LASIK is a type of eye surgery that corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
LASIK stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis. The procedure uses a computer-controlled excimer laser to reshape your cornea to correct your vision. The laser reshaping is done under a protective flap of tissue to promote a very rapid recovery of vision and minimize discomfort.
At the Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center, our laser vision correction solutions include safe and current refractive technology, such as LASIK, and wavefront technology, otherwise known as custom LASIK.
Benefits of LASIK Surgery
Over the last decade, LASIK has been perfected to become the most popular and trusted technique for correcting vision, exceeding 1 million cases each year.
It can be used to correct almost all prescriptions, a huge benefit to people who were “chained” to their glasses and contact lenses.
LASIK provides many people with freedom to do things they had trouble doing or couldn’t do at all when they were wearing glasses or contacts.
After LASIK, you can travel, go hiking or camping without having to bring contact lens cases and solution.
You can play golf in the rain without having to constantly wipe your glasses.
Any kinds of water sports or activities are more enjoyable without having to worry about getting water splashed in your contacts. After LASIK, you can SCUBA dive or swim without your glasses.
LASIK makes it safer to get out of your house in the event of a midnight emergency.
To find out if LASIK surgery is the best option for you, or if you have more LASIK questions, schedule a consultation with Dr. Walter, Dr. Giegengack or Dr. Patel through our online form or call our office at 336-716-4091.
LASIK Surgery: What to Expect
The actual procedure takes only 15 minutes to do both eyes. LASIK is painless and easier than having your teeth cleaned. A mild sedative (such as Valium) and anesthetic eye drops are all that are used to relax you and make you completely comfortable.
A small wire spring keeps you from blinking, and because your eye is numb, you won’t realize your eye is being held open.
A sophisticated infrared pupil tracker ensures that all eye movements will be safely followed and the laser will precisely etch the intended area.
The LASIK procedure combines 2 sophisticated techniques of surgery. The first part involves the use of an instrument, the microkeratome, to create a thin protective layer of corneal tissue that covers the area to be sculpted by the laser. This flap allows for rapid recovery of vision, reduces discomfort after surgery and prevents scarring.
The second part uses a computer-controlled excimer laser — a cold, invisible, ultraviolet laser — to sculpt the underlying cornea, correcting the refractive error. It restores a more natural shape to the surface of your cornea, thereby correcting your vision.
The laser literally carves your contact lens prescription into your cornea, so you’ll never have to wear contacts again.
The protective layer of tissue is repositioned without sutures and is secure after a few seconds of drying so that a patch is not required.
Visual recovery is typically rapid, and there is little or no postoperative pain. Eye drops only need to be used for about a week.
Patients can usually see quite well immediately after the surgery and frequently resume normal activities within 24 hours, allowing them a quick return to work, usually the next day.
More than 90 percent of patients drive themselves back to the return appointment the following day.
Minor fluctuations and dryness usually resolve after 1 to 2 weeks.
LASIK Surgery: The Technology
Custom LASIK or “wavefront-driven LASIK” is a recent advancement in laser vision technology that allows the surgeon to personalize the procedure and to potentially improve the already excellent results obtained with traditional laser vision correction.
This procedure uses wavefront LASIK technology, which provides new diagnostic information previously unattainable.
Unlike standard measuring devices such as corneal topography, which measure the front surface of the eye called the cornea, the wavefront scans the way the entire optical system processes light.
Wavefront analysis works by measuring the distortion or irregularities of the eye. When a ray of light first enters the eye, it passes through the cornea to the lens and vitreous, ultimately reaching the retina. Learn more about how your eyes work.
As it bounces off the retina and returns back through the cornea, the wavefront analysis detects and documents these distortions, which are unique to each individual. Because each patient has a unique optical system, the wavefront data has been likened to a fingerprint.
Once the wavefront data has been documented for an individual patient, the next step is to use this information to determine what adjustments must be made to the corneal surface to produce a clear, crisp image for the unique needs of each patient.
Why Choose Wake Forest Baptist for LASIK
When choosing where to have your LASIK surgery, it's extremely important that you give yourself the best chance of having successful, complication-free surgery.
At Wake Forest Baptist, our team includes highly skilled and experienced LASIK surgeons as well as certified ophthalmic technicians who have been programming lasers and monitoring their performance for the last 20 years. Our nurses have been assisting with LASIK surgery for 20 years here at the Eye Center.
The Eye Center has been ranked as a Top 10 academic center by its own peers in ophthalmology. Our physicians and LASIK surgeons are ranked on the Best Doctors in America year after year.
We believe that it is vital to have complete care from your LASIK surgeon starting with the initial evaluation and at all subsequent visits after the procedure. Our LASIK surgeons see all of their patients for the initial evaluation and do all of their own follow-up care. They are always available for questions by calling our office at 336-716-4091 or via email.
The Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center uses the Allegretto wavelight laser, simply the best excimer laser in the United States. It is fast, safe and predictable. It also is the only laser which the FDA has granted permission to be marketed as improving night vision. That means minimal or no glare and halos around lights at night, and vision is often better than your contact lenses or glasses.
The wavelight laser has a national reputation among physicians as having the lowest retreatment rate — less than 3 percent.
Our surgeons’ reputations among patients and their peers are second to none. The majority of our LASIK patients were referred by 2 or 3 of their friends or family who had their surgery at Wake Forest Baptist. Our LASIK surgeons have a national reputation as leaders in LASIK surgery.