LASIK Eye Surgery
Dr. Smith has been performing Lasik since 1998. She is certified on seven laser platforms. Currently, our instruments of choice are the Ziemer laser for creation of the Lasik flap, and the Allegretto excimer laser for the corneal shaping phase of the operation.
She has done tens of thousands of refractive procedures including Lasik and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), many of them in her role as past medical director for the Lasik Plus location in Raleigh. Dr. Smith has had refractive surgery herself and has had the privilege of performing this life-enhancing procedure on family, friends and colleagues.
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Please contact our refractive coordinator to schedule your FREE LASIK evaluation in Raleigh at 919-256-2500
Below is some general information on Lasik. However, you want to know what is best for YOU–even if that means having no surgery at all! The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure is by having a refractive consultation with Dr. Smith. We offer these consultations at no charge, and will have a frank, no-pressure discussion about your candidacy for the procedure.
LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a type of refractive eye surgery for correcting myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
Watch this video to learn more about vision correction surgery.
How Is LASIK Eye Surgery Performed?
A drop of anesthetic is applied to the eye, and a speculum placed to hold the lids open. This feels and looks strange, but does not hurt.
If a Lasik procedure is being performed, we use a laser (never a blade) to create a flap consisting of the surface layer of cells, the epithelium, plus a thin layer of the underlying cornea, the stroma. To do this, the eye is steadied with a gentle vacuum ring placed for about 20 seconds. During this time, the flap creating laser, a femtosecond laser, creates a series of tiny closely arranged bubbles within the cornea, a “raster” pattern. We use the Zeimer femtosecond laser, which gives excellent safety, accuracy and comfort with the least amount of energy applied to the tissue.
Many people are surprised to learn that the flap created is permanent and can be lifted later without recutting. However, due to the geometry of laser created flaps dislocation of the flap after the early postoperative period is extremely rare.
Of note, most of the branches of the US military now allow Lasik, but only if performed using the femtosecond laser.
After the flap is created, it is lifted and eased out of the way on its hinge, so that the stromal part of the cornea is exposed and can be shaped by a second laser, the excimer laser. The excimer laser vaporizes the water in the cornea, which is 90% of the stroma, along with other components. The laser is very fast. There is a very sophisticated tracker system that assures accurate placement of the series of laser shots. Typical excimer laser application ranges from 8-30 seconds.
After the reshaping is complete, the flap is laid back down, checking for proper positioning, smoothness and debris. Vision is noticeably better right after the procedure, with some fogginess that improves over the next few hours.
We will check you the next day. At that visit, people say they have had no problems driving themselves comfortably to the appointment.
Who Performs LASIK Surgery?
LASIK eye surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist. This procedure is done in office while the patient is awake using anesthetic drops. A mild sedative such as valium is usually offered to patients prior to the surgery.
What are the complications associated with LASIK surgery?
- Under or over correction that may necessitate and enhancement
- Visual Acuity fluctuations
- Halos or starbusts around lights
- Light sensitivity
- Ghosting or doubled images
- Wrinkles in the flap
- Debris under the flap
- Dislocation of the flap
- Thin flap
- Epithelial erosion
Please note, all of the above listed complications are minor and are treatable with simple patient compliance or manageable under a physicians care.
**There are recent studies which indicate that the problem with dryness after deeper LASIK flaps, created with the mechanical keratome, are NOT as much a long-term issue with the thinner, femtosecond laser-created flaps.**
Please call 919-256-2500 for emergencies
Dr. Smith is a member of the Refractive Surgery Alliance. This is an organization of experienced refractive surgeons dedicated to educating patients about refractive surgery. For more information visit www.RefractiveAlliance.com
2406 Blue Ridge Road Ste 280
Raleigh, NC 27607
Mon - Thurs: 8am-5pm