LASIK (Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis) Print E-mail

Nothing has been quite as exciting for Dr. Maddox as the acceptance of LASIK surgery by mainstream society. Millions are benefiting from this amazingly safe and effective form of vision correction, and Dr. Maddox has been proud to have helped introduce it.

Are you tired of fumbling for your glasses in the dark or having to deal with the hassle of contact lenses? You are not alone. Fortunately, about 95% of people are good candidates for LASIK -- a laser vision correction procedure that can help you reduce your dependence on prescription lenses.

LASIK, which stands for laser in situ keratomileusis, can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These conditions are known as refractive errors. Refractive errors occur when light entering the light does not bend (or refract) properly, so the images the eye sees cannot properly focus on the nerve layer at the back of the eye (the retina). Refractive errors are caused by improper curvature of the eye's outer layer (the cornea). If the cornea is too steep, images focus in front of the retina, and the patient is nearsighted. If the cornea is too flat, images focus behind the retina, causing farsightedness. Finally, if the cornea is irregularly curved, images have multiple focal points, which results in astigmatism.

LASIK corrects refractive errors by changing the shape of the cornea so that images focus on the retina as they should. It is a short and straightforward procedure. First, your eye is numbed with anesthetic eye drops. A special device (called a lid speculum) is used to hold your eye open during the procedure. The next step is what makes recovery from LASIK less painful than other types of eye surgery. Dr. Maddox uses a special instrument called a microkeratome to cut a hinged flap in your cornea. Then flap is pulled back and a very precise excimer laser is used to reshape the exposed area of your cornea. The flap is then laid back into place, where it acts as a natural bandage and heals without stitches.

LASIK is an extremely popular and effective procedure for vision correction. Surgical and recovery times are short and the results tend to be very good. LASIK, however, is not the right choice for everyone. LASIK does not treat age-related presbyopia, which impairs near vision after 40. (However, Dr. Maddox now offers a revolutionary bilateral procedure called New Balanced Vision™ to correct near, intermediate, and distance vision in both eyes.) In addition, all prospective LASIK patients will need to undergo an eye exam by Dr. Maddox before having LASIK surgery. If you are interested in learning more about LASIK, please see our section on Laser Vision Correction or contact Dr. Maddox today!