Q. What makes iLASIK different than traditional laser vision correction?
A. iLASIK revolutionizes laser vision correction and is the first vision correction procedure that is 100% custom-fit for your eyes. It combines the use of two of the most advanced laser technologies to offer you the potential of 20/20 or better vision, superior safety and ultra precision.
iLASIK is a combination of IntraLase and the VISX Advanced CustomVue technology. Intralase is a 100% blade-free approach to creating your corneal flap, the thin flap of tissue that Dr. Frantz folds back in order to perform your vision correction procedure. The Intralase method creates a flap that is uniformly thick across the cornea, which generally speaking minimizes corneal weakening, spherical aberrations, and dry eye. NASA and the U. S. Navy has approved this advanced all-laser LASIK technology for use on astronauts and enlisted personnel.
Q. What is Advanced CustomVue technology?
A. The VISX Advanced CustomVue WaveScan technology allows Dr. Frantz to measure and correct unique imperfections in each individual’s vision. This level of measurement provides 25 times more precision than standard measurements for glasses and contact lenses. Then WaveScan technology produces a detailed map of the eye – much like a fingerprint, no two are alike. And, WaveScan digital information is transferred to the laser using a disk, providing a high level of precision and accuracy.
Q. Who is a candidate for LASIK?
A. If you are 21 years of age or older and wear glasses or contacts to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism, you may benefit from LASIK. Advanced CustomVue LASIK is approved by the FDA for up to +3.0 to –11.0 diopters sphere and up to 5.0 diopters cylinder (astigmatism correction). Your vision must be stable for at least one year prior to surgery. You must have healthy eyes, free of degenerative or autoimmune diseases, and not have a condition that makes healing difficult. You must not be pregnant or nursing. If you do not fall within the parameters for Advanced CustomVue LASIK, Dr. Frantz can perform a conventional LASIK procedure on you.
Q. Is the LASIK procedure safe?
A. Over 32 million patients worldwide have had this treatment performed on them successfully. Clinical trials of laser vision correction have been ongoing for many years. The FDA has found the excimer laser to be safe and effective for the treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Nationwide studies indicate that 98% of patients end up with at least 20/40 vision (sufficient to drive legally without glasses), and 80% or more have 20/20 sight, the current standard for excellence in vision. Although the need for contact lenses following LASIK is rare, it is still possible to wear contacts in most cases should your vision not be corrected to 20/20.
Q. Are there any risks involved in this procedure?
A. There are risks with any procedure; however, because LASIK uses a cool beam of light that is computer controlled, there is little room for error. Although studies have shown that complications have been rare with LASIK, some of the risks include haze, light sensitivity or glare, under or over response, regression, diffuse interstitial lamellar keratitis (dlk), fluctuation, flap complications, ghost images, and night vision difficulties.
Q. If I have dry eyes, will LASIK make my eyes dryer?
A. A tear functioning test will be done as part of your preoperative evaluation. Depending on the results of the test, Dr. Frantz may determine that you would benefit from having punctal plugs (collagen inserts) inserted in your tear ducts prior to surgery. The tear ducts drain the excess fluid from the front of the eyes. The punctal plugs will temporarily decrease the drainage of tears so they allow fewer tears to last longer, which could prevent more serious dry eye problems following surgery. There is no additional charge for temporary plugs. If you like the results, you may decide to have permanent punctal occlusion, which is not included in your LASIK procedure fee; however, is normally covered under insurance.
Q. How could the Advanced CustomVue procedure affect my night vision?
A. Many patients found their night vision was improved after the Advanced CustomVue LASIK. In fact, in the clinical study, four times as many participants were very satisfied with their night vision after LASIK as compared to their night vision before with glasses or contacts.
Q. Does laser vision correction hurt?
A. No the treatment itself is virtually painless. Some patients experience some discomfort for one to two days after treatment. Many patients compare this to a sensation of sand in the eye. Discomfort during recovery can be effectively managed with medication.
Q. What happens before the procedure?
A. You will have a thorough, dilated eye examination to determine whether your eyes are healthy and suitable for laser vision correction. Your eye will be photographed and a computerized map, called corneal topography, will be made to assess the shape of your cornea. Next, a WaveScan will be performed to capture the unique imperfections of your eye. These diagnostic tests will help ensure precise results.
Q. What can I expect the day of treatment?
A. LASIK is an outpatient procedure which usually takes 15 to 20 minutes. Your visit on the day of treatment should be complete in one to two hours. Generally, patients take an oral medication to help them relax prior to surgery. Once you are in the room where the procedure takes place, you will relax in a reclining chair while anesthetic drops are placed in your eye. Your head will be positioned with supports to gently and comfortably hold your eyelids open during treatment. You will first be placed under the IntraLase laser where Dr. Frantz will create your corneal flap, then repositioned under the CustomVue laser for the actual laser vision correction treatment. You will focus on a blinking light during the procedure. Afterward, drops or ointment will be placed in your eye for protection and comfort.
Q. If I develop cataracts later in life, will LASIK prohibit or interfere with cataract surgery?
A. No. The cloudy lens inside your eye can still be replaced with a clear lens implant.
Q. After having LASIK, how often will I return for follow-up visits?
A. You will return to the office the next day after your procedure for an examination; then, your eye should be examined at one week, one month, and six months. These visits are provided at no additional cost to you. After your one day post-op visit, you may continue your follow-up visits in one of two ways:
1. go to one of our offices, conveniently located in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, Lehigh Acres or Naples; or
2. return to your primary eye care physician for follow-up visits. If you choose to do this, prior arrangements will be
made with your doctor prior to surgery.
Q. If I wear contacts, what will I need to do prior to surgery?
A. Because contact lenses reshape the surface of the eye, you will need to stop wearing your contacts for one to four weeks before your preoperative visit and continue not wearing them until having your procedure. Depending on the type of contacts you wear, you will need to follow the schedule below:
• Hard contacts 4 weeks
• Gas permeable contacts 3 weeks
• Toric or extended wear contacts 2 weeks
• Soft lenses 1 week
Q. What about monovision?
A. If you are over the age of 40, you should realize that LASIK will not eliminate the need for reading glasses. However, some people choose monovision to reduce the need for reading glasses. In monovision, one eye (the “dominant” eye) is fully corrected for distance, while the other eye is made or left slightly nearsighted, to be in focus for such things as reading. More information is provided in the section “Correcting Presbyopia and Monovision.”
Q. Are there limitations to activities after laser vision correction?
For optimum recovery, you should follow these guidelines after having LASIK:
- Do not drive for 24 hours. Please make transportation arrangements to and from our office the day of your procedure.
- Avoid any contact sports, such as tennis or racquetball for at least one week.
- Refrain from jogging, golf and upper body exercises one week.
- Avoid scuba diving, surfing, exposure to dirty water in lakes, gulf, swimming pools, and saunas for two weeks.
- Restrict strenuous exercises or activities which require bending the head lower than the waist for two weeks.
- Do not wear eye makeup for two weeks.
- Although most patients feel fine the following day, Dr. Frantz recommends one to two days off work.
Q. If tests show that I am not a good candidate for LASIK, is there another procedure that I could consider?
A. If you are not a candidate for LASIK, you may be a candidate for an intraocular lens implant (IOL). IOLs are lenses that replace the eye’s natural lens that is removed during cataract surgery or may be done as a refractive procedure. At Frantz EyeCare, patients have the choice of either a conventional monofocal lens where most often both eyes are corrected for distance vision and you wear reading glasses for near vision, or a CustomLens implant which offers the possibility of seeing well at all distances, without glasses or contact lenses. If you decide to have an IOL, you will be provided with additional information to help you make an informed decision.