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Laser Eye Care Center

Laser Eye Surgery Facts & FAQs

What is LASIK?

A laser called an excimer is used to reshape the cornea so that light rays focus more precisely on the retina, thereby reducing or eliminating refractive errors common in nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. As an outpatient procedure at the Sansum Clinic Laser Eye Care Center, LASIK takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Using an "eye drop" anesthesia, the procedure is essentially painless. Our patients usually enjoy improved vision within 24 hours.

Am I a good candidate for LASIK?

A vision screening assessment by your eye care professional is the first step to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK. Tests will be done to determine if your eyes are healthy and the degree of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism you have. If you wear glasses or contacts, you should bring them with you to the examination. To be eligible for treatment, patients generally should have no active eye disease, a stable distance prescription for about one full year, and be at least 21 years of age.

What kind of vision improvement can I expect?

Of patients who have had the procedure, 98% were able to achieve 20/40 vision or better and 75% achieved 20/20.


What is IntraLase?

IntraLase is the newest innovation in LASIK surgery, bringing an unprecedented level of safety and precision. For the first time, refractive surgeons have a device that can help mitigate surgical risk and improve outcomes. IntraLase is the first blade-free technology for performing the critical first step on the LASIK procedure, creating the corneal flap. IntraLase replaces the hand-held microkeratome blade with the computer-guided precision of a laser that delivers micron-level accuracy more than 100 times greater than a microkeratome. In addition to superior safety, clinical studies show that patients see better following LASIK with IntraLase than with a hand-held blade.

How do IntraLase and LASIK work?

Step 1: As the essential first step of vision correction, IntraLase uses a blade-free, computer-controlled laser to create a corneal flap that is of exact shape and thickness.

Step 2: The corneal flap is laid back and an excimer laser is used to reshape the inner stromal layers of the cornea to achieve the patient's corrective vision prescription.

Step 3: The corneal flap is closed and the flap and interface are rinsed. At this point, patients can blink normally. The corneal flap remains secured in position by the natural suction within the cornea.

Advanced CustomVue

What is iDesign Advanced laser vision correction?

IDesign is an individualized laser vision correction procedure that combines the WaveScan WaveFront System and the VISX STAR S4 IR Excimer Laser with Iris Registration (IR), enabling a doctor to measure unique imperfections in a person’s vision and design an individualized treatment. Iris registration technology increases accuracy and precision by centering the treatment correctly, regardless of changes in the pupil center from measurement to treatment.

How does Advanced laser vision correction work?

First, the WaveScan technology precisely measures each eye’s unique imperfections to create an individualized treatment plan. This information is then digitally transferred to the VISX STAR S4 IR Excimer Laser System, where it is used to deliver the treatment to your eyes.

How does Advanced iDesign differ from standard LASIK?

iDesign uses WaveScan WaveFront technology with VISX-exclusive algorithms (mathematical guidelines) to measure the unique imperfections in your vision 25 times more precisely than the measurement method used in standard LASIK. The VISX STAR S4 IR Excimer Laser with Iris Registration (IR) also includes several technology advancements that improve treatment accuracy and precision.

What is Iris Registration (IR) technology?

It’s normal for a patient’s pupil to shift positions from the time their eye is measured and the time of treatment. Iris registration technology centers the treatment correctly, independent of changes in the pupil center from measurement to treatment.

Is the Advanced iDesign Procedure approved by the FDA?

Yes, Advanced iDesign is FDA-approved to potentially treat more than 94 percent* of the eligible population, including patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

How can Advanced iDesign treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatisms?

All three vision problems are most often caused by imperfections in the cornea. Advanced iDesign uses the WaveScan WaveFront System to measure those distinct imperfections, creating a map of each eye. The WaveScan System translates these detailed digital measurements into a set of treatment instructions, which it transmits to the laser. The laser reshapes the cornea to improve vision.

How accurate is WaveScan technology?

WaveScan technology measures imperfections in an individual’s vision 25 times more precisely than standard methods used for glasses and contact lenses. Before WaveScan, LASIK surgery was performed using the same measurement methods doctors use when prescribing glasses and contact lenses.

What makes Advanced iDesign different than other procedures?

The combination of WaveScan WaveFront System measurement technology and the sophisticated capabilities of the VISX STAR S4 IR Excimer Laser System enable doctors to calculate a more precise and individualized treatment.

How is the Advanced iDesign Procedure able to treat conditions like mixed astigmatism and high myopia (nearsightedness) where other systems can’t?

The precision enabled by the WaveFront WaveScan System’s measurements is made possible by the STAR S4 IR Excimer Laser System. The laser system includes Variable Spot Scanning (VSS) technology, along with Variable Repetition Rate (VRR) technology, and Iris Registration, ensuring the laser can perform the treatments indicated by the WaveScan System’s measurements.

What can the Advanced iDesign Procedure do for me?

As shown in FDA clinical studies, Advanced CustomVue can produce better vision than possible with glasses or contact lenses. Though statistical results vary by the type of condition being treated, more than 95 percent of all study participants—regardless of condition treated—could see well enough to pass a driving test. More detailed information on outcomes can be found in the Patient Information Booklet and Patient Information Sheet.

Am I a candidate for the Advanced iDesign Procedure?

If you are 21 years of age or older and wear glasses or contact lenses to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or mixed astigmatism, you may benefit from the Advanced iDesign Procedure. See your ophthalmologist for more information and to determine if you are a candidate for the Advanced iDesign Procedure.

How does the Advanced iDesign Procedure affect night vision?

FDA clinical studies showed that three times as many participants were very satisfied with their night vision after treatment compared to their night vision with glasses or contact lenses before treatment. See your eye doctor for more information.

Will I need glasses or contact lenses after the Advanced iDesign Procedure?

Individual results may vary, but one year after an FDA clinical study for treatment of nearsightedness, all participants saw well enough to drive a car without glasses or contact lenses. Most participants achieved 20/20 vision or better.

Still have questions? Learn more about what you need to know about laser eye surgery at the Laser Eye Care Center.

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