I am asked frequently if I perform LASIK surgery. The answer is: no. As an optometrist I do not perform any surgical procedures in the state of Arkansas. That being said, I can be an asset to anyone seeking consultation and performance of LASIK through co-management. Let me begin by explaining what LASIK is.
LASIK is effectively a restructuring of the cornea to correct vision. It is a surgical out-patient procedure that is relatively quick. The procedure itself lasts about 15 minutes. There is pre-op and post-op time as well, but it the total time of procedure is generally not more than a couple of hours. The cornea is layered in several structures. In LASIK, the eye is numbed and then a “flap” is created on the top layer. The flap is opened up to reveal a thick, clear, no-scarring layer of cornea called the stroma. This is the layer that is cut away to correct vision. After the stroma is corrected to the correct shape and power of refraction, the “flap” is simply laid back on top in its original place. A contact lens is placed over the cornea to hold the “flap” in place while it heals. A bond is usually formed on the cornea within 24 hours- very quick!! The contact lens is resumed after one day and antibiotic eye drops, steroid eye drops, and artificial tears are used to pharmacologically aid healing.
Who is a good candidate for LASIK?? Lots of people. Some of the most common reasons for not being eligible for LASIK include dry eyes, autoimmune conditions, and large glasses prescriptions. A consult with the surgeon is the best way to determine whether or not you are a candidate. One of the ways I can help co-manage LASIK is to get you a free consultation without the hassle of going through the surgery centers new patient process. I can also assure that you are being evaluated by a competent surgeon who you can trust to take care of your eyes as opposed to some “fly-by-night” surgery center looking to make a buck. Your vision should only be trusted to professionals who will take every step to ensure the health of your sight.
If you are considering LASIK, I can help walk you through the process. Not only will I get you to the right people to perform the procedure, but I can also answer any questions before your consult. LASIK is NOT a cure all. Let me repeat- LASIK does NOT fix your vision without a trade-off. We can discuss those trade-offs in office to decide if LASIK is right for you. I also manage the post-operative appointments. I will see you several times after the procedure over the course of several months to make sure that everything is healing properly and that you are getting the best vision possible.
LASIK is great … it’s just not for everyone. If you are considering LASIK, I can’t stress this enough: ask questions beforehand, educate yourself, and make sure you trust all of the doctors you are working with. I would rather tell you “no” than set you up for a bad LASIK result!
Hope everyone is ready for Valentine’s Day!!! Get those flowers ordered, people!