Patients are curious about what happens during LASIK surgery.
Dr. Moran knows that a well-informed patient makes the best medical decisions. Understanding what happens during LASIK can lead to a more calm and comfortable experience. We’ve highlighted the most commonly asked questions about all-laser LASIK with Intralase. The best way to find out if you are a candidate for this vision correction procedure, is to come in for a free one-hour consult appointment.
LASIK vision correction is a 2-step process.
- First, we create the flap in the surface of the cornea.
- Second, we lift the flap and apply laser treatment to reshape the corneal tissue.
What is Intralase?
A: The IntraLase Method uses laser light to create a flap in the outer layer of your cornea. The laser creates an even layer of microscopic bubbles under the corneal surface. The flap is hinged, like the page of a book. Dr. Moran then lifts the flap by gently separating the tissue where these bubbles have formed. After the flap is lifted, Dr. Moran moves to the second step of the procedure, applying the laser treatment to reshape the cornea.
What makes using Intralase technology unique?
A: The IntraLase Method uses a laser to create the flap. This laser-guided application creates a smooth even surface after your flap is lifted.
Are there benefits to using the Intralase Method?
A: Although the risk of flap-related complications with LASIK is very low, with Intralase, the rate of flap complications are further reduced. The flap created by the laser is determined and created by your surgeon, so it is tailored to the contours of your eye.
How long does LASIK surgery take?
A: The total time in the surgery suite takes about 20 minutes. During step 1 of the procedure, creating the flap, the laser application takes about 15-20 seconds per eye. Step 2 of the procedure, applying the laser treatment, depends on your prescription. It can take from just a few seconds, to about one minute per eye. Dr. Moran will let you know the length of your specific treatment. During the laser application, he will count down the seconds, so you know how much time remains. He keeps you informed about what you can expect, every step of the way.
What is the difference between LASIK and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)?
A: PRK vision correction is done without creating a flap. Instead, PRK starts by removing a small area of tissue on the surface of the cornea. A clear contact lens is placed on the eye after PRK surgery, to aid in comfort while healing. Dr. Moran will remove the contact lens when the cornea is healed, usually about 3 days after surgery. The recovery time for PRK is longer than LASIK. With LASIK you should be able to drive the day after surgery, while after PRK surgery, you may not see clearly enough to drive for a few days. Why do patients choose PRK? PRK is an option for patients who may not be able to have LASIK due to thinner corneas. PRK is also preferred for patients who are at risk for eye injuries, including patients who do boxing, mixed martial arts, or who are joining certain levels of the military.
Ready for your LASIK Consult? Fill out the form, give us a call, or send a text, to get started on your way to better vision with LASIK.
There is a lot to think about before getting LASIK surgery, and smelling nice isn’t usually at the top of the list. Smell and sight are too different senses right? What does one have to do with the other? Well here’s why as part of your pre-op LASIK instructions you will be told not to wear perfume or cologne.
LASIK surgery is a very precise and controlled surgery. While we can’t control how your eye will respond to the treatment, we can make accurate predictions. We can control how the laser is programmed and how the treatment is delivered. And we do control those things very precisely. We deal in microns. A micron is a millionth of a meter. To give you an idea of the size of micron, your hair is about 50 microns. And anything smaller than 40 microns you can’t even see.
While we can’t control your eye’s response, we can and do control other things. The air the laser passes through before it treats your eye is a factor. We monitor the temperature of the air, the humidity in the air and the purity of the air. The laser only passes about 12 inches through this air. But the laser we use is a short wavelength laser. The laser “fixes” or treats the first thing it comes in contact with. It doesn’t penetrate substances well. When we calibrate our laser and design our treatment we take this passage through air into account.
Because the smells are actually particles in the air, perfume can change this air. If everyone wore exactly the same perfume and the same amount we could account for this in our treatment. But that’s impractical and it’s best to have just “clean” air which we have calibrated for.
Skipping the perfume the day of the surgery allows for a more accurate treatment and more predictable results. Enjoy some of the cleanest air you’ve every smelled during your surgery and save the perfume for after surgery.
Most everyone has heard of nearsightedness and farsightedness, but, presbyopia isn’t quite as familiar to most people.
Remember nearsighted is when you can’t see in the distance. And, farsighted is when you can’t see up close. Both of these problems are due to the incorrect length of your eye so the image doesn’t land in the correct spot on your retina.
Presbyopia starts when you are about 40 years old. It is when you have difficulty seeing up close. What makes it different than farsightedness is the reason for the problem. Presbyopia is because the lens of your eye can no longer focus enough to place the images on the correct spot of your retina.
Presbyopia develops because of the process of aging. Think of it as farsightedness brought on by aging. The root of the word “presbyopia” actually means “old eyes” in Greek. Everyone gets presbyopia. You can circumvent the need for glasses to focus up close, if you’re nearsighted. Taking off your glasses “resets” your eyes to near and you don’t need to focus.
Refractive surgery such as LASIK effectively corrects nearsightedness and farsightedness by reshaping the cornea. It does not treat the lens, and in turn doesn’t correct presbyopia. LASIK surgery can help presbyopia vision by leaving a small amount of nearsightedness, similar to the trick of a nearsighted person taking off their glasses to read.
Eye drops instead of reading glasses?
Recently two kinds of eye drops are being tested to enter the market to help presbyopia. If these drops pass clinical trials patients may be reaching for drops instead of reading glasses. As with any type of treatment or medication there are pluses and minuses. Not needing glasses to read is the obvious plus.
The first type of drop being tested is called a miotic drop. It makes the size of the pupil smaller creating a “pinhole effect.” This effect limits the out-of-focus light entering the eye, making both near and far things clearer. Headaches, limited night vision and a decrease in contrast have been reported as side effects. The drops take effect 30 minutes after administration and last four to seven hours.
The second type of drop softens the lens of the eye. As the lens becomes more flexible, as it was in the younger eye, it becomes easier to focus up close again. The drop won’t return the lens back to its peak at eighteen years of age, but it will turn the clock back ten years. The drops must be taken over a period of days or weeks to achieve results.
We’ll keep you posted
Neither of these drops are available to the general public at this time. Neither drop appear to be the “magic bullet” in treating presbyopia. Your eye doctor will likely need to determine which, if any, is correct for you.
Read more about LASIK & Presbyopia
How the laser works to improve your vision during LASIK surgery.
LASIK vision correction uses a laser to reshape your cornea to help you see better. To apply the laser treatment, Dr. Moran uses an excimer laser which emits a cool beam of ultraviolet light to precisely remove corneal tissue. The reshaped cornea allows for light rays to focus properly on the retina to give you clearer vision.
Think of the cornea as a closed book with 500 pages. We create the flap about 100 pages into the book. Once the flap is opened, we apply the laser treatment to correct your vision in the last 400 pages of the book.
After your flap is lifted, the excimer laser applies pulses of ultraviolet across the cornea in a custom pattern designed for your eyes. These precise light rays are able to remove as little as 0.25 microns of tissue at a time. How small is a micron? One micron is a thousandth of a millimeter.
How the cornea changeS DUring LASIK
The laser treats your cornea to give you better vision. Your cornea may be too long, too flat, or irregularly shaped.
- If you are nearsighted, the laser will make the cornea more flat;
- if you are farsighted, the laser will make the center of the cornea steeper.
- If you have an astigmatism, the laser will smooth your corneal tissue into a more symmetrical shape.
- If you have a combination of issues, the laser can treat nearsightedness with astigmatism, as well as farsightedness with astigmatism.
How the treatment is determined
In order to create your treatment plan, Dr. Moran does careful calculations using the data from your pre-operative testing. He takes into account your age and your visual needs. Then, the laser is programmed with your unique measurements. Once programmed, the laser is controlled by computer settings programmed to correct your specific refractive error. We use Custom-Vue Wavescan technology. It is called “Custom-Vue” since the pattern of treatment is customized for each patient to give you the best possible vision.
Dr. Moran will ask you to focus on a light while the laser is being applied. While it is important to keep your eye focused during the treatment, the laser has an added safety feature. The laser uses an eye-tracking system that monitors any eye movements and keeps the laser beam on target during surgery. Studies have shown that eye trackers produce better outcomes and decrease complications. If your eye moves during the surgery, the laser will stay centered. It will track and follow your eye movements.
What to expect After LASIK
When the laser treatment is done, you will notice clearer vision than when you entered the room. However, your vision will still be a little blurry – similar to seeing under water. The blurriness is because you have a lot of drops in your eyes! Dr. Moran will have you sit up and look across the room at a clock about 10 feet away. You will be able to tell him what time it is, even if you weren’t able to see the clock when you walked into the room. Your surgery day instructions are to go home and keep your eyes closed for the rest of the day. Your vision will fluctuate as your eyes are healing, however, the next day you can drive to the office for your 1-day PO LASIK appointment.
To see if LASIK is right for you, schedule your FREE Consult today. Call, email or text our office for your appointment. Learn more about, just click LASIK
Patients often ask…what happens at the LASIK Center?
Our LASIK surgery center is just off of Schoenersville Road in Bethelehem. Although we do our surgery at a separate facility, our office staff is there with Dr. Moran, so you will see familiar faces!
When you arrive at the LASIK Center, you are greeted by one of our staff members. Your family member or friend can stay with you while we review your paperwork, medications and post-op instructions – it’s always good to have an extra pair of ears listening while we go over details! The total time at the laser center is usually under 1 hour.
Next, we get you ready for surgery. We apply a series of eye drops and review what happens in the laser suite. During the procedure, Dr. Moran explains each step of the way, so you know what to expect.
In the LASIK Suite
- The team makes you comfortable on the surgery bed. Your head rests on a horseshoe shaped pillow.
- We place a patch on your left eye.
- Then, your right eye is held open with a lid holder (no need to worry about blinking during the procedure!).
- Dr. Moran creates a flap using the Intralase laser. You will feel some pressure as he applies a ring on your eye, before the laser is applied. Your vision will go dark for a few seconds as he creates the flap. In just a few seconds, the flap is done! Your vision comes right back after the ring is removed.
- Next, he lifts the flap and centers your eye under the Visx laser.
- The laser treatment is applied. It is painless…all you need to do is look at a yellow light while the laser is working.
- Then, he smoothes the flap back into place and the lid holder is removed. The right eye is done!
- Dr. Moran repeats the procedure in the left eye.
When you enter the LASIK room, Dr. Moran, his surgical assistant, and the laser engineer are waiting for you. They give you a LASIK buddy to hold…he’s a little bit of comfort that goes a long way to making you feel secure!
After about 15-20 minutes, Dr. Moran walks you out of the LASIK room. You’ll be able to see us waiting for you in the hallway! We put drops in your eyes before you head home, and review the post-op instructions again. Once you put on your sunglasses, you are good to go.
At the surgery center, we have a room with closed circuit tv screens. If your companion wants to watch and record the procedure, we will sit with them and explain what is happening. If they don’t want to watch, (no pressure!) they can wait for you in the waiting room.
WHEN YOU GO HOME:
The day of your surgery, it is important to keep both eyes closed as much as possible. We give you sunglasses to wear home, so you can open your eyes to walk to the car. Close your eyes for the ride home, but you can open them again to walk into your house.
Put on your eye shield as soon as you arrive at home. Then it is time to rest with your eyes closed. Listen to music, an audiobook, or podcast…or just go to sleep. The eye shields should be worn for sleeping for the next 7 days, so that you don’t accidentally touch or rub your eyes.
If you have questions once you are home, call us! We always have someone on call to answer our patients concerns.
WHAT OUR PATIENTS SAY
Overwhelmingly, our patients comment about how fast the procedure was…and how easy! We most commonly hear, “That was so much easier than I expected, why did I wait so long!?!”
Interested in LASIK? Come in for a free consultation to find out if LASIK is right for you. Click to find out what happens at your LASIK Consult