Eye Care Correction Options
Our highly trained Optometrist and Ophthalmologist are augmented by the finest technicians and equipment available resulting in the best Denver LASIK center around. The combination of the latest Nidek and Visx lasers with over 100,000 eyes successfully completed, gives you peace of mind when choosing your Colorado Lasik provider.
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To schedule an appointment or to simply ask questions please call our Denver lasik office at 720-524-1001 or Schedule a free consultation.
- What is the Excimer Laser?
- Excimer Laser Corneal Surgery
- Who Qualifies For Laser Vision Correction?
- The Surgical Procedure: Hyperopia and Hyperopic Astigmatism
- What Is Monovision / Will I Need Reading Glasses?
What Is Excimer Laser?
In 1982, scientists discovered that laser energy, produced from the far ultra violet portion of the light spectrum, was able to be reproduced artificially. This exciting discovery sparked further experimentation during which scientists found that by mixing different gasses together, they could produce different laser wavelengths. Of the many wavelengths produced, scientists found the 193 nanometer wave length particularly special because it could remove molecules of tissue without damaging surrounding molecules. Damage was avoidable since this wavelength removed tissue without using heat. Instead, molecules are swollen by the laser's energy and removed from the tissue's surface. This laser was termed "Excimer Laser".
The Excimer Laser mixes the gases Argon, Fluoride, and a halogen to produce a cold ultraviolet beam of light. The light beam produced vaporizes tissue by breaking molecular bonds a few layers at a time. The laser light is so precise that it can remove tissue less than 0.25 microns at a time (1 micron = 1/1000 of a millimeter).
Due to the Excimer Laser's ability to remove tissue with such accuracy, its potential as a surgical instrument was quickly realized. Today the Excimer is successfully used for many vision problems. It is also being used by doctors in other areas of special medicine.Schedule your free consultation appointment for laser vision correction.
Excimer Laser Corneal Surgery
There are several types of Excimer Laser corneal surgeries available.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
The technique combines the use of a surgical blade and the excimer laser to remove tissue from the surface of the cornea to correct a refractive problem. Removal of tissue is precise and does not weaken the cornea.
Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
LASIK combines the older method of splitting the cornea with a blade called a microkeratome to form a flap. The inside of the cornea is then treated with the excimer laser. This type of surgery is known for having quicker initial healing and less discomfort than Standard PRK but is more invasive and carries increased risk. However, the risks are minimal with the hundreds of thousands of LASIK procedures performed in Colorado there have been extremely small numbers of complications.
Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK)
This procedure uses the laser to remove tissue from the cornea to correct a medical problem with the cornea such as recurrent erosions or a dystrophy.
Who Qualifies For Laser Vision Correction?
It is essential for anyone interested in laser vision correction to have a full eye examination to determine if they are a suitable candidate or not. However, the following list of conditions can be used as a general guideline.
The patient should:
- be 18 years of age or older
- have stable vision for at least one year prior to surgery
- have healthy eyes, free from ocular disease (some general health and eye problems could affect healing)
- have realistic expectations for surgical outcome
- accept that due to natural aging conditions, will likely need some reading magnification as they reach their 40's and 50's
The majority of surgical time is spent preparing both the laser and the patient's eye for the operation. The eye is prepared by anesthetizing it with drops. Laser preparation involves programming the laser's computer to the eye's individual characteristics.
During the procedure the laser sculpts (ablates) the tissue of the cornea. Flattening of the eye is achieved by removing more tissue from its center than its periphery. The sculpting usually lasts between 30 seconds and 3 minutes (however, the total time in the operating room is approximately 5 minutes per eye). The sculpting produces the desired curvature by a computer controlled aperture opening in a circular or linear manner. This allows a different time exposure to the laser pulses to vary throughout the treated area in relation to the required curvature. The patient feels nothing during this process. The eye is held open with a retainer so the patient doesn't have to worry about blinking or closing their eye.
Immediately after surgery the eye is fit with a bandage contact lens, usually for two or three days. The patient normally has little pain or discomfort post-operatively. The patient is however, advised to rest for the remainder of the day following treatment.
Vision is relatively good once the epithelium has grown back and the corneal surface has smoothed itself (usually two or three days). Within the next three weeks, predictable changes occur as healing stabilizes the end result. The vision is quite functional during this period. Stable vision should be accomplished between one to six months after the surgery. Results vary with different degrees of near and farsightedness and astigmatism, and individual healing rates.
What is Monovision / Will I Need Reading Glasses?
Some patients who choose to have refractive eye surgery may already be aware of a condition called presbyopia. This condition is the requirement for reading glasses. Not to be confused with hyperopia (farsightedness), patients who have to wear reading glasses do so because the lens inside the eye has become rigid with age.
A common solution to this is either bi-focal or progressive glasses or specially fitted contact lenses. With contact lenses one lens can be adjusted to intentionally leave you slightly nearsighted. This difference (usually about 1 diopter) is enough to aid your vision and your brain to "accommodate" and lessens the reading glasses requirement. This is known as monovision.
Therefore, just as contact lenses can have different amounts of correction to lessen your dependence on reading glasses, so can laser vision correction. If you presently are presbyopic, wearing bi-focals or monovision contact lenses, our technical team can advise you on how to lessen your dependency on reading glasses presbyopia by intentionally undercorrecting your non-dominant eye. This, in effect, will give you monovision. This concept should not be decided until discussed and demonstrated at time of examination.
If all you require is reading glasses, monovision can be a solution for you, using holmium laser on only one eye.