What Is Lasik Eye Surgery?
LASIK, which stands for laser assisted in situ keratomileusis, is a refractive procedure that helps correct refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Using a targeted laser, the LASIK procedure helps to reshape the cornea so that light rays can become more precisely focused on the retina.
As a result, patients can experience clearer and sharper vision. Our practice is one of the most experienced LASIK practice in the Chicago area. Dr. Sondheimer has helped many thousands of patients reduce their dependence on, or completely eliminate, glasses and/or contact lenses with refractive surgery.
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Benefits of Lasik
One benefit of LASIK is that most patients have excellent vision without glass the day after having surgery. Of the patients that have LASIK, over 97 have been able to see 20/20 in the distance without corrective lenses. LASIK is a short procedure so patients can achieve clear vision while also experiencing minimal post-operative discomfort and downtime.
Am I a Candidate for Laser Eye Surgery?
Dr. Sondheimer will determine, during an initial cost-free evaluation, if you are a candidate for laser eye surgery. Patients are not candidates if they have degenerative or autoimmune diseases, are pregnant or nursing, or have a condition that deters or slows healing. However, to be considered, patients are required to meet the following criteria. Patients must:
- Have healthy eyes
- Be at least 18 years old to undergo for nearsightedness and/or astigmatism correction
- Be at least 21 years old for farsightedness correction
- Have stable vision, with unchanging nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism for at least one year before the laser procedure
What Can I Expect Before Lasik Treatment?
After your initial evaluation, we will schedule an appointment to conduct a thorough examination of your eyes. Then the corneas will be imaged and a computerized map (corneal topography) will be created. This “map” will allow Dr. Sondheimer to evaluate the shape of your cornea and is one of the many diagnostic tests we use to make sure that LASIK is the best option for you and help achieve the best surgical outcome.
Is Laser Vision Correction Safe?
The FDA has approved the excimer laser for the treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Millions of patients worldwide have undergone successful laser vision correction procedures, and millions of excimer laser procedures have been performed in the U.S. since the FDA approval in 1996. Virtually all people treated experience an improvement in vision that would allow them to pass a drivers’ license exam without the aid of glasses or contacts.
Types of Lasik Surgery
At our practice, Dr. Sondheimer offers two types of lasers for LASIK eye surgery, the IntraLase Semtosecond Laser creates a corneal flap and the Excimer laser reshapes the cornea, usually using personalized Excimer WaveFront guidance.
IntraLase® Semtosecondis a bladeless, computer-guided technology that is safer and more accurate than the mechanical microkeratomes (hand-held devices with a thin metal blade) that surgeons can use to create a corneal flap. With this treatment, you will discover a world without the hassle of contacts or glasses with your newly enhanced vision.
Excimer Wavefront® technology can produce highly refined corneal “maps” and use this same information to treat aberrations of the cornea by removing carefully selected tissue to improve vision. This treatment gives personalized information on each patient on their specific eye concerns. A thorough evaluation will be conducted before any eye procedure is performed.
How Can I Prepare for Laser Eye Surgery?
Before surgery, patients should remove soft contacts from their eyes for at least two weeks prior to your appointment. Additionally, patients should remove gas permeable or hard lenses for a minimum of three weeks. By removing the contact lenses, patients allow their corneas to return to their natural shape before surgery.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“Dr. Sondheimer is a truly gifted eye surgeon. I am thankful that he took the time to check out my eyes and write me the best eye prescription I ever had. I was able to really understand the pros and cons of eye surgery and I am better for it. Dr. Sondheimer is knowledgeable, polite, and highly, highly skilled. He is a masterful surgeon and his skills are a blessing to those in need of corrective eye surgery.”
– Steve C.
The Lasik Eye Surgery Procedure
The surgeon will place numbing drops in the eye so the patient can be quite comfortable during the procedure. Then, they will gently glide an automated microkeratome across the cornea to create a “flap” that is left attached on one side and folded back. Next, the surgeon the “cool” beam of the excimer laser to remove a predetermined microscopic amount of tissue from the central portion of the cornea.
Once the surgeon completes the reshaping, they carefully fold the “flap” back into place to heal naturally, without the need of sutures. Most patients choose to have both eyes done at the same time.
How Long Does Lasik Eye Surgery Take?
The procedure itself takes only a matter of minutes and most patients spend 15-20 minutes in the surgical suite. For planning purposes, you should plan to be with us for about 2 hours on the day of your surgery.
How Does Lasik Improve Nearsightedness?
Nearsightedness occurs because the clear front portion of the eye, the cornea, is too steep for the length of the eye. Therefore, the light rays entering the eye converge in front of the retina, the back of the eye, instead of on the retina. A special laser with a cool beam of light is used to gently reshape the surface of the cornea, making it flatter, more like a normal eye. Light rays can then converge properly on the retina, thus providing improved vision with clearer, sharper images.
Will I Experience Pain After Laser Eye Surgery?
Some patients have described having a slightly “sandy” or “gritty” feeling in their eyes immediately after the procedure. However, this feeling will go away as soon as you administer the eye drops we prescribe. Over-the-counter pain medications should adequately control any discomfort.
Lasik Recovery Time
The day after surgery, most patients see very well. Dr. Sondheimer recommends that patients use eye drops for 2 weeks after surgery. Additionally, we will schedule follow up appointments to examine your eyes. These appointments will take place one day, one week, one month, and three months after surgery.
Can Lasik Surgery Correct My Presbyopia?
Presbyopia, or the need for reading glasses, can often be treated with LASIK by using monovision where one eye is corrected for distance and one is corrected for near vision. During your consultation, Dr. Sondheimer will help you determine whether this is a good option in your case.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Sondheimer is an experienced LASIK surgeon who has years of experience providing vision care to the area’s patients. In addition to this refractive surgery, Dr. Sondheimer treats glaucoma, PRK, and cataract patients. If you would like more information on LASIK eye surgery, contact one of our North Suburban Chicago offices or call 847-677-2794 to schedule a consultation today!