Laser Vision Correction
Please choose from the following education videos from Key-Whitman Eye Center.
Dr. Whitman: Hello. Welcome to Key-Whitman. I’m Dr. Jeffrey Whitman and joining me today is our refractive surgery team. The intent of this video is to provide you some additional information about LASIK, PRK and the possibilities of improving your vision with laser refractive surgery.
Who is a candidate?
Dr. Whitman: Refractive surgery is simply the description of surgery designed to treat refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism – also known as nearsightedness and farsightedness. When you are nearsighted, you have difficulty seeing objects faraway but often have good vision up-close. When you are farsighted, you may have difficulty seeing things up-close as well as faraway. The problem is that your eye is either too long or too short. When the eye is too long or too short, the light rays entering your eye aren’t focused correctly on the retina – in the back of the eye. Astigmatism also affects many patients and is just when the front of the eye has a more oblong shape to it. When we perform laser refractive surgery, we are attempting to get the same good focus you get with your glasses or contacts.
What happens in surgery?
Dr. Haq: With LASIK or PRK, we use a laser to reshape the cornea, the external surface of the eye to mimic what your glasses and contacts did before surgery. During your consultation and preop, both computerized and manual measurements will be taken to determine whether you are a good candidate. We will look at things like your prescription, corneal shape, and corneal thickness to make sure you will have the best results possible. If all looks good, you will simply come back to see us on the day of your surgery.
Dr. Whitman: It is important to understand that your eyes are living tissue and that we cannot take your eyes out and grind in the perfect prescription like we do with your glasses. As with any surgery, there are risks that you need to be aware of. During your pre-surgical evaluation, we will discuss the risks as well as the benefits and give you an opportunity to ask your questions. It is important that you not make your decision based on your best hopes or what you heard from a friend but rather with facts and realistic expectations.
Dr. Hong: On the day of your procedure, you will need to bring someone with you to drive you home and plan to be with us just about an hour. You will check-in at the front desk and be escorted to a comfy chaise to relax. A series of drops are instilled to get you ready for your procedure. Just before your procedure, we will have you take your valium as well which is prescribed to help you relax and get to sleep when you get home. Once your eyes are completely numbed with drops, you will be taken to our laser suite. You will lie on a comfortable bed and we will begin your treatment.
Dr. Barke: Your eyelids will be held open with a special instrument so you do not need to worry about blinking your eyes during the procedure. You may notice gentle pressure and your vision may temporarily dim out while we make the very thin laser flap in your cornea. We will then ask you to focus on a bright green light for just a few more moments while the laser removes the precise amount of tissue predetermined by your Key-Whitman surgeon. Once your laser treatment is over, the flap will be put back in place. A bandage contact lens is placed in the eye to prevent your eye from getting dry or scratchy. We will make sure the surface is clean and moist and you will go home and rest wearing some protective goggles. You will be asked to begin the use of special drops previously prescribed which are designed to protect against infection and reduce inflammation.
What is PRK?
Dr. Haq: If it is recommended that you have PRK due to thin corneas or any other reason, you should know that they process is very similar. The only real difference is that rather than having a flap made in your cornea, your surgeon will gently remove the outer epithelial layer before the laser treatment. Over the next several days, the epithelial layer of your cornea will regenerate. You will be given a prescription for additional drops and medications which are designed to help you heal and remain comfortable.
What should I expect after surgery?
Dr. Warren: Upon leaving the laser suite, many LASIK patients are already seeing much better and vision will begin to clear and improve over the next several hours. It is important to go home as soon as you can and take a nap for a few hours. Once the numbing drops wear off, it is not uncommon to notice some burning, tearing or the sense of a foreign body sensation. We like to tell patients, if you are home sleeping, you won’t seem to notice it much. Over the afternoon and evening after surgery, you will be asked to start your drops. Very carefully, remove your protective goggles, and start your drops as directed. For your comfort, you may use preservative-free artificial tears which can be purchased in the Optical Shop on the 4th floor of the Dallas office. Keep the goggles on at all times on the day of surgery and wear them when you go to sleep for the night. Other than the sensation that something is in your eye or some tearing, it is not common for you to be in pain. Please do not hesitate to call us if you find yourself in pain.
How often do I come back?
Dr. Whitman: You will be asked to return for a 1-day postoperative check up to review your instructions and to check your eyes and your vision. You may remove your goggles prior to coming in for the appointment. We will remove the contact lens for you during your exam and will usually ask you to return in a week and again at a month time. With PRK, you may be asked to return more often in the first week after surgery.
Thank you and we look forward to helping you achieve you new vision without glasses or contacts.