LASIK is a surgical procedure intended to reduce a person’s dependency on glasses or contact lenses. LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis and is a surgery that uses an eximer laser to permanently change the shape of the cornea, which is the clear covering of the front of the eye. A knife, called a microkeratome, is used to cut a flap in the cornea. A hinge is left at one end of this flap. The flap is folded back to reveal the stroma, which is the middle section of the cornea. Pulses from a computer-controlled laser vaporize a portion of the stroma and then the flap is replaced. There are other techniques and many new terms related to LASIK that you may hear about.
Doctors Thomas Jones and Brian Lueth have been performing LASIK in Everett, Washington since 1999. Their mission is to offer the best patient-centered care possible. Our doctors will not only provide excellent routine eye and medical care, but will also be the ones performing your surgery.
What makes Physicians Eye Clinic in Everett, Washington the best place to have LASIK in the State of Washington? You meet the surgeon the day you come in for your evaluation. Our physicians complete your exam and can approve you the same day for LASIK surgery. No other office provides you with such a complete array of services that they are able to care for you from start to finish. Make the drive from Bellingham, Washington or Seattle, Washington to have the best quality LASIK; it will be worth it! See what other patients are saying in our testimonials section.
Other alternatives to refractive surgery and a life without glasses are PRK and Epi-Lasik. Dr. Jones or Dr. Lueth can tell you during your evaluation which one is the better choice for your eyes and will provide the best outcome.
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)
In 1995, PRK became the first FDA-approved laser procedure for refractive surgery. PRK utilizes an eximer laser to reshape the cornea. The procedure starts by removing the surface epithelium of the cornea. The eximer laser uses a cool ultraviolet wavelength to vaporize the surface cornea to a specific shape. It can be used for nearsighted, farsighted and astigmatism corrections. The results are equivalent to LASIK and, in cases where the cornea is too thin, PRK is the better choice.
After the eximer laser, a soft bandage contact lens is placed on the eye for comfort. Similar to LASIK, there is minimal discomfort during the procedure. With PRK, there is a bit more discomfort while the epithelium re-grows over the cornea. This takes about one week, at which time the contact is removed. Your vision will continue to be somewhat blurred until the epithelium smoothes out. PRK is a safe procedure since it, unlike LASIK, does not involve using a microkeratome, or cutting laser, to create a flap. PRK does not have the risk of a dislocated corneal flap, which can occur with LASIK.
Another form of surface laser is Epi-lasik. Epi-lasik is a technique that utilizes a plastic epithelial separator to remove the central epithelium in a continuous sheet. This allows the epithelium to heal faster and with less discomfort than PRK. The same eximer laser that is used in LASIK and PRK is used to sculpt the corneal surface. Like PRK, a bandage lens is used in Epi-Lasik to aid in the healing. This will be removed after one week. Individual whose professions or hobbies put them at an increased risk of eye trauma will find Epi-lasik a safer choice than LASIK.
For those patients who are not candidates for Lasik, PRK, or Epi-lasik, a phakic intraocular lens (IOL) may be another option. It is usually reserved for high myopic (nearsighted) patients with thin corneas. The Verisyse phakic IOL is placed on top of the iris in a procedure that takes 15 to 30 minutes. The word “phakic” implies that you leave your natural lens intact in order to retain your ability to accommodate. This IOL was approved by the FDA in 2004 and is intended for patients with myopia ranging from -5.00 to -20.00 diopters.
The Visian Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) is placed behind the iris in front of the natural lens. It was approved by the FDA in 2005 and is intended for patients with myopia ranging from -3.00 to -15.00 diopters. Both the Verisyse and the Visian achieved excellent results in the FDA clinical studies.
For either of these lenses, it is important to discuss with your surgeon whether or not this would be a safe alternative for you.