Lasik & PRK Surgery
Wavelight® Refractive Suite for a completely blade-free LASIK procedure!
WaveLight® Refractive Suite is the latest, most advanced form of blade-free Lasik treatment available today. In fact, there are only eight WaveLight® Refractive Suites in the U.S. and one of them is at Illinois Eye Center.
Blade-Free Wavelight FS200 for the first step of LASIK
The Wavelight® FS200 Laser is a 100% blade-free technique used to perform the critical first step in the LASIK procedure: creating the corneal flap. Specially designed for fast, precise custom flap creation, the Wavelight® FS200 Laser prepares the eye for the second step of the LASIK procedure where an excimer laser is used on the inner cornea to correct vision.
Wavelight EX500 Excimer Laser for the second step of LASIK
The WaveLight® EX500 excimer laser is a major advancement in refractive surgery - providing the right combination of speed, precision and personalization to correct unique imperfections in your vision. The Wavelight® EX500 excimer laser incorporates numerous technological advancements including multi-dimensional eyetracking, online pachymetry, fast small flying-spot ablations and three customizable wavefront correction platforms for the most precise outcomes available for vision correction surgery.
Am I a Good LASIK Candidate?
Most patients who come to us for refractive surgery are excellent candidates for LASIK. Because everyone's eyes are different, however, your surgeon may decide that LASIK is not the best vision correction option for you. Our commitment to superior technology means that our patients have an excellent chance of achieving optimum results. Your surgeon will review a number of factors including your eye history, current prescription and current health to determine the procedure that suits you best.
The best candidates for LASIK surgery meet the following criteria:
- 18 years of age or older
- need glasses or contacts to see clearly
- have relatively stable vision over the last 18 months
- have a healthy cornea, retina, and eye pressure
- have no other major eye diseases
- have no evidence of collagen vascular, autoimmune or immunodeficiency disease
- are not pregnant or nursing
- have realistic expectations of what the surgery can accomplish
What Can I Expect After LASIK?
While everyone's experience with LASIK may be slightly different, surgeons have guidelines and recommendations to follow for a reason. Knowing what is to be expected of you, as well as what will happen with your eyesight after surgery, will make a big difference in enjoying the benefits LASIK has to offer.
When considering LASIK, you will want to discuss options thoroughly with our refractive coordinator and your surgeon to learn as much as you can about what is involved. As a patient, it is important that you have a clear understanding of the surgery, the procedure's advantages and risks, and what to expect after the procedure is complete.
Since LASIK at Illinois Eye Center is performed on Fridays, most patients are able to return to work and other normal activities after a weekend of "taking it easy". It is recommended that you go to sleep right after the procedure to reduce any post-operative irritation. Your surgeon will provide you with a sleep aid. When you wake up, you should already notice improved vision. There is usually little to no post-operative discomfort after LASIK surgery, though follow-up exams during recovery are required to ensure that your eyes heal properly.
Possible LASIK Complications
The vast majority of people who have LASIK performed obtain excellent results that live up to or exceed their expectations. Advances in LASIK technology and surgical techniques have improved outcomes and decreased risks and complications associated with the procedure. However, like any other modern surgical procedure, laser eye surgery is not entirely risk free.
LASIK complications are very rare. But even with the best surgeons, best-screened patients, and best equipment, the small risk of certain complications remains. Studies have consistently shown that LASIK complications decline as surgeon experience increases, so you can help your chances of a good outcome by selecting a surgeon who has performed a large number (greater than 1000) of these procedures.
If you are 40 and considering LASIK, presbyopia is an important concept to understand. Presbyopia is a normal and expected consequence of the aging process.
The crystalline lens within your eyes is composed of proteins. These proteins are soft and flexible when you are younger. Typically beginning in your early 40's, presbyopia occurs as the protein composition of the crystalline lens changes, making it harder and less flexible. When the crystalline lens loses its ability to flex, it is no longer able to change its shape and effectively bend light rays as sharply. This diminishes the eye's ability to focus on near objects. When presbyopia begins, people who already wear glasses may need bifocals or trifocals, and those who have never worn glasses may require reading glasses.
Today, there are strategies to help deal with the inconveniences of presbyopia. If you need to have your distance vision corrected because you are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism and need some help with close vision because your are beginning to experience presbyopia, LASIK may be an option if performed as a specialized "monovision" LASIK.
Monovision is a consideration for people experiencing presbyopia and interested in LASIK. Typically with monovision, the dominant eye (usually in line with your dominant hand) is corrected for clear distance vision. The non-dominant eye is then purposefully corrected in a way that yields better vision up close.
Patients over forty must make a choice. Either both eyes are corrected for distance, or one eye is corrected for distance and the other for near. If a patient is unsure of what they would like, contact lenses can often be used to simulate post-operative results.
If you are over 40, or wear bifocals or reading glasses, your LASIK surgeon will want to discuss monovision during your consultation in order to make sure you end up with a satisfying and functional result.
PRK As Another Option
Photorefractive Keratectomy, or PRK, has been around longer than LASIK and remains a great vision correction option. Not everyone's eyes may be structurally suited for LASIK surgery, so PRK could be an option in these cases. One such instance is if a patient has a cornea that is significantly thinner than average. We use special instruments to measure this during the pre-operative consultation and will discuss the issue if it is relevant to your case.
PRK involves shaping the actual surface of the cornea rather than creating a "flap" and reshaping the tissue below it. PRK may be slightly less comfortable than LASIK surgery — PRK can also have a longer recovery period with blurred vision for longer — but the cells heal and the eventual visual result is excellent. The lack of a remaining flap makes PRK a good treatment choice for patients who have particularly thin corneas or jobs (some branches of the military) and interests (mixed martial arts) that may cause impact to the eye itself.
The choice to undergo LASIK is exciting. Better vision has literally changed the lives of millions of people. But deciding to have LASIK is a big decision that requires careful consideration and planning. Our highly experienced surgeons and our professional vision team are ready to address your concerns and answer all of your questions so you can achieve an excellent visual outcome.
We offer FREE LASIK consultations to determine whether LASIK is right for you. Call 309.243.2400 to schedule your appointment today.