Corneal Laser Surgery
LASIK Chicago | Epi-LASIK | Intralase® | PRK | Mitomycin-C | ISRS / AAO News
LASIK, or Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, is a surgical procedure that is designed to reduce your dependency on glasses and contact lenses. Here at Chicago Cornea Consultants, our LASIK surgeons use the latest in laser vision correction technology to ensure each patient receives optimal results. In addition to LASIK, our surgeons also offer Epi-LASIK/“LASEK” and PRK. We have three convenient locations to serve you, including Chicago, Highland Park, and Hoffman Estates.
Although LASIK is an extremely successful procedure and there are very few cases of complications, there are risks associated with the surgery. In most cases, the microkeratome, the tool that creates the corneal flap, is the source of the problem. Intralase® replaces the microkeratome with the precision of a laser, making LASIK at Chicago Cornea Consultants safer than ever before!
During the Intralase® LASIK procedure at Chicago Cornea Consultants, the Intralase® laser is used to precisely create a corneal flap. Once Intralase® has created the flap, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea, just like the traditional LASIK procedure.
People who are ineligible for traditional LASIK because their corneas are too thin may be good candidates for Intralase® LASIK. Intralase® LASIK is also associated with fewer complications than traditional LASIK because a laser is used to create the corneal flap, rather than a blade. The outer layer of the cornea experiences no trauma, and the procedure is painless.
Recovery after Intralase® LASIK is similar to that after traditional LASIK, with a few exceptions. Following Intralase® LASIK, you may experience some eye irritation for up to two days, and it may take a little longer to recover good vision. However, there is a lower incidence of dry eyes, corneal complications, and re-operations with Intralase® LASIK than with traditional LASIK.
If you want to find out if Intralase® LASIK is right for you, contact Chicago Cornea Consultants today.
LASIK is a laser vision correction procedure that treats refractive errors, such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism (oval curvature), etc. by removing corneal tissue beneath the surface of the cornea.
During the LASIK procedure, a flap is created on the surface of the cornea. A computer-controlled excimer laser is then used to remove the proper amount of corneal tissue. In less than one minute, the excimer laser reshapes the internal cornea, or stroma. The thin flap of corneal tissue is then folded back into its original position, where it bonds after only a few minutes of drying. The entire LASIK procedure usually takes about five to seven minutes per eye.
No stitches or eye patches are required after LASIK and the healing time is fast. In fact, most patients are able to return to their regular daily activities the day after their LASIK procedure. And, the results of LASIK are long-lasting, so you can view the world with clear, crisp vision for years to come!
If you want to learn more about LASIK, contact Chicago Cornea Consultants in Chicago, Highland Park, or Hoffman Estates today. Ask to speak to one of our "Refractive Coordinators" or leave them a voice mail message. We will be glad to answer all of your questions.
Am I a Good Candidate for LASIK?
If you answer yes to the following questions, you may be an ideal candidate for LASIK:
- Are you over the age of 18?
- Have you had a stable glasses or contact lens prescription for at least two years?
- Do you have sufficient corneal thickness?
- Are you affected by one of the common types of vision problems or refractive errors, including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism?
- Are you free of diseases that may reduce the effectiveness of LASIK or your ability to heal properly and quickly?
- Are you adequately informed about the benefits and risks of LASIK?
If you think you may be a good candidate for LASIK, contact Chicago Cornea Consultants in Chicago, Highland Park, or Hoffman Estates to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons.
What Are the potential Benefits of LASIK?
Most patients who undergo LASIK experience significantly improved vision, and many patients can return to work or normal daily activities the day after surgery.
Visual recovery is rapid and patients report little or no post-operative pain. Additionally, there may be less risk of scarring or developing corneal haze. There is also less need for post-operative medications with LASIK than PRK.
Are There Risks Associated with LASIK?
There are some risks associated with LASIK, including dry eyes, persistent eye pain or discomfort, and glares and halos in the line of vision. Risks are rare, and the vast majority of patients who undergo LASIK do not experience significant complications.
What Kind of Technology Does Chicago Cornea Consultants Offer?
The LASIK surgeons at Chicago Cornea Consultants offer not one, but three of the world’s most advanced excimer lasers for LASIK vision correction: the Bausch & Lomb 217Z Laser, VISX Star S4 IR, and Alcon's Allegreto Wavelight system. In addition, our LASIK surgeons utilize the Intralase® laser, which precisely forms the corneal flap without the need for cutting, and Custom Cornea®, which allows our surgeons to customize your LASIK treatment using Wavefront™-guided treatment profiles.
With access to virtually all currently available technology, our LASIK surgeons can specify which laser is best for your individual vision correction needs. If you want to learn more about the LASIK technology we offer at our Chicago, Highland Park, and Hoffman Estate locations, please visit the technology section of our site or click here for more information on Custom LASIK.
What Is Epi-LASIK?
Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" is performed to correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" combines the advantages of two of the most commonly performed vision correction procedures - LASIK and PRK. We offer Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" at Chicago Cornea Consultants as a viable alternative to reducing or eliminating your need for glasses.
Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" is similar to LASIK, in that both use a laser to reshape the cornea of the eye. The main difference is that during Epi-LASIK/"LASEK", a very thin flap is made in the epithelium of the eye. Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" is usually recommended for patients with thin corneas or large pupils. Vision results for Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" are very similar to LASIK, and it is a great option for patients where LASIK might cause undue risk.
During Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" at Chicago Cornea Consultants, the surgeon uses a tiny instrument to lift the edge of the epithelial flap and gently fold it back out of the way. The excimer laser, as in LASIK or PRK, is then used to "sculpt" the corneal tissue underneath. Afterward, the epithelial flap is placed back on the surface of the cornea with a spatula.
Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" is safer for patients with high corrections and/or thin corneas, but eye irritation is more common and recovery times are longer than conventional LASIK, requiring up to seven days to attain "good vision."
If you want to learn more about Epi-LASIK/"LASEK," contact Chicago Cornea Consultants today to schedule a personal consultation.
What Can I Expect After Epi-LASIK/"LASEK"?
After Epi-LASIK/"LASEK", you will wear a special bandage contact lens for about four days. You will experience eye irritation for one or two days after your Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" procedure. It may take up to a month for you to feel that you have "good vision" in the operated eye.
Are there Side Effects Associated with Epi-LASIK/"LASEK"?
Patients who undergo Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" at Chicago Cornea Consultants usually experience fewer side effects than those who undergo PRK; however, there are some side effects that may occur after Epi-LASIK/"LASEK", including a sensation of having a foreign object in your eye, temporary reduced vision under poor lighting, dry eyes, and hazy or cloudy vision.
It is important to keep in mind that these side effects are rare, and Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" is considered to be a safe and effective procedure for treating refractive errors.
Is Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" Right for Me?
Since thin corneas make it difficult to make a proper LASIK flap, Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" is a better option for patients who have steep or thin corneas and/or large pupils. In addition, Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" is a good option if you engage in professional or leisure activities that put your eyes at increased risk for trauma or injury.
Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" offers patients who are not good candidates for LASIK the opportunity to improve their vision through laser surgery. If you want to learn more about how Epi-LASIK/"LASEK" can change your vision - and your life - contact Chicago Cornea Consultants today!
PRK, or Photo-Refractive Keratectomy, is approved to treat low to moderate amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by removing tissue from the surface of the cornea. The outcome of PRK is similar to that of LASIK, and most people achieve 20/20 or better vision with PRK; however, it has been argued that LASIK is safer than PRK because there is less risk of corneal scarring. Here at Chicago Cornea Consultants, our surgeons use Mitomycin-C to treat and prevent corneal haze following PRK, so patients can feel confident and at ease with their decision to undergo surgery.
During the PRK procedure at Chicago Cornea Consultants, the patient’s eye is numbed using a topical, or eye drop, anesthesia. Then, the surgeon removes the epithelium, a thin layer of protective skin that covers the cornea. This may be done with a blade, a brush, or even the excimer laser, but most commonly is performed with a diluted alcohol solution. During the actual PRK procedure, the patient stares at a fixation light. In less than a minute, the laser removes the precise amount of tissue while it reshapes the surface of the cornea.
Immediately after PRK, a soft contact lens is placed on the eye while the cornea heals. Because the epithelium was removed, patients may experience blurry vision for three to five days after PRK and a moderate amount of discomfort until the epithelium heals and covers the treated area. Various eye drops and oral medications are effective in reducing this post-operative discomfort. Final visual results after PRK may not be fully realized anywhere from several days to a few weeks or more as the surface heals in accordance to each individual’s healing tendencies.
If you want to learn more about PRK, contact Chicago Cornea Consultants today to schedule a consultation.
A problem that has plagued PRK in the past has been corneal scarring following PRK for very high amounts of nearsightedness. The surgeons of Chicago Cornea Consultants pioneered the internationally accepted strategy for the treatment and prevention of corneal haze following PRK, utilizing Mitomycin-C (MMC).
Mitomycin-C is an antibiotic/chemotherapeutic agent that is used to treat patients who suffer from corneal scarring after PRK. Mitomycin-C can also be used during PRK to prevent corneal haze after the procedure. Mitomycin-C works by inhibiting DNA synthesis, helping to reduce corneal haze after PRK.
Before PRK, the Mitomycin-C is placed in a disposable contact lens vial. A corneal light shield, or sponge, is placed in the Mitomycin-C solution, and after PRK is complete, the sponge is placed on the central cornea and left in place for up to a minute.
Although Mitomycin-C is an effective treatment for corneal haze and scarring, there is no guarantee that haze will not develop after PRK. It is important that you discuss all of your options with us before making a decision. To learn more about our publications relating to Mitomycin-C, please view the information and/or bibliographies on Randy Epstein or Parag Majmudar.
Surface-Ablation was recently discussed in an article in the March 5, 2007 issue of U.S. News & World report page 57. Go to www.usnews.com or use this link to read the article.
The History of Refractive Surgery Ophthalmic surgeons have been performing refractive surgery for the treatment of myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (irregular shaped cornea) for approximately 100 years, but the past decades have produced rapid change and growth by means of refined techniques and the emergence of laser vision surgery. In 1978 a refractive procedure called Radial Keratotomy (RK) was introduced in the United States. RK involves making of a number of cuts in the cornea to change its shape and correct refractive errors. Following the introduction of RK, doctors routinely corrected nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism using various applications of incisions on the cornea. In the 1980s a new type of laser called the excimer laser was developed. Though originally used to etch computer chips, ophthalmologists began using the excimer laser successfully in refractive surgery techniques to remove very precise amounts of tissue from the eye's surface. Excimer lasers revolutionized refractive surgery by providing a degree of safety and precision that was previously unattainable with other techniques.