LASIK reshapes the cornea using a laser to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. First, we use an incredibly accurate femtosecond laser called the IntraLase® iFS to create a superficial flap of tissue in the cornea. This flap is then folded back, and a cool beam of light from an excimer laser gently reshapes the underlying surface of the cornea. The entirely blade-free LASIK treatment typically takes less than one minute, at which point the flap is replaced in its original position.
At Dell Laser Consultants, we specialize in an advanced form of LASIK called Custom Wavefront-Guided iLASIK™. No two eyes are alike, and like your DNA or fingerprint, your vision is unique. There are tiny imperfections or distortions in every eye, even when the correct glasses or contact prescription is used. To understand this further, imagine two people who visit the eye doctor and obtain exactly the same glasses prescription. Using standard LASIK correction, those two individuals would be treated with exactly the same laser treatment plan despite the fact that their eyes each have a unique set of naturally occurring tiny imperfections and distortions. With Custom Wavefront-Guided iLASIK™, the iDesign diagnostic device maps the entire optical path of your eye, including the tiny distortions and imperfections naturally present in all eyes. This is effectively a unique “fingerprint of your vision,” and provides us with extremely precise and detailed information about your vision.
The technology involved in iLASIK™ is highly complex, and it is based upon mathematical techniques used to improve the performance and image quality of deep space telescopes.. Dr. Dell is a consultant for Johnson and Johnson Vision, the manufacturer of these lasers, and Dell Laser Consultants was the first center in Austin to use this highly advanced technology.
iLASIK is performed on an outpatient basis and typically takes only a few minutes. You will remain awake during the procedure and the only anesthetic you will need is eye drops. Most patients receive Valium as a sedative to make the procedure a relaxed one. Anticipate being in our office for one to two hours on the day of the procedure. Most patients experience improved vision the same day and are able to return to work the very next day. You will take eye drops a few times a day for about a week or less following your procedure.
Some of the advantages of iLASIK™ typically include: little or no postoperative discomfort, waking with good vision the following morning, being back at work quickly, and using eye drops for less than a week.
The clinical results from iDesign iLASIK™ speak for themselves. In a clinical study of 334 eyes treated with this technology, 99% of patients experienced little or no difficulty with the clarity of their vision. iDesign iLASIK™ uses the same technology present in the James Webb Space Telescope, designed for high-definition views of space.
We are proud to say that the United States Navy used our laser Johnson and Johnson STAR S4 IR® to prove that Custom Wavefront-Guided iLASIK™ significantly improved night driving visual performance, and was significantly better than non-custom (non-wavefront guided) LASIK. (Ophthalmology 2009; 116:702-709). This study was instrumental in the approval of our laser technology for all fighter pilots in the military and for NASA astronauts. The visual demands placed upon astronauts are intense, and the stakes are high. The US military now runs several facilities utilizing iLASIK™ to meet the intense visual demands of its mission-critical pilots and aviators flying multi-million dollar fighter jets. At Dell Laser Consultants, we believe it is critical for us to have this same advanced iLASIK™ technology for our patients. Even your most extreme lifestyle is nothing compared to being ejected from an F-22 Raptor or landing on an aircraft carrier at night, but you deserve the same level of quality vision.
Advanced Surface Ablation/PRK
“Flap-less” Blade-Free Laser Vision Correction
Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) is also sometimes referred to as Blade-Free Laser Vision Correction. ASA is a highly advanced form of photo-refractive keratectomy, or PRK, which is a procedure that reshapes the cornea with laser light. ASA uses highly sophisticated excimer lasers capable of eye tracking and wavefront-guided customized treatment to reshape the front surface of the cornea and correct vision. There is no corneal flap created with this surgery. A temporary soft contact lens is placed on the eye for a few days during the healing process. ASA treatment may be preferred for certain patients with very thin corneas or unusually shaped corneas. Our experienced ophthalmologists can determine if you’re an ideal candidate for this technique during your initial consultation.
This completely blade-free approach to eye surgery is attractive to many patients. One very minor disadvantage of ASA is that vision is often slightly blurry for a few days after the surgery. This blurring is only temporary, and nearly all patients are able to drive about four days after the surgery. The ASA procedure we perform today is a very far cry from excimer laser surgery we performed twenty years ago, commonly referred to as first generation PRK. While those early cases provided excellent results, there was definitely more discomfort with surgery from that era. With vastly improved lasers and techniques today’s ASA is nearly discomfort-free in most patients.
“Flap-less” ASA laser vision correction is also sometimes referred to as LASEK or epi-LASIK. ASA patients are treated with exactly the same advanced wavefront-guided custom lasers as our LASIK patients, and the accuracy and long-term results of ASA and LASIK are virtually identical. Many patients who would be candidates for either LASIK or ASA will elect to have ASA simply because it offers comparable results with the advantages of a completely “flap”-free surgery.
Advanced Surface Ablation FAQ
What Is the difference between LASIK and ASA?
For more information on Advanced Surface Ablation, click on the following FAQ links:
I’m not sure I understand the difference between LASIK and ASA?
Both LASIK and ASA utilize an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. The laser is so precise that it takes several pulses of light to remove a single cell. In ASA, the laser is used on the surface of the eye, which requires a slightly longer healing time, with most patients able to drive about four days later. LASIK involves creating a thin flap of tissue, retracting the flap, and applying the laser underneath the flap. The flap is then replaced, and it adheres very quickly on its own. LASIK patients see well the very next day. Discomfort with both procedures is typically mild.
I’m considering LASIK and ASA. How do I know which procedure is right for me?
Both LASIK and Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) produce excellent results for most patients. LASIK offers the advantages of very rapid recovery of vision, minimal or no discomfort, and excellent accuracy. There are some patients who are better candidates for ASA, however. Generally speaking, these are patients with very thin corneas, or corneas with certain types of surface abnormalities. A complete eye exam with one of our doctors can identify the best options for you.
Dell Laser Consultants provides a very extensive pre-operative work-up, utilizing technologies unavailable at most laser clinics. Most clinics simply measure the curvature of the front surface of the eye. We use a sophisticated device called a Pentacam® to measure the front and back curvature and elevation of the cornea, as well as the thickness of every point on the cornea. We also perform advanced wavefront analysis of the entire optical power of the eye, from the front of the cornea all the way back to the retina. These instruments help us customize the best treatment options for your individual situation.
For more information on our equipment please check out our technology section.
Want to learn about more vision enhancement options? Find out about Custom-LASIK and Custom-ASA.
If you have additional questions about ASA or LASIK, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled ophthalmologists, please contact us today.
Health/Flex Savings Account Approved
LASIK is an approved procedure for use with Health Savings Accounts or Flex Spending Accounts.
If appropriate funds are allocated to your Flex account, you can use tax-free dollars to pay for your LASIK surgery. This can offer a substantial savings. You could save up to $2400 on your procedure, depending on your tax bracket.
In certain cases, the money can only be put into the account at specific times of the year, so it is important you check with your employer as to these rules. The allocated funds often have to be used by a certain time period or you lose the benefit.
Although the money may be invested this year, many plans allow for the surgery to be done well into the following year.
Whether you choose one of our zero percent financing plans or elect to use your flex spending account, with some early planning you can save a lot of money.