Sunday, November 13, 2011

LASIK Enhancements

Most patients will enjoy excellent vision after their LASIK procedure. A study by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery shows that more than 95 percent of patients who have undergone LASIK surgery are pleased with their new vision.
But not everyone will achieve perfect, 20/20 vision after just one procedure. And achieving perfect vision can be an illusive goal.
Each patient has unique variables and different degrees of vision needs that may affect their satisfaction with their visual outcome. Are you a perfectionist? Maybe you should consider a a pair of night time driving glasses if this is the only time you notice difficulty with your vision. If you are not satisfied with your vision after LASIK eye surgery, you are not necessarily "stuck" with the results after a single procedure. In some instances, an additional eye surgery — (often termed a "LASIK enhancement") — to give you the sharpness of vision you desire may be advisable..
LASIK enhancements are more common among patients over 40 years of age and those with high refractive errors. Because vision can fluctuate during the first few weeks after your LASIK procedure, (due to such factors as healing and dry eyes), it is usually advisable to wait at least 3 weeks before undergoing a LASIK enhancement.
Do not assume, that just because your vision is not "perfect" that you will need an enhancement. LASIK enhancements are generally quite successful but not always advisable. Seek the counsel of your LASIK eye surgeon and ask him what the risks and benefits of a second procedure are.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The LASIK Flap

The first step of the LASIK procedure is to create a “flap”. The flap can be created by several different instruments including a microkeratome which is an instrument with a blade to cut a thin sheet of the cornea or a femtosecond laser which creates a flap through photodisruption and tissue separation. The creation of a flap does not contribute to the correction of refractive error. The LASIK flap simply serves as a lid under which the reshaping of the cornea takes place. Although the creation of a flap with a microkeratome (blade) is generally safe and for many years was the only way a LASIK flap was made, if a complication occurred during a LASIK procedure, it almost always was related to this first step of flap creation.
The IntraLase femtosecond laser was introduced as a safer way to create a flap several years ago. It offers unparalleled safety because it offers more precise thickness settings, is more customizable, is unaffected by the shape of the patients cornea, allows the surgeon to visualize flap creation and offers a “second chance feature” In addition the flap parameters can be adjusted to create a “manhole” configuration that causes the flap to fit snug decreasing the risk of flap slippage.
Raleigh LASIK patients may be confused by “cut-rate” LASIK centers offering blade-free or All-Laser Z-LASIK assuming this is the same as IntraLase. While Z-LASIK is indeed blade-free and does offer precise thickness settings like IntraLase, it offers none of the other safety features ie customization, lack of variability related to an individual patients starting cornea shape, the surgeon can not watch the flap being created and there is no second chance feature: basically you have only one chance to get it right.
Dr. Dean Dornic is the first Raleigh area ophthalmologist to perform IntraLase all-laser LASIK. He also has considerable experience with Z-LASIK. Dr. Dornic's experience with both types of all-laser LASIK proceures make him a sought-after authority. Dr. Dornic has written and lectured on IntraLase and Z-LASIK and his conclusion: IntraLase is far superior. So don't be fooled into thinking all LASIK procedures are the same or that all Blade-Free LASIK procedures are the same. Many patients seek out our services over cheaper providers because they took the time to study the difference in technology and value their safety over a couple hundred dollars in savings.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Newer Model of ReStor Outperforms Old Model

The newer model of ReStor intraocular lens used in cataract surgery performs better than the older. A new study comparing the new model with the old model confirms what most ophthalmologists that implant these lenses have concluded. I have been implanting multifocal intraocular lenses for many years but have done so with caution. Multifocal intraocular lenses tended to have problems with night halos, limited range of vision, and problems with image quality (similar to the problems seen with bifocal contact lenses). The difference, of course, is patients unhappy with bifocal contacts just need to remove them or wear them at select times. Patients unhappy with multifocal implants require another surgery to replace them. Multifocal implants still aren't for everyone but the improvements in lens design significantly increase the chances of patient satisfaction and decrease the risk that an exchange will be necessary.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's Different About IntraLase?

IntraLase is superior to conventionalLASIK and Z-LASIK for several reasons. One reason is the ability of the surgeon to watch the flap being created. Here's a video of an IntraLase LASIK procedure. To watch it, click here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Preventing Infections in Eye Surgery

One of the most devastating things that can happen from cataract surgery is a serious infection inside the eye (endophthalmitis). The most common source of infection is from bacteria in the tears or on the eyelids that find their way into the eye as a result of infection. Empirically, eye surgeons prescribe antibiotic eye drops to be utilized before and after surgery although this has never been conclusively shown to effect the rate of endophthalmitis. The only measures known to decrease the risk of eye infection from cataract surgery is the use of povidone iodine dropped into the eye just before surgery and the use of antibiotics injected into the eye at the time of surgery. I do both of these measures but many ophthalmologists do not inject antibiotics because there are no commercially available antibiotics specifically approved for this use. Hopefully this will eventually happen and the rate of serious eye infections will decrease. To watch a video of cataract surgery, visit my YouTube page.