LASIK is by far the most commonly done refractive procedure.  It was originally developed for those patients with extreme amounts of nearsightedness, but has now become the preferred procedure for most people.  It produces much better results than previous refractive surgery methods did.

Most patients after LASIK see well enough to function without glasses or contact lenses much of the time. About 90% see 20/40 or better and 50% see 20/20. Some people still need glasses when critical vision like night time driving is required.

Dr. Steensma works very closely with the best LASIK surgeons in the county. He will provide much of the pre-surgical and post-surgical care. Optometric participation is beneficial for the patient, the optometrist and the surgeon. For the patient, continuity of care is maintained and eye care becomes more convenient and accessible. Co-management affords Dr. Steensma the opportunity to maintain his role as primary eye care provider during and after the procedure. He will do the pre-op exam and provide follow-up care for one year after the surgery. The surgeon is allowed to work at his highest skill level doing surgery, not doing follow up visits.

Preferred LASIK Surgeons:

  • Paul Dougherty, M.D.
  • John Davidson. M.D.

The LASIK procedure:

You will be awake and alert during the entire procedure.  Drops are used in your eyes so you don't feel any pain or discomfort.  A very thin flap of cornea is created, and when the flap is folded back a laser is used to remove a microscopic amount of tissue. Then the flap is returned to its original position. The procedure only takes a few minutes.  The laser reshapes the central part of the cornea with an ultraviolet laser. The laser used is called an Excimer laser.  What happens is closely bound molecules in a high energy state are subjected to an electrical discharge in a laser cavity producing a beam of ultraviolet light. The UV beam destroys the molecular bonds of the corneal tissue destroying tissue. The tissue destroyed is less than a hair thickness. There is very little heat created in adjacent tissue so the device is very precise.  When the cornea changes shape the light entering the eye is properly focused on the retina resulting in clearer vision.

Bladeless Custom LASIK

In the past, the corneal flap was created with a blade.  Now it's done with a Femtosecond laser.

Faster Visual Recovery – small bubble technology with overlapping bubbles creates a very smooth surface resulting in quicker recovery of vision and better quality of vision in a shorter period of time.

Shorter procedure time – the Ziemer laser delivers 5 million pulses per second compared to 60,000 to 200,000 pulses with all the other Femtosecond lasers – the procedure is at least 3 times faster making it much more comfortable.

Safer – the energy per pulse delivered is less than 10% of that of other Femtosecond lasers. This results in reduced discomfort and essentially no associated inflammation and light sensitivity. Also no chance of bubbles inside the eye and no problems with scars in the cornea.

More Precise – allowing surgeon to create thin flaps with confidence which is helpful in patients with high corrections and thin corneas.

Less chance of Dry Eyes – since the Femto LDV Ziemer  is a gentler laser with less energy, the chances of dry eyes are reduced.

After the procedure:

Almost everyone experiences a dramatic improvement in vision, often as soon as the next day. Prescription eye drops are used for 4-5 days after surgery. Vision is normally blurry for the first 6 hours.  There will be mild foreign body sensation for 1 to 2 days. There will be mild tearing, light sensitivity  for 1 to 2 days.  There will be dry eye sensations for about a month.  There will be minimal visual fluctuation and halos around lights at night for the first month.  In  some cases an enhancement procedure needs to be done for better vision. This decision is usually made at the 3 month follow-up.

The contraindications for LASIK are:

  • Any significant auto-immune disease
  • Uncontrolled vascular disease such as diabetes
  • Pregnant women or nursing women
  • Corneal disease
  • Patients with a history of keloid formation
  • Patients with a history of herpes eye infections
  • Patients with only one eye

LASIK costs:

LASIK surgery costs will vary based on your prescription, medical conditionsand the type of laser technology that the surgeon will recommend for you. There are various payment plans available.  Also, Care Credit can arrange low cost financing of the procedure.

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