LASIK Eye Surgery
Eye physicians of Long Beach offers the highest quality LASIK eye surgery for patients of the Long Beach, Lakewood, Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach and Garden Grove communities. Our doctors customize the procedure to meet the specific visual needs of each patient. This ensures the safest medical care and best visual results possible.
Please view our patient testimonials to learn about the LASIK experience with Eye Physicians of Long Beach.
Understanding LASIK eye surgery and iLASIK surgery
“LASIK” is an acronym for Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. A procedure that is safe and highly effective, with few side effects. Over 32,000,000 LASIK surgeries have been performed throughout the world, making it the most popular procedure available for vision correction. LASIK allows most patients to become glasses independent. For others, it can reduce the dependence on glasses or contact lenses, allowing a more active lifestyle. LASIK takes only a few minutes During this time, a laser reshapes the cornea to correct the imperfections responsible for “near-sighted” or “far-sighted”, vision.
iLASIK is a brand name. It describes LASIK using an IntraLase™ FS laser. The IntraLase Method is 100% blade-free technique. The first step in the LASIK procedure is creating the corneal flap. There are two ways to make this flap, a blade or a laser. At Eye Physicians of Long Beach, flaps are created exclusively using the IntraLase™ FS laser. In research studies, patients prefer bladeless iLASIK over traditional LASIK. There are substantial benefits. The laser provides our surgeons with better control of the depth and architecture of the flap. The cut is also smoother, which results in faster healing.
In the second step of the iLASIK procedure an excimer laser is used on the inner cornea to correct vision. At Eye Physicians of Long Beach, iLASIK correction is guided by computer. this computer is programmed with your own unique corneal characteristics using the VISX Star 4 laser with Iris Registration. A wavescan is used to make an individual blueprint of your eyes. This blueprint will guide your laser correction, making it a truly customized procedure. The VISX technology is the most popular excimer laser technology in the world. It has an excellent safety and results track record.
Benefits of iLASIK Surgery
The benefits of LASIK eye surgery far outweigh the risks.
- iLASIK provides rapid, life changing results and it’s virtually painless. The surgery takes approximately ten minutes and recovery is swift-typically ranging from a few days to a few weeks.
- Imagine clear, sharp vision from the moment you open your eyes in the morning!
- Imagine playing sports without glasses and swimming without contact lenses.
- Consider freedom from the expense and hassle of daily contact lens or eyeglass care.
- And patients report that having excellent vision, without dependency on glasses or contacts, is very reassuring during an emergency.
Is iLASIK for you?
At Eye Physicians of Long Beach, our doctors will only perform this surgery if you are a qualified candidate. Your candidacy is based on calculations made through a series of state-of-the-art eye tests. Our doctors have found that only about 80% of candidates should have LASIK.
Take our Interactive LASIK Self-Test
Our doctors are general ophthalmologists who have extensive experience in all refractive options; if iLASIK is not the ideal procedure for you, they will recommend one that is.
With LASIK you can have great vision without glasses or contacts! Learn more about your candidacy by taking our free LASIK self test.
The LASIK Procedure
Here is what happens the day of iLASIK
The day of surgery you will be welcomed and made comfortable by our surgical team. You will be awake during the LASIK procedure; however you will be given medicines that help you relax. Generally you shouldn’t experience any pain or discomfort.
To begin, the doctor applies anesthetic eye drops to numb the eye for surgery. A lid speculum is placed between your eyelids to prevent blinking. Finally, a suction ring, designed to hold the eye steady, is applied.
Using the IntraLase™ FS laser, a thin opening in your cornea, called a corneal flap, is created. The doctor will describe what is happening at each stage of the procedure so you know everything is proceeding as planned.
Next, the surgeon gently moves the flap to the side exposing the corneal tissue. At this point the eye is ready to receive the excimer laser what will correct the cornea. When the laser is applied, eye tissue is separated by the cool ultraviolet laser, actually reshaping the front part of the eye.
You don’t have to worry about blinking. There is an instrument that keeps the eye open. You also don’t have to worry about movement. Our laser is equipped with iris registration and a tracker so that the laser follows your eye through the procedure.
Once the treatment is over, the flap is repositioned over the treated area. The doctor will apply several eye drops to help initiate the healing process. A fluid wave is used to stretch the flap after putting it back.
When you first sit up, the vision will be a lot better but will continue to improve gradually. It is usually excellent by the next day.
During your consultation you will have all the time you need to ask questions. You will be given your doctor’s cell phone number in case any additional questions come up later.
To begin, here are the answers to the questions we are most frequently asked:
- Will I be awake for the surgery?
-You will be awake during the LASIK procedure but you will be given medicines that help you relax.
- What happens if I blink? Will it affect my results?
-You do not have to worry about blinking, the speculum holds your eye open and anesthetic drops keep them numb and lubricated.
- Does it hurt?
-Typically there is no pain during the LASIK procedure since the eyes are numb.
- Does each eye require separate surgery?
-Typically both eyes are done during the same visit.
- How long is the procedure?
-The entire procedure takes about 10 minutes!
- What kind of vision can I expect?
-The vast majority of patients can see 20/20 after LASIK. Outcomes may vary. However, 99% or nearsighted patients participating in the Advanced CustomVue™ FDA clinical trials could see 20/20 or better, one year after treatment.
The iLASIK procedure is not without risks, however, it is important to remember wearing contacts comes with risks as well. Contact lenses require time and meticulous attention to ensure proper cleaning and to avoid infection. Infections with contacts do occur, so considering this risk, the hassle of contacts and the lifetime costs of wearing contacts, you should learn about the iLASIK procedure.
This information is not intended to replace a discussion with your doctor about risks, but it will help you become more informed.
The technology used in the LASIK procedure at Eye Physicians of Long Beach is the result of decades of research and is very safe. NASA has approved the use of this advanced all-laser iLASIK. The NASA decision was made following review of extensive military clinical data using the very same laser utilized at Eye Physicians of Long Beach. NASA deems this procedure safe and reliable enough for astronauts, who face the extreme physical challenges of space travel and zero gravity.
The US Navy has also approved advanced all-laser iLASIK for its fighter pilots. In fact, all branches of the US military have now approved all-laser iLASIK for their personnel. These official recognitions of the safety and reliability of the all-laser iLASIK performed at Eye Physicians of Long Beach is very reassuring for anyone who may be concerned about having LASIK
In addition to having chosen the best available technology, our surgeons have been performing iLASIK for more than fifteen years. In the U.S., iLASIK has become the most common elective procedure with approximately 32 million LASIK procedures performed.
However, iLASIK is an elective procedure with alternatives including eyeglasses, contact lenses, photorefractive keratectomy, and other refractive surgeries. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with the treatment.
- The most discussed LASIK surgery risk to date has been patients reports of increased glare and halos. Halos can be a result of uncorrected imperfections referred to as “higher order aberrations.” Before wavefront iLASIK was introduced, surgeons were limited to correcting imperfections called “lower order aberrations” of the eye. Lower order aberrations are: nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The residual higher order imperfections of the cornea could sometimes result in glare and halos. Many surgeons still use a blade instead of a laser to create a flap which may result in more glare and halos.
- Additionally, in the early days of visual correction, a smaller portion of the cornea was treated. This sometimes resulted in both glare and halo effects around lights at night, complicating night driving. In most cases the effect was minor, and patients reported the improvement in vision far outweighed this side effect. However, Glare and Halos are not common with Custom iLASIK.
Dry Eyes are another potential side effect. Dry eyes may exist before the procedure. However, the condition can be aggravated by LASIK. If our doctors determine that you have dry eyes, there are several treatment options that can be tried prior to iLASIK.
- Flap related complications are also a concern, again, especially when a microkeratome (blade) is used. The IntraLase FS Laser offers computerized control of corneal thickness with an accuracy of +/- 10 microns, whereas the microkeratome does not. The flap diameter can also be controlled using IntraLase FS laser. The architecture of the flap is better, creating what is called a planar flap instead of a meniscus flap. This results in fewer imperfections and a smoother surface. Computerized control of centration and side wall architecture are also benefits of the IntraLase. The vertical sidewall allows for decrease epithelial in growth and less movement of the flap. With the IntraLase there is less risk for flap related complications and very remote risk for free flaps, button holes. Furthermore, with IntraLase if the procedure is interrupted for any reason it is easy to re-engage. This is not possible with the microkeratome.
- Other possible risks include development of diffuse lamellar keratitis (DLK). This is excessive inflammation and happens in 2% of patients and is usually controlled with drops or oral medication but can be serious, and infection. We have not seen either at our center.
Studies comparing LASIK using the microkeratome blade and IntraLase™ FS Technology showed that IntraLase™ FS Laser System performed better in three main areas important to LASIK results and safety: flap thickness, induced astigmatism, and cell injury. There are fewer flap-related complications with the IntraLase Method.
In 2006, a panel of ophthalmologists presented the results of a 10-year AAO study on LASIK eye surgery. The results were positive visual results over the 10 year period, and it was concluded that LASIK or PRK eye surgeries were safe and effective.
Before deciding whether to have the procedure, you should carefully review the CustomVue™ Patient Information Booklet. Please visit the FDA LASIK website or come by our office for more information regarding LASIK eye surgery risks. It is important to discuss the risks associated with the procedure, and any questions you may have about the procedure with your doctor.
Choosing Your LASIK Surgeon
Our doctors have performed thousands of refractive procedures with excellent visual results. They have been using the VISX laser and studying wavefront LASIK for more than 15 years. They were among the first medical residents in the world to study how to perform LASIK at the LSU Eye Center where the initial FDA trials of VISX were performed. In addition, Dr. Martinez has conducted extensive research in the area of laser vision correction.
Our doctors report that 98% of patients receiving iLASIK at Eye Physicians of Long Beach have a result of 20/20 vision, or better, without glasses. If glasses or contact lenses have become a hassle, and you would like to find out if LASIK or vision correction surgery is an option, call our office for a consultation.
If you are seeking LASIK in Long Beach, we proudly offer you the opportunity to meet our doctors and hear the stories from many area patients that have benefited from this procedure. However, if you choose not to make an appointment with our office, we want to provide you with some important questions to ask your potential surgeon:
- How did you become LASIK trained?
- During your residency, were you trained in laser vision correction?
- Will I be seeing you (the surgeon) at each visit?
- Do you own the surgery center you use?
- Does your surgeon have roots in the community?
- What is Custom LASIK and is it right for me?
- Do you have Blade-FREE LASIK Technology? If not, why?
- Is Blade-FREE LASIK safe? How safe?
- What is the difference between conventional LASIK and iLASIK?
- Is my follow up care included in the cost of my iLASIK procedure?
- Have you ever worked on LASIK research studies?
- How many surgeries have you performed?
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