Fort Scott


Laser Vision Correction

lasik imageTired of clunky prescription glasses or the inconvenience and expense of contact lenses? If so, laser vision correction at Quinlan Eye Center may be for you. The procedure takes only a few minutes and requires no stitches—and the results have been phenomenal. The vast majority of patients who undergo LASIK and Advanced Surface Laser vision corrections are able to pass a driver's exam without glasses or contacts.

What is laser vision correction?

LASIK laser vision correction is a procedure which reshapes the cornea to improve focus for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. First, a microkeratome (a precise surgical instrument) is used to gently create a flap of corneal tissue. The flap is folded back, and the doctor uses an excimer laser to remove microscopic layers of tissue to reshape the underlying cornea. Once the laser treatment is completed, the flap is gently placed back in its original position.

Advanced Surface Laser treatment is similar to LASIK, except there is no flap. The epithelial layer of the cornea is removed and a laser reshapes the corneal surface. A contact lens acts as a bandage while the epithelium heals. This procedure is usually prescribed for people who may not be candidates for traditional LASIK, such as those with thin corneas or less steep corneas (low myopia).

Why would my cornea need reshaping?

The shape of the cornea is a major factor in determining how well you can see. A cornea that is too flat causes farsightedness, and one that is too steep results in nearsightedness. A football-shaped cornea causes astigmatism. Giving the cornea a more natural, spherical shape can greatly improve vision and decrease or eliminate the need for contacts and eyeglasses.

Is there any pain?

One of the most common laser vision correction myths is that it is a painful procedure. No injections or stitches are necessary, and numbing eye drops are administered before the procedure, so the procedure is relatively comfortable.

Who is a candidate for laser vision correction?

Laser vision correction is not for everyone. Certain factors, such as corneal thickness or degree of refractive error, determine whether or not you may be a candidate. That is why, before any vision correction procedure is performed, our eye care professionals will conduct a detailed examination to determine your candidacy.

I am currently wearing contacts. Do I need to do something special?

Contact lenses cause subtle changes in the shape of the cornea. Soft contact lenses should be removed two to three days prior to your examination. Gas permeable and other hard contact lenses need to be removed at least three weeks prior to your procedure. This gives the cornea time to relax and return to its normal and natural state before we measure its dimensions in preparation for your laser vision correction procedure.

What should I expect during the laser vision correction procedure?

After administering eye drops to numb the eye and a mild sedative to induce relaxation, you will be taken into the vision correction suite. The surgeon places a tiny mark on the cornea with water-soluble ink to ensure proper alignment. You may feel slight pressure, but no pain. During the procedure, an instrument called a microkeratome creates a tiny flap on the surface of the cornea. The surgeon then uses a computer-controlled excimer laser to reshape the cornea with high-energy microsecond pulses. After the desired shape is achieved, the corneal flap is replaced and the rapid healing process begins. The entire procedure takes approximately 15 minutes.

What should I expect during the Advanced Surface Laser procedure?

During the Advanced Surface Laser procedure, Dr. Quinlan uses an instrument called an epikeratome to remove the outermost layer of epithelial tissue, and uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. After the procedure is complete, a contact lens will be placed over the cornea to act as a bandage while the epithelium heals. The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete.

What happens after the procedure?

After the laser vision correction procedure, you will be given post-operative instructions and medications to aid healing, as well as protective eyewear.

Although immediate visual improvement may be experienced, your eyes will be sensitive to light for several hours, so you need to have a driver on hand for the trip home. A long nap is recommended to promote healing.

Are there any side effects?

Laser vision correction side effects are few and depend greatly upon the individual. Temporary side effects may include mild scratchiness, dry eyes, glare or halos in low light conditions, as well as minimal discomfort.

Is laser vision correction covered by my insurance plan?

Laser vision correction is generally considered an elective procedure, and is not covered by most insurance plans. However, budget-friendly financing plans with easy terms make laser vision correction affordable. Our coordinator will be happy to provide details. Considering the recurrent costs of new contact and eyeglass prescriptions and solutions, laser vision correction may save you money in the long run. Many employers offer flexible benefit plans, flexible spending accounts or cafeteria plans that are an excellent way to allocate pre-tax income to pay for laser vision correction.

Will I ever need glasses again?

Most patients will not need glasses for distance vision, although some may still require thinner glasses for fine-tuning. When you reach the age at which bifocals or reading glasses are normally required for close vision, you will most likely need reading glasses. This generally happens at age 40 or beyond. One treatment to consider is called monovision that makes it possible to see both near and far without glasses. Dr. Quinlan can advise you as to whether monovision is right for you.

What is my next step?

Call Quinlan Eye Center at 620-223-0200 to schedule your free consultation.