About the Procedure

Refractive surgery is any procedure that corrects visual acuity, with the objective of reducing or eliminating the need for glasses and contacts. Refractive surgery includes PRK and LASIK and is an elective surgical procedure. This means there is no medical condition or emergency condition requiring that you have refractive surgery. Clarkson and our surgeons provide informed consent sheets to outline the risks, benefits, alternatives and limitations of refractive surgery.

Are you a good candidate?

To be eligible for LASIK you must be 18 years of age or older and not have had a significant change in your glasses or contact lens prescription for the last 12 months. You will undergo a comprehensive eye exam and assessment to determine if LASIK is suited to the condition of your eyes, your overall medical situation, and your lifestyle.

Certain conditions may interfere with the healing process or cause additional problems, risks, or complications that may require additional care or may make you a questionable candidate for the procedure.

These conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Eye inflammation or infection
  • Severely dry eyes
  • Excessive corneal disease or scarring
  • Degenerative disease of the cornea
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Use of certain drugs
  • Pregnancy and nursing
  • Inadequate corneal tissue
  • Certain rheumatologic conditions
  • Pacemakers

If you have, or have been advised that you may have, any of these conditions, you should discuss them thoroughly with your surgeon.

What you can expect

All surgical procedures, including LASIK, involve risks of unsuccessful results, complications, infection, or even serious injury, from known and unforeseen causes. Neither your surgeon, nor your optometrist, nor the LASIK Center or its staff, can promise or guarantee that the procedure will be effective or make your vision better than it was before the procedure.

Unreasonable expectations for your LASIK procedure include:

  • To have “perfect” vision without glasses.
  • To see better than you currently do with an up-to-date prescription
  • To eliminate the current or future need for reading glasses
  • To improve amblyopia or lazy eye
  • To prevent the occurrence of ocular conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma

What you can expect during your LASIK surgery

Laser vision correction is performed in steps. You will be taken to the LASIK suite or procedure room where you will lie on your back in a reclining chair.

After you are positioned properly, a numbing drop will be placed in your eye and a gentle eyelid holder will be used to hold your eyelids open. The surgeon will create a thin flap on your cornea using either the IntraLase laser or a hand held instrument called a microkeratome. The process takes only about 30 seconds from start to finish – it’s quiet and it’s comfortable.

You will be able to see, but you will experience fluctuating degrees of blurred vision during the rest of the procedure. The surgeon will create a thin flap on your cornea using the FS200 laser.

The laser will be positioned over your eye and you will be asked to stare at a light. This is not the laser used to remove tissue from the cornea. This light is to help you keep your eye fixed on one spot once the laser comes on.

When your eye is in the correct position, your doctor will start the laser. At this point in the surgery, you may become aware of new sounds and smells. The pulse of the laser makes a ticking sound. A computer controls the amount of laser energy delivered to your eye. Before the start of surgery, your surgeon will have programmed the computer to remove a specified amount of cornea tissue based on the measurements taken at your initial evaluation. After the laser procedure is complete, the flap is put back into position. After the surgery is complete, the surgeon will examine your eye(s) in the post-operative room to ensure the corneal flap is positioned correctly.

You will leave the surgery center wearing the sunglasses which will protect your eyes from the sunlight and outdoors, and prevent you from rubbing your eyes. Once you get to your car, close your eyes for the ride home.