Lasik / Refractive Surgery
Refractive surgery refers to a group of minimally invasive procedures that reshape the cornea to correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism leaving most patients with 20/20 vision or better after treatment. These procedures are customized to provide the best possible results for each individual patient, allowing your surgeon to correct the specific refractive errors that interfere with your vision. Refractive surgery helps reduce or eliminate the costly and bothersome need for glasses and contacts. The most common refractive procedures are LASIK and PRK. We perform the largest volume and have the most experienced surgeons in the area.
LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a safe, reliable, and painless way to improve vision and reduce or eliminate the need for glasses and contact lenses. LASIK uses excimer laser to gently and precisely remove, or ablate, corneal tissue in order to reshape the eye, eliminate refractive errors, and help patients see clearly. Thanks to LASIK, millions of people have experienced the wonder of clear vision without glasses or contact lenses.
LASIK offers many improvements over other refractive procedures. These include little or no discomfort, almost immediate vision improvement, and extremely rapid recovery. Most patients require no corrective eyewear after surgery (although patients over 45 usually need reading glasses).
Candidates for LASIK
Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. When you come in for an evaluation, your eyes will be examined to determine whether LASIK or another refractive procedure is appropriate for you, and whether you are at risk for any complications.
The ideal LASIK candidate:
- Is over 21 years old
- Has had stable vision for at least 1 year
- Has a healthy cornea and one thick enough for a flap
- Has refractive error(s) that fall within the treatable range
- Does not have a disease or condition that could impair the procedure or healing process
- Has been educated about the procedure including its risks, alternatives, and benefits
- Understands that the goal of surgery is to improve vision and reduce dependence on glasses and contact lenses
- During your consultation, your surgeon will review your eyesight and discuss whether LASIK is right for you.
LASIK is performed on an outpatient basis using numbing drops and a mild oral sedative. During the LASIK procedure, an instrument will be placed in the eye to prevent it from blinking and a femtosecond laser will be used to create a hinged corneal flap. This flap is then gently lifted so that the excimer laser can reshape the curvature of the cornea. The excimer laser delivers customized laser pulses based on each person’s individual prescription. The hinged flap is gently repositioned and carefully inspected to ensure that it is properly positioned.
At Chico Eye Center, we use the newest developments in LASIK surgery which includes “CustomVue WaveFront” technology. Because your eyes are as unique as a fingerprint, it is now possible to “map” them in much the same way. This “map,” like a blueprint, is then used to customize your procedure with as much precision as possible. This new technology, along with our VISX Star S4 laser with ActiveTrack (infrared eye tracking to maintain centration and fixation) and Iris Recognition technology provides even greater satisfaction, better overall vision and results (a higher chance of 20/20 vision or better), and fewer side effects than conventional LASIK.
Choosing a Surgeon
Choosing to undergo eye surgery is a difficult decision with long-lasting consequences. You will live with the results of your surgery for years to come. That’s why it’s so important to find an experienced surgeon equipped with the latest technology to ensure that you enjoy the best surgical result possible, with improved vision and no complications. At Chico Eye Center, we have been performing LASIK for over 15 years, we never cut corners to save money, and we only use state of the art equipment. You don’t want to put your eyesight in the hands of an inexperienced surgeon or budget LASIK practice.
We don’t pressure our patients into undergoing a procedure that isn’t right for them. Every patient interested in LASIK is given an extensive evaluation to determine whether LASIK is right for him or her. During the consultation, the patient and surgeon have a frank discussion about the advantages, alternatives, and risks of having laser vision correction. Only then is the patient accepted as a pre-operative LASIK candidate.