Frequently Asked Questions
Questions regarding Common Fears and Misconceptions
about Colorado Laser Vision Correction in Denver & Boulder Colorado.
1. I HAVE HEARD THAT ULTRAVIOLET
LIGHT CAN CAUSE CANCER. CAN THIS LASER CAUSE CANCER OR ANY OTHER DISEASES OF THE
The Excimer Laser has been carefully studied in this
regard, and there is no risk of cancer from this procedure. Nor is there any risk
of cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachments, macular degeneration or any other
known eye disease.
2. WILL I BE ABLE TO SEE
ANYTHING DURING THE LASIK PROCEDURE?
Yes. During the procedure, you will be asked to look
at a blinking light. This will help to maintain proper alignment of the eye during
the procedure. You will not see the actual cutting of the LASIK flap.
3. WHAT ARE THE ODDS
OF ELIMINATING MY NEED FOR GLASSES OR CONTACTS AFTER EXCIMER LASER TREATMENT?
In the thousands of cases of Laser Vision Correction
I have performed, 80% of patients have 20/25 or better vision without correction,
and 95% of patients will see well enough to pass a driver's test (20/40) without
correction. Less than 3% of my patients are wearing any correction for distance
after Laser Vision Correction.
IF I MOVE OR BLINK DURING THE PROCEDURE?
Patients worry about this a great deal, and
their fear is unnecessary because I only use the VISX Star S4 ActiveTrack Excimer
and the Autonomous LADAR Excimer. Both of these Lasers have active tracking devices
that keep the Laser automatically and accurately centered on your eye, no matter
how much you move your eye. No matter how hard a patient tries to hold still,
their is still some minimal eye movement. Normal breathing and the heart beating
will cause small movements. On the VISX and Autonomous, the computer-controlled
robotics keep the Excimer precisely centered. The Nidek Excimer Laser (the Laser
used by "low cost" Laser centers) does not have an auto-tracking system,
the doctor has a manual "joystick" control on the Laser to keep the Laser centered
on your eye. If your eye moves during the LASIK procedure, which it inevitably
will, the doctor must manually focus the Nidek Laser. This is not as responsive
or as precise as the active tracking Excimer Lasers. Incidentally, you will not
be able to blink during the LASIK procedure as your eye will be held open by an
eyelid speculum. The speculum rarely causes even minimal discomfort. I have been
performing Laser Vision Correction since 1996 and have yet to have a patient that
could not cooperate and hold still for the procedure!
5. IS LASER
VISION CORRECTION PAINFUL?
There is virtually no discomfort
during the procedure. No needles are used. The eyes are anesthetized
with eye drops that are instilled prior to the procedure. PRK
patients experience mild to moderate discomfort for 2-3 days after
the procedure is performed. A prescriptive pain medication may be
needed. LASIK patients rarely experience discomfort and if discomfort
does occur, it is usually mild and lasts for only a few hours. No
prescriptive pain medication is needed for LASIK patients.
THERE ANY RISKS INVOLVED?
The Excimer Laser procedure, like all
medical procedures, has limitations and risks, although the risk
of having a serious vision-threatening
complication is less than 1%. We all fear losing our vision.
However, NO cases of blindness have been reported in any FDA Excimer
Laser Studies for either PRK or LASIK. Common complications include
glare at night (which usually resolves within weeks to months),
corneal flap wrinkles (which can usually be treated by "refloating
the flap"),and under/overcorrection (which can be successfully retreated
3 months after the initial procedure). If you would like more information,
we will be happy to review the potential risks with you in detail.
7. CAN I GO BLIND FROM
EXCIMER LASER SURGERY?
Anything is "possible" but very, very unlikely.
There has not been one case of blindness reported in any of the FDA studies.
8.I HAVE TALKED TO PEOPLE
THAT ARE NOT HAPPY WITH LASIK. HOW COME?
talking to a person that is not happy with their LASIK result, I would ask the
following questions. First, when was the procedure performed and which Excimer
Laser was used. Excimer Lasers prior to May, 2001 did not have auto-tracking devices,
did not have large treatment zones and did not have SmoothScan technology. Patients
Lasered after May, 2001 on the VISX Star S3 or S4 or the Autonomous Excimer Laser
have a significantly lower incidence of glare and halos, the most common LASIK
problems. Second, I would ask who performed their LASIK procedure. Did they go
to a "low -cost, high volume" Laser Center where they only met the Laser
Surgeon at the time of surgery. In my experience, patients who choose a LASIK
Surgeon that they have met prior to surgery and who performs their surgery and
all post-op visits, have been happier with their LASIK results than those patients
who go to "low-cost, high volume". In the "low-cost, high-volume"
Laser centers, patients have little or no contact their Lasik Surgeon and have
their pre and post-op care performed by optometrists or technicians. It is difficult
to have confidence in the LASIK Surgeon when you never even get to meet your Laser
Surgeon! Third, ask if the unhappy Lasik patient is over 45 years old and having
difficulty adapting to either monovision or the need for reading glasses. People
over 45 have difficulty focusing their eyes for near vision; this is due to their
age, not LASIK.
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WILL I SMELL ANYTHING DURING LASIK?
Each pulse of the Excimer Laser removes approximately
.25 microns (about 3000 molecules) of corneal tissue by breaking carbon-carbon
bonds. A byproduct of the tissue ablation is the release is ozone, which smells
somewhat like "burning hair".
10.I HAVE BEEN
TOLD THAT I AM NOT A CANDIDATE FOR LASIK.
I have seen, and successfully
treated patients that were told they were not LASIK candidates.
Some eye doctors simply do not understand LASIK, are not aware of
technologic advances, or are not comfortable recommending LASIK
to their patients and tell potential LASIK patients that they are
not a candidates for LASIK. I have seen potential LASIK candidates
that were told, incorrectly, by their eye doctor that they would
not get a good result or would experience intolerable "side
effects" and were subsequently Lasered by me and got excellent
results. Also, a patient may not not be candidate for LASIK, but
may be an excellent candidate for PRK. If you were told that you
are not a candidate for LASIK, I would recommend that you get another
evaluation. I offer you a complementary (ie free) consultation to
determine if you are a candidate for Laser Vision Correction.
11.WHAT IS THE SAFEST
TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE FOR LASIK.
If safety and quality of vision
after LASIK is your overriding primary concern (as it should be!),
consider the VISX Star
S4 CustomVue Wavefront Excimer Laser and the IntraLase Femtosecond
Laser . These two technologies significantly increase
the probability of a safe, visually satisfying LASIK outcome.
Rose Medical Plaza,
4545 East Ninth Avenue, #270, Denver, CO 80220