We are dedicated to giving you the best in sight at Ginter Eyecare Center
Ginter Eyecare Center is a full-service eye and vision care provider taking both eye emergencies, as well as scheduled appointments. We offer board-certified Optometrists who specialize in pre and post-op care for laser vision correction. Patients throughout the Lubbock area come to Ginter Eyecare Center because they know they will receive the personal attention and professional care that is our foundation. We invite you to join our patient family by scheduling an eye exam at our Lubbock office.
A world of better vision
Laser vision correction is now in its third decade of helping patients reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses and contact lenses. As testimony to its life-changing benefits, thousands of ophthalmologists and optometrists around the world have become so impressed with the results of laser vision correction that over one million procedures are now performed each year.
Heavy patient demand for laser vision correction has inspired laser manufacturers and surgeons to make tremendous advancements in both Excimer laser technology and surgical technique. When laser vision correction was first performed in 1988, only low to moderately nearsighted patients without astigmatism could be treated.
Today, with the third and fourth generation Excimer lasers, very low to moderately high degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism can be readily treated. And, for many patients who had large pupils, thin corneas, and other contraindications for laser vision correction, newer surgical techniques now allow them to enjoy the benefits of clear vision without dependence on glasses and contact lenses that only a few years ago they would have been denied.
Clear vision is the result of light entering the cornea, passing through the lens and focusing at one point directly on the retina.
If the cornea is too steep or the eye is too long, the laser removes corneal tissue within the central optical zone to reduce its focusing power. This moves the point of focus from in front of the retina to on the retina.
If the cornea is too flat or the eye is too short, the laser removes corneal tissue around the central optical zone, making it steeper. This moves the point of focus from behind the retina to on the retina.
If the cornea is more curved in one direction that the other, the laser must remove corneal tissue in a manner that makes it more symmetrical. This eliminates multiple focus points on the retina.
This information is presented to demonstrate the relative differences between PRK, LASIK, and LASEK. Additional factors such as surgeon experience, types of laser, age of patient, amount of correction and clinical protocols may influence these comparisons.
The Next Steps
The decision to have laser vision correction is an important one that, ultimately, only you can make. It is important that you have realistic expectations and that your decision is based on facts, not hopes or misconceptions. The goal of any refractive surgical procedure is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. Laser vision correction does not always create 20/20 or even 20/40 vision. Your doctor will provide you with additional information that will allow you to make an informed decision.
Finding out more about the health of your eyes and your refractive error is your first step toward visual independence. This is accomplished by calling and scheduling a personal consultation. Should your refractive error fall within the range of correction for laser vision correction, more comprehensive tests will be necessary. This information will help determine which procedure is best for your unique eyes.
Photo Refractive Kerartectomy (PRK)
PRK was the first procedure performed using the Excimer laser. It corrects vision by reshaping the surface of the cornea. First, the epithelium, a thin layer of clear, protective skin that covers the cornea, is completely removed. After the laser reshapes the surface, new epithelium grows back over the treated area, usually in three to seven days. Functional vision typically returns within the first week.
Many surgeons feel that PRK achieves outstanding results, but PRK was not very popular with patients for a number of reasons. Although all laser vision procedures use powerful numbing drops during the procedure, PRK patients often complained of moderate postoperative discomfort. Some PRK patients experienced hazy vision for a time after surgery and most working patients did not want to miss more than a day’s work. These and other factors made many surgeons switch from doing PRK to the more patient- friendly LASIK procedure.
Laser in-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
LASIK combines the accuracy of the Excimer laser with the quick-healing charac- teristics of a proce- dure first performed in 1949 called Lamellar Keratoplasty.
First a thin, protective flap of corneal tissue is created and folded back so the inner tissue of the cornea (stroma) can be treated with the laser. After the tissue is reshaped, the corneal flap is folded back over ~ treated area where it bonds securely, without for stitches. With less surface area to heal, LASIK patients recover very quickly and most experience little, if any, discomfort. Functional vision returns very rapidly, with the majority of patients seeing well enough to drive in a day or two without glasses or contact lenses. It is estimated that LASIK is the procedure of choice in over 95% of all laser vision procedures performed today.
But, to be a good candidate for LASIK, the cornea must have sufficient thickness to allow for the flap to be made and still have enough tissue under the flap to allow for the proper amount of tissue to be removed. If a patient’s cornea is too thin, if their pupil dilates beyond the treatment zone at night, or if they have symptoms of “dry eye,” PRK or another form of laser vision correction called LASEK can be an option.
Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK)
LASEK is a relatively new laser vision procedure that combines certain elements of both the PRK and LASIK procedures and may offer some advantages for patients. Instead of removing the epithelium as with PRK. a flap of surface epithelium is loosened with a diluted alcohol solution and moved aside. The surface under the epithelium is treated with the laser and the epithelial flap is returned to its original position, as with LASIK. A protective, soft contact lens is then placed over the cornea to make the eye more while it heals.
Using the epithelial flap as a natural protective bandage with LASEK, as opposed to completely removing the epithelium as with PRK, may improve healing, reduce postoperative discomfort and the incidence of postoperative haze. And, the margin of safety with LASEK is increased over LASIK as the need for making a corneal flap is eliminated.