Millions of people have enjoyed the benefits of LASIK; in fact, the procedure has the highest patient satisfaction rating of any elective procedure.
Are you ready to join the millions of people now living with visual freedom?
What is Advanced CustomVue™ LASIK surgery?
LASIK, (laser in situ keratomileusis), is a laser vision correction procedure used to treat farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), and unequal curvatures in the shape of the cornea or lens (astigmatism).
All of these conditions are refractive errors in the eye, meaning there is a problem correctly focusing light on the retina due to the shape of the cornea, the front part of the eye that helps focus light on the retina.
In a LASIK procedure, the cornea of the eye is reshaped. To correct nearsightedness, the cornea is flattened and for farsightedness, the cornea is steepened. That said, not all LASIK is created equal. Up until now, LASIK surgery corrections were similar or “uniform” for each type of prescription. Historically the first step of a traditional LASIK procedure has been done with a microkeratome, an inexpensive, single-use, mechanically controlled metal blade. Some LASIK providers in the Capital Region continue to use this older blade technique.
At OCCR, however, we challenge ourselves to provide a premium surgery experience with impeccable outcomes that will floor our patients. So instead of using a traditional microkeratome, we create LASIK flaps using a bladeless, bloodless, non-contact femtosecond laser, called the WaveScan WaveFront™ System. We combine this with WaveFront Diagnostics to create a 3-D map of the surface and interior of the eye for more precise and customized results than ever. By leveraging the advantages of this technology, many patients who were previously told they were not candidates for LASIK can be treated right here in Albany at OCCR.
This technology represents the newest generation of high-end LASIK, called Advanced CustomVue™ LASIK, and has a much higher safety profile, is designed to be more precise, gives rise to fewer complications, has more predictable outcomes, and provides greater stability, meaning that the procedure continues to provide great vision for many years without a need for touch-up treatments.
Everyone has a different reason for getting LASIK—but the many benefits are the same:
- Improved vision: LASIK is all about improving your vision, and studies have shown that approximately 95% of patients who receive LASIK surgery achieve vision that is at least 20/40 (the minimum visual acuity required to obtain a driver’s license in most states) and 85% of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better.
- Long-lasting results: After the procedure, LASIK results are expected to be permanent. Most patients can expect their eyesight to remain stable through their 30’s and 40’s until a normal decrease in vision occurs in later years. It is usual for most people to need glasses when reading or driving as they get older.
- Quick results and recovery: The 15- to 20-minute outpatient procedure produces immediate results, and most patients can expect to return to their normal daily activities within two to three days after surgery.
- Better quality of life: LASIK offers many people the chance to live unimpeded by contact lenses and glasses, making work duties easier for many people and activities like sports and swimming that much more enjoyable. Contact lens wear is also associated with a heightened risk of infection, and when no longer needed, this risk is significantly diminished thanks to LASIK.
- Long-term cost savings: While the one-time cost of LASIK may seem pricey, it’s estimated that those who undergo LASIK will save significant money over a decade and in some cases a lifetime. For example, just one pair of $300 glasses purchased annually for twenty-years totals to $6000. Contact lenses at a cost of $500 annually for that same timeframe would result in a total cost of $10,000. After LASIK, for many there is no more paying for prescription glasses, contact lenses, cleaning solution, cases, and lens fittings ever (or at least for a very long time), resulting in cost savings!
Less Dependency on Glasses and Contacts Like Never Before!
If you’re interested in evaluating how LASIK may greatly improve your vision, call to schedule a complimentary consultation with our LASIK specialists.
During a consultation, you’ll have a comprehensive diagnostic exam to determine if you are a suitable candidate for Advanced CustomVue™ LASIK, or for one of the LASIK alternative procedures. Our refractive team will check your overall eye health and look for potential problems such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, or cataracts. Then, if you’re a good candidate, we will design a customized LASIK treatment or LASIK alternative plan for your vision and lifestyle needs.
What is WaveFront technology?
WaveFront-guided (CustomVue™) LASIK is a specialized treatment using the most advanced technology in the laser eye surgery industry. It allows our LASIK surgeon at Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region to take laser vision correction to an entirely new and personalized level.
WaveFront-guided LASIK is the latest in “custom” LASIK treatments. These topography-guided procedures design custom surgical patterns using detailed maps of your unique cornea, similar in concept to 3-D topographic maps used by property developers to build houses on uneven landscapes. The difference in outcome is similar to buying an off-the-rack suit from a department store versus visiting a master tailor who will tailor a garment from scratch just for you. Likely, you would look good in either suit, but only one will fit you perfectly.
From a functional standpoint, the WaveFront-optimized laser systems used by OCCR surgeons have been certified by the FDA to reduce nighttime halo and glare, commonly experienced by glasses and contacts wearers, which are also common side effects of traditional LASIK.
What happens during LASIK?
OCCR uses the latest laser technologies for the best outcomes. First, our surgeons use a femtosecond laser to create a carefully calculated flap in the cornea. Then he uses a second excimer laser to reshape the cornea underneath the flap. Within seconds, the laser procedure is completed and the protective corneal flap is laid back into place to self-heal.
What to Expect the Day of Your Procedure
On the day of your procedure, plan to be at our treatment facility for 2 to 3 hours. The laser treatment itself is on average only 15-30 seconds per eye. The remainder of your time with us is generally spent filling out paperwork, verifying vision tests previously conducted, waiting for other scheduled procedures to finish, drinking coffee, exchanging pleasantries, and resting for a short while after the procedure!
Although you would theoretically be able to drive home after your procedure, we require you to have someone to drive you home. This could even be an Uber or Lyft driver if a friend or family member is unavailable on the day of your procedure.
You don’t need to wear special clothes, change your attire while you’re here, alter your diet prior to the procedure, or start or stop any medications.
On procedure day, we will repeat some of the testings we have conducted previously to verify the repeatability and accuracy of our operative data. When you are ready for the procedure, eye drops are used to numb your eye, then a small, gentle eyelid holder is placed over the eyelid to ensure you don’t need to worry about blinking. Once the laser vision correction procedure begins, the laser portion typically lasts less than 30 seconds per eye. In the laser suite, we are happy to play a musical selection of your choice; and for patients who feel apprehensive about the proceedings, we generally pretreat with Xanax to ensure you remain awake but comfortable throughout.
What will you do without needing glasses or contact lenses?
What to Expect After LASIK
Following your LASIK, we will provide you with instructions in written form and verbally, eye shields to wear for the first 72 hours while you sleep, and some eye drops to help keep your eyes lubricated and healing well. LASIK laser eye surgery patients typically experience little if any discomfort during or after the procedure. Your vision may be blurry for 2 or 3 hours after you return home, but within a short time, you will be seeing details of the faces and places around you that you had no idea you were missing!
For the first 24 hours after LASIK, we strongly advise patients to maintain a sedentary regime, remaining indoors, keeping their eyes closed, avoiding electronic devices, and deferring exercise (especially swimming). This is a more aggressive and longer enforced post-operative recovery period than many other centers require. But as educated and discerning consumers, our expectation is that you will advocate for yourself by doing your part in ensuring your successful recovery. This includes using your post-operative eye drops on schedule and avoiding physical activity and electronic devices for the time we recommend.
Like all high-precision instruments, eyes work remarkably well under the right circumstances. After LASIK their healing and subsequent performance is generally astonishing. But much like a bird strike can totally and permanently disable even a brand-new jet engine, so too noncompliance by patients of their post-op regimens can lead to adverse outcomes which may be difficult to repair. Our philosophy at OCCR is preventing issues rather than fixing them. As such we pre-treat conditions like dry eye, sometimes delaying LASIK by months until we see a satisfactory improvement. We disqualify patients we feel may have adverse outcomes or don’t stand to benefit, and postoperatively we shepherd you toward an ideal outcome by enforcing a strict recovery regimen, albeit at the expense of minor added inconvenience to you. In the long term, though, patients are uniformly appreciative of our approach to help them achieve the very best outcome!
Most patients return to work 2 days after surgery. Depending on your occupation, you may need to be out longer. Such exceptions include commercial divers, professional boxers, soldiers, firefighters, etc. Still, it is exceedingly rare (about 1 to 2 patients a year) that more than a 7 days absence from work would be required.
A follow-up visit is scheduled later the same day of your procedure or the next morning. We see all refractive patients at this follow-up visit, again 1 week later, and finally at 1 month post-procedure. Thereafter you are free to return to your routine of seeing the world much more clearly—ideally without the need for glasses at all!
While it can take a few weeks for you to experience the full impact of the laser correction surgery, most people report clear vision upon waking up the day after their LASIK surgery.
Studies have shown that approximately 95% of patients who receive LASIK surgery achieve vision that is at least 20/40 (the minimum visual acuity required to obtain a driver’s license in most states) and 85% of patients achieve 20/20 vision or better.
In the U.S. FDA clinical trials of the CustomVue™ procedure—the LASIK procedure used by Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region—94% of patients achieved 20/20 or better vision.
Are there LASIK alternatives if I am not a candidate for LASIK?
Not everyone is a candidate for LASIK. At OCCR, we use state-of-the-art technologies to determine the health of your eyes. If you are not an ideal LASIK candidate we are one of only a handful of providers in the country to offer alternative treatment and technologically advanced options, such as PRK, and Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), designed to provide clear, natural vision to people with high prescriptions, steep astigmatism, thick or thin corneas, or age-related vision loss that LASIK does not address. We can even provide solutions for those who have had earlier versions of LASIK in the past.