Laser Vision Correction Frequently Asked Questions

How does laser vision correction work?

Current laser vision correction options include LASIK and several form of Laser Surface Ablation. All of these involve using an excimer laser to reshape the cornea of the eye to create an imprinted lens in the cornea. This laser generates no heat, evaporates tissue with almost no collateral damage, and is capable of creating a surface accurate to 0.24 microns (about 1/101,000 of an inch).

What are the different types of laser vision correction?

In LASIK, a blade or cutting laser is used to make a flap partway into the cornea and the excimer laser used to reshape the bed under this flap after it is folded back. After laser, the flap is replaced to cover the bed.

In surface ablation ( PRK, EPI-LASIK, LASEK, ASA, WGSA) the cornea is not cut. The laser is applied directly to the front of the cornea.

Both types of surgeries give very good results. Surface ablations have more discomfort and longer recovery time but are safer for the eye than LASIK and probably give slightly better vision in the long run than LASIK.

LASIK also gives excellent results with less discomfort and more rapid recovery but leaves the eye with a permanent weakened area. This is a problem only rarely.

Military pilots and Special Forces members are allowed to have surface ablations but not LASIK.

Surface ablation is available locally at our eye center.

Laser vision correction is a complex subject. We typically present a seminar about once a quarter with extensive information on the subject and a question and answer session with an experienced refractive surgeon.