Laser Vision Correction

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Who can benefit from Laser Vision Correction (LVC)?
Persons with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism may achieve vision correction through LVC procedures. Almost any amount of myopia, and moderate amounts of hyperopia and astigmatism, can be corrected.

Am I a candidate for LVC?
Possibly. A thorough evaluation by an optometrist or ophthalmologist is necessary to determine your suitability. Careful assessment of your overall eye health must be performed before any decision can be made regarding your treatment.

What does the laser do?
FDA approved Excimer laser is used to re-shape the cornea to achieve vision correction. The curvature of the central cornea is made flatter to correct nearsightedness. To correct farsightedness, the curvature is increased, or made steeper. For astigmatism, the curvature is made more uniform in all directions. The re-shaping is accomplished by focusing the energy of the laser to remove very small amounts of tissue from the cornea.

What is LASIK?
Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is the procedure representing the latest technology to correct refractive errors. LASIK combines the precision of the Excimer laser with a quicker return to normal activities. In light of the accuracy and quicker recovery, LASIK has become the preferred procedure in most cases. In performing LASIK, the surgeon creates a hinged flap by folding back a thin layer of the superficial cornea. The corneal tissue beneath the flap is then reshaped using the high energy pulses of the Excimer laser. The flap is then folded back in place and heals without the need for sutures.

Does it hurt?
To the surprise (and relief) of most patients, minimal discomfort occurs. Patients are awake and alert during the procedure. Typically, anesthetic eye drops are all that is required to avoid discomfort. The entire procedure usually takes just 10 to 15 minutes.

When can I go back to work?
Most often, patients can return to work the following day.

Will I ever need eyeglasses again?
No one can guarantee that you will never need to wear eyeglasses again. Most patients are able to function well for distance vision tasks without correction following LASIK. Patients can expect to reduce their dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses, if not eliminate them entirely. Patients affected by presbyopia-the age related decrease in your ability to focus at near distances-may still require eyeglasses for reading. Your eye care professional will assist in realizing your expectations.


Some of the newer lasers for LASIK these days feature a narrow beam that moves around the cornea in a manner designed to produce a smooth and precise tissue ablation. Many doctors who have used these so-called "flying-spot" lasers are pleased with the results they are getting.

A flying-spot (or scanning-spot) excimer laser uses a 0.8mm to 2.0mm beam vs. the broader 6mm beams of other lasers and have won FDA approval for this type of laser. A smaller spot enables the doctor to place the spots exactly where needed to tailor the treatment and be more refined.

LADAR tracking technology is a way for the laser to track small eye movements. These are called saccadic (pron: SEKADIC) eye movements. The eye tracker uses a small laser beam to maintain alignment to ensure exact placement of the treatment.

Is this new laser better than the current laser (VISX)?
This new laser may not be the right laser for everyone, but it provides a new option for many patients. The standard lasers can treat over 85 -90% of cases. This new laser allows an expansion of the range of patients, allowing another 5 - 10% of patients, to be treated.

What conditions can be treated with the new laser that can't be with the VISX Laser?
This new laser will allow surgeons an option of treating some patients with larger pupils.

Should I be treated with the Autonomous laser or the VISX laser?
This is an excellent question. The doctor will decide on what would be the best option for you at the time of your consultation. As the surgeon evaluates the cases, the surgeon will have the option to select what laser will be better suited to treat each patient's particular prescription.

How does this laser compare with the VISX laser?
This laser utilizes a small beam or "spot" beam to treat the cornea while the Visx uses a "broad" beam. This allows for treatment with increased accuracy of certain prescriptions.

Does the FDA approve this new laser?
Yes! This laser is approved to treat myopia up to -10.00 and astigmatism up to -4.00. In addition this laser was approved on September 22, 2000 to treat hyperopia or farsightedness, with and without astigmatism. (Hyperopia up to +6.00 diopters, and Hyperopia up to +6.00diopters with 6.00 diopters of astigmatism. Lastly it was also approved for mixed astigmatism.)

If I had treatment on the VISX Laser can I have an enhancement with the new laser?

Probably, but this needs to be determined by your doctor. There may be some circumstances that may not allow you to have an enhancement with the new laser — for example, the nature of the prescription or the thickness of your cornea.

Is the LADAR system only available at specific sites?
Yes. Not all network surgi-centers have the LADAR technology.