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LASIK, PRK, and RLE

LASIK

You want your LASIK to be as unique as your eyes — and as safe and comfortable as possible. At Oregon Eye Specialists, we customize your vision correction surgery for the best possible results. Our experienced doctors and caring staff ensure your confidence and comfort.

Before surgery, the doctor and staff evaluate your eye health and vision needs. We’ll discuss all your options for vision correction, also called refractive surgery. LASIK — laser-assisted in situ keratomilieusis — is the most common refractive procedure. With successful LASIK, your eyesight improves almost immediately.

Because everyone’s needs are different, another vision correction option might work better. Oregon Eye Specialists also offers photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and refractive lens exchange (RLE).

After surgery, we make sure your eyes are healthy and your results are as good as they can be. Your eyes are exceptional, and at Oregon Eye Specialists, your LASIK is, too.

Our LASIK Experts

Our doctors are among the Pacific Northwest’s most experienced LASIK surgeons. Dr. Tim Denman and Dr. Martin Balish were some of the first in the region trained in refractive surgery techniques. They evaluate the latest treatments and technology and adopt those proven safe and effective.

Learn About LASIK

Would you like to swim, play sports or just enjoy daily activities without glasses or contacts? LASIK can reduce or eliminate your dependence on corrective lenses.

LASIK and other vision correction surgery such as PRK and refractive lens exchange work by changing the focusing power of the eye. Many of us have eye irregularities that affect our focusing ability. Glasses and contacts compensate for these irregularities — refractive surgery corrects them. LASIK and PRK do this by treating the cornea, and refractive lens exchange replaces the eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens that gives improved vision.

You could be a good candidate for LASIK or other refractive surgery if:

  • You wear glasses or contacts for nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.
  • You want to reduce or eliminate glasses or contact lenses.
  • You meet certain criteria for eye health and vision.
  • A qualified refractive surgeon thinks you are a good candidate.

How LASIK works

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In LASIK, your doctor uses a computer-guided laser programmed with a precise map of your cornea, the clear tissue covering the front of your eye. One laser creates a tiny flap in the outer corneal tissue, and then another reshapes the underlying layer to change your eyes’ focusing power. LASIK can correct certain degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness and even astigmatism.

Your doctor will assess your vision carefully before LASIK. At Oregon Eye Specialists, our doctors treat both eyes at one time unless you have special circumstances. If you need more correction than LASIK offers, another option might be right for you.

Before Your LASIK

The first step at Oregon Eye Specialists is a consultation with our team to make sure you are a good candidate for LASIK or other vision correction. Following is a complete evaluation which includes comprehensive testing and advanced, computer-guided topographical mapping of your cornea.

FAQs about LASIK and other refractive surgery.

Contact us for a LASIK consultation.

The LASIK Procedure

When you arrive for LASIK surgery, our staff will make you comfortable in the refractive surgery suite. You can wear your own comfortable clothing – there’s no need to change. Your eye is anesthetized with eye drops so you don’t feel any discomfort.

Your doctor will review your health information and make sure the laser is programmed for your eyes. We’ll explain everything you see, hear and feel, so there are no surprises. Your eyelids will be separated with a small device that prevents blinking during surgery. The anesthetic eye drops prevent any discomfort.

LASIK takes less than 60 seconds. Your doctor will ask you to focus on a light while a laser’s cool pulses create a small flap on your corneal surface. Next, a laser reshapes the tissue underneath. The flap is gently replaced, and your LASIK is complete. You don’t need stitches because the flap adheres to the underlying tissue.

Some people are concerned that accidentally moving during the procedure might change their results. We use the Allegretto Wave system, which tracks your eye movements to carry out the procedure safely and accurately even if you move slightly. Your doctor controls the laser and can make any adjustments necessary. You can learn more about Oregon Eye Specialists’ refractive surgery technology at your personal consultation.

After Your LASIK

After LASIK surgery, you rest until it is time to go home. You’ll wear protective dark goggles over your eyes, and we’ll give you all the information you need to care for your eyes, including a number to call with any questions.

You need someone to drive you home after LASIK, and you should plan to relax for the rest of the day. Having LASIK is the perfect excuse to take a nap because sleeping helps your eyes start healing. Avoid reading, watching TV or using a computer. These activities can strain your eyes.

Most people see better almost immediately after LASIK. However, because LASIK is surgery, we recommend:

  • Get plenty of rest for the first few days after the procedure.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, such as sports, housecleaning or yard work until your doctor says you can do them.
  • Avoid rubbing or pressing on your eye.

You might notice some symptoms for a few days after surgery. Common symptoms include:

  • Dry, sandy or gritty eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Mild pain or discomfort
  • Runny nose
  • Glare or halos around objects, especially at night

You’ll see your doctor within 24 hours after surgery. While most people heal with no problems, call your doctor immediately if you have pain or other symptoms that get worse. Don’t wait for your appointment.

After your first post-surgery appointment, you see the doctor regularly thereafter to make sure your eyes are healing correctly and your vision is as good as possible.

Our LASIK technology

The doctors at Oregon Eye Specialists use the Allegretto Wave system with the IntraLase bladeless laser. The IntraLase creates the corneal flap, while the Allegretto Wave system reshapes the tissue with pulses of ultraviolet light. Your doctor can tell you more about the laser systems and answer questions at your individual consultation.

Your LASIK Results

LASIK has the highest satisfaction rate of any elective surgery.  Since it was developed in the 1990s, millions of people have had the procedure and studies show that 93 percent of patients have at least 20/20 vision after.

In general, a small percentage of patients may need an additional treatment, called an enhancement, but refractive surgery will almost always improve vision. Depending on your eyes and vision needs, you might occasionally need reading glasses or other lenses.

Contact us to learn more.

Next: Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) »

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