LASIK combines the accuracy of the excimer laser with the safety and precision of the femtosecond laser to reduce your need for glasses and contact lenses. LASIK customizes your treatment to eliminate nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Generally speaking, a good candidate for LASIK is someone who:
• Is over 18
• Has had stable vision for the past 18-24 months
• Has healthy eyes – free of diseases, scars and other health conditions
• Has realistic expectations for LASIK
The best way to determine your candidacy for LASIK is to schedule a free consultation with the Cataract and LASIK Center of Utah. You will undergo preliminary testing to assess your eyes’ focusing power, shape, and corneal thickness. Dr. Monroe will meet with you to discuss the test results and assess if LASIK can help meet your vision needs. If LASIK is right for you, our Vision Advisor will schedule your return appointment for dilated examination to prepare for surgery. The free consultation will take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.
At the preoperative exam, you will undergo thorough testing to prepare for LASIK. If you are a contact lens wearer, you will need to discontinue contact lens wear:
• At least 1 week for daily wear soft contact lenses
• At least 2 weeks for soft toric contact lenses or overnight contact lens wear
• At least 3 weeks for rigid gas perm contact lenses
Because you will be dilated for at least 6-8 hours (your pupils will be relaxed making it difficult to focus), you may want to bring a driver. Preoperative instructions and prescriptions will be given to you to prepare for surgery. Please bring your eye medications with you on the day of surgery. Your preoperative exam will take approximately 2 hours.
Typically there is no pain or discomfort associated with LASIK. The eye is anesthetized with numbing drops at the start of the procedure. You may feel some pressure, but it is not uncomfortable. For the first 12 to 24 hours afterwards, the eye can feel scratchy.
LASIK typically takes less than 20 minutes! The eye surgery is an outpatient procedure. Plan to be at the clinic for about 2-3 hours on the day of surgery to complete preoperative testing and reassess your eyes postoperatively.
You will undergo any testing necessary to make final preparations for LASIK. Your Vision Advisor will discuss your postoperative instructions and collect payment. Our clinical team will administer numbing drops, cleanse your eyelids, and offer you Valium to relax you (if you choose). Dr. Monroe will answer any questions and escort you to the surgery suite. The procedure will last approximately 20 minutes. The iFS laser is used to create the flap by placing a suction ring on the surface of the eye. For 45-60 seconds you feel mild pressure and your vision goes dark. The flap is then lifted and the VISX laser alters the corneal surface according to your prescription. The flap is replaced and the procedure repeated in the second eye. You will be asked to relax in our reception area with your eyes closed for 30-45 minutes. Dr. Monroe will examine you to be certain the flaps are perfect prior to your departure. Plan to be at our office 2-3 hours on surgery day.
Yes. Most surgeons operate on both eyes at the same sitting. The LASIK procedure is safe and the results are predictable, so most patients prefer to have both eyes corrected on the same day. It also restores your balanced vision as quickly as possible, which is especially helpful if you are unable to wear a contact lens in the unoperated eye.
• Anyone whose prescription is actively changing more than one diopter per year.
• Pregnant or nursing mothers with unstable refractions.
• Anyone who feels that he or she must absolutely gain 20/20 vision without glasses or contact lenses. No surgeon can guarantee 20/20 vision without correction. Think of it, instead, as achieving a vastly reduced dependence on glasses and contact lenses.
• Anyone unwilling to accept the possible risks and complications of LASIK surgery results.
• Anyone with an uncontrolled or untreated eye disease. Certain corneal dystrophies or a history or herpetic keratitis (a herpes infection in the eye) may be relative contraindications, as are certain arthritic syndromes and other autoimmune disorders.
• Anyone on certain medications (including Accutane®, etc.).
The LASIK excimer lasers have built-in tracking devices able to adjust the placement of the laser if your eye makes an involuntary movement. The VISX S4 IR laser we use is accurate to 0.25 microns, an amazing figure when you consider a human hair is approximately 70 microns thick! This advanced technology maps points on the iris and focuses the laser using those points. This creates a more individualized adjustment that further improves and enhances the quality of your laser vision correction treatment.
The only type of anesthesia used is anesthetic eye drops. The eye drops are effective in numbing the eye for a painless surgery. You will be offered Valium® to help you relax and stay calm if needed.
Both procedures use the excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. With PRK, the laser is used on the surface of the eye, while in LASIK the laser is performed on a surface underneath a thin, protective corneal flap. The longterm results of both procedures are similar. Visual recovery with LASIK is usually faster, with less discomfort. During your consultation at the Cataract and LASIK Center of Utah, we will help you understand the differences and determine the best vision correction for you.
In 1995, the FDA approved the use of the excimer laser for the treatment of myopia using PRK. Then, in the fall of 1999, LASIK was approved by the FDA after much analysis of the facts, results, and case studies. In recent years, LASIK has gained popularity and has become the procedure of choice for refractive correction worldwide.
Many patients seeking refractive surgery do so because they have dry eyes and are unable to wear contact lenses anymore. It is important that dry eyes be treated before you undergo LASIK. This process usually involves the use of tear supplements, prescription medications such as Restasis. and punctal plugs (tiny silicone plugs placed in the tear drainage openings of your eyelids) that delay the drainage of your own tears so that your eyes will stay moist. After the procedure, your operated eye may feel drier because the corneal nerves are disrupted during LASIK surgery which in turn causes the eye to produce fewer tears naturally. This condition is usually temporary and typically lasts a few months after surgery. You will be asked to use lubricating drops and gels to remedy dry eyes during your recovery. Dry eye symptoms can be particularly noticeable if you use the computer frequently, read for long periods of time, or drive extended distances. Just remember to use ample lubrication, especially during the first few months after surgery.
Most patients see clearly within 24 hours of surgery and are able to drive after their first-day postoperative exam. Many return to work and resume normal activities within a few days of LASIK. The results of the surgery will continue to stabilize for a few weeks after surgery. You will have follow up appointments with the Cataract and Lasik Center of Utah to monitor your recovery and vision stability.
We suggest that the patient go home immediately after the surgery and relax for a few hours. Resting the eyes right after surgery is highly recommended. We ask the patient to avoid reading or up-close work for the remainder of the day. Many patients return to work the next day after their postoperative exam. You should not drive until you are seeing well, usually by the next day. To keep your eyes moist, we will prescribe drops and lubricants for both comfort and the healing process. It is also important to avoid rubbing your eyes while the corneal flap is healing. We will give you protective, clear shields to place over your eyes at night to keep you from inadvertently rubbing them.
Your likelihood of avoiding the need for eyewear depends on how severe your prescription or correction is. Our most recent results show that nearly 98 percent of our nearsighted patients see 20/20 or better, and nearly 100 percent will be 20/40 (good enough to pass a driving test) or better. However, results will vary and perfect vision is not guaranteed. You will reduce your dependence on glasses and contacts, and may still need to wear glasses as you get older for reading. During your consultation, we will discuss the realistic outcomes and results for your surgery.
To date, there have not been any reported cases of blindness stemming from LASIK, and there are no facts that show that any serious, vision-threatening problems were encountered in the FDA studies for the surgery’s approval. There have been cases of damaged or reduced vision after PRK and LASIK that were related to infections, haze and scarring, irregular flap formation, or improper positioning. The technology today is improved, and Dr. Monroe is the most experienced LASIK surgeon in Utah County.
We believe that the safety and effectiveness of our technologies, combined with the extensive experience of Dr. Monroe, offer our patients the best chance to achieve optimal vision. We do not guarantee that you will achieve perfect vision, but you will reduce your dependency on glasses and contact lenses.
We offer our eligible patients the LASIK Utah Lifetime Guarantee, meaning that if your vision falls below 20/40, you can come back to our center for a complimentary enhancement. Click here for the full terms and conditions of our Lifetime Guarantee.
Results may vary from surgeon to surgeon and from center to center. Therefore, it is important to ask your surgeon about her experience and results. Results also vary depending on your initial refractive error. With higher amounts of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, results are less predictable and retreatments are more common.
When people first research LASIK, one of the most astonishing facts they come across is how long the correction lasts. Once your eye has stabilized (which is about one month with LASIK and six months with PRK), your correction is permanent. Any additional need for glasses after that will usually be the result of normal aging changes in the lens, which affect all of us.
In the event that you are undercorrected or overcorrected, it is usually possible for us to perform an additional treatment. First, though, your eye must stabilize. Typically, retreatment with LASIK is performed three to six months after the original procedure.
If you were able to wear contact lenses comfortably before LASIK, you should be able to afterwards as well.
Delayed side effects from LASIK are very unlikely, and can be treated in most cases.
Yes. The surgical technique used will not change; however, your lens implant will be selected using different formulas.
No. Unfortunately, LASIK eye surgery does not prevent cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, or any other eye disease. Ophthalmologists term LASIK as “disease neutral:” it does not cause disease, it does not prevent disease, and it does not prevent diseases encountered in the future from being treated.
With LASIK, you can usually drive within one to three days. Most departments of motor vehicles grant unrestricted driving privileges to individuals who possess 20/40 or better vision. Well over 90 percent of our patients who undergo LASIK eye surgery have this level of vision or better within 24 hours of the procedure.
After undergoing LASIK eye surgery, most patients are able to return to work the next day. Keep your calendar clear of unbreakable appointments, just in case you feel the need to rest your eyes during the day. For those who work in a dusty or dirty environment, you may need to wait longer before returning to work.