What exactly is laser and surgical vision correction?

Laser and surgical vision correction includes a variety of procedures designed to change the focusing power of the eye. This may be done by changing the shape of the cornea or by implanting a new focusing lens.

Most of the latest technology depends on the use of an excimer laser - a "cool" laser that does not burn or cut tissue, but vaporizes it away, one microscopic layer at a time. Non-laser procedures include the implantation of an artificial lens behind the cornea, and the insertion of small, plastic rings, called the Intacs® corneal ring segments.

What is the ideal age to have LASIK eye surgery?

The ideal LASIK candidate is generally between the ages of 21 and 50. More important than age is the health of the eyes. Some patients under the age of 21 have not finished growing, so their vision may not have stabilized. For patients in their 50 and 60’s LASIK is still safe and effective, but other factors, such as possible cataracts, that start appearing at this age, must be evaluated. In the event of a cataract LASIK will not improve vision and cataract surgery should be considered.

Why has laser and surgical vision correction become so popular?

Most people would rather not wear eyeglasses or contact lenses if given a choice. Although laser and surgical vision correction is still not appropriate for everyone, many people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic, experience dramatic vision improvements after surgery. That's why over one million people have had laser or surgical vision correction procedures performed. And with the latest innovations in surgical techniques, the procedures are more comfortable, outcomes are more predictable, and recovery is faster.

With the high degree of technology involved in vision correction surgery, why is the experience of the surgeon so important?

No matter how sophisticated the technology, it's the experience of the surgeon that often makes the difference between a good result and a great result. With thousands of refractive surgery procedures behind us, our surgical team understands the small differences in surgical technique that can have a big impact on the vision results. There are only a few surgeons in this country who have access to the facilities and technology available at Dean A. McGee Eye Institute (DMEI).

I know that laser and surgical vision correction is very effective for nearsightedness, but is it true that there are also procedures available to correct farsightedness, astigmatism, and even presbyopia?

The research that produced such dramatic advances in the treatment of nearsightedness has led to new developments for reducing or eliminating other types of vision problems, including farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. If the technology exists, you can be sure that DMEI knows about it and will recommend it to you if you are a good candidate.

Can I have surgery on both eyes on the same day?

Yes. To provide the best treatment, we resterilize the equipment before treating a patient's second eye. Additionally, we will retest your vision before you go home to ensure both patient and surgeon are satisfied with the results.

I read that DMEI is affiliated with a clinical research site.
What does that mean?

DMEI's reputation for excellence in eye surgery is due, in part, to its eye research center, one of the largest of its kind in the country. The research center is often selected to perform clinical studies. These studies are for companies involved in the research and development of new technology, which continually improves surgical outcomes. For instance, our research center has been involved in the testing and development of every major laser that is currently being used in vision correction surgery. What that means to you is that our surgeons always have access to the latest in surgical vision correction technology. And because they have often been involved in the testing and development of the new technology, they are experts in how to use it to produce better outcomes for their patients.


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