LASIK & PRK Treatment

About LASIK (Laser-Assisted-In-Situ Keratomileusis)

LASIK is the most frequently performed elective surgery in North America. This highly effective outpatient procedure is often referred to as refractive surgery or laser vision correction.  Dr. Ahmed currently performs LASIK surgery at the TLC center in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

LASIK eye surgery is used to correct the following vision problems:

  • Myopia
  • Hyperopia
  • Astigmatism

How LASIK Works

The LASIK procedure is performed by ophthalmologists, medical doctors who specialize in surgical treatments of the eye.  Here is a general outline of the procedure:

  1. Anesthetic eye drops are applied to the eye.
  2. The LASIK surgeon creates a protective flap to access the inner corneal tissue. During this part of the procedure, your vision dims and becomes blurry for about a minute.  After the flap is created you are able to see the flashing fixation light of the laser and the bright lights used for the procedure.
  3. Next, the inner layers of your cornea receive computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light. Although the laser light is invisible, the laser makes a clicking sound as it gently reshapes the inner corneal layer to improve and in many cases, eliminate your prescription. During this part of the procedure, an eye-tracking device tracks your eye movements to ensure precise correction.
  4. Following the re-shaping of the tissue, the LASIK surgeon carefully repositions and aligns the flap to its original position. Protective shields are placed over your eye to prevent accidental rubbing as the flap heals naturally and securely over the next several hours.

Types of LASIK

Everyone’s eyes are different. A pre-procedure consultation with Dr. Ahmed will help determine the right type of laser eye surgery for you.

Bladeless LASIK

Your eyes are too important to trust with just anyone.

When performing bladeless LASIK, the LASIK surgeon uses a gentle laser to create the corneal flap. This technology allows the LASIK surgeon to better customize the corneal flap for each patient. As the name implies, no blades are used in this kind of laser eye surgery.

Dr. Ahmed now offer customization for you in all parts of the LASIK procedure:

  • Custom diagnosis (before the procedure)
  • Custom corneal flap (Bladeless LASIK)
  • Custom vision treatment (Wavefront guided LASIK)

Custom LASIK

LASIK is an excellent choice for many patients. Custom LASIK is a laser vision correction procedure that helps your LASIK surgeon further customize the correction to your individual eyes. LASIK surgeons are able to focus on the quantity as well as the quality of your vision. Custom LASIK may result in vision clearer and sharper than ever before.

Custom LASIK uses wavefront technology measure the way light travels through your eye. This technology performs a detailed analysis of your eye that examines the entire optical system. The instrument used provides information about the unique visual characteristics of your eye, allowing for an additional level of data about your vision.  This, in turn, enables Dr. Ahmed to further customize your vision correction. The data is used to guide the laser during your Custom LASIK laser vision correction procedure for optimal results.

Custom LASIK is necessary for some patients and desirable for many. Everyone’s eyes are different. A pre-procedure consultation with Dr. Ahmed will help determine if Custom LASIK is right for you based on your particular prescription, healing profile and expectations.

Compared to other forms of laser vision correction, Custom LASIK has been shown or is believed to provide patients with:

  • A greater chance of achieving 20/20 vision
  • The potential, in certain cases, for better vision than possible with contacts or glasses
  • Less incidence of glare, halos and night vision disturbances

When you have LASIK, you and your doctor may decide to leave one eye slightly nearsighted. This is called monovision and may allow you to maintain your ability to read without glasses after you begin to experience presbyopia (the need for reading glasses as you get older). Your other eye will be fully treated for distance vision.

Who Is a Candidate for Monovision LASIK?

Monovision LASIK is a compromise; to achieve better near vision, you have to give up some sharpness in your distance vision. Monovision is helpful for near-vision tasks such as scanning a menu or article, but not for reading fine print or reading for a prolonged period of time.  Monovision LASIK may not be suitable for active individuals, such as those who play golf or tennis, or who drive a great deal at night.

During your laser vision correction consultation, you and your eye doctor will decide which LASIK Surgery is best for you.

How Does Monovision Work?

In a typical non-monovision LASIK procedure, the physician wants distance vision as close to perfect as possible in both eyes. In a monovision case, the physician intentionally corrects the nondominant eye for near vision, while correcting the dominant eye as close to perfect for distance vision as possible. The result is that the patient uses the dominant eye mostly for distance and the non-dominant eye mostly for close-up vision.

When both eyes work together, the brain naturally selects the clearer vision, and monovision makes it possible to repeatedly change the range of focus without constantly having to remove or add corrective lenses. For some patients, there is an initial adjustment period to get used to this new vision. Others adjust immediately. Prior to surgery, we recommend that you use contact lenses to simulate monovision.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is an elective outpatient Laser vision procedure to improve vision and reduce or eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. In PRK surgery, the laser surgeon uses the excimer laser to reshape the curvature of the eye for patients with Myopia, Hyperopia and astigmatism

Prior to LASIK Eye Surgery, PRK surgery was the most commonly performed laser vision correction procedure. PRK differs from LASIK, in that the surgeon does not create a flap. PRK surgery is best suited for patients with thinner corneas, or with vocational or sports-related limitations where a corneal flap is contraindicated.

What Is Custom PRK?

Custom PRK surgery is a procedure that allows your surgeon to customize the conventional PRK procedure to your individual eyes. Custom PRK provides an additional level of data about your visual system using Wavefront technology.

  • The Wavefront analyzer’s software performs complicated measurements and presents a visual representation of how light is bent by your eye for the surgeon to evaluate.
  • Data from this process is transferred to the laser, which generates a treatment plan for your refractive error including both low and higher-order aberrations (visual imperfections).
  • Treating a patient with the information taken from the wavefront analyzer can result in greater clarity of vision and fewer complaints of glare or night halos.

Your doctor will help you determine if you could benefit from the higher level of individualization that Custom PRK surgery may provide.

How the PRK Procedure Works

Here’s how the PRK surgery procedure works:

  • There are no scalpels or incisions with the PRK laser vision correction procedure.
  • The laser is properly calibrated before your PRK procedure begins.
  • An instrument is used to prevent blinking during the procedure.
  • Anesthetic drops are applied to numb your eye and prevent discomfort.
  • The protective surface layer (epithelium), which is too soft to hold the laser correction, is removed.  The epithelium will regrow within five days.
  • Your PRK surgeon then applies computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light to reshape the curvature of the eye. Deeper cell layers remain untouched.

The PRK laser vision correction process is completed in approximately five minutes. Upon completion, the surgeon places a clear bandage contact lens on the cornea to protect it and applies more eye drops. Since a layer about as slender as a human hair is typically removed, the cornea should maintain its original strength.

Often, both eyes are treated on the same PRK surgery day. However, your surgeon may decide to do only one eye at a time.

What to Expect with PRK

At Eye Physicians of Virginia, we discuss the risks of the surgery with you prior to your procedure. Proper pre-operative screening and testing is used to ensure that it is medically advisable for you to have PRK surgery. Diligent post-operative care helps to identify and address potential healing complications.

  • PRK healing is slower and results in discomfort and compromised vision during the healing process
  • Patients are seen daily following the procedure until the surface layer heals into place
  • Patients do not typically see well enough to drive during this healing period

For more information on the PRK surgery procedure, please schedule a free consultation with Dr. Ahmed.