What is iLASIK and How Does it Work?
LASIK is short for “Laser Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis”. It is a procedure designed to reduce or eliminate nearsightedness or farsightedness with or without astigmatism.
Nearsightedness, also called myopia, occurs when the shape of the eye is elongated resulting in the light being focused in front of the retina (the “seeing” part of the back of the eye). Farsightedness, or hyperopia, occurs when the shape of the eye is shortened so that light is focused behind the retina.
Astigmatism is a condition in which light that enters the eye is focused at more than one place inside the eye. Astigmatism is a condition when the shape of the eye is not spherical; it is “shaped like a football, rather than a basketball.”
In the first step of the procedure, a thin flap of tissue is partially lifted off the cornea. Some clinics use a razor blade microkeratome to make the flap, but in the second step, a small amount of the cornea is ablated (vaporized) under the flap with the VISX S4 excimer laser. The flap is then placed back in its original position and remains in place without stitches.
How is iLASIK Different from LASIK?
iLASIK is the first vision correction procedure ever to be fully tailored for the unique characteristics of your eyes. iLASIK combines two computer-guided lasers to custom correct your vision 25 times more precisely than standard methods used to measure glasses or contact lenses, providing today’s only 100% customized, all-laser LASIK. It was the advances in technologies used in the iLASIK procedure that convinced the U.S. Military that iLASIK was appropriate for their fighter pilots. NASA now also approves it for their astronauts. The iLASIK procedure boasts an outstanding safety profile thanks to the elimination of the microkeratome (razor blade) used in earlier generations of LASIK.
iLASIK is simply the most advanced, safest and precise option for laser vision correction.
How does the procedure work?
The iLASIK procedure only takes minutes. It reshapes your cornea to correct the refractive imperfections in your eye (these imperfections are essentially the reason you are nearsighted, farsighted, etc.). Here’s what happens:
- You get an extensive exam by Dr. John Haines.
- Computers/software are used to make an individual blueprint of your eyes; this blueprint is used to drive your laser correction and is what gives you a truly customized result.
- A laser is used to make a thin flap in your cornea. You’ll be given numbing drops so you won’t feel pain. This flap enables Dr. Haines to make the iLASIK correction.
- A second laser is used to make the correction to your cornea based on your unique vision/eye characteristics. This correction is completely computer driven. It’s fast and virtually painless.
- You can have great vision without glasses or contacts.
Who is a candidate for iLASIK?
People who experience difficulty wearing glasses and contact lenses due to allergies, dryness of the eyes, astigmatism, or other irritants. Generally the best candidates have low to moderate levels of myopia (-1.00 to -8.00 diopters) or hyperopia (+1.00 to +2.00 diopters). In addition, their lifestyle or career may require good vision without the use of glasses or contact lenses to function well. A thorough eye examination and evaluation is required prior to having iLASIK.
How experienced is the doctor?
Dr. John Haines has more than 20 years experience and has performed thousands of eye surgeries. He has performed the LASIK procedure on many of his family members, including his brother, wife and eighteen-year-old daughter. Many of the physicians at the River Bend, McKenzie Willamette and Pacific Communities Hospitals have had their iLASIK procedure performed by Dr. Haines. He has also trained hundreds of surgeons throughout the developing world in new surgical techniques.
What technology are you receiving?
Ask if your doctor is still using a blade for surgery. Dr. Haines at Oregon iLasik offers the latest innovation – “blade-free” or “all-laser” LASIK eye surgery. This gives our patients shorter recovery times with exceptional outcomes. We also use the latest generation VISX Star S4 Laser with Wavefront System technology – the only system that has been approved by NASA for use on astronauts!
What about follow-up care?
At Oregon iLasik, we understand how important follow-up care is to your vision. You are never left without the doctor’s direct phone number to call if care is needed outside of office hours, and we encourage you to call about any and all concerns after your procedure. We also provide follow-up appointments for up to a year after surgery. These appointments are included in the initial cost of the iLASIK procedure.
Will I have perfect vision?
The goal of iLASIK is to reduce your dependence on glasses and contacts, although there are patients who see better after the procedure without glasses than they did before iLASIK with glasses. If needed, glasses or contact lenses can be worn after iLASIK to achieve your best near or far vision. The final result of iLASIK will depend on your cornea’s response to the laser and the healing process. There are a small percentage of patients who require an enhancement to “fine tune” the outcome of their surgery. If needed, this secondary procedure is included in the initial cost of the surgery.
How much will iLASIK cost?
The staff at Oregon iLasik & Refractive can help you with financing. This price usually includes all of the pre-surgery evaluation and post-surgery follow-up exams. See our financing information page.
Anything else I should know?
Experience, technology, and care allow Oregon iLasik to offer you incomparable vision. And with Oregon iLasik’s attractive financing options, LASIK is more affordable than you might have thought! Give us a call today to find out more.