WHAT IS iLASIK TREATMENT?
iLASIK Treatment is an all-laser vision correction procedure that may give you the ability to live without the hassle of contacts and glasses, and the freedom to see life more clearly every day. Please consult with your eye care professional and carefully review the Patient Information Booklet regarding the potential risks and benefits of this procedure. Results may vary for each individual patient.
You’ve set your sights on us. Now what?
Once you’ve found a doctor, you will receive a pre-operative eye exam to ensure you are a good fit for iLASIK Surgery. It’s the ideal opportunity to get prepared for your procedure, should you opt to move forward.
Your consult, at a glance:
- Information about Wavefront-guided technology
- A discussion of your complete medical history
- Disclosure of all medications or supplements
- A thorough eye exam to identify any current conditions and prescriptions
- A look at your overall eye health
- A discussion of the risks and benefits of the procedure
Clear vision. Quicker than you thought possible.
Today is the day! Chances are, you’re feeling anxious and excited at the prospect of living your life with improved vision. You can focus on that, and leave the rest to the pros.
A surgical snapshot, below:
- Things to remember
- Duration of procedure
- What you’ll experience
- The beginnings of recovery
The proof is in the post-op.
Congratulations! Welcome to the beginning of a life with clearer, sharper vision. Now that you’ve had your vision improved through iLASIK Surgery, you’ll want to know how to maintain your eye health and safeguard your vision.
Your post-op overview covers:
- Common experiences
- Looking forward
iLasik Frequently Asked Questions
iLasik Surgery Overview
1. What is the iLasik Procedure?
It is an all-laser vision correction procedure that uses proprietary technology to measure the unique characteristics of your eye and provide a completely customized correction for exceptional visual clarity.
LASIK with iLASIK technologies have been used in over 15 million procedures worldwide.
2. How does the iLasik procedure work?
There are three steps to the iLASIK procedure:
Step 1: Creating Your Eye Map
A detailed 3-D map of the unique visual imperfections of your eye is created using wavefront eye-mapping technology that is 25x more precise than the measurements used to write a standard prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Step 2: Preparing Your Eye
An ultra-fast laser creates a thin flap to prepare your cornea for your personalized wavefront vision correction.
Step 3: Delivering Your Personalized Treatment
In this final step, an ultra-precise laser gently reshapes your cornea to the desired curvature, based on the digital information from your personalized eye map measurements.
3. How do I know if the iLasik procedure is right for me?
The iLASIK procedure may help people do the things they love to do without the hassle of contacts or glasses.
It is FDA approved to correct mild to severe nearsightedness, farsightedness, and all types of astigmatism. If you meet the following conditions, it’s likely you are an excellent candidate for the iLASIK procedure:
- Be at least 21 years of age and have refractive error.
- Have healthy eyes that are free from eye disease or corneal abnormality (e.g., scar, infection, etc.).
- Have documented evidence that your refraction did not change by more than 0.50 to 1 diopters during the year before your pre-operative examination.
- Be informed of LASIK risks and benefits as compared to other available treatments for your refractive error.
- Be able to lie flat without difficulty.
- Be able to tolerate local or topical anesthesia.
- Be willing to sign an informed consent form as provided by your eye care professional.
- Be able to keep your eye accurately on the fixation light for the entire laser surgical procedure.
A certified LASIK doctor can tell you with greater certainty whether the iLASIK procedure is right for you.
4. Is the iLasik procedure safe?
iLASIK technologies have been used in more than 15 million vision correction procedures worldwide. In fact, NASA astronauts and US aviators are able to have laser vision correction surgery today because of studies validating the safety and effectiveness of the technologies.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of this procedure. Side effects include but may not limited to.
- Eye dryness
- Reduction of vision or the possible need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery
- Visual disturbances such as halos, glare, starbursts, ghost images and other visual symptoms
Complications from the iLASIK procedure usually can be successfully managed medically or with follow-up care. The frequency and severity of complications vary, depending on how much nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism you have prior to the procedure and other factors.
5. How much does the iLasik procedure cost?
By choosing the iLASIK procedure, you are making a solid investment that pays dividends in glasses-free vision for years to come and offers significant long-term savings compared to contact lens wear.
The iLASIK procedure fee can range from $4,200-$5,000 ($2,100-$2,500 per eye). This calculation excludes the annual routine eye exam.
Most certified iLASIK®technology doctors offer attractive financing options to make the iLASIK procedure easy on your pocketbook/wallet, and there are financing options available outside the doctor’s practice as well.
You also might be eligible to pay a portion of the cost or the entire procedure fee using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or vision insurance.
iLasik Surgery Details
1. What part of the eye is the treatment performed on?
The iLASIK procedure is performed on the cornea — the clear front surface of the eye located in front of the pupil and the colored iris.
The cornea provides about 65 to 75 percent of the focusing power of the eye. The rest is provided by the eye’s lens, which is located behind the pupil.
The cornea is clear because it is a highly organized network of collagen (a connective tissue protein) and it contains no blood vessels.
The central region of the cornea — the portion affected by the iLASIK procedure — is typically 500 to 600 microns (about a half of a millimeter) thick.
2. What is the Wavefront Technology?
Wavefront technology is an advanced, digital optical imaging technique used to detect, analyze and correct near sightednes, farsightedness and/or astigmatism. It also corrects complex optical imperfections called higher order aberrations that cannot be corrected with regular eyeglass lenses.
Eyeglass lenses correct only simple refractive errors — nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism. But most people also have higher-order aberrations (HOAs) that affect the quality of their vision.
By correcting HOAs as well as common refractive errors with wavefront technology, LASIK using iLASIK® technologies often produces noticeably sharper vision than that possible with eyeglasses and contact lenses.1
3. What is Wavefront-Guided LASIK?
Wavefront-guided LASIK creates a personalized 3-D map of the patient’s visual pathway (from the front of the cornea to the back of the retina). These measurements are obtained with an instrument called a wavefront aberrometer during your iLASIK® technology pre-op exam and consultation.
Wavefront-guided LASIK measures and treats lower-order aberrations (LOA) such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism as well as higher-order aberrations (HOAs), with the goal of providing better vision than that possible with eyeglasses, contact lenses or conventional LASIK.
Wavefront-guided LASIK produces a higher level of personalization compared with wavefront-optimized LASIK (see the next question below), which is based only on the eye’s refractive error and corneal curvature.
4. What is Wavefront-Optimized LASIK?
Wavefront-optimized LASIK produces computerized laser treatment plans based on typical lower-order aberrations associated with specific refractive errors. In particular, wavefront-optimized LASIK attempts to minimize the effect of spherical aberration.
The goal of wavefront-optimized LASIK is to provide better visual outcomes than conventional LASIK — primarily by reducing the amount of spherical aberration caused by the laser reshaping process during LASIK.
5. What is the WaveScan WaveFront System?
The WaveScan WaveFront® System, a key part of the iLASIK® technology platform, detects and measures visual imperfections in the eye 25 times more precisely than standard methods used for eyeglass prescriptions. It uses wavefront measurements to create a 3-D map of your eye that tells the laser how to create the optimal corneal shape for your personal best vision.
6. What type of laser is used for the iLasik surgery?
The iLASIK procedure uses two sophisticated state-of-the-art medical lasers: an ultra-fast laser (femtosecond laser) that creates a thin flap to prepare the cornea for treatment, and an ultra-precise laser (excimer laser) that gently reshapes the cornea based on the digital information from a 100% personalized eye map.
7. What is an Excimer Laser?
An excimer laser is an ultra-precise medical laser that creates a highly focused beam of cool ultraviolet (UV) light to gently reshape the cornea. The excimer laser reshaping process is called photoablation and it takes about 30 to 90 seconds.
8. What is a Femtosecond Laser?
A femtosecond laser is an ultra-fast medical laser that creates the thin flap to prepare the cornea for treatment. The femtosecond laser creates a pattern of pulses of laser energy at a specific depth within the cornea. At this point, corneal tissue is separated by a process called photodisruption. The creation of the iLASIK system flap with a femtosecond laser takes less than 20 seconds.
9. How much nearsightedness can the iLasik procedure correct?
The iLASIK® wavefront-guided laser is FDA-approved for the correction of up to -11.00 diopters (D) of nearsightedness (myopia) with astigmatism(up to -3.00D) and without astigmatism. The actual amount of myopia that can be corrected depends on factors including the thickness and shape of your corneas and how much astigmatism you have. Your eye doctor will discuss these factors with you at your pre-operative exam and consultation.
10. How much farsightedness can the iLasik correct?
The iLASIK procedure is FDA-approved for the correction of up to +3.00 diopters (D) of farsightedness (hyperopia) with up to +2.00D of astigmatism. But factors such as the shape of your cornea and how much astigmatism you have may influence the amount of hyperopia that can be corrected in your eyes. Your eye doctor can advise you of your specific needs at your iLASIK® technology pre-operative exam and consultation.
11. How much astigmatism can the iLasik procedure correct?
- For nearsightedness, the iLASIK procedure can correct up to -3.00 diopters of astigmatism
- For farsightedness, the iLASIK procedure can correct up to +2.00 diopters of astigmatism
- For mixed astigmatism, 1.00 to 5.00 diopters
12. How old must a person be to have a LASIK procedure with he iLasik technologies?
You must be at least 21 years of age.
Bring records of your previous eye exams with you to your iLASIK procedure consultation. Your surgeon will want to see that your eyeglass prescription has not changed more than 0.50 to 1 diopter (D) over the previous 12 months before you have the iLASIK procedure, regardless of your age.
13. What conditions might disqualify me from having the iLasik procedure?
Most people with healthy eyes and mild to moderate refractive errors are excellent candidates for the iLASIK procedure. You may not qualify for the iLASIK procedure for a few reasons including – but not limited to:
- Autoimmune diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis; lupus; multiple sclerosis)
- If you are taking Accutane® (a prescription medication for acne)
- If you are taking Cordarone® (a prescription medication for irregular heartbeat)
- A history of Herpes simplex or Herpes zoster eye infections
- Signs of keratoconus or abnormal corneal topography
- Significant dry eye that is unresponsive to treatment
- Severe allergies
- If you are pregnant or nursing
- If you have thin corneas
Your eye doctor will discuss these and other possible contraindications at your pre-operative exam and consultation.
14. Can I have LASIK if I am pregnant?
You should not have the iLASIK procedure if you are pregnant or nursing because these conditions may cause temporary and unpredictable changes in your cornea.
15. Can I have the iLasik procedure if I have dry eyes?
Dry eyes can affect the accuracy of pre-operative measurements that are crucial to achieving good vision after the iLASIK procedure. Also, dry eyes can affect how well and how quickly your eyes heal.
For these reasons, if you have dry eyes you need to have the condition successfully treated before proceeding with the iLASIK procedure.
16. I have thin corneas. Can I still have the iLasik procedure?
It depends on how thin your corneas are, how much refractive error you have, and other factors.
iLASIK procedure like all types of LASIK surgery, corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. In this process, a very small amount of tissue is removed from the central cornea.
During your iLASIK® technology pre-operative exam and consultation, your eye doctor will take detailed measurements of the thickness and shape of your cornea and calculate how much laser treatment is required to fully and safely correct your vision.
If your corneas are too thin, you still might be a candidate for other types of vision correction surgery.
17. Will I still need glasses after the iLasik procedure?
Most people are glasses-free after the iLASIK procedure. Still, some people who have minor refractive errors remaining after find that wearing eyeglasses part-time for tasks such as driving at night provides added clarity and comfort.
For glasses needed for near vision, please see the question about reading glasses.
18. Will the iLasik procedure eliminate my need for reading glasses?
No, the iLASIK procedure may not eliminate the need for reading glasses even if you have never worn them before. LASIK surgery will not prevent the normal aging change in the lens of the eye that causes blurry reading vision sometime after age 40 (presbyopia).
When most people start experiencing presbyopia, they simply purchase reading glasses and use them when needed to see small print. But there are options available if you have presbyopia and want to reduce or eliminate your need for reading glasses after the iLASIK procedure.
Ask your eye doctor about options for reducing your need for reading glasses during your iLASIK® technology pre-operative exam and consultation.
19. What are the complications associated with the iLasik surgery?
Complications from the iLASIK procedure usually can be successfully managed medically or with follow-up care. The expected frequency and severity of complications vary, depending on how much nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism you have prior to the procedure and other factors.
20. Is the iLasik procedure safe or effective?
LASIK has been proven safe and effective.1 The iLASIK procedure has the added advantages of being a blade-free, “100 percent laser” procedure that includes the latest wavefront-guided technology to help you achieve your personal best vision. However, there are risks and complications. For more information, please refer to the patient information brochure at http://www.backinfocus.com/lasik-for-astigmatism-information.
21. What happens if I don't see well after the iLasik procedure?
If patients are dissatisfied with their vision after the procedure, follow-up care may improve visual acuity and patient satisfaction.
Before the Procedure
1. When do I have to stop wearing contacts prior to the iLasik procedure?
If you wear contact lenses, it is very important to stop wearing them 2–4 weeks before examination and treatment for the doctor to obtain an accurate eye measurement. Failure to do this might produce suboptimal surgical results.
Your eye doctor or iLASIK® technology surgeon will give you specific advice about when to stop wearing your contact lenses at your iLASIK® technology pre-operative eye exam and consultation.
2. Do I have to discontinue any medications I take prior to the iLasik procedure?
Bring a list of all medications you take (including supplements and other non-prescription, “over-the-counter” products) to your iLASIK® technology pre-op exam and discuss all allergies. Your eye doctor will advise you if you should discontinue any of these products prior to the iLASIK procedure.
3. Can I drive myself home after the pre-op exam?
Your pupils will be dilated during your pre-operative exam. As a result, your vision will be blurry and you will be sensitive to light. It is important you bring a pair of sunglasses to this exam. You may also want to bring someone along to drive you home. Discuss this with your doctor.
Day of the Procedure
1. Do I have to discontinue taking medications on surgery day?
Bring a list of your medications with you to your pre-op exam, and your eye doctor can advise you about this at that time. If you have any concerns about this between your pre-op exam and the day of your procedure, call your iLASIK® technology surgeon for advice.
2. Does the iLasik procedure hurt?
Numbing eye drops will be applied to your eyes to keep them comfortable throughout the iLASIK procedure.
You will feel some pressure on your eye when the flap is created to prepare your cornea for treatment and the sensation usually lasts less than a minute.
When you return home, you may experience moderate pain and discomfort that could last up to 3 days. Your surgeon will advise you which medications to use if you are uncomfortable.
If you experience significant discomfort after your iLASIK procedure, call your surgeon for further instructions.
3. Will I be given something to calm my nerves on surgery day?
Please discuss this with your surgeon during the pre-op visit. If you feel nervous when you arrive for your iLASIK procedure, your surgeon may provide some medication to help you relax.
4. Am I awake during the iLasik procedure?
Yes, you will be awake during the iLASIK procedure.
5. What happens if I blink or move during the iLasik procedure?
Your eyelids will be gently held open with a small device (lid holder) during the procedure, and eye drops used during the procedure will reduce any urge you might have to blink.
You will be lying on a comfortable chair during the brief iLASIK procedure, and your head will rest on a contoured cushion. Your surgeon will be close by and may gently hold your head to help you stay perfectly steady when the laser is active, which lasts less than a minute.
The iLASIK procedure also includes an automated “eye tracker” feature that monitors the position of your eye and compensates for any small involuntary eye movements during the laser treatment delivering the treatment right where it is intended.
6. How long does the iLasik procedure take?
The entire iLASIK procedure (both eyes) usually takes about 20 minutes.
7. Can I drive home after the iLasik procedure?
You must have someone drive you home after your iLASIK procedure because your vision will be blurry. Also, if you were given a mild sedative to help you relax, it’s likely you will be a little drowsy.
You may resume driving only after receiving permission from your doctor.
8. Can I read and watch TV when I get home from my iLasik procedure?
The best thing to do when you return home from your iLASIK procedure is to take a nap or simply relax and let your eyes rest a while. Be sure to use eye drops as recommended by your doctor to keep your eyes moist, healthy and comfortable.
Be sure to check with your surgeon and follow your surgeon’s directions.
After the Procedure
1. Will my eyes hurt after the iLasik procedure?
It’s normal for you to feel some moderate pain and discomfort for up to 3 days after your iLASIK procedure. In particular, some people report their eyes feel like an eyelash or something is “in” the eye.
As the cornea heals, you may experience some blurriness, tears may form and you will be sensitive to bright lights.
If you experience significant discomfort after your iLASIK procedure — particularly if it worsens over time — call your eye doctor for further instructions.
2. Are there precautions I need to take the first few days after the iLasik procedure?
Do not rub or bump your eyes. Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun’s UV rays, reduce glare, and protect your eyes from trauma or drying out. Protective shields will be placed over your eyes to help you avoid rubbing, touching or bumping your eyes in the hours following your procedure.
Ask your LASIK surgeon about precautions.
3. How long do I have to wear and eye shield during sleep after the iLasik procedure?
You will be given clear plastic shields to tape to your brow and cheek to protect your eyes during sleep after the iLASIK procedure. You can see through these shields and they have ventilation holes, so they are not hot or uncomfortable.
Your doctor will advise you how long you should wear the shields before you leave the laser center on the day of your procedure and/or during your follow-up visits.
4. When will my vision stabilize after the iLasik procedure?
Some blurriness and fluctuation of vision is common during recovery. This should continue to diminish with time. It’s not unusual for vision to take 2 months or longer to continue to improve and become more stable after the iLASIK procedure.
5. How long does it take for my eyes to fully recover from the iLasik procedure?
It’s common for full healing to take three months or longer.
Ask your LASIK surgeon about recovery time.
6. How soon can I drive after the iLasik procedure?
Generally, your first follow-up visit will be approximately 24 hours after your iLASIK procedure. Even if your vision seems clear, have someone drive you to this visit.
Your eye doctor or LASIK surgeon will examine your eyes and make sure they are healing properly. Your surgeon will let you know when it is safe for you to drive at your first follow up visit.
7. When can I resume wearing makeup after the iLasik procedure?
Ask your LASIK surgeon about use of makeup.
8. How soon can I swim after the iLasik procedure?
Ask your LASIK surgeon when it is safe for you to resume swimming.
9. How soon can I exercise after the iLasik procedure?
Ask your LASIK surgeon when it is safe for you to exercise.
10. Do I still need routine eye exams after iLasik procedure?
Absolutely. Routine comprehensive eye exams are still needed after your iLASIK procedure to safeguard the health of your eyes.
1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). What are the risks and how can I find the right doctor for me? FDA website. Last updated June 9, 2014. Accessed August 6, 2015.
Professional Pensacola Bladeless LASIK
One of the most popular ways to correct vision is with a procedure called LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) from Panhandle Laser Vision Institute. Dr. Barry Concool, who teaches and credentials other eye surgeons in the most modern customized bladeless laser techniques is our surgeon. He uses two of the most advanced lasers in the world to perform LASIK. One, the Intralase, creates incredibly precise flaps in the cornea. The second, a VISX, customizes each eye for the optimum visual outcomes. Most LASIK patients notice a significant improvement in their vision soon after surgery and are driving and going to work the next day. LASIK treats all kinds of visual errors including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
LASIK is for those who:
- want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts
- are at least 18 years of age
- have had a stable eye prescription for at least one year
- have no health issues affecting their eyes
- have no signs of glaucoma or cataracts
Want to know if you’re a LASIK candidate? Click here to find out.