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What to Expect During the Procedure
- Your eye is anesthetized with eye drops and you are positioned under the INTRALASE laser. A small suction ring is placed on the surface of your eye and the laser is “docked” with that ring. (You feel pressure on your eye.) You do not normally see, feel, or hear anything during this 30 second laser treatment. Both eyes are treated and then…
You will then be positioned under the second laser. An instrument (lid speculum) will be used to hold your eye open for you – you cannot blink! A mark will be made on the surface of your cornea and the flap created by the INTRALASE Laser will be retracted. You will be asked to stare directly at a blinking red light.
The tracker will be engaged. (The tracker keeps the laser in focus should you move your eye or your head inadvertently.)
Laser reshaping normally takes between 5 and 30 seconds. The laser is invisible so you cannot see or feel the laser treatment.
Once the laser treatment is complete and the flap is repositioned it usually takes less than one minute for the flap to become tightly adherent to the eye so that it will not move.
THE ENTIRE PROCESS NORMALLY TAKES LESS THAN 10 MINUTES!
What was LASIK before custom laser treatments?
Standard laser vision correction remains an excellent option for reducing or eliminating the need for glasses. The standard laser reshaping of the cornea can reduce nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism. In standard laser vision correction procedure we determine
how many layers of cornea need to be removed. The
laser then removes one layer at a time until we reach the layer where the nearsightedness is longer present. A similar process is used to correct farsightedness and astigmatism.
What "standard" vision correction can’t do.
Again, standard laser vision correction allows us to program the laser to remove one layer of cornea at time until we reach the layer where the nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism is no longer present. It does not make adjustments for individual surface abnormalities. Sometimes the final surface layer left after the laser has finished its’ work does not match the “ideal” template shape. In this case, while the near-sightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism is reduced or eliminated, the vision is still not quite as good as it could have been. In other words, in standard laser vision correction, if the shape of your cornea is slightly different (irregular) from the "perfect template shape", the laser will re-create this same irregularity in your re-shaped cornea!
How is Custom LASIK Different?
Customized laser vision correction does not use “templates” to reshape your cornea. Prior to your laser treatment we create a detailed, computerized image of the true shape of your cornea. We then upload this computerized image into our laser. The laser will then recognize slight irregularities in the shape of YOUR cornea and make the appropriate adjustments. In other words, the laser can “customize” your laser vision surgery to reduce or eliminate the way that your cornea may differ from the “perfect shape”.
In Custom LASIK, if the shape of your cornea is irregular, the laser may correct the final shape to approach that of the “perfect shape”.
Quantity vs. Quality of Vision
You are familiar with the standard Snellen Eye Chart — your doctor gets you to read lines of letters that get progressively smaller. If you can identify the small letters on the 20/20 line from 20 feet away, you've scored 20/20 on the test. But does that mean you have excellent vision? Not if you aren't seeing those letters crisp and clear.
Lower and Higher Order Aberrations
The visual distortions caused by nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are called "lower order aberrations" and account for 85-90% of the overall quality of your vision. Standard laser vision correction, glasses and contacts can only correct these visual distortions.
Higher order aberrations are those imperfections in the eye's optical system that may affect the clarity of your vision. These aberrations can cause glare, shadows, halos and other annoying visual effects.
Unless these higher order aberrations are addressed along with the lower order aberrations, the quality of your vision may not be ideal, even if you have measurable vision of 20/20.
With the advanced technology of Customized Laser Treatment, it's possible to measure and address both lower and higher order aberrations. Customized LASIK may deliver results better than conventional laser vision correction in some patients!
Prior to your laser treatment, a detailed map of your cornea will be made and, computerized refractions will be taken,. These measurements will be rechecked both manually and via other devices prior to your information being uploaded into the laser.
DO CUSTOMIZED TREATMENTS MAKE THAT BIG A DIFFERENCE?
At AAPECS Eye Care we have performed, and we continue to perform “standard” laser treatments with excellent results. In a small percentage of patients customized laser treatments may give slightly better results. At AAPECS Eye Care we perform customized laser treatments on all patients for whom we feel it will make a significant difference – AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE!
* Short note explanation on I-Lasik