Patient Education Seminar

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LASIK - LASEK - Epi-LASIK - PRK - CustomVue

LASIK

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a safe, reliable and painless way to improve vision and reduce or eliminate the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. LASIK changes the way light is bent, or refracted, as it passes through the cornea so that it focuses properly on the retina and objects can be seen clearly.

During the procedure, a device called a microkeratome cuts a thin flap in the surface of the cornea. Patients are given anesthesia so they can't feel the instruments. The flap is then lifted and an excimer laser beam reshapes the cornea's curvature to improve vision. The flap is then closed and covered with a protective contact lens.

LASIK | Stamford

The entire procedure takes only 15-30 minutes per eye, and patients are often ready to leave within an hour or two. The flap heals on its own within a few days with no need for stitches.

A common complaint after surgery is sensitivity to light, but this will subside. Antibiotic eye drops will be prescribed for a few days, along with any other post-operative instructions. Full recovery takes a few weeks.

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Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) using

Advanced surface ablation (ASA) using LASEK and Epi-LASIK are newer procedures for laser vision correction with increasing numbers of studies showing excellent safety and results that are as good as, or better than LASIK, with less risk of complication.

LASEK

LASEK | StamfordLASEK, or Laser Assisted SubEpithelial Keratomileusis, is a modification of the LASIK procedure for patients with very thin or very flat corneas. First, the outer layer of the cornea (the epithelium) is cut with a trephine. The trephine has a much finer blade than the microkeratome used in LASIK. Next, the eye is bathed in a special alcohol solution that loosens the edges of the epithelial flap. The flap is lifted so the central cornea may be exposed and treated with an excimer laser. After treatment the flap is replaced and allowed to heal. A contact lens may be worn for a few days until recovery is complete.

More of the cornea is exposed for treatment with LASEK than with LASIK, making LASEK a better choice for patients who require greater vision correction.

 

Epi-LASIK

Introduced in 2000 by the inventor of LASIK, Epi-LASIK combines the best features of LASIK and PRK while reducing complications such as haze and halos, dry eye, loss of nerve sensitivity, post-operative pain, vision regression and continued need for eyewear. Like PRK, Epi-LASIK affects only the surface of the cornea. Like LASIK, it involves making a flap of corneal tissue to reduce pain.

During Epi-LASIK a blunt microkeratome smoothly separates the surface layer, or epithelium, from the cornea. This thin flap is what gives the procedure its name: "Epi" stands for the Greek word "Epipolis," meaning "superficial." This avoids complications associated with the deep stromal flaps of ordinary LASIK including flap irregularity, epithelial ingrowth and corneal ectasia. Also, using a microkeratome to create the flap preserves cell integrity better than the alcohol solution used in the LASEK procedure.

Next, an excimer laser beam reshapes the surface of the cornea to improve vision. The epithelial flap is then replaced and covered with a protective contact lens. The flap heals in a few days with very little pain and without stitches.

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PRK/Modified PRK

PRK | StamfordInstead of cutting straight through to the bottom of the cornea with a blade, in PRK Dr. Fucigna uses an excimer laser to ablate a small amount (5%-30%) from the top of the cornea. This preserves the cornea's strength and is very often used in people who have thin corneas. Using a laser also means Dr. Fucigna has greater control over the amount of tissue removed and can thus provide the patient with a much more accurate treatment.

In addition, "sculpting" rather than cutting the cornea makes it possible for PRK to treat greater degrees of myopia as well as hyperopia and astigmatism.

Studies have shown that modified PRK is successful in patients with a correction of up to -12.00 diopters. Patients needing less correction generally achieve better results. The risks of excimer surgery include infection, haze, slow healing, scarring, over- or under-correction of the visual condition, and development of astigmatism.

 

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CustomVue

VISX™'s CustomVue procedure combines the technologies of the WaveFront and STAR S4 Excimer Laser systems for high-definition, high-accuracy LASIK vision correction. CustomVue makes it possible to perform customized refractive surgeries using information gathered from your own eyes. This allows us to correct the very specific refractive errors that obscure each patient's vision so you can enjoy the best post-operative vision quality possible. Other benefits of the CustomVue process include faster treatment time and no need to dilate the pupils.

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