LASIK Eye Surgery
In a recent FDA study, More than 95% of participants were satisfied with their vision following LASIK surgery.
What is LASIK? (LASIK Eye Surgery or Laser Eye Surgery)
LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) eye surgery is the most performed refractive surgery in the US, with more than 28 Million procedures performed worldwide. LASIK is laser eye surgery that uses a laser to reshape the cornea of the eye. LASIK Eye Surgery corrects near and far vision as well as astigmatism. The excimer laser was developed in the 1970s but was not approved for LASIK eye surgery until 1995 when it was approved for PRK. Bladeless or all laser surgery was approved in 2001 when the FDA granted approval to Intralase.
During eye surgery the surgeon uses a soft suction ring to hold the eye docked to the laser, a blade (microkeratome) or laser (LaserCare Eye Center uses a femtosecond laser) to cut a thin flap in the corneal tissue. The Ophthalmologist then lifts the flap to expose the corneal tissue. The surgeon will use some numbing drops so the eye surgery is pain-free. The next step the surgeon uses an excimer laser to ablate corneal tissue to reshape the eye. The surgeon then lowers the flap and that is the end of the procedure.
LaserCare Eye Center uses the iDesign Wavescan which measures visual imperfections in the eye. LaserCare Eye Center offers both custom and conventional LASIK surgery. This newer technology is 25x more precise than other traditional methods. A bandage contact is placed and protective eyewear is given to you to protect the eye. Postop care is usually steroid and antibiotic drops, with return visits at 1 day, 1 week and 1 month.
SMILE EYE SURGERY COMPARED:
SMILE offers the benefits of quick recovery without a FLAP. We are currently the ONLY LASIK practice in all of Dallas Texas (and one of the few in all of Texas) to offer this amazing technology. It is quick, gentle and painless. You can return to the gym, swimming, active lifestyle and makeup much faster than with LASIK.
How does it work?
LASIK works by reshaping the cornea of the eye to improve visual acuity and lower people’s dependence on glasses and contacts. We use an iDesign to map the cornea which is then programmed into the excimer laser. A flap is created with a femtosecond laser. The flap is lifted and then an excimer laser ablates the corneal tissue to reshape the eye.
What happens during eye surgery?
- Free consult – Before your free consult, you should stop wearing contact and start wearing glasses 3+ days before your appointment. This helps ensure that the measurements of your eyes are accurate. Contacts can reshape the cornea and it’s important that measurements of the eye are taken without contacts like they will be on the day of surgery and after. On the day of your free consult, you’ll come to our office and meet with one of our LASIK counselors. They will have you fill out a questionnaire and will take a Pentacam eye test, to discuss with the LASIK surgeon. If you’re a LASIK candidate, the counselor will discuss pricing and financing with you. Our pricing is competitive and comparable to the other LASIK eye surgeons in the Dallas Texas Metroplex. Once you decide to have surgery with us, we’ll schedule your preop and LASIK surgery dates.
- Preop – On the day of the preop, you’ll come to our office to get more measurements, go over consents and risks of surgery and meet with the surgeon. We’ll get a 3D map of your eye so the surgeon can program it into the excimer laser on the day of your surgery. If you decide to get the custom LASIK eye surgery, the map of your eye is 25x more precise than traditional methods.
- Day of surgery – On the day of your LASIK procedure, you’ll come to the office to have the actual surgery. The surgery itself only lasts about 10 min. We use numbing drops so the surgery is painless. That’s it! Remember to bring a driver.
- Post-op – Day 1, 7, and 30 you’ll come in to see the LASIK surgeon just to make sure everything is healing properly and there are no complications.
How long is the recovery?
Recovery is fast for most people. You’ll be able to see after the surgery and return to work the next day. To aid in your recovery, make sure to wear your eyeshades at night for 4-5 days, use the drops as recommended by your surgeon, don’t rub your eyes for a few months after surgery, don’t wear makeup or lotions before your LASIK procedure or for a week after, and no swimming or hot tubs for 2 weeks.
Who Can get the surgery? (you may be wondering if you’re a LASIK Candidate)
Most people are actually good candidates for LASIK. Some of the qualifications are listed below but the only way to know for sure is to come in for a free consult. We will do some testing on your eyes to make sure they are healthy and meet the requirements for surgery.
- You are 18 years or older – this ensures your eye prescription is not going to be changing and that it’s been stable.
- You have had a stable glasses or contact lens prescription for 2 years – we want your surgery to last, by making sure that you have a stable prescription, your chances of needing retreatment soon after surgery decreases.
- You do not have corneal or other eye diseases, prior eye injuries or surgeries – it’s important to treat healthy eyes.
- You are not pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the next 6 months – hormones from pregnancy can change your prescription.
- You do not have excessively dry eyes.
- Improved vision and no more glasses or contacts! Most people don’t need to rely on eyewear after surgery until after presbyopia (you may need reading glasses).
- Recovery is usually fast.
- Corrections or “enhancements” can be made years after surgery.
- Long lasting results.
But I’m afraid!
- Many Famous Celebrities and Top Athletes have had LASIK.
- Around 700,0000 people get LASIK in the US every year.
- Numbing drops are used so that surgery is pain-free.
- You can see directly after the surgery and most people can return to work the next day.
- LASIK eye surgery is fast and can be performed in around 10 minutes.
- If your eyesight changes, adjustments can be made with another LASIK or PRK surgery.
- Over 95% of patients are happy with results.
- Complications are rare.
- An Ophthalmologist that believes in LASIK enough to have it themselves – Dr. Gicheru has had LASIK himself and many of our staff members have too.
- Reviews – check ours out here – our patients love us.
- State Licensing – make sure that the MD has a current state of Texas medical license
- Board Certification – The American Board of Ophthalmology ensures that LASIK surgeons have specific criteria to be certified.
- Active in the Ophthalmology community – Dr. Gicheru gives Ophthalmology talks all over the world, is a 2012 graduate of the Leadership Development Program of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has held leadership positions in many Ophthalmology institutions, including the Texas Ophthalmological Association (Past President) and currently is serving on the Dermatological and Ophthalmological FDA Advisory Board.
- Gives back – Dr. Gicheru and some of our staff members have partnered with the Highland Park United Methodist Church and have traveled to Haiti to provide eye care and Cataract surgery.
- Professional memberships – Dr. Gicheru is part of the Texas Ophthalmological Association, Texas Medical Association, American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.
- Too good to be true pricing – Some of our competitors offer pricing that’s too good to be true and many times it is. In order to get the special pricing, you have to fit within a narrow set of criteria and if not, you could end up with LASIK eye surgery that costs more than it would have at LaserCare Eye Center.
- Technology – We are leaders in technology in the Dallas Texas Metroplex. We use all laser blade-free, we use iDesign Wavefront that is 25x more precise than traditional methods. We’re not just leaders in Vision Correction Surgery, we are also leaders in Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery and Multifocal lens implants. We also utilize ORA during surgery which gets a real-time scan of the eye during surgery and is beneficial to post LASIK cataract patients. Our goal is to have refractive surgery where our patients don’t need to rely on glasses after.
Types of Lasers Used:
The femtosecond IntraLase is a blade-free way to use a laser to create the LASIK flap in the cornea. To create the flap the laser uses a tiny pulse of laser light and creates tiny air bubble at a depth specified by your LASIK eye surgeon. This creates a smooth even surface once the flap is lifted. A flap of 100-120 µm is typically used with an IntraLase vs 120-180 µm for microkeratome.
Microkeratome vs femtosecond LASIK flap
The excimer laser is the laser that performs the actual LASIK by removing corneal tissue with laser light. LaserCare Eye Center uses the Star S4 IR Excimer Laser by Abbott Technologies. This laser allows us to use a customized 3D map of the eye by using iDesgn. This creates a customized LASIK eye surgery.
Myopia is a refractive error and patients with myopia have problems with seeing distant objects clearly. Most Myopic patients can be treated with LASIK up to +6.00.
Hyperopia is a refractive error and patients with myopia have problems with seeing close up. Most Hyperopic patients can be treated with LASIK up to -12.00.
Astigmatism is a common vision problem that causes vision to be blurry. It can be corrected with glasses, contacts or in most cases LASIK eye surgery. With LASIK the Excimer Laser reshapes the unsymmetrical cornea to be more symmetrical. Your level of astigmatism may be as high as 6.00 diopters
- IDESIGN is the latest way to do Wavefront-guided Custom LASIK. It uses an advanced Wavefront measuring device to precisely measure your cornea. It then acts as the brain to drive the laser used to do your LASIK treatment. It uses the same technology NASA uses on its space telescopes to view new stars millions of miles away. It measures 1257 points on the cornea. That is 5 times better resolution* than Customvue. Since it is 25 times more precise than the methods used to measure glasses and contact lenses, it reads measurements down to 0.01 Diopter increments.
- CUSTOMVUE LASIK preceded iDesign. With Customvue, which is a form of Wavefront-Guided Custom LASIK, a device called a Wavescan is used to measure eye prescription. This has been available since the mid-2000s. It measures 240 points on the cornea for your treatment. This means a more precise measurement than conventional LASIK, but not as precise as iDesign.
- WAVEFRONT OPTIMIZED LASIK is another way to do LASIK. Often, it uses fancy calculations without the use of an actual Wavefront measuring device. The calculations are used to simulate a wavefront measuring device. We have elected not to offer this technology.
- TOPOGRAPHY GUIDED LASIK is another new version of LASIK. It can be very useful in corneas with irregular corneas (like corneal scars). It is not a Wavefront-guided Custom LASIK treatment. For the normal corneas that most patients have, we still prefer Wavefront-Guided Custom LASIK. We are still evaluating this technology and have elected not to offer it.
Does insurance cover eye surgery?
Most insurance companies do not cover LASIK since it is an elective procedure. LaserCare Eye Center’s pricing is very competitive in the Dallas Metroplex and the cost of LASIK is very affordable with our financing plans. LaserCare Eye Center does accept VSP insurance and there is a discount available depending on which VSP plan you have. Although insurance companies don’t offer discounts or won’t pay for LASIK, at LaserCare Eye Center we offer discounts for most insurance plans.
How much does LASIK eye surgery cost?
LASIK eye surgery cost in Dallas Texas is one of the lowest in the nation but you can’t just look at the cost of surgery alone. There are a number of other factors to consider. How much do your glasses prescription, contacts, contact solution, frustration from losing contact or glasses on vacation, not being able to see clearly to go to the bathroom at night or many of the factors that people in glasses and contacts feel daily? LASIK surgery frees you from all of those costs and frustrations. What is that worth to you? Most LASIK cost in Dallas Texas is priced between $250 and $2599 per eye. At LaserCare Eye Center LASIK starts from $1250 an eye and we do All-Laser LASIK. We also are the first in Dallas to offer SMILE eye surgery, a flapless LASIK like procedure.
How long does it last?
LASIK eye surgery lasts forever; however, changes in the eye can cause someone to need retreatment or if they are not a candidate then glasses. A good example is that as everyone ages the elasticity of the lens in the eye becomes less resulting in presbyopia. This requires the use of reading glasses.
Sometime patients will require minor enhancements to their LASIK either soon after or many years down the road. As long as eye health hasn’t changed and there is still enough corneal tissue to retreat then another LASIK is performed to correct the change in vision.
Will I need glasses after?
As we age we all lose elasticity in the lens of our eyes. This causes presbyopia and the need for reading glasses close up. Also, if your eyes continue to change after surgery and you are not a LASIK candidate anymore then a small prescription may be required.
How long does it take the flap to heal?
LASIK recovery is pretty quick. Usually, once you are done with surgery you will start seeing improvements in vision. LASIK flaps usually heal within 2-3 months. It is important that you follow all post-op instructions including the post-op drops. We now offer Small Incision LASIK (SMILE) that does not have a flap.
SMILE eye surgery has no flap and recovery is within a couple of days.
Although the risks with LASIK eye surgery are low, no surgery is without risks.
Dry eyes – Usually it is temporary and occurs in about half the patients. We usually use punctal plugs prior to surgery to eliminate this problem from happening.
Infection – It’s important to follow post-op instructions and take the eye drops as prescribed.
Regression, Over or Under Correction – Your eyes could still change over time or the treatment, especially with larger prescriptions, may have over or under corrected. All of these are treatable with an enhancement.
Check the FDA website for more info and our blog post Is LASIK Safe
What Are My Financing Options?
We have many different ways to pay for your surgery. We accept:
- Credit Cards – Visa and Mastercard
- HSA (health savings accounts) and FSA accounts
LaserCare Eye Center uses two financing options so that patients can decide what is best for them.
PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratoplasty) is a Laser Vision Correction technique that does not require the creation of either a FLAP or a CAP.
The steps of the procedure are as follows:
- After applying numbing eye drops, the Surgeon uses an Excimer laser or a device called an Amoils brush to remove the central part of the corneal epithelium.
- An Excimer laser is then used to sculpt the cornea by focusing a cool, ultraviolet beam on the cornea.
- A Bandage contact lens is applied to help with healing and comfort.
- Over the first few days, healthy epithelial tissue grows over the treatment zone. The eye may be sensitive to light and uncomfortable for the first few days.
- The bandage contact lens is removed after 4-7 days. The healing process continues for about a month. Most patients have useful vision after a few days and excellent vision by 1 month.
Monovision LASIK eye surgery is primarily performed in older patients (40 + years old) and used to correct near vision or presbyopia (the need for reading glasses). When performing LASIK, the surgeon will correct one eye for near and one eye for distance, usually your dominant eye, eliminating the need for reading glasses. Monovision is well tolerated in about 85% of patients. There is an adjustment period while your brain adjusts to the difference in vision.
Cataract surgery before or after LASIK
It can be performed before or after surgery. For cataract surgery after LASIK, we use a device called ORA during surgery that is a real-time measurement of the eye during surgery and helps in determining the best multifocal lens for use specifically for you.
We sometimes do LASIK after cataract surgery and call it refractive Cataract surgery.