Maybe it’s time for LASIK
The benefits of LASIK surgery can be substantial. Imagine seeing clearly each morning — without reaching for your eyeglasses or putting in your contact lenses. And if you live an active lifestyle, LASIK surgery can keep you on the go without the interference of eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Unless you choose to be co-managed by your current eye doctor, Dr. Kathy Fethke will be the one performing not only your surgery but your pre-operative and post-operative care. This distinguishes her from many refractive surgeons who see patients for the first and only time on the day of surgery. In addition, Dr. Fethke’s patients are provided with her personal number to call with any concerns after the procedure. Dr. Fethke prides herself in providing exceptional, personalized care to each and every patient.
Intralase: a blade-free LASIK experience
Intermountain Eye Centers are proud to offer an advanced approach to LASIK. The Intralase Method provides a LASIK procedure that’s 100 percent blade-free. This exceptionally advanced method has been shown to improve outcomes for more patients.
The method allows our doctors to create an individualized LASIK flap without a blade ever touching your eye. Patients may experience faster recovery and fewer complications. Millions of procedures have been performed safely and effectively using the Intralase Method.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What is LASIK?
For over 25 years doctors placed incisions in the cornea to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. In the early 1980s they began looking at lasers to improve the precision and predictability of altering the shape of the cornea. Researchers found that the excimer laser could remove tissue with up to 0.25 microns of accuracy. Now, in its second decade of use, the technologically advanced excimer laser has added a tremendous amount of precision, control and safety to the surgical correction of vision errors. Using this remarkable technology, the cornea is reshaped to conform to your glasses or contact lens prescription, thereby reducing or even eliminating a lifetime of dependence on corrective lenses for hundreds of thousands of Americans every year.
LASIK, or Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis, offers a number of benefits compared to other forms of laser vision correction because it is performed under a protective layer of corneal tissue. As a result, there is less surface area to heal, less risk of scarring, less risk of corneal haze, less postoperative discomfort and less postoperative need for medications. Also, vision returns more rapidly, often within a day or so. In addition, LASIK can treat a higher range of vision errors. Although postoperative results vary, most patients are able to pass a driver’s license test without their glasses or contact lenses.
After your eye has been completely numbed using “eye drop” anesthesia, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to prevent you from blinking.
Next, an instrument known as a microkeratome makes a protective flap in the cornea. During this process you may feel a little pressure, but no discomfort. You will be asked to look directly at a target light while the laser reshapes the cornea, usually in less than a minute. Then, the protective flap is folded back in place where it bonds securely without the need of stitches. After LASIK, some patient report a slight discomfort that usually goes away within 12 to 24 hours.
HOW IT WORKS
To treat nearsightedness, the cornea must be made flatter. This is accomplished by removing tissue from the center of the cornea.
To treat farsightedness, the central cornea must be made steeper. This is accomplished by directing the laser beam to remove tissue from around this area.
To treat astigmatism, the cornea must be made more spherical. By changing the pattern of the beam, tissue is removed in one direction more than the other.
- What is custom LASIK?
Looking for a higher level of customization for your LASIK surgery?
CUSTOM LASIK MIGHT BE YOUR BEST OPTION
For many patients looking to regain their personal freedom and escape the hassles and irritation of glasses and contacts, LASIK might be the answer you’re looking for. This includes those with normal prescriptions or those with severe degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. For others, a more advanced and personalized LASIK procedure is now available. Custom LASIK, the gold standard in laser vision correction, allows your surgeon to increase the treatment range to include higher-order aberrations and gives you a truly customized procedure for your individual eyes.
ABOUT CUSTOM LASIK
The actual custom LASIK procedure is almost identical to conventional LASIK. However, custom LASIK uses wavefront technology that improves the performance and quality of your individualized vision correction. A wavefront analyzer is able to generate a 3D map of your entire optical system that gives your surgeon a highly detailed view of your individual eye. The wavefront analyzer used in custom LASIK makes the procedure as much as 25 times more precise than conventional LASIK. Studies have shown this precise level of customization allows the patient to experience better vision than is possible with glasses or contacts, reduces the change of night-vision disturbances and glare, and gives the patient a greater chance of achieving 20/20 vision.
DURING THE PROCEDURE
Your surgeon will use the wavefront analyzer to gently reflect light off your retina to capture the unique optical map of your eye. This information is then electronically transferred to the laser to enhance your treatment. Once this information is collected, anesthetic drops are applied and a flap is created on the surface of your eye. Cool laser light is then applied to the inner corneal layer, reshaping irregularities within the eye. The surgeon then aligns and closes the flap allowing for the healing process to begin. The entire procedure lasts approximately 30 minutes.
- Am I a candidate for LASIK?
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
In general, the ideal candidate for LASIK is over 18 years of age and has healthy corneas. Candidates must not have had a significant increase in their prescription in the last 12 months. People with certain medical conditions or women who are pregnant may not be good candidates for LASIK.
The decision to have LASIK is an important one, and one that ultimately only you can make. It is important that you have realistic expectations and that your decision is based on facts, not hopes or misconceptions. The goal of LASIK is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. LASIK does not always create 20/20 or even 20/40 vision. It cannot correct a condition known as presbyopia, or aging of the eye. This normally occurs around age 40 and may require the use of reading glasses. In fact, people over 40 who have their distance vision improved with LASIK, may find they need reading glasses after the procedure. Your doctor will provide you with additional information that will allow you to make an informed decision.
IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE
It takes only seconds to treat a lifetime of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Find out if you are a candidate for this life-changing procedure by calling your eye doctor to schedule a personal consultation. Should your vision fall within the range of correction for LASIK, more comprehensive tests may be necessary.
Schedule a free consultation to see if LASIK is right for you!
- What is PRK?
What if you don’t qualify for LASIK?
Are you looking for a safe alternative?
PRK MIGHT BE YOUR BEST SURGERY OPTION
PRK is a surface treatment option that may be the preferred vision correction for patients with thin corneas or other corneal irregularities. It’s also recommended for those who live an active lifestyle or have a particularly demanding profession, such as a policeman or firefighter. Why? Because PRK corrects visual errors without creating a flap as seen in LASIK, lessening the risk of complications for certain individuals. The FDA has approved the procedure as safe and effective and is recommended for people suffering from nearsightedness and farsightedness.
PRK is performed with an excimer laser that uses a cool, ultraviolet light beam to precisely remove tiny pieces of tissue from the surface of the cornea in order to reshape it. By reshaping the cornea, light is properly focused into the eye and onto the retina, providing clearer vision than before. Patients also have the option to choose custom PRK, an advanced technology that allows the surgeon to fully customize the PRK procedure to your individual eye.
DURING THE PROCEDURE
Your eyes will be anesthetized with special drops. The surgeon will use a computer-guided laser to reshape the surface of your cornea to reach your desired prescription. A target light is also used to make sure your eye remains in the correct position while the laser carefully removes tissue. The entire procedure lasts only a few minutes.
AFTER THE PROCEDURE
PRK is an effective procedure and studies have shown it to produce the same visual acuity outcomes as LASIK after allowing for a slightly longer healing time. Also, some studies believe the procedure allows for increased contrast sensitivity, less dry eye and better custom treatment results versus LASIK. PRK is considered the first “bladeless LASIK” procedure. Some discomfort can occur during the initial healing period, but eye drops and a temporary contact lens will significantly reduce this. In fact, many patients are able to return to work and driving within one to three days of the procedure.
Schedule a free consultation to see if PRK is right for you!
- What is monovision?
Do you want to see far away and read with less reliance on glasses?
MONOVISION MIGHT BE YOUR BEST SURGERY OPTION
One choice for refractive surgery is Monovision, which is surgically correcting one eye for distance vision and the other for viewing near objects. This option is primarily for patients who are at least 40 years old, who need corrective lenses for distant vision and have difficulty seeing well enough with their distance correction lenses in place to read.
First, it is important to understand that the need for reading glasses is caused by presbyopia, which is when the lens inside your eye has trouble focusing from far to near vision with your distance correction lens in place. The younger a patient is, the easier it is for the lens to focus. As we enter our early 40s, most of us develop presbyopia as our lenses lose flexibility.
There is currently no laser treatment specifically for presbyopia in the United States. However, the Monovision option may provide the ability to see far away and read up close without dependency on reading glasses (but you may want to use them as an aid occasionally).
HOW DOES MONOVISION WORK?
In a typical non-Monovision LASIK procedure, the surgeon wants distance vision as close to perfect as possible in both eyes. In a Monovision case, the physician intentionally corrects the non-dominant eye for near vision, while correcting the dominant eye as close to perfect for distance vision as possible.
The result is that the patient uses the dominant eye mostly for distance and the non-dominant eye mostly for close-up vision. When both eyes work together, the brain naturally selects the clearer vision, and Monovision makes it possible to repeatedly change the range of focus without constantly having to remove or add corrective lenses.
For some patients, there is an initial adjustment period to get used to this new vision. Others adjust immediately. Prior to surgery we recommend that you use contact lenses to stimulate Monovision.
Schedule a free consultation to see if Monovision is right for you!