What is LASIK?
 

Prior to the late 1970s, countless numbers of people were unable to live the lives they wanted due to vision abnormalities. All of this changed with the advent of refractive surgery. With the invention of the excimer laser, patients no longer have to depend upon glasses and contact lenses for vision correction. Refractive surgery is helping people lead more active, carefree lives. For many, Laser in-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) represents the first step toward this goal.

LASIK surgery is a safe, modern procedure that utilizes the precision of the excimer laser to improve vision. How effective is the LASIK procedure? For many patients, LASIK is overwhelmingly successful, allowing many to pass a driver's test without the use of eyeglasses or corrective lenses. In a small number of cases, an additional procedure may need to be performed to fine-tune a patient's eyesight.

Dr Burrell has nearly 20 years of experience with LASIK and has a less then 1% enhancement (redo) rate!


Laser in-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
Harnessing the precision of the excimer laser, the LASIK procedure reshapes the cornea, improving the eye's ability to refract light. Dr. Burrell begins by using the Intralase laser to create the corneal flap. She then folds back its outermost layer. The excimer laser then sends gentle pulses of ultraviolet light to reshape the cornea. This process takes approximately one minute, and is accurate to within .25 microns. The excimer laser beam can be adjusted to account for myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.

Once the cornea has been reshaped, its outermost layer is replaced. Patients usually recover very quickly from a LASIK procedure due to the cornea's extraordinary ability to heal. LASIK is performed on an outpatient basis. The procedure takes minutes to perform. Dr. Burrell insures a comfortable procedure by using eye drops to numb the eye.

Following the procedure, patients may experience some mild discomfort, although this is diminished through medication. The vast majority of patients experience significant improvement in their sight within the first 24 hours. A small percentage of patients may have temporarily blurred or fluctuating vision. Patients can usually return to work and resume their normal activities a day after the surgery.


The Best Candidate

LASIK is ideal for patients past the age of 21 who have healthy eyes and a stable glasses prescription. The LASIK procedure should not be performed on patients who suffer from certain medical conditions, or on pregnant women.


Expectations

The decision to undergo a LASIK procedure is a personal one. Before undergoing LASIK, it is important to know the risks involved, and to have realistic expectations. A LASIK procedure can improve, but not perfect, your vision. Nor does LASIK correct for presbyopia, an aging of the eye that typically requires people to use reading glasses. Many patients past the age of 40 may be required to wear reading glasses once LASIK has been performed. Contact Dr. Burrell for additional information on whether you are a good candidate for the LASIK procedure.


What's The First Step?

The LASIK Coordinator will perform a free consultation to determine your level of refractive error. If your refractive error falls within the parameters considered appropriate for LASIK, more extensive tests will be performed. If it is determined that you are not a candidate, you may still be able to pursue other refractive procedures for vision correction.


Myopia

Myopia, commonly referred to as nearsightedness, is a condition whereby light rays focus in front of the retina, instead of directly on the retina.


Hyperopia

Hyperopia, or farsightedness occurs when the eye is too small or the cornea is too flat. When this happens, visual images are focused behind the retina.


Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a condition in which light rays focus on multiple points of the retina.


LASIK

A surgical procedure that utilizes an excimer laser to reshape the cornea, and more accurately focus light directly upon the retina.