LASIK Information

LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) is a laser eye surgery performed on the cornea.  The cornea is the clear window in the front of the eye.  By reshaping the cornea, a blurred image can be focused clearly onto the retina, replacing contact lenses and glasses.  Reshaping of the cornea is performed with the excimer laser.  This laser gently and precisely reshapes the cornea for the treatment of myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), and astigmatism.  The excimer laser removes microns of tissue (one-millionth of a meter) without damage to the surrounding corneal tissue.  It is often referred to as a “cool” laser as it does not produce any heat or thermal energy which would damage normal tissue.  In LASIK, a corneal flap is created.  The flap can be created either with a femtosecond laser, a microkeratome, or an automated blade.  Once created, the flap is lifted and the excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea.  After treatment, the flap is repositioned.  With advances in laser technology, LASIK is a very safe and reliable procedure.

Who is a candidate?
Not everyone is a good candidate for laser eye surgery.  A complete and thorough exam is essential to identify patients who are poor candidates.  Surgery on these patients may lead to poor outcome and harm the eye.  It is critical you have a consultation with your surgeon prior to surgery.

The following conditions may limit your ability to have LASIK:

  • History of Accutane use for acne
  • History of active autoimmune disease (for example-lupus, rheumatoid arthritis)
  • History of Keloids
  • Diabetes
  • Immunocompromised for any reason (for example AIDS)
  • Collagen vascular disease
  • Medication use such as steroids or immunosuppressants which may affect healing
  • History of ocular disease
  • Keratoconus or corneal thinning
  • Corneal scarring
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Ocular herpes
  • Retinal disease
  • Dry eye

What are the risks of refractive surgery?
LASIK and surface ablation are very safe.  Like all surgical procedures, laser vision correction has the risk of complications.  Even complication-free procedures can result in less than 20/20 vision, or very infrequently may produce side effects such as glare or haloes. These risks are very low for good candidates, and most problems can be treated and resolved.  The most common side effect after surgery is dry eye.  Dry eye can last for several months.  Some patients report dry eye lasting over 1 year.  Other risk factors include a small chance for an under correction or over correction.  Some people heal more aggressively and may need an enhancement or touch up.  Enhancements only occur about 1-2% of the time.  If you are very near-sighted you have a greater risk of needing enhancement.  There is also a potential risk of infection.  The chance of infection associated with surgery is about 1/4000-5000.  In the rare chance of a complication, you have a surgeon who has the background and experience to identify the problem and treat it effectively.  Dr. Perez is a cornea fellowship trained surgeon and sees patients who are referred for corneal infections.  His surgical and clinical experience is an extremely valuable asset to handle complications if they arise.

What are the alternatives to LASIK?
The same excimer laser can be used to treat the surface of the eye without creating a flap.  This is often referred to as surface ablation or PRK.  This treatment has been proven to be equally effective as LASIK.  The cornea has an outer lining or “skin” called the epithelium.  Surface ablation results in disruption of the epithelium.  As a result, following the procedure, the eye is somewhat more uncomfortable and the vision is initially more blurred that with LASIK.  It takes a few days for the surface to heal.  Surface ablation is actually less invasive as no flap is required.  Sometimes surface ablation is better for patients with thin corneas, certain corneal dystrophies, and dry eyes. 

What is the best procedure for me?
Careful examination and testing will allow Dr. Perez to discuss your best treatment plan and options.  He evaluates each patient thoroughly and customizes treatment based on the health of the eye and your needs.

At Sakowitz Eye Center we have the experience and the most advanced technology to improve your vision.  Your customized treatment will be overseen by Dr. Perez.  He will be involved in your preoperative assessment, perform your surgery and will see you post operatively to assure that you have the best possible outcome.  Our consultation is designed to evaluate your personal vision needs and help determine your candidacy for LASIK.  Dr. Perez received his fellowship training in cornea and refractive surgery at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.  He is one of the very few refractive surgeons to have completed subspecialty in LASIK surgery in the Central Florida area. 

How do I schedule a consult?
The first step to see if you are a good candidate is to schedule a free consultation with our LASIK eye surgery counselors.  Call us at 386-574-0700 to schedule a consultation.

Please note:  If you are currently wearing contact lenses, you need to be out of contacts one week prior to your examination.  Hard contacts can mold your eye and it is important to allow the cornea to stabilize.  Corneal measurements will be checked regularly until stable.

If you are wearing contacts for astigmatism, you need to be out of contacts for two weeks prior to your examination.

It is important to get accurate measurements prior to surgery.