Iowa Eye Center ophthalmologist Dr. Privett explains LASIK surgery (1 of 2).
Ophthalmologist Dr. Privett explains how LASIK surgery is done at Iowa Eye Center (2 of 2).
LASIK Eye Surgery
With LASIK we use a laser to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Using a two-step laser technique, your Iowa Eye Center ophthalmologist reshapes your cornea to improve your focus. LASIK is an alternative to wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses.
What can LASIK correct?
Nearsightedness – Blurred distance vision is caused by a cornea that’s too curved or an eye that’s too long, so light focuses before it hits the retina.
Farsightedness – Blurred near vision is the result of a cornea that’s too flat or an eye that’s too short, so light focuses beyond the retina.
Astigmatism – Blurred or distorted distance vision occurs when a cornea is shaped more like a football than a dome.
What is iLASIK?
Iowa Eye Center iLASIK first uses a precision laser to create a very thin flap on the cornea, which is the clear front surface of the eye. Your surgeon then uses Visx CustomVue Wavefront guided S4 IR™ LASIK technology to perform a totally custom treatment for your unique eyes.
A flap is better
Older surface techniques created a large abrasion that was slow to heal. With iLASIK, our laser flap acts like a protective shield so you:
- have less discomfort after the procedure
- have less chance of swelling
- recover your vision much faster
- enjoy better overall vision after healing
Your pre-surgical evaluation is a two-hour comprehensive examination of your eyes, including a computerized wave-front scan to guide the laser treatment. On the day of your surgery, one hour before surgery you apply antibiotic drops to avoid infection and you take a Valium to relax.
The LASIK process
During the LASIK procedure, you lie comfortably on your back and your eye is numbed with drops. The surgery takes place in three steps:
Step 1. Your surgeon places a small suction ring on your eye. You feel a slight pressure. Next your surgeon docks a laser cone in the suction ring, then uses high-speed pulses from our advanced 60 kHz laser to separate layers of your cornea at a precise depth. This creates an ultra-thin flap on your cornea. Your surgeon then removes the suction. This all takes about 30 seconds. Next, your surgeon puts a sterile drape over your eye and inserts a speculum to prevent blinking. With the numbing, you won’t feel the need to blink.
Step 2. Your surgeon gently lifts the tiny flap and uses our Visx CustomVue S4IR laser vision correction technology, guided by information from your pre-surgical scan. As the laser shapes your cornea to correct your vision imperfections, you feel nothing in your eye.
Step 3. The reshaping takes less than a minute. Then your surgeon lowers the corneal flap and puts antibiotic drops in your eye. The flap heals quickly without discomfort.
Afterward, you keep your eyes closed for four hours and wear clear shields over your eyes until morning. You may feel a slight burning sensation, which is normal. Before bed that night, apply eye drops. The next morning, remove the shields. Your vision should be good enough to drive to our office for your post-op appointment. You quickly gain sharper sight. For a short while your vision may be slightly hazy, and for a few nights you may experience a halo around bright lights. This will be gone in a few months.
Better vision, better life
When you improve your vision with iLASIK, there are countless benefits and positive effects in everything you do. At your next Iowa Eye Center appointment, ask your ophthalmologist if LASIK is right for you. Or call one of our Refractive Surgery Coordinators at (319) 362-3937. We’ll schedule a time for you to come in and find out how LASIK can make your life better.