You’ve heard thousands of LASIK ads touting thousands of different things, but the iLASIK procedure ends all of the noise. It’s all you will need to know – outstanding technology, one brand and one easy way to better vision.
You CAN AFFORD it:
The iLASIK procedure is more affordable than you think Hattiesburg Eye Clinic works with CareCredit to help you finance the procedure with monthly payments to fit your budget.
Straight Talk About the iLASIK Procedure:
A lot of people have had successful LASIK, but as many as 10 times that number are good candidates that are waiting. Some people are waiting because they don’t think they can afford it. Others are unaware of the true safety of the procedure. But most people are waiting simply because they lack the right information. The introduction of the iLASIK procedure means the wait is over and it’s simple:
The vast majority of iLASIK patients will see 20/20 OR BETTER after surgery … That could be life changing!*
Safe & Proven:
The technology used in the iLASIK procedure is very mature (the systems used today have been in use for years) and very safe. Doctors have been performing LASIK for a decade. Approximately 17 million LASIK procedures have been performed to date, making it the most common elective vision procedure in the U.S. In fact, all branches of the U.S. military and NASA recently approved LASIK for their servicemen and women, thanks to studies using iLASIK technology.
About the Procedure:
The iLASIK procedure only takes minutes. It reshapes your cornea to correct the refractive imperfections in your eye (these imperfections are essentially the reason you are nearsighted, farsighted, etc.). Here’s the procedure in a nutshell:
Here’s what happens:
- You first receive an extensive exam by an iLASIK surgeon
- We use computer software to make an individual blueprint of your eyes; we then use this blueprint to drive your laser correction to give you a truly customized result
- You’ll be given numbing drops before we begin so you won’t feel pain
- A laser creates a thin flap in your cornea
- This flap enables the surgeon to make the iLASIK correction
- We use a second laser to make the correction to your cornea, based on your unique vision and eye characteristics
- This correction is completely computer driven
- It’s safe, fast and virtually painless
- You can have great vision without glasses or contacts*
Outcomes may vary. 98% of nearsighted patients participating in the Advanced CustomVue™ FDA Clinical Trials could see 20/20 or better one year after treatment.
The technology behind iLASIK:
To correct your vision with the iLASIK procedure, a thin corneal flap needs to be created. There are two ways to make this flap: a blade or the IntraLase™ FS laser. The iLASIK procedure EXCLUSIVELY uses the IntraLase laser; it’s part of what makes iLASIK vision correction unique. Eighty-one percent of patients choose bladeless LASIK over traditional LASIK with a blade when given the choice.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is LASIK?
LASIK is an acronym that stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis. It’s a surgical procedure using laser technology to lift a thin layer of cornea in such a way as to create a flap that stays connected on one side. These flaps are usually only a hundred microns thick, which is quite thin.
After the laser does its job on the flap, we then move the patient to another laser that sculpts the cornea with a cool, ultraviolet light into the right shape to correct the patient’s refractive problem, be it nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. We then lay the flap down to its original position where it takes about a minute for the cornea to dry to allow the flap to remain adhered. The actual laser time for all the steps in this procedure for most patients is about a minute.
What’s the difference between nearsightedness and farsightedness?
The difference between nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia) depends on how light rays enter the eye. Light is mostly refracted (changes direction) at the corneal surface at the very front part of the eye. If the shape of the cornea refracts to focus the light rays to the front of the retina, a person can experience nearsightedness where they can see normally up close but their distance vision is blurry. Farsightedness occurs when the shape of the cornea refracts light to focus past the retina. In this case, patients can’t see clearly at either near or far distances.
To correct these two problems we must essentially change the refraction of the light rays so that they focus at the correct location in reference to the retina. Traditionally, we can do this with glasses or contacts, and now we can do the same with refractive surgery like LASIK.
With glasses or contacts we’re using the prescription (the measurement numbers) of the lenses to cause the light to go further back to the retina for nearsightedness, or only as far as the retina for farsightedness. With LASIK we’re reshaping the cornea to do the same thing as corrective lenses. The laser “sculpts” the cornea to make it steeper or flatter to refocus the light rays depending on whether the patient is nearsighted or farsighted.
What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism refers to an abnormal shape of the cornea that must be corrected with glasses, contacts, LASIK surgery or potentially cataract surgery. Instead of a spherical shape, the cornea is misshapen somewhat like a football. This causes light rays entering the cornea from one direction to bend (refract) differently from light rays coming in from another direction as they pass through to the retina. The brain experiences a different effect of light at, for example, 90 degrees than with light entering the cornea at 180 degrees. We use corrective lenses (glasses or contacts) or surgery to alter the shape of the cornea to refocus light rays properly onto the retina for clearer sight.
How do I know if I am a good candidate for LASIK?
You will need to undergo an initial consultation and comprehensive examination. To begin with we perform a test called corneal topography to map the outer surface of the cornea. We will then check your specific vision prescription used in your glasses or contacts to determine if you are nearsighted, farsighted and/or have an astigmatism, and if your prescription is within the range of correction with LASIK.
We will also perform our own refraction tests to determine your true prescription to see normally (20/20) and if you have any limitations in this respect. We follow this with dilation so that we can inspect all the inner structures of the eye such as the retina and optic nerve to assure they’re healthy. We’ll then perform a second refraction while the eyes are dilated to double-check the stability of the prescription we previously obtained.
Finally, we check the thickness of the cornea in each eye. This is an extremely important step, because if the cornea is too thin we will be limited on what we can accomplish with LASIK and may need to turn to other surgical procedures.
The entire examination takes about thirty minutes to an hour to complete. If our tests indicate that you fall within the parameters to safely perform LASIK, we can then set up a surgical schedule.
How much does the LASIK procedure cost?
Every patient’s eye condition is unique. Typically, though, the LASIK procedure at Hattiesburg Eye Clinic costs about $2,000 per eye.
Will insurance cover LASIK?
Unfortunately, most insurance policies won’t cover it. This is because LASIK and similar refractive surgeries are considered cosmetic procedures and not essential for correcting vision (which can be achieved by other means). You will, therefore, need to make other arrangements for payment.
Is LASIK painful?
During a LASIK procedure, we minimize the chances of any pain or discomfort with the proper use of light sedatives to help relieve any nervousness and local anesthesia (which we use because the patient must remain awake to follow instructions during the procedure).
If anything, most patients will only feel some pressure. But all in all, there is very little chance for any complications and patients generally have a good and pleasant experience.
Are there any possible side effects to a LASIK procedure?
With any surgery there is always the possibility of side effects. There is a slight risk with LASIK to contract an infection or experience inflammation afterward. We also may not be able to achieve the full prescription based on the measurements we first obtained. These potential complications, however, are quite rare, occurring in less than 1% of patients undergoing LASIK.
How long will I be off work or my regular activities after LASIK?
Returning to regular life after LASIK surgery depends on your job or activities. Some patients involved in light sports like tennis or golf may be able to return to their game the day after the procedure. What we’re most concerned with following a LASIK procedure, though, is any risk of trauma to the eye.
With that in mind, you’ll want to avoid any activities or situations that might increase that risk too much. You’ll also want to avoid swimming underwater for six weeks to avoid infection.
Depending on the nature of their work, most patients can return to their job the next day. You’re also cleared to read or use your eyes as you normally would. The only other care you will need is daily medicated eye drops for about two weeks after surgery. Even with these precautions you can expect your eyes to heal quickly.
How effective is LASIK?
We estimate that with greater than 99% of our LASIK patients we achieve the intended prescription. If you should be among the less than 1% who don’t achieve the full anticipated prescription, you may be able to undergo a second procedure to enhance it at a later date, provided your cornea has enough thickness.`
-Answers provided by: Todd D. Williamson, D.O.
Visualize the Possibilities:
Surely you’ve heard the phrase “20/20 vision.” This term has come to be known as the standard for “good” vision; it’s the baseline. It means that you see at 20 feet what a person without any vision problems would see at 20 feet. If your vision was 20/40, it means that you can see an object 20 feet away, but a person without any vision problem would be able to see the same object if he/she is 40 feet away. In short, the higher the second number the worse your vision is, and the lower the second number the better your vision is. You need to be at least 20/40 in order to drive, while fighter pilots are often 20/15.
Listen to what a few of our patients have to say about their iLASIK experience.
iLASIK vs Contacts:
The iLASIK procedure is not without risk, but wearing contacts also comes with risks, particularly infection. To avoid infection, contacts require time and meticulous attention to proper cleaning. Still, infections with contacts do occur. Considering this risk, the constant attention they require and the lifetime costs for wearing them, maybe it’s time to leave your contacts behind and consider the iLASIK procedure.
iLASIK is an elective procedure with other alternatives including eyeglasses, photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), conventional LASIK, and other refractive surgeries. Only an eye care professional trained in laser vision correction can determine whether you are a suitable candidate. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with the treatment. It is important to discuss the risks associated with the procedure and any questions you may have about the procedure with your doctor. Before deciding whether to have the procedure, you should ask your doctor for and carefully review the CustomVue™ Patient Information Booklet.
To learn more about iLASIK or other vision-related topics visit our Contact Us page or call us at 1-800-624-8254. You can also use either method to request an appointment with an HEC professional at one of our convenient Mississippi locations in Hattiesburg, Columbia or Laurel about your vision needs.
*Outcomes may vary. Ninety-eight percent of nearsighted patients participating in the Advanced CustomVue™ FDA clinical trials could see 20/20 or better one year after treatment.