Laser Eye Surgery Specialists
Serving Fairfield, Stamford and Meriden
Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut offers LASIK eye surgery for patients who wish to reduce or completely eliminate their dependence on corrective eyewear. LASIK is a type of refractive procedure in which a surgical laser (excimer laser) is used to reshape the curvature of the stroma (middle layer of the cornea) to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Millions of people have undergone LASIK surgery and are thrilled to enjoy clear vision without the annoyance of eyeglasses or contact lenses.
LASIK vs. Contact Lens Wear
The Connecticut LASIK surgeons of OCC use only the most advanced laser technology, so we can provide customized vision correction treatment and exceptionally accurate visual results. For this reason, LASIK surgery does require an upfront fee. However, when compared to the lifetime cost and inconvenience of wearing contact lenses, LASIK surgery is a worthy investment.
Imagine your life without a daily dependence on contact lens use. With LASIK surgery, this could be a reality. You could run, hike or swim without having to worry about your contact lenses getting dusty or falling out. You could say goodbye to the dry eyes and irritation often caused by contact lens use. You could take an exotic vacation without having to pack multiple contact lens cases and cleaning solution. You could gain the freedom that LASIK surgery provides.
LASIK Eye Surgery: The Procedure Made Simple
LASIK surgery is performed under anesthetic eye drops to decrease the sensitivity of the cornea and eliminate any discomfort associated with the procedure. A lid speculum is used to hold the eyelids open.
LASIK surgery begins with the creation of a corneal flap, a thin piece of tissue that is lifted from the surface of the eye. The flap remains attached to the cornea through a small portion of uncut tissue, so that it can be placed back after the procedure. At OCC, the corneal flap is created with a femtosecond IntraLase laser, thereby eliminating possible complications associated with a hand-held surgical blade called microkeratome. The corneal flap allows the surgeon to access the middle layer of the cornea for laser reshaping.
Next, computer-programmed, high energy pulses are administered to the eye via the excimer laser. The energy emitted from the laser gently vaporizes microscopic amounts of corneal tissue, enabling it to focus light more accurately. This step usually lasts less than one minute for each eye. Finally, the corneal flap is placed back into its original position where it naturally seals to the surface of the eye without the need for stitches.
LASIK surgery is an outpatient procedure with minimal postoperative recovery.
Good News for Patients Who Are Not Eligible for LASIK
Perhaps you have been told that you are not a suitable candidate for LASIK surgery, due to your thin corneas that cannot withstand the creation of a corneal flap. If this is the case, we have good news for you! You might be an appropriate candidate for an alternative vision correction procedure: photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK.
Although PRK is LASIK’s predecessor, it produces the same visual results as LASIK. PRK is similar to LASIK in that, during PRK, the laser eye surgeon re-shapes the curvature of the cornea to correct the refractive error causing nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. The difference between the two procedures is that, with PRK, the surgeon ablates the front surface of the cornea instead of creating a hinged flap in it, in order to gain access to the underlying corneal tissue and re-contour it.
The recovery period following PRK is slightly longer than with LASIK. It generally takes about four to five days to recover from PRK, as this is how long it takes for the body to regenerate the epithelial cells that comprise the surface of the cornea. Following the recovery period, PRK patients enjoy the same dramatic improvement in their vision as LASIK patients.
Life After LASIK
Our Connecticut LASIK patients generally remark that life after LASIK is more enjoyable than before the procedure. Often, they are able to reduce or even eliminate their reliance on prescription eyewear. Our LASIK patients can see the alarm clock without having to fumble for glasses. They can read distant street signs while driving without squinting their eyes or asking their passengers for help. Best of all, they can engage in their favorite activities — watching a movie, swimming, hiking, running, riding their bicycles or playing contact sports — without worrying about pesky glasses or contact lenses. Following LASIK surgery, individuals see the world more vividly and experience an improved quality of life, thanks to their newly restored vision.
For more information on LASIK eye surgery, please read our frequently asked questions section below or contact us today to schedule your vision correction consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
- I’ve heard a lot of great things about LASIK. What can LASIK do for me?
- Am I a Candidate for LASIK Surgery
- I have heard about CustomLASIK. What is this procedure?
- What is the difference between Conventional LASIK and CustomLASIK?
- Is the actual LASIK part performed the same way? Or is CustomLASIK a completely different procedure?
- How will I know which procedure I need to have?
- What do I need to know about different laser technologies?
- Who will my doctors be and what will they do?
- Will the procedure hurt?
- What are the risks?
- What will my recovery be like?
I’ve hear a lot of great things about LASIK. What can LASIK do for me?
LASIK eye surgery can help you achieve clearer vision at various distances. Although the intensity of improvement varies among individuals, most patients with mild to moderate refractive errors achieve 20/20 vision and are able to eliminate their need for spectacles. Individuals with extremely poor vision are generally within one to two lines of 20/20 vision on the eye chart postoperatively. Still others are able to achieve better than 20/20 vision. In any case, LASIK eye surgery offers you the freedom to participate in an active lifestyle and perform your day-to-day routine without having to worry about glasses or contact lenses. However, it is important to note that as you age you may develop presbyopia, a common age-related loss of reading vision, which will require reading glasses.
At OCC, we offer the enhanced version of LASIK called CustomLASIK. This procedure focuses on both quantity and quality of vision, meaning that it not only improves what you can see but how well you can see it. In addition, CustomLASIK corrects higher order aberrations, unique imperfections in each eye, thereby resulting in better postoperative vision, including night vision.
Your LASIK consultation with one of our ophthalmologists will help determine the probable outcome of your vision correction procedure. Because our doctors have successfully performed tens of thousands of LASIK procedures, we are able to gain a deeper understanding from past results, which are shared among the eye surgeons in our network, to continuously improve our techniques and technologies, thereby ensuring optimal vision correction outcomes.
Am I a Candidate for LASIK Surgery?
If you’re sick of fumbling with eyeglasses or living with the limitations of contact lenses, you might be seriously considering having LASIK surgery. But how do you know if you’re a good candidate? To be eligible for LASIK surgery, a person should meet the following criteria:
- At least 18 years of age
- No serious medical conditions (such as diabetes)
- No eye diseases or corneal conditions
- Not nursing or pregnant
- Orneal thickness of at least 0.5 mm (a measurement determined by an eye doctor/LASIK surgeon)
- Vision has remained unchanged for at least one year prior to surgery
Your Consultation — What to Expect
Before undergoing the LASIK procedure, you will have a personal consultation with one of our ophthalmologists in order to evaluate you for candidacy. They will also perform a comprehensive eye exam at this time (if not performed prior to the consultation) and take measurements of your eye structure. The doctor will then discuss with you your medical history, asking about any existing medical conditions (eye or otherwise) as well as any medications you are taking.
If you are considered to be a good candidate for surgery, the doctor will then help you to determine which procedure will be the most effective treatment for your vision care needs. This discussion will also include a conversation about what results you can reasonably expect from your LASIK procedure.
During your one-on-one consultation with an OCC eye doctor, they will discuss with you the LASIK treatment options available to you and provide the cost of each treatment. At this time, they will also explain each step of the LASIK procedure that you are considering, including any pre- and post-surgery instructions. The consultation is the perfect time for you to ask questions; feel free to use this time to open up and discuss with your doctor any concerns you may have regarding the LASIK procedure.
The Day of Surgery — What to Expect
LASIK is an outpatient procedure. You will need to have someone drive you to and from the office, as you will not be able to drive immediately following surgery. The day of surgery, your face will need to be free of cosmetics, creams and lotions. At the start of the LASIK procedure, your eye surgeon will numb your eyes using anesthetic eye drops. The procedure itself takes about 20 minutes or less, during which you will lie on your back while the surgeon uses an excimer laser to create a small flap in each cornea (the transparent front layer of the eye’s surface). Through this flap, the surgeon will use a laser to reshape the cornea to a shape that will allow clearer vision. There is little downtime and discomfort after the procedure, though your eyes may feel dry and slightly irritated for a short while. It is important to rest your eyes after you get home, as laying down with your eyes closed or taking a nap will help advance the healing process. You can expect to return to your normal daily activities (such as driving and going to work) as early as the next day.
I have heard about CustomLASIK. What is this procedure?
CustomLASIK is an enhanced version of conventional LASIK that allows us to customize your vision correction treatment. CustomLASIK delivers optimal vision correction outcomes and allows you to obtain your best vision possible.
What is the difference between Conventional LASIK and CustomLASIK?
CustomLASIK utilizes a leading-edge diagnostic tool called the wavefront analyzer, which detects and maps higher order aberrations, subtle refractive errors unique to each eye. This three-dimensional map is then programmed into the surgical laser for precise vision correction. Higher order aberrations have been linked to visual glare and halos and cannot be corrected with any other type of LASIK, including conventional LASIK. However, because higher order aberrations account for just about 10 percent of optical errors in the eye, patients are still able to achieve excellent vision with conventional LASIK. Your OCC eye doctor can help you determine whether CustomLASIK or conventional LASIK is best for you.
Is the actual LASIK part performed the same way? Or is CustomLASIK a completely different procedure?
The actual surgery (corneal reshaping) in conventional LASIK is performed exactly the same way as in CustomLASIK. The only difference between the two procedures is the preoperative analysis of your refractive errors. The wavefront analyzer in CustomLASIK offers a much more complex correction pattern, thereby allowing our surgeons to correct for both common refractive errors and higher order aberrations.
How will I know which procedure I need to have?
Your OCC eye doctor is the best person to ask. Because each eye is unique, CustomLASIK may be a required procedure for some and an elective treatment for others. During your LASIK consultation, you and your doctor will discuss both treatment options and cover other important details, such as the cost of CustomLASIK versus conventional LASIK.
What do I need to know about different laser technologies?
OCC eye doctors have access to the most advanced lasers and diagnostic technology available today. All of our equipment is approved by the FDA. The technology that will be used during your procedure is determined based on your prescription and the anatomy of your eyes. During your consultation, your OCC eye surgeon will educate you on the technology he or she will use to improve your vision.
Who will my doctors be and what will they do?
Generally, two doctors are involved in your vision correction care. This includes your own eye doctor, who will provide you with pre- and postoperative care, and an OCC-affiliated eye surgeon, who will perform your LASIK procedure. If you do not have an eye doctor, we will be happy to provide you with one. It is important to note that although our eye surgeons are highly skilled in performing vision correction procedures, proper pre- and postoperative care is essential to the success of the procedure. Therefore, it is extremely important to have a qualified general eye doctor who is familiar with your eyes and your general health.
Will the procedure hurt?
LASIK eye surgery can be mildly uncomfortable for some patients. In addition to talking to our doctors and office staff, you may wish to speak with former LASIK patients and find out about their experiences so you can gain a deeper understanding of what to expect. LASIK is performed under topical anesthesia and a mild sedative, so you will not feel any pain during surgery. Following LASIK, you may experience minimal irritation and dry eye, for which you will receive eye drops. We strongly recommend that you take a nap after LASIK to rest your eyes. Most patients feel quite good after getting some rest.
What are the risks?
According to clinical studies, complications arising from LASIK are extremely rare. Millions of people have undergone the procedure without any problems.
On rare occasions, LASIK complications may include dry eye, complications with the corneal flap, poor night vision and over- or under-correction. At OCC, we make sure to discuss all of the potential risks with you prior to the operation. To ensure your safety, you are advised to receive LASIK under the care of an experienced eye surgeon with an excellent track record of minimal patient complications. In fact, this is one of the advantages of undergoing the procedure at OCC. Our surgeons are some of the most skilled in the region and strive to provide each patient with quality medical care that focuses on safety and optimal surgical outcomes.
What will my recovery be like?
Individuals who undergo LASIK at OCC are usually able to achieve improved vision within 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. You may resume your day-to-day activities at this time. Patients with severe refractive errors may recover more slowly. Just like with any procedure, some patients may recover more quickly than others. In general, our OCC LASIK patients notice dramatic visual improvements within a few days.
Please contact us today to schedule your LASIK consultation.