|Lasik Surgery |
Tuesday, 01 April 2008
So many people are interested in the Lasik vision correction procedure, and want to know the benefits, the risks, and how the Lasik procedure works. One of the first things to consider is what requirements a person should meet in order to have a successful Lasik procedure. Though each individual case should be discussed with a qualified Lasik physician, here are some guidelines to see if you are a good candidate for Lasik vision correction.
First, the eye should be properly matured. This means that anyone under the age of 18 really needs to wait before a Lasik procedure is done, for it is likely that the shape of their eye will continue to change for several years. If the eye shape changes after the Lasik operation is done, the clarity of vision will be affected. Some Lasik physicians recommend waiting until age 25 in some cases.
In addition to an age cutoff, the vision prescription for the Lasik candidate should be stable for at least one year, and preferably for longer than that. This is for the same reason, as above that the Lasik procedure will only continue to be effective if the eye shape remains constant after surgery.
One comment about age cutoffs should be made with regard to Lasik surgery. There is no maximum age, as many patients in their fifties to their eighties have had a very successful Lasik procedure. The main consideration in these cases is enough tear production for successful healing and lubrication after the Lasik vision correction.
The eyes of the Lasik candidate should be healthy. This means that any person undergoing a Lasik procedure should have had no eye infection or injury for at least a year, and must have no scarring on the cornea of the eye. In addition, they must not have any recurring eye problem, such as a history of herpes infection in the eyes.
The medical history of a prospective Lasik client also plays an important part. Some chronic conditions, such as autoimmune disorders like Lupus, will prevent some people from being able to schedule a Lasik procedure. You should be very clear about any and all medical conditions that are current, or even completed ones in the past. Also, women who are pregnant or nursing should wait to have a Lasik procedure scheduled.
A good Lasik physician will also not schedule people with dry eye syndrome for Lasik vision correction. Having sufficient tear production is important, though for minor problems this may be aided by medication during the healing process. In addition, those people with eyes that dilate very widely are not good candidates for Lasik.
These are most of the most common reasons that a person should look at some other eye improvement choice other than Lasik. Most generally healthy people with standard vision problems benefit greatly from a Lasik procedure done by a trained, professional Lasik physician. Look for a good Lasik center in your area and discuss your individual case in detail.
Tuesday, 01 April 2008
Improving your vision with a Lasik procedure could be one of the greatest gifts you could get for yourself. However, as my mother used to say, "Your eyes are precious." It is important to entrust the Lasik operation to a doctor that you trust and have confidence in.
Let's begin with three factors that should NOT be the sole reason you select a doctor for the Lasik procedure. The location of the office is not particularly important, and a number of people travel long distances to have the Lasik procedure done, for a truly professional doctor will only need to be visited two or three times. Also, cost or the type of Lasik technology used should not be the sole factor. The range in surgical skill for a Lasik operation does vary, and there is the old saying "you get what you pay for." Further, though the newer types of Lasik procedures do have their benefits; many eye doctors in a large metropolitan area often offer two or three Lasik variants.
There are several ways to determine which is the best doctor for you in your area. One of the qualities to look for in a good Lasik physician is someone who can accurately assess your situation, and advise you if Lasik is even a good choice for you and your lifestyle. A physician that takes the time to discuss your own physical condition and situation with you is a good indicator that this is a Lasik physician that you can rely on.
Look for a Lasik doctor, which has a solid reputation in the area, and has a good track record. A physician that advertises in a magazine is not a sufficient recommendation to put your trust in that doctor, and needs more investigation before agreeing to have him do your Lasik procedure. Sometimes a Lasik center with a large advertising campaign and discounted prices may be indicating that the quality of the surgery is not excellent, and this could be a red flag to avoid that center.
A good Lasik doctor should be involved in the entire Lasik process. As mentioned above, he should take time to assess your particular case and discuss it with you. Not only should he do the exam, but also he should also perform most or the entire preoperative exam, and also should meet with you personally to monitor the success of the procedure at the dates for checkup. There are stories from some Lasik centers of the patients never seeing the physician again after the operation until they complained strenuously of some particular problem.
Make sure the physician is honest in their assessment of the general Lasik procedure, and his track record in particular. Ask for individual examples of patients that the physician dissuaded from having the Lasik operation, and why. Ask how many Lasik procedures the doctor has done in total, and how many in the last two years. An experienced surgeon should have performed in the neighborhood of 1000 Lasik procedures, with at least 500 of those in the last two years.
Use these questions as a starting point to investigate the Lasik centers in your area, and even the highly recommended ones in nearby major metropolitan areas. It will be time well invested, and the first step to a clearer future.
Tuesday, 01 April 2008
Thinking about eye surgery using a Lasik procedure is a big step, and many people are a little hesitant to ask the questions that they have. The Lasik procedure, though widely talked about, is not discussed in detail, and people tend to fear the unknown. This report addresses some of the more commonly held fears, and talks about the experience for the vast majority of people that undergo a Lasik procedure.
A most common fear when thinking about a Lasik procedure, or really thinking about any surgery in general, is the possibility of pain during or after the operation. Since the Lasik surgeon works on patients that are conscious, this is a widely held apprehension. In every operation the Lasik surgeon applies numbing drops into the eyes before the procedure starts, and the patient is also given a mild sedative to relax them and make sure that they are comfortable. Though a small pressure to the eye may be felt during the Lasik procedure, the process itself is relatively pain free.
The surgeon does use a laser in the eye to help reshape the cornea during the Lasik procedure. Many folks are worried about the laser being shone directly into the eye, or that they might look away and, due to this, develop a serious complication with their eyes and the Lasik laser beam effects. In actuality, the laser is only active for ten to fifteen seconds for each eye, and the Lasik machine has a tracking system that allows the beam to be on only when the eye is in the correct position.
Another general fear for people contemplating a medical procedure is fear of "the scalpel". Any Lasik procedure uses only a very small microkeratome blade to approach the eye, or some more recent Lasik innovations have the laser itself created the flap and avoid using any hard surface at all. There is no reason to be concerned about a scalpel, for the Lasik physician does not use one.
Many wonder about the horror stories they hear about this or any other operation, and wonder about serious consequences like going blind. According the government statistics taken by the FDA, there are no reported cases of blindness due to a Lasik operation. Actually, the risk of a serious permanent complication due to the Lasik procedure is less than 1 percent, and the risk of any permanent complications even if not serious (such as light halos) is 3 percent or less. It is extremely rare for a patient to not have improved vision after a Lasik procedure.
If the thought of being awake and having your eyes open during the Lasik procedure bothers you, remember that you will be given a mild sedative for the procedure, and that your eyes will have numbing drops administered to them. If the thought of actually seeing the Lasik physician's hand approaching your eye is bothersome, be comforted that the surgeon applies drops to the eye that blacks out the vision in that eye for ten to fifteen seconds, which is long enough for the procedure to be done for that eye.
This introduction has hopefully addressed the most common fears about the Lasik procedure. For anyone that might gain a better life quality with improved vision, please visit your local Lasik clinic and discuss the procedure in detail with the professionals there.
Tuesday, 01 April 2008
If you take the time to read any of the message boards or chat rooms on the Internet about Lasik surgery, you will wonder how anyone could get the courage to schedule a Lasik procedure, and why on earth they would want it. The various Lasik clinics sound anywhere from impersonal to something similar to Dr. Frankenstein's lab, and the Lasik procedure itself sounds, well, surreal. It seems like the only people that would get Lasik are those with such bad vision that they cannot get out of bed without their glasses on.
Well, let me give you my story of how I chose Lasik. First of all, my vision is not good, but not terrible either. I can actually go to movies and see well enough to enjoy the film without glasses, but I need glasses to drive in order to read the street signs far enough away to act on the information. So for me, Lasik was not necessary, but I figured would simplify my life. I am outdoors very frequently, backpacking, climbing hills, and mountain biking. Glasses do not last long with me, and I am frequently grinding into the dirt, which is not the best situation for contact lenses. For these reasons, Lasik looked very appealing.
The paragraph above might make you think I am a "manly guy" (hope so, think so!), so why on earth would I be afraid of a little Lasik scalpel? OK, technically Lasik does NOT use a scalpel but rather a "microkeratome blade", but it is still a sharp object approaching my eye as part of the Lasik procedure. Nowadays Lasik physicians can get a laser to cut the flap in the eye, which is more than a little better than a sharp blade. But anyway, I had too many spills in my life to think any sharp object nearing my eye was a good idea, even under the skilled hands of a Lasik physician.
After talking with three (yes, three!) independent Lasik physicians, they each assured me that a 28-year-old guy in nearly perfect health (OK, I exaggerate a bit) with moderate nearsightedness was one of the very best candidates for a successful Lasik procedure. I decided to schedule my Lasik procedure with the one that had the best track record, and coincidentally took the most time to explain everything about Lasik to me.
The Lasik surgery was not painful, though I accepted nearly everything they offered to give me comfort, including a sedative and a teddy bear. (I even went back to take a picture of me and the Lasik comforting teddy bear.) The only strange thing I remember about the Lasik procedure itself was a smell, something vaguely like hair burning. I suppose that was my eye. I am kind of glad they didn't tell me to expect that before the Lasik procedure, I am not sure I would have gone in.
After a few years, I guess I was a nearly perfect Lasik client, as my eyes now have 20/20 vision and have remained stable long after the Lasik operation. I say that if you are a good candidate for a Lasik vision correction procedure, grab that teddy bear and go on in.
Tuesday, 01 April 2008
A person that is considering a Lasik procedure to improve their vision has two major responsibilities: selecting the best surgeon possible for their budget, and understanding and keeping up with eye care after the Lasik operation is done. Most Lasik procedures go very smoothly, and more than 90% of the patients are happy with their improved vision and have no permanent side effects. Part of this success is due to good care at home once the Lasik procedure is complete.
The first step in having the best care after a Lasik procedure is to understand exactly what the Lasik physician directs. The prospective Lasik patient should be given a good understanding of the entire process when they first visit a Lasik center to interview the physician and the staff. On the day of the procedure, a member of the staff should very carefully go over exactly what steps should be done to encourage optimal eye health and healing after the Lasik operation.
One thing that the patient should ask is what side effects are to be expected directly after the Lasik procedure, how long they should last, and which symptoms should be promptly told to the Lasik physician or member of the staff. A number of symptoms, such as fluctuating vision or halos around lights, are to be expected and are not a cause of worry. Ask the staff about any postoperative symptoms that are unclear, to make sure that they are thoroughly understood.
Each Lasik physician has their own recommended procedures for their patients, but here is a list of typical suggestions that most Lasik centers recommend. First, get some sleep as soon as possible after the Lasik procedure is done. This gives a great boost to the healing process. Second, avoid any contact, bumping, or rubbing of the eyes for at least five days after the Lasik procedure. Most Lasik centers have some kind of eye guards to wear at night to prevent patients from rubbing their eyes in their sleep.
Third, try to avoid eyestrain for some days after the Lasik procedure. It is tempting to try to read all of the signs and words that were previously blurry, but avoid this temptation at least for the large part. If any light sensitivity or glare is noticed, wear dark sunglasses for several days until this problem resolves itself. Some common Lasik side effects are temporary halos around lights, especially when viewed at night, but this is not a problem to be concerned with.
It is very important to keep the eyes well lubricated in the days following a Lasik operation. Every Lasik physician will give eye drops to help this, and patient should be especially aware of this before going to sleep. A Lasik procedure may increase eye dryness temporarily, and during sleep this may make the eyelid stick slightly to the eye. When the patient wakes up, opening the eyelid is equivalent to rubbing the eye. The physician should be notified if this happens, for there are other varieties of eye drops that will solve this problem.
Taking these simple steps will give nearly all Lasik patients an easy postoperative experience without any problems.
Tuesday, 01 April 2008
One of the most marvelous advancements using modern technology is the Lasik vision correction procedure, where in the space of fifteen minutes many people can reduce or eliminate their reliance on glasses or contact lenses. There is very little preparation for the surgery on the Lasik patient's side, and the Lasik procedure itself takes less than twenty minutes.
With current technology and an excellent Lasik physician, there is a very high success rate for nearly all Lasik surgeries. Though not all patients get or keep exactly 20/20 vision, there is a vast improvement in the Lasik client's vision and dependence on corrective eyewear. The two most important factors under the patient's control is the choice of the physician and good post-operative care.
After visiting a few physicians or clinics that perform Lasik procedures, the client should have a very good idea of how they will be treated as a patient of that doctor. It is important to find a Lasik physician whose staff is responsive to questions and worries, and who are willing to see a post-operative Lasik client who is having a problem with their care.
This is one of the more common complaints of those folks that undergo a Lasik procedure: insufficient information about post-operative Lasik side effects, or a staff that simply says, "Lots of people experience that, no problem," when the patient actually should be seen by a member of the staff. A visit where the prospective Lasik patient talks with both the physician and one or two members of the staff will get an idea of how well a patient is welcomed once the Lasik procedure is completed.
During this initial investigative visit, the client should ask the Lasik staff for a list of common, temporary side effects that can be experienced after a Lasik procedure. The staff member should describe any cases where the patient should make a point of contacting the Lasik center, rather than just enduring the side effect. Cases of pain, intense itching, or seriously blurred vision may indicate an infection or other serious problem, and should be seen promptly. It is truly very rare that any of these complications exist after a Lasik procedure, but make sure that the center is willing to see the patient if they think something is more than mildly wrong.
One of the more common side effects after a Lasik operation is some form of dry eye, which often occurs during the nighttime while asleep. Not only is this uncomfortable, but if the eyelid sticks even slightly to the eye itself, it may dislodge the surgical flap done in the Lasik procedure, and delay healing of the eye. If this occurs, the Lasik center has several different viscosities, or thicknesses, of eye drops to alleviate this problem. The staff should be promptly notified so this problem can be addressed immediately.
A good, responsive staff surrounding an excellent Lasik physician is the most important component in how to select a doctor. Interviewing the physician and staff about all aspects of the Lasik procedure, both the procedure itself and post-operative care, is the best way to make an excellent choice.
Tuesday, 01 April 2008
The wonderful results of Lasik surgery have been improved by research adding new methods, such as Wavefront technology. This technology gives a Lasik physician the ability to see and accurately map even slight variations in the surface of the eye. This gives the physician the ability to more accurately tailor a Lasik operation to the individual, and result in even clearer vision.
Astronomers originally developed the concept behind Wavefront technology, in order to indicate if a mirror or a lens had slight imperfections in it. It is very important in astronomy to get near perfect optics in order to clearly see the small light sources million of miles away in the universe. In the 1970s a sensor was created to electronically check these surfaces, and a type of this sensor is now used in the Wavefront guided Lasik procedures.
The idea to apply this technique, or to use this sensor, to the field of ophthalmology and later to the specific area of Lasik vision correction, was begun in Germany. The physician Josef Bille began using the sensor in his practice, and this started others to refine the sensor and how it is used and to apply it to Lasik technology. In 1997 the improved sensor, with greater accuracy and speed, was announced to the Lasik laser manufacturers. This allowed the companies that manufacture the Lasik equipment to develop tools using the Wavefront concept for each of their own laser systems.
The FDA approved the first Wavefront guided Lasik vision correction system for general use. Initially, the Wavefront sensor makes a map of the eye's imperfections, and this map is sent to the laser that is used in the Lasik vision correction portion of the operation. This allows for precise eye alteration in order for Lasik to present the best vision correction possible.
The Wavefront technology used in Lasik can be described easily at an informal level. A small, flat sheet of light (called a wavefront) is passed through the eye, reflected off of the retina, and passed back through the eye and is captured by the Wavefront machine. If the eye were perfect, the light would return as a flat sheet and be captured that way by the Lasik machine. However, any imperfections change the way that the light returns, and this is detected by the Wavefront part of the Lasik process.
A number of these small, flat sheets of light are sent into each eye from various directions and the results returned generated a three dimensional map of the eye to be used in the Lasik vision correction process. In addition to the commonly known problems of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, there are more than 60 other patterns that are known and can possibly be corrected for.
All of this information generated by the Lasik sensor is converted by software into a set of directions to be carried out by the Lasik excimer laser. Ask your doctor about this exciting advance in Lasik vision correction, and see if this procedure is right for you!
Tuesday, 01 April 2008
One of the first publicized physicians that perform the Lasik eye corrective operation was Dr. Boothe, of Dallas Texas. He has performed the Lasik operation for a number of different clients, including members of the NFL Dallas Cowboys football team. There are countless testimonials of how satisfied his Lasik clients were with the surgery, even a number of years later.
One of the important considerations for any doctor is kindness, and Dr Boothe's Lasik patients comment on this trait after their procedures. They all agree that Dr. Boothe made them feel very relaxed about the procedure, and took time to answer any and all questions that they might have. This is especially important with the Lasik process, as eye health is crucially important, and confidence in the doctor makes considering the Lasik option much more feasible.
Dr. Boothe became a specialist of the eye, and especially the cornea, in 1987.
He has performed more than 80,000 Lasik laser vision corrections in that time. He has also contributed to the field of expanding Lasik practice, with the new VISX three dimensional wavefront procedures. These procedures are especially useful for those people with unusual configurations of their eyes.
One of the other newer Lasik procedures uses only the laser, instead of the usual Lasik operation using both scalpel and laser. He is the leader in the performance of this field, and has done more than 45,000 of these operations. This type of Lasik procedure holds new promise for the field, and should be investigated by anyone considering any type of Lasik procedure.
Looking at some of Dr. Boothe's background will help prospective Lasik clients to look for a physician of similar quality in their area. Dr. Boothe's center itself is located in the Dallas metropolitan area, but there are many fine doctors that practice Lasik procedures in all parts of the country. He has taught a number of other surgeons in the technique, and so one question that should be asked is where the physician received his training in the Lasik procedure, and which doctors taught the technique.
A most critical part of traditional Lasik surgery is using the microkeratome to make and lift a flap in the eye. Dr. Boothe's love of medicine and absorption in furthering the techniques used in Lasik make him a pioneer in the field of ophthalmology. He is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, and emphasizes that any patient should check the board certification for any physician they are considering for performing the Lasik procedure in addition to standard medical certifications, such as the American Medical Association.
His many thousands of satisfied patients attest one reason that Dr. Boothe entered the field of Lasik surgery was because a good eye surgeon can dramatically improve the quality of life for his patients, as. The doctor that a patient selects for the Lasik procedure should have high standards for safety, accuracy, and precision. This should be reflected in the results and opinions of the patients that the doctor has. Lasik can be a life improving procedure, and careful selection of a physician in the same mold as Dr. Boothe can make it much more certain.
Tuesday, 01 April 2008
This story is for my family and friends who wonder what it is like to go through a Lasik vision correction procedure. I've shared my experiences with one or two colleagues at work that have also had Lasik done, and there are enough variations to give insight to those who are trying to choose between different Lasik physicians or different Lasik centers.
First, my Lasik procedure was scheduled for 4 PM in the afternoon, which was fine with me. One of the directions for patient that has just had a Lasik procedure was to go to sleep as soon as possible, in order for the healing process to begin as quickly as possible. And usually by the end of the afternoon I am too tired after working all day to be very nervous. Well, usually anyway.
I had only been there a few minutes when I was called into a room to prepare me for the Lasik procedure, and to get instructions (again!) on how to care for my eyes once the Lasik vision correction has been done. They offered me some Ativan, which is a mild sedative just to keep me calm during the Lasik process. The lasers themselves monitor any head or eye movement and turn themselves off when it occurs, so it isn't that the sedative is for anything other than psychological reasons. I took it anyway. All of my colleagues at work also took it, though none of us really felt any different than we did before. Apparently it is a VERY mild sedative.
My eyes were prepared for the Lasik procedure by being dosed with eye numbing drops and some kind of medication. I cannot be sure of the other pre-operative steps, as I think I was trying very hard not to think about either Lasik or my eyes. Perhaps the sedative was a bit stronger than I imagined it was.
At this point I was escorted into another room for some time, where I sat back, listened to the piped-in music, and awaited my turn in the Lasik operating room. There were two other people waiting with me in this room, so apparently my doctor different setup for his Lasik patients than my colleagues. Both were alone in their pre-op rooms until they were escorted into the room where the Lasik procedure was actually performed.
As to the Lasik procedure itself, all of us have similar memories from this procedure. Each of us felt some pressure when the various Lasik implements were used on our eyes, though there wasn't any real discomfort or pain. There was a blurring of vision for the eye being worked on, but the real sensation was mainly audio - the whirring and clicks of the machine. One of my colleagues also remembers a distinct smell, somewhat reminiscent of hair burning. There may have been a slight smell during my Lasik procedure, but it wasn't significant enough for my attention to be focused on it.
After a short amount of time, my Lasik physician said he was done and that I had been a good patient. In all of our Lasik experiences, the operation itself was much easier than all of our worries about it beforehand. I hope this helps those of you considering having a Lasik procedure done.
Tuesday, 01 April 2008
When I came home from college for the Thanksgiving holidays, I was very surprised to hear that he had undergone a Lasik operation for his vision. It came to my attention immediately, as he was wearing sunglasses on a rainy Maryland afternoon. Apparently one of the possible temporary side effects of the Lasik procedure is a sensitivity to light. After talking with him privately, he hadn't actually had any of the side effects that his Lasik physician had described, but was having a wonderful time making the family think that he did. What a character.
Granddad is one that always enjoys new gadgets, people's sympathy, and the chance to tell another story to anyone willing to listen. It almost seems that the Lasik procedure was tailor made for him, especially since his Lasik operation was essentially trouble free. In addition to the sunglasses, the doctor that performed his Lasik surgery gave Granddad a pair of goggles to wear at night so that he would not rub his eyes in his sleep. Granddad also wore them at breakfast and for most meals, saying that a possible squirt in the eye from a grapefruit or wine glass was not allowed in the Lasik manual. I should mention that we don't usually drink wine, and that he was not given a Lasik manual.
Two of the more common temporary side effects after Lasik surgery are sensitivity to light or to glare, especially at night, and some possibility of fluctuating vision for several days after the Lasik procedure. I have never seen a man milk so much out of a combination of one or both of these symptoms, though he never had either one.
He couldn't clear dishes from the table because his fluctuating vision may have him drop the plates, and he couldn't drive to the convenience store at night because... well, you get the idea. I do wonder why I was told the real story of his Lasik procedure, but I guess a secret partner makes the stories all the sweeter.
As it turns out, the only real post Lasik symptom that he actually had was dry eyes, and he had eye drops for that. As it turned out, he needed to get a second type of eye drops from his Lasik physician since he needed a thicker prescription to get through the night comfortably. Granddad was surprised that he seemed to be a model Lasik patient at his age, though his doctor said he had done a number of very successful Lasik surgeries for clients into their seventies, and even a few in their eighties.
I am surprised that Granddad bothered to look into a Lasik operation, for I never noticed that he had a problem with his glasses. He says it was because Lasik would reveal the handsome man he is more clearly to the ladies, though he has been a widower for twelve years and seemed fine with that.
He did say though that the clarity of vision that the Lasik procedure gave him is better than any he has had in over thirty years. Perhaps that is true, for my post Lasik grandfather is more interested in things and more active than I have seen him in the last few years. Perhaps Lasik is a part of that.