LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a vision correction surgery that can reduce or eliminate dependence on glasses or contacts. The experienced LASIK surgeons at Eye Doctors of Washington are leading LASIK providers for the Metro DC area and offer advanced, blade-free LASIK with Wavefront Optimized® LASIK technology.
LASIK reshapes the cornea, which is the clear surface layer of your eye, to correct refractive errors
that cause poor vision. There are two essential steps in a LASIK procedure:
Step 1:The surgeon creates a thin flap to access the cornea. This can be done using a blade called a microkeratome, but we use a femtosecond laser for bladeless LASIK.
Step 2: A computer-guided excimer laser is used to precisely reshape the cornea.
LASIK can improve vision for people with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. There is a limit to the level of vision correction that LASIK can offer. Typically, patients who are very farsighted (with a prescription above +6.00) are not good candidates for this procedure. LASIK can correct higher levels of nearsightedness (up to -12.00).
The first step is a consultation appointment to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK. At your consultation, the EDOW team will evaluate your vision and eye health, discuss your vision correction options, and answer your questions. If you decide that LASIK is right for you, a pre-operative evaluation will be the next step.
The pre-operative evaluation is a very thorough evaluation of your eye health. This comprehensive eye exam includes visual acuity, pupil size, intraocular pressure, dilation, 2 refractions, and diagnostic testing for assessment of dry eye as well as retinal health. Detailed measurements of your cornea are obtained with advanced technology called Contoura Vision Topography Guided Laser Correction.
On the day of surgery, you will receive detailed pre-surgical instructions. At the beginning of your appointment, your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic eye drops. The actual LASIK procedure takes just a few minutes per eye. Two lasers are used. The first laser creates a corneal flap. The second laser changes the shape of the underlying cornea. The corneal flap is repositioned and acts as a natural bandage.
You will need a friend or family member to drive you home after your LASIK surgery. You will be given post-surgical instructions and you should plan to rest for the remainder of the day. You may feel some mild discomfort after LASIK, but it is important not to rub your eyes. Most patients drive themselves to their follow up visits the day after surgery and return to work that day as well.
All surgical procedures carry some risk, but LASIK has a low rate of complications and is generally regarded as a safe surgery. You may have heard of common LASIK side effects like dry eyes or blurry vision, but it is important to note that these side effects are almost always temporary, typically for a brief period of time after surgery. It is important to weigh the benefits of any procedure with the potential risks, and over 98% of people who have had LASIK are happy with their results. Read more about LASIK risks and complications.
LASIK is a surgical procedure that requires a high level of skill and experience. Not only should your surgeon be board-certified in Ophthalmology and aFellow of the American College of Surgeons, but he or she should also leave you with a feeling of comfort upon addressing all of your concerns. At Katzen Eye Group, our physicians pride themselves in providing excellent care with attention to detail all along the way. Katzen Eye Group will make sure you have all the knowledge so you can move forward with making a confident decision
You may be a candidate for LASIK if:
LASIK isn’t right for everyone. If you have thin corneas, dry eye disease, or a prescription outside of the recommended range.
Our surgeons prioritize patient safety and we will not recommend LASIK if you are not a good candidate. We can discuss other options for vision correction that may be suited to your needs. Two procedures that may be alternatives to LASIK are PRK and refractive lens exchange (RLE)Learn more about LASIK alternatives
At Eye Doctors of Washington, we invest in the most up-to-date technology in order to provide highly advanced vision correction. Our experienced D.C. LASIK surgeons utilize Alcon’s Wavelight® Refractive Suite, including the FS200 femtosecond laser system and EX500 excimer laser, to perform LASIK procedures with increased accuracy and without the need to use a surgical blade.
LASIK was FDA approved in 1996 and originally a blade called a microkeratome was used to create the
corneal flap necessary for laser vision correction. While this method is effective, mechanical
blades may not be as precisely controlled as a laser, and occasional irregularities have forced eye
surgeons to postpone the completion of procedures. In addition, these irregularities could cause
permanent visual distortions. At Eye Doctors of Washington, we only perform all-laser, no-blade
LASIK because we are committed to patient safety and satisfaction.
Advantages of using a femtosecond laser for blade-free LASIK include:
LASIK surgery begins with creating a corneal flap to allows your surgeon to access the cornea and correct refractive errors. At Eye Doctors of Washington, we use the WaveLight FS200 Femtosecond Laser, which is computer-guided to increase the accuracy and precision of the flap creation. Using this advanced laser, your surgeon can create a standard corneal flap in an average time of just six seconds.
Allegretto Wavefront Optimized® LASIK With Wavelight EX500The FDA-approved ALLEGRETTO Wavelight EX500 excimer laser has improved accuracy, comfort, and speed when compared to other excimer lasers.4 This innovative technology tracks the movement of the eye 200 times per second, allowing extreme precision.5 As an added safeguard, the laser will automatically shut off if your eye moves outside the laser’s range. The ALLEGRETTO Wavelight excimer laser is the fastest LASIK laser used in the United States, and most procedures take only minutes to perform.6 This laser provides a relatively quick, virtually pain-free experience for many of our patients.
One of the latest technological advancements in the field of ophthalmology is the introduction of FDA-approved topography-guided laser vision correction, also known as Contoura Vision. This revolutionary technique, which can be used with our innovative ALLEGRETTO Wavelight EX500 excimer laser, allows for vision correction that is more precise than ever before. With this new technology, the imperfections, curvature, and the optics of the cornea can all be measured and recorded. Over 90% of Contoura patients were able to achieve vision better than 20/20.
You are unique and so are your vision needs. Even though the LASIK surgeons at Eye Doctors of Washington have performed over 50,000 LASIK procedures, they remain dedicated to providing personalized care. Our advanced technology allows us to fully customize your LASIK procedure for precise, effective vision correction that can significantly improve your vision. You can take our LASIK Quiz to see if All-Laser, Custom LASIK may be right for you.
LASIK is not typically covered by insurance, but there are payment options available to help you fit vision correction in your budget. Many patients weigh the long term costs of contacts and glasses against the cost of LASIK surgery and decide that LASIK is a smart investment.
In addition to regularly offering special pricing offers on LASIK, Eye Doctors of Washington also partners with independent lenders to offer financing. Qualified patients can access payment plans with zero interest.LEARN MORE ABOUT LASIK FINANCING OPTIONS
While our eye surgeons have performed over 50,000 LASIK vision correction procedures, they do not take a one-size-fits-all approach to vision correction. We emphasize patient education and personalized care so you receive treatment that fits your unique goals and expectations. A few reasons that patients trust Eye Doctors of Washington:
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