Are You Searching For LASIK In Austin, TX?
Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? Are you sure that there must be something better? There is if you’re a candidate for a procedure called LASIK!
LASIK eye surgery is a very popular refractive procedure. In fact, it’s the most popular elective medical procedure that patients choose to have! Thousands of people undergo LASIK surgery each day. Its popularity continues to increase as new advancements are continuously made.
As a procedure, LASIK is always evolving thanks to state-of-the-art technology and new techniques. These ensure that LASIK is safe, painless, and effective for patients. If you’re tired of wearing glasses and contacts and want to achieve visual freedom, LASIK may be the way to do it.
LASIK surgery has been improving sight for many years now and is the most common form of laser vision correction today. It has a very high success rate and few possible complications.
Why Should I Consider Having LASIK?
The number one reason that most patients consider having LASIK is that they are tired of wearing glasses or contact lenses. LASIK is a permanent procedure that can let you say goodbye to these visual aids for good.
If you have refractive errors like astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness, LASIK can fix them.
Patients decide to have LASIK for many other reasons as well. It may be as simple as not liking how they look wearing glasses.
Some may wear contact lenses and experience frustrating dry eye symptoms. Whatever your reasons, they are valid if you want to achieve visual freedom!
LASIK is a truly life-changing procedure if you qualify as a good candidate. Take your first step towards a hassle-free vision and contact us about our LASIK surgery services today!
How Do I Know If I’m A Good LASIK Candidate?
Generally, the only way to know if you’re a good candidate for LASIK is to schedule a LASIK consultation. But there are certain factors that go into candidacy, including:
You must be at least 18 years old to undergo LASIK but many surgeons prefer patients to be in their mid to late twenties.
Your prescription must be stable, meaning it’s remained unchanged for at least a year before getting LASIK.
Not Currently Pregnant or Nursing:
You can’t be pregnant or nursing if you want to get LASIK. During pregnancy, hormonal changes affect all parts of your body, including your eyes.
It’s best to wait to have LASIK until you know you won’t have any more children. If you’re nursing, you must wait at least three months until you’ve finished making sure your prescription has stabilized.
You don’t have to be in perfect health to have LASIK but there are certain illnesses that can make it much harder to recover from LASIK. You may not qualify for the procedure if you have diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, or autoimmune conditions.
Since part of the cornea is totally removed during LASIK, your corneas must be thick enough to remove a small amount of tissue. If your corneas are too thin, having LASIK could lead to serious complications or even loss of vision.
You should not have any eye conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, or a severe case of dry eye syndrome before getting LASIK. If you do have dry eye syndrome, this must already be under control before you can have LASIK.
It’s important to understand that these are only some of the factors that go into LASIK candidacy. You’ll have extensive tests performed at your LASIK consultation at Westlake Eye Specialists in Austin.
How is LASIK Eye Surgery Performed?
LASIK surgery at Westlake Eye in Austin involves creating a flap on the surface of the cornea. Westlake Eye Specialists only perform bladeless LASIK, as it’s more precise and leads to better patient results.
The excimer laser creates the “corneal flap” needed to complete LASIK surgery. The excimer laser is fast and effective. It’s also computer-guided, leaving less room for the possibility of human error.
After creating the corneal flap, the surgeon can then reshape the inner layers of the cornea. Reshaping the cornea allows all refractive errors to be 100% corrected.
For patients, this means clear vision and visual freedom! After creating the flap and reshaping the cornea, the cornea and flap are left to reattach on their own without the need for stitches.
Please refer to our LASIK eye surgery FAQ for more information and common questions asked by patients. Additionally, our surgeons offer a number of LASIK alternatives for patients who are not ideal candidates for the procedure.
LASIK Eye Surgery Technology
We aim to provide the ultimate in state of the art LASIK Technology. Our goal is to provide the safest and most accurate LASIK surgery and the way to do this to stay up to date with both surgical skills and technology.
Our LASIK surgeons are prepared to provide a great experience and outcome. Before LASIK can even be performed you will need to go through a series of pre-operative tests to determine if this procedure would be a good decision for vision correction. The technology starts in this diagnostic process.
One of the most important parts of our diagnosis is done with a machine called the Pentacam.® This device provides the surgeon with an overall view of the anterior segment of the eye in just a matter of seconds.
Essentially, your cornea will be analyzed for its thickness and curvatures. Measurements performed by the Pentacam device.
Creating the LASIK Flap
We now use a bladeless flap creation laser known as a femtosecond laser. The flap is created using gas bubbles instead of a blade. This has proven to be a safer procedure than conventional LASIK that used a microkeratome with a blade in it. This allows for greater precision in creating the flap and removing the required corneal tissue.
The Johnson & Johnson Vision Intralase system is advanced technology with patient safety in mind. Ophthalmologists still debate if Intralase is better or safer than traditional LASIK but the technology has become a standard over the years.
LASIK Eye Surgery Procedure
During the actual LASIK surgery, an excimer laser is used to remove the underlying corneal tissue. Westlake Eye Specialists use the VISX Star 4 ActiveTrak excimer laser system.
This laser can eliminate dependence on glasses or contact lenses for people with varying degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism.
Although LASIK has only been around and approved since the late 1990s you might be surprised to know that the first excimer laser was actually produced in 1976 by IBM and was primarily used in the creation of computer microchips. The VISX Star 4 laser used by our practice is FDA approved.
What is the Recovery Like After LASIK?
At Westlake Eye, the recovery time after LASIK is fast and almost painless. Most people are able to go back to work the next day!
One thing you need to plan for is you can’t drive yourself home when you have LASIK. Make sure you have a family member or friend that can drive you home.
You may want to have them bring you inside so you can get comfortable. Avoid doing too much on the first day.
Resting for a few hours is one of the best things you can do to get your recovery off to a good start! After LASIK, your eye doctor will prescribe eye drops to prevent inflammation and infection. It’s important to take these exactly as directed.
It’s normal if your eyes feel gritty, sore, or irritated in the first few days after LASIK. They may also feel dry.
This is the most common side effect after having LASIK. It’s temporary and easy to manage using lubricating eye drops and artificial tears.
An important component of your LASIK recovery is follow-up appointments with your eye doctor. You’ll need to see your eye doctor in the first 24-48 hours after the procedure.
This is to ensure your eyes have started to heal as they should. If there are any complications, they can catch them early on and treat them.
There are some activities that you should avoid as you recover from LASIK. For the first month, it’s best to avoid the following:
- Swimming in any bodies of water
- Wearing any kind of eye makeup
- Getting water in your eyes
- Playing contact sports
- Strenuous exercise
If there are other things you shouldn’t be doing, your eye doctor will let you know during your follow-up appointments. If you experience any eye pain or discomfort after the first week of your recovery, let them know.
This is not normal and may be a sign of a complication or an infection. Most LASIK patients achieve a full recovery and peak vision improvement after about three months.
Tired of wearing glasses or contacts and want improved vision? LASIK surgery could be the answer you’ve been looking for! Contact the eye doctors and ophthalmologists at Westlake Eye and schedule an appointment in Austin or Kyle, Texas or take the LASIK self test today!
Q: Am I a candidate for LASIK?
A: This is the first and most common question from those considering LASIK. Some people are not candidates for LASIK for a few reasons, such as the severity or their refractive error or existing eye conditions.
We cannot tell you if you are truly a candidate without first coming in for a consultation. The doctor will ask you about your eye health, family history, and consider your refractive error and condition of your cornea.
Q: How long does the LASIK procedure actually take?
A: This depends on each person. LASIK surgery at Westlake Eye in Austin generally takes around 15 to 20 minutes, but expect to be at the surgery center for a few hours.
Q: Will the laser hurt?
A: During the procedure, you will have been given an anesthetic and will not be able to feel the laser. After the procedure, you may feel some discomfort in the form of watery, itchy, or gritty eyes. This will subside.
Q: How long do LASIK results last?
A: LASIK is considered a permanent procedure, however, does not stop the aging of the eye. Age-related eye conditions such as cataracts and presbyopia are still a possibility and can be treated on their own in the typical fashion.
Q: Are there any Risks with LASIK?
A: While LASIK at Westlake Eye in Austin is regarded as one of the safest surgical procedures today, it does come with some risks. Experienced LASIK surgeons experience a less than 1% complication rate. These complications are always confined to the quality of vision, and not the loss of vision. Some risks include:
- Decreased night vision
- Under or over-treatment
- Severe dry eye syndrome
- Outcomes not as good in patients with severe refractive error
- Some far-sighted patients may see diminished results with age
Q: What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?
A: PRK today is also known as Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA). Both ASA and LASIK use the same excimer laser to reshape the cornea in the exact same way to help get rid of glasses for distance vision. Most patients will have the same visual outcomes for either procedure. The difference between the two is what takes place before the reshaping, and the healing that is required afterward.
LASIK surgery first creates a thin flap on the surface of the cornea, which is then lifted out of the way before the inner layers are reshaped by the excimer laser. The flap is then repositioned. The flap can be created using a specialized blade, or with a separate type of laser.
I have only ever done All-Laser LASIK for my patients, and never use a blade. This reduces the remote but real risk of complications that can occur when using the blade. With LASIK, on the day of surgery, vision is blurry but rapidly improved in the following hours to days. There is also some discomfort on the first day which generally resolves by the next morning.
ASA surgery requires no flap and so avoids any issues with the creation or healing of a flap. Instead, surface cells are moistened and then wiped away, allowing the excimer laser to then reshape the stromal bed beneath the surface layers.
The surface cells are then allowed to heal naturally over the next days and weeks. Discomfort during the healing process is prolonged to 3-4 days following the surgery, which is typically a burning or tearing or scratchy feeling. Subsequently, vision heals in more gradually until surface cells organize back into their original position.
Both surgeries can be great choices for most patients.
Q: What should I do before and after the LASIK procedure?
A: A comprehensive eye examination will be done at Westlake Eye in Austin or Kyle, TX before the LASIK procedure to ensure that you are a good candidate. One of our Austin, TX ophthalmologists will explain to you what will need to do to prepare. If you are wearing contacts, you will need to remove them prior to your preoperative evaluation. Remove hard or gas permeable lenses 3-6 weeks in advance, and soft lenses 7 days in advance. Following the procedure at Westlake Eye in Austin, you will need someone to drive you home. You have a follow-up appointment the next day, and then designated intervals for the first year.