LASIK is an "acronym" for: LASer In-situ Keratomileusis.
Kerato mileusis comes from 2 Greek roots: kerato- for cornea; mileusis for reshape.
In-situ means "on-site"
So, LASIK is a laser procedure to reshape the cornea on-site (without removing it).
Reshaping the cornea changes its curvature, and thus how it focuses light.
The goal of LASIK is to make the eye focus better, to reduce the need for glasses. Those over 40 may still need reading glasses, or may qualify for a "monovision" procedure.
Modern LASIK is very precise and effective. It has an extremely low rate of serious complications, as most of the earlier problems have been corrected with better equipment design. Most patients are delighted with the results! Many ophthalmologists, celebrities, and professional athletes have had LASIK. They want to see and perform better!
LASIK is a quick, painless, outpatient procedure. Both eyes are usually done together.
LASIK is now recognized as the preferred treatment for most patients. This is because of its usually excellent, precise results, quick and relatively painless visual recovery, minimal postop "down time," low enhancement (reoperation) rate, low risk of infection, minimal weakening of the eye tissues, and wide range of prescriptions correctible.
Most patients who desire LASIK are candidates, but not all! An eye exam/workup is necessary to confirm candidacy and take necessary measurements
LASIK can help nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
Dr. Yaros has been performing refractive procedures for over 16 years, including LASIK.
Recently, Dr. Yaros has united his talents with those of the Kremer Laser Eye Center. Kremer has been a pioneer in the field of refractive surgery.
The LASIK procedure is performed by an experienced Kremer Laser surgeon in their sterile O.R.s in Cherry Hill or King of Prussia. Dr. Yaros performs the preoperative evaluation and the postoperative care.
The LASIK procedure:
After preparation and sedation, a corneal flap is painlessly created, on a hinge. A suction ring holds the eye firmly in place to ensure proper alignment. Vision "grays out" for a few seconds, and returns immediately after. This is normal and desirable.
Then, the patient is positioned under the laser beam. The settings for the patient's prescription have been programmed into the laser, and are rechecked. The laser removes a small amount of corneal tissue from beneath the flap, by actually breaking the chemical bonds of the tissue. The laser is usually on for about a minute or less.
Then the flap is reseated and aligned, and sealed into place by the internal suction of the eye, without the need for sutures.
The whole procedure takes only a few minutes. Then the other eye is done.
Vision is usually clearer, but a little "smoky" for the rest of the day. The next day the vision is usually much better, and may further improve in the first week. Very few postoperative drops are usually needed. Most patients can resume normal activities in the first few weeks after surgery.
ADVANCES IN LASIK:
CUSTOM WAVEFRONT LASIK: This is an advanced procedure. The older procedure took into account only the focusing abnormalities that could be corrected with glasses. Wavefront analyzes each eye and also attempts to correct what are termed "higher order aberrations" that are not addressed by glasses or contacts. The result is improved vision under those conditions where aberrations tend to occur, such as low lighting and night vision.
"ALL LASER" Procedure: Now considered standard, a separate femtosecond laser (called Intralase) is used to create the flap, instead of a mechanical microkeratome, that uses a metal blade. The advantage is a more precise thickness in cutting the flap. This can improve the precision of the final result, and is also helpful when the cornea is thin to begin with.
LASEK: This is a variation on LASIK, in which there is no thick flap. The lasering is done directly under a thin flap of the epithelium, which is peeled away and then replaced afterwards. This is those who don't want a flap, or where a flap adds risks. The recovery time is slightly longer in this procedure.
Flapless LASIK: This is actually an older procedure, called PRK, which lasers the surface of the eye without any thick flap. Some people will do better with this type of surgery, although it has a longer recovery period.
Who is a candidate?
People today desire more active lifestyles. Even those who don't mind wearing glasses or contacts, often secretly wish they weren't DEPENDENT on them! And many people with thicker glasses actually consider themselves disabled.
Happily, most people who want to be free of dependency on glasses or contact lenses are candidates and can achieve these results from LASIK.
Candidacy can be confirmed with an exam and workup.
Cost is a barrier to many. Dr. Yaros and Kremer offer reasonable and competitive rates. Most insurers do not cover LASIK, considering it "elective." But certain Groups and insurances receive a contractual discount. Many financing options are also available to fit your budget.
If you are interested in LASIK, call now for an appointment and free screening consultation.
Those who are not LASIK candidates may qualify for alternative refractive procedures now available. Dr. Yaros can discuss these with you if they apply.