VisionSource! - North America's Premier Network of Private Practice Optometrists
North America's Premier Network of Private Practice Optometrists

 

 

 

 

 

Refractive Surgery 

 

WHAT IS LASER REFRACTIVE
SURGERY ALL ABOUT?

The goal of all refractive surgery is to reshape the cornea of the eye so that light focuses on the retina in the same way it does with the "normal eye". These procedures permanently change the shape of the cornea.



How does the Laser correct vision?

The excimer laser is programmed to deliver the precise number of pulses of ultra-violet light needed to correct your degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. The laser removes thin layers of tissue, causing the center of the cornea to flatten in the case of nearsightedness, steepen in the case of farsightedness, or become more rounded in the case of astigmatism.

What is Lasik?

LASIK (Laser in-situ keratomileusis) is currently the most technologically advanced refractive surgical procedure. It reduces recovery time and discomfort associated with refractive surgery. A small flap from the surface of the cornea is made before the laser surgery is done. After the laser surgery, the corneal flap is then replaced and adheres to the surface within seconds; no stitches are necessary.

Age???

Refractive surgery is never done on children. Refractive error tends to periodically change until about the age of 20 to 22. The refractive error should be stable for at least 2 years before refractive surgery is considered.

What Refractive Surgery does NOT do!

1.  Refractive surgery will not prevent you from developing naturally occurring eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal degeneration, retinal detachments, etc. Therefore, periodic eye examinations are still necessary.

2.  Refractive surgery will not correct the condition known as Presbyopia (or aging of the eye) which occurs to most people around age 40 and may require them to wear reading glasses for close-up work. If you are 40 years of age or older and do not wear glasses for close work now, you most likely will need glasses for reading soon after refractive surgery.

Surgery Results

If your lens correction is between 0.00 and 8.00 diopters (90% of people fall within this range) there is an 85% chance you will end up with 20/20 vision and almost a 100% chance you will see better than 20/40. In Oregon, you can drive without glasses if your vision is 20/40 or better.

What is the cost?

Refractive surgery is about $1600 to $1800 per eye. Currently, neither medical insurance nor vision insurance pays for this procedure.

Summary

Current refractive surgery is a safe and effective procedure as long as you have realistic expectations. If you would like additional information about refractive surgery, ask our staff.