Laser Reshaping

Unlike LASIK, ASA does not require the creation of a corneal flap. Instead, the surgeon removes the outer layer of the cornea, reshapes it using a laser, and allows it to heal naturally.

Why choose Chicago Cornea Consultants?

Founded in 1986, Chicago Cornea Consultants is a leading Midwest practice dedicated to surgical vision correction procedures. We provide among the highest standards of eye care in the region, helping patients to reclaim their quality of life, confidence, and peace of mind by utilizing best-in-class, state-of-the-art technology. Our board-certified eye doctors have been featured in numerous podcasts, newspapers, and magazine articles and consistently named as Chicago Magazine’s “Top Doctors in Chicago.” Additional awards include being honored as Newsweek America's “Best Ophthalmologists” and “Best Cataract Surgeons.”

They are frequently called upon to train other physicians around the globe in their cutting-edge techniques and have performed thousands of successful procedures to date, with life-changing outcomes.

At Chicago Cornea Consultants, we see a bright future for every patient, one in which they can perform daily tasks with ease and make meaningful memories with their families and loved ones. Contact us today at one of our convenient locations in Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Crystal Lake, and Highland Park to get started.

What is Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA)?

Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) is a procedure performed to correct your vision by reshaping the cornea. The treatment has been performed safely for over two decades with outstanding results. It is also known as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), which was the earlier form of ASA. During an ASA session, the outer layer of the cornea called the epithelium, is removed. This can be accomplished using a blade, alcohol, or a laser. 

Once the epithelium is removed, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea by removing a thin layer of tissue. The laser produces ultraviolet light and emits high-energy, computer-controlled pulses. Reshaping of the cornea allows light to enter the eye and focus on the retina, resulting in clearer vision.

ASA is a good option for those with thin corneas or for those who are not good candidates for LASIK. It is also a good option for people who have dry eyes or who participate in contact sports or activities that increase the risk of eye injury.

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What can I expect from my treatment?

ASA is an outpatient procedure and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Topical anesthetic eye drops are applied, which numb the eye and prevent pain during the procedure. After treatment, a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye to protect it while it heals.

Recovery time after ASA is longer than with LASIK. It can take several days to a week for the epithelium to grow back and for the eye to fully heal. During this time, the eye may be sensitive to light and may feel dry and scratchy. Eye drops and pain medication will be prescribed to help mitigate these symptoms.

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What are the advantages of ASA?

One of the main advantages of ASA over LASIK is that it does not involve cutting a flap in the cornea. This translates to a lower risk of complications, such as flap dislocation, flap wrinkling, or epithelial ingrowth. In addition, ASA preserves more corneal tissue than LASIK, which can be important for people who have thin corneas or who may need to undergo additional surgery in the future.

Another advantage of ASA is that it can be customized to the individual needs of each patient. The excimer laser can be programmed to remove tissue in a precise and controlled manner, allowing for a more accurate vision correction and fewer side effects, such as glare, halos, and double vision.

Benefits of ASA at a glance

  • Improves safety for those engaged in contact sports and active military service
  • Minimal removal of natural tissue 
  • Increased rate of candidacy for those with thin corneas 
  • Elimination of contact lenses or glasses 
  • Higher level of precision than with other methods
  • Preserves the structural integrity of the cornea
  • Puts patients at less risk of corneal complications than with LASIK
  • Safer procedure because there is no actual cutting necessary for creating a corneal flap, which can weaken the cornea
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Who is a good candidate for Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA)?

ASA is a good option for patients who are not eligible for LASIK due to thinner corneas or other eye conditions. LASIK requires a certain thickness of the cornea to create a flap, which can ultimately weaken the cornea and lead to complications. ASA is also a good option for patients who are prone to dry eyes.

Patients who are involved in high-contact sports where they are more likely to take a hit to the eyes are also good candidates for ASA, as the corneal flap created with LASIK can be dislodged or damaged while playing sports.

ASA can also be a good option for patients who have had previous eye surgeries or injuries that make them ineligible for LASIK. Patients who have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or blurry vision due to astigmatism can strongly benefit from ASA. Overall, ideal candidates seek a safe and effective alternative to corrective lenses (glasses or contacts). Each patient will undergo a detailed evaluation process with our team to ensure the procedure is right for them. Our diagnostic exams are extensive and thorough, as we look for every possible option to get our patients to their desired visual goals.

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Recovery after Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA)

After the ASA procedure, patients may experience mild discomfort, blurry vision, and light sensitivity. The recovery process is slower compared to other laser vision correction procedures like LASIK or SMILE. It may take several days or even weeks for your vision to stabilize and improve. During the initial recovery period, patients will be required to wear a clear bandage contact lens on their cornea for protection for three to five days.

Prescription eye drops will also be given to help prevent infection and reduce inflammation. Patients should avoid rubbing their eyes and should keep them clean and dry. Artificial tears can be used to alleviate any dryness or discomfort in the eyes. It is important for patients to follow our team’s post-operative instructions to ensure optimal healing and avoid complications.

Patients should postpone strenuous activities and exercise for at least a week after the procedure. It is also recommended to avoid swimming and other water activities for a few weeks to prevent infection. It is essential to attend all follow-up appointments with your eye doctor to monitor the healing progress and ensure the best possible outcome.

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(For New Refractive Patients Only)

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