PRK may be recommended.
How is LASIK Performed?
LASIK surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure and takes approximately 10 minutes per eye. After numbing drops are applied to the eye, the surgeon uses a laser to create a thin flap in the cornea. This flap is folded back to allow another laser to reshape the cornea. This reshaping is what corrects the nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Once the cornea is reshaped, the flap is closed back over the cornea. The cornea will then heal itself without the use of stitches.
What is the Recovery Time for LASIK?
LASIK has a quick recovery time. Most patients experience an improvement in vision the same day as their surgery or by the next day.
Is LASIK Covered by Insurance?
LASIK is an elective procedure and, therefore, is not covered by insurance. However, many of our divisions offer financing plans as a convenience to our patients. In addition, Flex Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) can be used towards the cost of LASIK.
To learn more about LASIK or to schedule an appointment for an evaluation, please contact the Vantage EyeCare division nearest you.
For those who are not a candidate for LASIK but still desire freedom from glasses and contact lenses, there are other laser vision correction procedures that may be more appropriate. These procedures include PRK, Refractive Lens Exchange, and KAMRA Inlay.
Similar to LASIK, PRK reshapes the cornea to correct vision. However, PRK does not create a corneal flap like LASIK does. Instead, it uses an instrument to remove the outer layer of the cornea. The surgeon then uses a laser to reshape the cornea. After the procedure, a contact lens bandage is placed on the eye to protect it as the eye heals. The healing time for PRK is longer than LASIK, ranging from a few days to 1 week.
Refractive Lens Exchange
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is a good option for people with presbyopia or farsightedness. It's similar to cataract surgery in that it replaces the natural lens with an artificial lens. There are different artificial lenses available including monofocal, multifocal, and accommodative. These artificial lenses are intended to be permanent, providing the added benefit of never needing cataract surgery. The recovery time for RLE is quick, with most patients seeing improved vision within the same day of surgery.
KAMRA inlay is a small, thin lens inserted into the cornea to help correct near vision. This is a great alternative for people between 40 and 60 years of age with presbyopia who want to reduce their reliance on reading glasses.
The KAMRA inlay is shaped like a ring with an opening in the center. This opening is placed directly over the pupil and allows only focused light to enter the eye. The KAMRA inlay is only implanted in one eye, usually the non-dominant one. This allows you to maintain distance vision in both eyes while improving near vision in the eye with the KAMRA inlay. The procedure takes approximately 15 minutes and the recovery time will vary per person.