Laser Vision Correction

Laser Vision Correction (LVC), also known as refractive surgery, refers to laser surgical techniques that modify the shape of the cornea to improve vision. LVC offers safe correction of many common vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

How Laser Vision Correction (LVC) Works

During LVC, the refractive surgeon uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea, the front surface of the eye. Pulses of cool ultraviolet light remodel the tissue to match the prescription of your glasses or contact lenses. The two most common refractive procedures are laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).

What You Can Expect

As with all new technologies, there have been significant innovations since the technique was first introduced. Initially, LVC was promoted as a procedure that produced results about as good as glasses or contacts. Now, as technology and surgeons’ skills have improved, some outcomes are as good as – and sometimes better than—glasses.

Patients with low to moderate near- or farsighted vision achieve the best results. The procedure also may be used to correct astigmatism, although the type and degree of the condition may affect the outcome. While LASIK reshapes the cornea, it does not affect the lens of the eye, which is crucial for near vision. Therefore, if you currently use bifocals or reading glasses, you will still need them following LVC.

How Kennewick Vision Care Works With You

Although Kennewick Vision Care does not perform the surgery, we help evaluate and prepare patients for LVC, as well as provide follow-up care. We have offered these services since the FDA approved the procedure in 1995. Some refractive surgery practices we work with include:

  • Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute
  • Restore Vision Centers

Candidate for Laser Vision Correction

If glasses or contact lenses interfere with your work or recreational activities, you may want to consider laser vision correction. As with all elective surgeries, you should make an informed decision, weighing the benefits, disadvantages and potential risks. Kennewick Vision Care is an excellent resource to help you determine whether you are a good candidate.

While many individuals are excellent laser vision correction (LVC) candidates, some do not meet generally accepted medical criteria. A thorough pre-operative examination is required to determine eligibility.

You would not be a candidate if you currently have any of the following conditions:

  • Pregnant or nursing
  • History of ocular herpes
  • Refraction outside of FDA-indicated treatment guidelines
  • Keratoconus (thin corneas)
  • Uncontrolled thyroid
  • Long-term use of steroids or chemotherapy
  • Use of Accutane or Cordarone
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Active autoimmune disorder
  • Collagen vascular disease

Another important issue concerns presbyopia, an age-related condition that diminishes the eyes’ ability to focus on close objects. If you are age 40 or older, it is likely that you will need reading glasses relatively soon after the procedure. While LVC changes the shape of the eye’s surface, presbyopia causes a normal loss of lens flexibility inside of the eye, diminishing your near-focusing ability. LVC does not change or prevent this condition. Please consider this carefully when determining whether to pursue surgical vision correction.

Less-than-ideal candidates include those with:

  • Dry eyes
  • Corneal surface disorders or scarring
  • Unstable vision
  • Expectations that no further enhancement will be required

The Optimal Candidate

  • Is 18 years of age or older
  • Is dependent on glasses or contact lenses
  • Has healthy eyes
  • Is well-educated about LVC, knowing the benefits and risks
  • Has reasonable expectations

Kennewick Vision Care Improves Success

Kennewick Vision Care performs multiple services to enhance your chance for a healthy surgical outcome

Education

Individualized, in-depth consultation about laser vision correction (LVC) and other vision correction alternatives.

Pre-Procedure testing and evaluation

  • Collect and carefully review your eye and medical history
  • Repeated refractions over time confirm corneal and prescription stability
  • Cycloplegic refraction to ensure no “hidden” changes exist
  • Slit-lamp exam, which highly magnifies the cornea, enabling us to carefully screen for surface irregularities or problems
  • Complete dilated eye health exam to evaluate comprehensive eye health and identify current or early conditions
  • Pachymetry to determine corneal thickness
  • Topography to map corneal surface and determine its exact shape and contour
  • Pupil size evaluation in regular and low-light situations
  • Baseline tear function and dry eye testing

Refractive surgeon referral assistance

  • Kennewick Vision Care can provide you with a list of recommended surgeons.
  • Not every provider can produce exceptional results. Refractive surgery is a highly technical procedure, dependent on the skill and experience of the surgeon.
  • As with any surgical procedure, we recommend selecting a surgeon who does this procedure almost daily and dedicates a significant portion of their time and practice to LVC. We prefer surgeons who have proven skill and expertise, as well as have invested in the best technologies to deliver outstanding clinical outcomes.
  • Kennewick Vision Care provides the surgeon with your eye history, test results and target prescription.

Post-Op follow-up

Post operative follow-up visits are critical to achieve an optimal LVC experience. Kennewick Vision Care performs the following essential services:

  • Monitors corneal healing by recognizing and managing expected or abnormal post-surgical changes
  • Evaluates early signs of corneal infection and flap complications, which can lead to sight-threatening problems
  • Manages recovery of the cornea and ensures that it is properly lubricated until optimal tear function returns
  • Provides prescription lenses for reading or night driving or any condition not fully treated by LVC

Annual visits

Following LVC, annual exams are a crucial to maintain your overall eye health.

  • LVC does not lower the incidence of cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration or other eye diseases.
  • Unfortunately, most eye diseases don’t affect sight until the end stages. It is important for patients who have enjoyed excellent vision following LVC to have regular eye health examinations.
  • Kennewick Vision Care is in the best position to provide your ongoing care based on our established relationship and our knowledge of your eyes and health conditions prior to LVC.