As with all new technologies, there have been significant innovations since the technique was first introduced. Initially, LVC was promoted as a procedure that produced results about as good as glasses or contacts. Now, as technology and surgeons' skills have improved, some outcomes are as good as - and sometimes better than -- glasses.
Patients with low to moderate near- or farsighted vision achieve the best results. The procedure also may be used to correct astigmatism, although the type and degree of the condition may affect the outcome. While LASIK reshapes the cornea, it does not affect the lens of the eye, which is crucial for near vision. Therefore, if you currently use bifocals or reading glasses, you will still need them following LVC.
To help achieve maximum visual results, schedule a minimum of four follow- up appointments after your surgery. These exams should occur:
Discomfort varies depending on the procedure. You will not experience discomfort or pain during the procedure itself. After surgery, less than one patient in ten has pain, which is treated with medication for 24 to 48 hours. Most patients experience minor irritation, light sensitivity and watering of their eyes for a few days. There is typically less chance of discomfort with LASIK than with PRK.
Laser vision correction (LVC), also known as refractive surgery, refers to laser surgical techniques that modify the shape of the cornea to improve vision. LVC offers safe correction of many common vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
Post operative follow-up visits are critical to achieve an optimal LVC experience. Integrated Eyecare performs the following essential services:
During LVC, the refractive surgeon uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea, the front surface of the eye. Pulses of cool ultraviolet light remodel the tissue to match the prescription of your glasses or contact lenses. The two most common refractive procedures are laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).
Some people's corneas are too thin to tolerate the procedure well; after surgery not enough tissue remains. Early results from FDA trials indicated that a thin post-operative cornea causes serious postoperative complications. Integrated Eyecare uses a corneal pachymeter to measure thickness.
Clinical studies are beginning to demonstrate that LVC has not increased, or reduced, the risk of eye disease. At the same time, consumer behavior research indicates that most people associate good eyesight with good eye health. Since vision is expected to improve following LVC, patients are not as motivated to consult with a professional for regular eye exams. Don't neglect this important aspect of your health.
Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, will delay proper corneal healing. In addition, LVC is not recommended for patients with a history of herpes in the eye, since the laser procedure can exacerbate a reoccurrence
Symptoms you may experience include:
Although Integrated Eyecare does not perform the surgery, we help evaluate and prepare patients for LVC, as well as provide follow-up care. We have offered these services since the FDA approved the procedure in 1995.
Following LVC, annual exams are a crucial to maintain your overall eye health:
While many individuals are excellent laser vision correction (LVC) candidates, some do not meet generally accepted medical criteria. A thorough pre-operative examination is required to determine eligibility.
The optimal candidate:
Has reasonable expectationsLess-than-ideal candidates include those with:
Expectations that no further enhancement will be requiredYou would not be a candidate if you currently have any of the following conditions:
Another important issue concerns presbyopia, an age-related condition that diminishes the eyes' ability to focus on close objects. If you are age 40 or older, it is likely that you will need reading glasses relatively soon after the procedure. While LVC changes the shape of the eye's surface, presbyopia causes a normal loss of lens flexibility inside of the eye, diminishing your near-focusing ability. LVC does not change or prevent this condition. Please consider this carefully when determining whether to pursue surgical vision correction.
Before laser vision correction (LVC), the cornea must be carefully evaluated. Among the important factors we consider:
Chronic dry eye is not an absolute contraindication, but it must be aggressively addressed pre- and post-operatively so that proper healing is not delayed. If subtle corneal degenerations or "map dot dystrophy" exists, surgery is not recommended.
If a cornea's shape is too irregular, a patient will be disqualified for LASIK surgery. The condition, known as keratoconus, refers to a cone-shaped or very steep cornea. A certain amount of irregularity is acceptable, such as mild to moderate astigmatism. Integrated Eyecare examines your cornea with a corneal topographer to make sure you qualify.
Patients with significantly flat corneas are universally disappointed because of persistent vision distortion and blurring. We use the corneal topographer to ensure your cornea falls within an acceptable curvature range.
One of the most critical components of your pre-surgical care is to confirm that your cornea is stable. If you have worn or are currently wearing contact lenses, we look for subtle "warping" of the cornea. Each eye must be carefully and repeatedly measured to ensure that corneal shape and refraction has stabilized and is not continuing to change after discontinued contact lens use. While "rules of thumb" exist, indicating how long a patient should go without using contact lenses before surgery, our experience demonstrates that these guidelines might be off base if you desire exceptional surgical results.
For patients considering laser vision correction (LVC), Integrated Eyecare provides independent outcome assessment. Our training and expertise will help guide you in determining whether laser surgery is right for you. If you select LVC, we will serve as your professional advocate throughout the entire refractive surgery process.
Consider these advantages:
The clinical outcomes of patients of our LVC processes far exceed national averages because we take extra time and measures. We are the preferred provider for many nationally recognized LVC centers and surgeons due to our commitment to the highest level of care. As your professional advocate throughout the LVC process, your surgeon knows that we will carefully evaluate his or her work and expect optimal results.
If glasses or contact lenses interfere with your work or recreational activities, you may want to consider laser vision correction. As with all elective surgeries, you should make an informed decision, weighing the benefits, disadvantages and potential risks. Integrated Eyecare is an excellent resource to help you determine whether you are a good candidate. Click here for more information on what makes a good LVC candidate.
Individualized, in-depth consultation about laser vision correction (LVC) and other vision correction alternatives.
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There are some risks associated with all surgical procedures, including LVC. These may include pain or discomfort, night glare, regression, scarring, under- or overcorrection of vision and infection. Other risks include loss of best-corrected vision, which occurs in about one percent of patients.
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