Set your appointment at St. George Eye Center TODAY!
Amazing Technology: LASIK Eye Surgery in Saint George, Utah
Time to Start Seeing Clearly
This laser can be used to treat persons with near-sight, far-sight, and astigmatism. Dr. Hendrix has experienced hands in the use of the bladeless, all-laser systems, the IntraLase™ and VISX™. Let him get you a new view of life. Think of the days when you can wake up and not need to put on glasses or contacts. Call today for a free LASIK consultation.
Are you looking for LASIK eye surgery in Saint George, Utah? St. George Eye Center can help. We’ve helped many people improve their eyesight with LASIK. LASIK is a way to remove the need for glasses or contacts by doing correction on the eye itself. In the past, the only option to correct vision was to wear glasses,next came the invention of contact lenses. In the last few decades, much has been done to advance the technology of glasses and contacts.Special coatings have been added to protect your eyes from damage due to computer screens and handheld devices. Glasses can transition into sunglasses and reverse when you come inside. Progressive lenses were created to replace the need for lined bifocals. Contacts are disposable and can be thrown away daily or worn up to a week straight and then changed out to a fresh, new pair.Yet, all of these advances still involve putting something in the eye or over the eye. LASIK eye surgery is different: your eyes are surgically corrected so that your vision is always its best without external assistance. For many people, LASIK is a convenient and excellent option.
What is LASIK Eye Surgery?
LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. It is an out-patient surgery that reshapes the cornea of the eye to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism (see further explanation of these terms below). The cornea is the clear, round dome at the front of the eye. It helps focus light to create an image on the retina. This is called refraction. The shape of the cornea affects how light enters the eye and therefore affects your vision. Usually the shape of the cornea is not perfect so the image you see is blurred.
- Nearsightedness (Myopia) is difficulty seeing objects clearly that are far away. The point of focus is in front of the retina. Laser eye surgery will flatten a cornea that is too steep.
- Farsightedness (Hyperopia) is difficulty seeing objects clearly that are up close. The point of focus is behind the retina. Laser eye surgery will create a steeper cornea.
Astigmatism is an imperfection of the cornea of the eye where some areas are flatter or steeper than others. This causes a distortion in the images you see and blurs your vision at all distances. There is no set point of focus. LASIK will reshape the irregularities in the cornea.
- Astigmatism can occur with both nearsightedness and farsightedness. When you have LASIK eye surgery, precise removal of corneal tissue is done by a special laser to reshape the cornea and restore clear vision. The result will be that light rays are focused more precisely on the retina.
What Are the Benefits of LASIK Eye Surgery?
More than 80% of people who undergo LASIK eye surgery no longer need their glasses or contacts for most of their activities. More than 90% of patients achieve between 20/20 and 20/40 vision, while most of these have a very high chance of achieving 20/25 vision or better. The procedure done today is different than even a few years ago and results are getting better and better.Keep in mind that as we age, most people develop presbyopia which is a loss of elasticity in the eye such that reading glasses are needed to see small items up close. Presbyopia begins around ages 40 to 50 and cannot be corrected with LASIK. Also, even if nearsightedness is corrected by LASIK, people who have had the procedure may need reading glasses earlier than the normal onset.However, if you are considering LASIK after age 40, what can be done is a technique called monovision. Monovision corrects the dominant eye for distance and the other for intermediate or near vision. The brain is able to adapt and actually “shut off” the signal from the unnecessary eye for the task at hand. LASIK eye surgery is able to accomplish this task, just as you would be able to do with glasses or contacts.
Some people are not able to adapt to monovision, but many find it to be life changing. It is advisable to try this out with glasses or contacts before correcting in this way with LASIK to make sure that it works for you.
How is the LASIK Procedure Done?
Before Surgery. Before surgery, your ophthalmologist will discuss the benefits and risks of surgery. Your doctor will answer your questions and tell you what to expect during and after surgery. Your cornea will be examined and measurements taken so that the correct amount of tissue will be removed in the right locations of the cornea.If you are a candidate for LASIK, your doctor will use wavefront-guided technology to create a highly detailed scan of your eye. This will help in determining where and how much tissue should be removed. This helps the surgeon avoid tiny imperfections in the eye which have a significant impact on your quality of vision. LASIK can lowers the risk of glare and halos in your vision, and there is a very good chance you’ll achieve 20/20 vision.
During Surgery. During surgery, a surgical device called an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea. First, numbing eye drops are put into the eyes. You may be given medicine beforehand to help you relax. An instrument is used to keep the eyelids open. Reclining under the laser, and a suction ring is placed on the eye to flatten the cornea and keep the eye stable during the procedure. You will also be asked to focus on a point of light to help keep the eyes stable.The surgeon will use a small automated blade or cutting laser to cut open a hinged flap of the outer layer of the cornea. The laser will then remove tissue from the cornea in short bursts. Some people describe the smell as that of burning hair.Once the proper amount of tissue is removed, the surgeon will replace the outer flap of corneal tissue over the inner part of the cornea. Because it adheres in two to five minutes, no stitches are necessary. If both eyes need LASIK, for convenience, they can be done in the same sitting or you can schedule each one separately a few weeks apart. The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes.
After Surgery. After surgery your eyes may itch, burn, or be watery. This is normal and you should not rub your eyes as this may cause the flap to move out of place. Some patients may wear a protective shield over their eyes at night to prevent them from rubbing their eyes while they sleep.Most people recover their vision very quickly after surgery. It is recommended that you rest for the remainder of the day and take a nap if possible to allow the eyes to rest. Your doctor will provide you with guidelines as to when you can resume your normal work schedule, as well as when you can resume more strenuous activities like sports and exercise.As the eyes heal your vision will become more and more clear. This may take about two to three months, but results vary depending on the individual. You will have a follow-up appointment with your doctor within 2 days of surgery to make sure all is healing well and there are no complications. You may have other follow-up appointments in the 6 months following surgery to make sure your vision is improving as you heal from the surgery.
How Do You Prepare for Surgery?
In order to prepare for your LASIK eye surgery in Saint George, Utah, you will need to do the following:
- Stop Wearing Contact Lenses. Because contact lenses change the shape of the cornea, you will need to wear glasses full-time for at least 3 weeks before surgery. This will give the cornea time to return to it’s normal shape which will provide more accurate measurements and lead to a better final outcome. Depending on your situation you may need to avoid contacts for a longer period of time.
- Do Not Wear Eye Makeup. At least one day before surgery, do not wear creams, lotions, perfumes, and eye makeup on your face such as mascara, eye liner and eye shadow. This is to reduce the possibility of infection.
- Arrange a Ride Home. You need to have someone bring you to surgery and take you home. You may still be under the influence of the relaxation drugs given before surgery and your vision may be blurry.
- Ask Questions Ahead of Time. Discuss with your ophthalmologist any questions you may have about outcome, risks, how the surgery is performed and anything else you want to know. Even if you think of questions the day of the surgery, ask those before you enter the procedure so that you will feel calm and confident about your choice and the skills of the staff.
Are You a Good Candidate?
To be a good candidate for LASIK, you must be at least 18 years old, in good general health, and not pregnant or nursing. There are certain general health problems which preclude you from being a good candidate. These are:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Autoimmune or Collagen Vascular Disease
- Taking medicines or having any condition that compromises the immune response.
Where the eyes themselves are concerned, the following precludes you from being a good candidate:
- corneal disease
- some retinal and optic nerve diseases
- eye infection
- chronic dry eyes
- large eye pupils
- high eye pressure.
Other factors considered are the thickness of the cornea and whether or not your vision has been stable over the past year. If you have one of these conditions and have your heart set on LASIK to correct your vision, talk to your doctor about your options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does It Hurt?
Most people want to know if LASIK eye surgery is painful. Because anesthetic drops are put in the eyes to numb them for surgery, LASIK should not be painful. People describe it as uncomfortable, and there can be a little eye irritation in the few hours following surgery as the eye starts to heal. You will be given drops to combat dry eyes after surgery, as well as to prevent inflammation and infection. One way to find out what it feels like is to talk to someone who has had LASIK. Although keep in mind everyone’s experience is different.
Are There Risks to LASIK Eye Surgery?
As with any elective surgical procedure, there are some risks involved. These include undercorrection, overcorrection, the return to pre-surgery vision over time, decreased ability to see in low light such as while driving at night, halos or glare around lights, and the development of astigmatism that wasn’t present before. Others are dry eyes for which you would need to use eye drops, and problems with the flap not healing properly.
Consult with your surgeon to discuss the risks involved. The best way to prevent complications is to work with an experienced doctor such as those at the St. George Eye Center who regularly perform LASIK eye surgery in Saint George, Utah. Our doctors are known in the community for their precision, excellent work and compassionate patient care.