We are pleased to offer a variety of the latest refractive surgical procedures including: All Laser LASIK, Epi-LASEK, Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), intra-corneal implants, and the Implantable Contact Lens (ICL). Advancements in technology have allowed our team to truly customize the vision correction needs of each patient. Because each patient’s ocular anatomy and visual goals are unique, our ophthalmologists will explain which vision correction option will allow you the greatest opportunity to minimize dependence on glasses or contacts, while maximizing safety and effectiveness.
Modern LASIK, or Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, is one of the most popular and precise vision procedures available today to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Its popularity is founded on the high rate of patient satisfaction, excellent visual results, quick recovery, and the existence of very few side effects or complications. Dr. Lahners, who is board certified and fellowship trained in LASIK, was the first LASIK surgeon on the West Coast of Florida to provide All Laser LASIK with the IntraLase® femtosecond laser and the ALLEGRETTO WAVE Eye-Q Excimer laser, which is now the standard of care at Center For Sight. This combination of laser technology allows our LASIK surgeons to perform blade-free LASIK with micron-level precision and accuracy.
How LASIK Works
The LASIK procedure involves two steps: First, making a flap and second, reshaping the cornea with the Excimer laser. At Center For Sight in Sarasota, we use the sophisticated IntraLase laser to make the flap and the ALLEGRETTO WAVE Eye-Q laser with wavefront technology to reshape the cornea. This combination makes every Sarasota LASIK procedure performed at Center For Sight an ALL-LASER, BLADE-FREE procedure.
Advantages of Blade-Free LASIK
- Improved Safety: Eliminates the most severe blade-related complications.
- Better Vision: Patients achieve statistically better vision when IntraLase is used in the Sarasota LASIK procedure in comparison with the microkeratome (blade).
- Highest Degree of Predictability and Precision: Micron-level precision creates significantly more predictable and accurate flap dimensions, including most critically, reproducible flap thickness within +/- 10 microns, whereas the variability with microkeratomes has been reported up to +/- 40 microns.
- Reduced Dry Eye Symptoms: Several clinical studies demonstrate a significant reduction in dry eye symptoms, the largest of which shows patient symptoms were reduced by 72 percent.
- Individualized Flaps: The laser flap can be tailored to the patient’s needs, allowing physicians to individualize all steps in the LASIK procedure: custom diagnosis with wavefront, personalized flap creation with IntraLase, and custom laser treatment with custom ablation.
LASIK patients recover very quickly with vision returning rapidly and the majority of patients seeing well enough to drive the next day, without glasses or contact lenses. Most patients elect to have LASIK performed on both eyes at the same time.
To be a good candidate for LASIK, the cornea must be of sufficient thickness to allow for the flap to be made with sufficient underlying tissue to be removed to achieve the targeted level of correction. Patients with severe dry eye syndrome, very thin corneas or other conditions such as the beginning stages of a cataract, may be better candidates for one of the other refractive procedures offered at Center For Sight.
Epi-LASEK (or PRK) is a laser vision correction procedure in which the cornea is reshaped directly on the surface rather than under a flap as with LASIK. It offers some advantages over LASIK for certain patients such as those with thin corneas or some other corneal conditions..
With Epi-LASEK, the surface epithelium, or thin layer of protective skin covering the cornea is loosened with a diluted alcohol solution and moved aside. The surface under the epithelium is then treated with the ALLEGRETTO WAVE Eye-Q Excimer laser. The epithelium is removed and a bandage contact lens is placed over the treated area to make the eye more comfortable during the healing process.
It usually takes three to five days for the epithelium to fully regenerate. Because the return to functional vision is longer than with LASIK, Epi-LASEK patients should allow several days for recovery before returning to full activity. Although final vision recovery takes longer than LASIK, visual outcomes of both procedures are similarly excellent.
Implantable Contact Lens
The Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) is an intraocular lens, or a lens that is placed inside the eye. It differs from intraocular lens implants (IOLs) that are used in cataract and Refractive Lens Exchange procedures in that the ICL is added to the eye without removing the natural lens. ICL candidates are between the ages of 21 and 55 with moderate to severe nearsightedness, typically outside the range of correction with LASIK or Epi-LASEK.
The ICL is a small injectable lens that is inserted through a tiny, 3-millimeter incision that does not usually require sutures. Once inside the eye, it unfolds and is tucked in behind the iris. The procedure is performed in Center For Sight’s AAAHC-accredited surgery center, takes only about 10 minutes, and is virtually pain-free. The second eye is usually done within a week or so. Most patients can return to their normal activities within a day. Many patients experience the “WOW” factor when they notice the immediate improvement in the quality of their vision.
The ICL is unnoticeable to both the patient and any observer and, if necessary, can be removed and/or replaced if the refractive error changes over time.