LASIK is the most common form of laser vision correction. It is a rapid, effective way to dramatically improve your vision. It is the most commonly performed elective surgery in the United States. Millions of people worldwide have had Lasik laser vision correction including professional athletes, airplane pilots, military personnel, and medical personnel.
Dr. Yoon also performs Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) a no cutting alternative to Lasik. It is a safer alternative in some patients who are not good Lasik candidates due to thin corneas, dry eye, or asymmetric astigmatism.
Rockford Eye and Laser Center is the first area practice to offer All Laser LASIK which has distinct advantages over a mechanical blade. Dr. Yoon also uses the VISX S4 excimer laser with active tracking to perform all our laser vision surgeries. The VISX S4 laser is a sophisticated state of the art laser. It is the dominant and most widely used excimer laser in the United States. With its incredibly smooth ablations and accuracy, it brings tremendous results and safety. Its pupil tracking system adds another level of safety to the procedure. The tracking system will follow the small movements of your eye so that the laser is continuously aimed in the center of your pupil. We also utilize the latest iDesign aberrometer which is the first and only topography-integrated, wavefront-guided treatment to reduce optical imperfections resulting in superior quality of vision with less risk for glare and haloes and better night vision.
ALL LASER LASIK
Our practice offers all laser, blade-free LASIK for superior safety and the utmost in outcomes.
Some of the advantages of all Laser LASIK:
- Reduced incidence of flap complications
- Greater surgeon choice and control over flap diameter and thickness, side cut angle, hinge position and length
- Increased precision with improved flap safety and better thickness predictability
- Capability of cutting thinner flaps to accommodate thin corneas and high refractive errors
- Lesser incidence of dry eyes
The first Rockford area practice to offer this blade-free option.
Reasons to consider LASIK:
Astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea)
Desire to decrease or eliminate dependence on glasses or contacts
Using an excimer laser, Dr. Yoon re-shapes the cornea (the stationary refractive element at the front of the eye) so that images are focused to the correct spot on the retina (the light receptor of the eye). The success rate with this procedure is excellent, with many patients achieving 20/20 vision or better upon completion.
The LASIK procedure itself involves little or no discomfort (or pain) both during the procedure and through the recovery process. Also, eyesight improvement is almost immediate, and maximum vision is typically achieved within a few days.
During the procedure, Dr. Yoon first administers a local anesthetic via eye drops, so the patient will feel no pain during the surgery. A speculum is then placed over the eye to prevent the patient from blinking. Next, Dr. Yoon creates an extremely thin flap from the outer layer of the cornea, using a femtosecond laser. The flap is folded to the side, and the excimer laser, programmed with the individual map of the patient’s eye, removes excess tissue with quick pulses of concentrated light. This process usually takes less than a minute. Once this is done, Dr. Yoon folds the flap back into place and surgery is complete.
The patient may go home shortly after the procedure; however, someone else must drive or alternate transportation must be arranged. Patients will be asked to get lots of rest on the day of surgery and avoid eye rubbing. There are follow up appointments with Dr. Yoon one day after surgery and periodically over the following weeks and months. Vision should dramatically improve in the first few days following surgery. The patient often may return to work in a day or two, though it is best to take a few days off to ensure a smooth recovery.
PRK uses the same excimer laser as the LASIK procedure to reshape the outer layer of the cornea to correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. However, PRK eye surgery does not involve creating a flap as in the LASIK procedure.
Reasons to consider PRK:
Enhanced safety - simpler procedure, no flap cutting necessary
Cornea too thin for LASIK - Lasik in thin corneas can result in instability of the cornea
Dry eye - PRK produces less post-operative dryness compared to Lasik
Disadvantages of PRK:
slower visual recovery (3-6 days compared to 1 day with Lasik)
higher risk of discomfort or pain (some patients complain of their eye being "sore" after surgery)
not suitable for very high prescriptions
In preparation for patients undergoing PRK surgery, anesthetic eye drops are administered. Next, a speculum is placed in the eye to keep the eyelids open, which is normally not uncomfortable. While the patient fixes his or her gaze on a target, the laser reshapes the cornea by removing tissue (a process called ablation), which is controlled and closely monitored by the doctor. The laser is actually guided by a detailed map of the patient’s eye which has been programmed into a computer beforehand. The ablation usually takes less than a minute for each eye, depending on how high the patient’s vision prescription is. Most patients feel no pain during the procedure. After the procedure is complete, a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye. The patient may go home shortly after the procedure; however, someone else must drive or alternate transportation must be arranged.
The Recovery Process
For PRK recovery, Dr. Yoon may prescribe pain medication for recovery; however, most patients don’t require it since only minor discomfort is experienced. Dr. Yoon will also schedule several check-up appointments to monitor the healing process, followed by periodic visits over the next several months. Visual recovery is slower in PRK when compared to Lasik. It takes about 3-6 days post op for vision to become clear with final stabilization after 2 months.
Custom wavefront technology maps the imperfections of the eye's optical system and uses this information to create customized treatments unique to each eye. This results in decreased optical aberrations compared to conventional treatment.
The advantages of custom wavefront technology versus conventional treatment are:
- improved accuracy (higher percentage of eyes achieve 20/20 vision or better)
- superior quality of vision (increased contrast sensitivity)
- better night vision
- less risk for glare and haloes
- better for patients with large pupils
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!