Laser Refractive Surgery
What is LASIK?
LASIK, which stands for Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis, is when a laser is used to reshape the cornea to correct or reduce moderate to high levels of nearsightedness (Myopia), astigmatism and farsightedness (Hyperopia). During the LASIK procedure, a microkeratome is used to gently create a flap in the cornea. The flap is lifted and an extremely precise excimer laser is then used to shape the remaining tissue. The flap is carefully set back into place, forming an occlusive seal by osmotic pressure, and heals very quickly without stitches!
LASIK has emerged as one of the safest, most effective and popular vision correction procedures available. Patients report an almost immediate improvement in their vision following the LASIK procedure. Most patients say they experience little or no discomfort during or after the procedure.
Over the years, Cavanaugh Eye Center has enjoyed a reputation for providing exceptional LASIK to Kansas City, and surrounding communities. We helped thousands of patients realize their dreams of seeing clearly without having to rely on glasses or contact lenses. We are constantly exploring new and promising advances in LASIK surgery to ensure our patients receive superior results. More than ever before, we are able to tailor LASIK procedures at our Overland Park practice to the individual needs of our patients, treating the unique flaws in their eyes and substantially improving their chances of achieving visual independence.
Experience matters when it comes to LASIK. Dr. Cavanaugh has been performing Laser refractive procedures since 1990 and has done over 25,000 refractive procedures. He has extensive experience with all approved laser platforms as well as other types of refractive procedures such as cataract surgery and refractive lens implants. Read below as to why Cavanaugh Eye Center is the best qualified LASIK specialist.
Custom Wavefront-LASIK (Zyoptix)
The Latest Advance in Laser Eye Surgery
Technolas Perfect Vision™ LASIK is the most advanced laser technology available. Custom Zyoptix LASIK laser treatments are based upon the unique visual characteristics of your eye. Up until now, with glasses, contacts and conventional LASIK surgery, corrections were quite similar for each type of prescription. Custom LASIK involves measuring the eye from front to back with a special laser Zywave aberrometer, using what's called "wavefront" technology, to create a three-dimensional (3-D) scan of your eye. The information contained in the wavefront 3D map combined with our Bausch & Lomb Orbscan corneal topography creates a unique visual “fingerprint” for your eye which guides the laser in customizing the treatment to your personal visual system.
Benefits of Custom LASIK
Custom LASIK wavefront technology is revolutionary because it has the potential to improve not only the quantity of your vision (i.e. the visual acuity measured by the standard 20/20 Snellen eye chart), but also the quality of how well you can see (i.e. visual acuity measured in terms of contrast sensitivity and sharp vision). This may translate into a reduced risk of post-LASIK untoward side-effects, such as difficulty with night vision haloes and glare effects around lights.
How much you see depends on what lower-order and higher-order aberrations you have; lower-order aberrations are also called refractive errors (i.e. nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism). All eyes have some degree of imperfections or aberrations. One way to measure the focusing errors of an eye is to measure its wavefront. Bausch & Lomb Zywave® II aberrometer provides correction of higher order aberrations through the 5th order, not just sphere and cylinder and has the largest FDA-approved optical zone.
Conventional LASIK treats these lower-order aberrations. How well you see can also depends on what higher-order aberrations you have; higher-order aberrations are irregularities other than refractive errors, and can cause such problems as decreased contrast sensitivity or night vision, glare, shadows and halos. Higher-order aberrations do not always affect vision. Custom LASIK has the potential to treat both lower- and higher-order aberrations. Some of the potential advantages of Zyoptix custom wavefront LASIK are:
Why Choose Cavanaugh Eye Center for LASIK?
Thank you for your interest in Cavanaugh Eye Center and our laser company, Laser Vision Center of Kansas City. The decision to have refractive surgery is a decision that should be taken seriously. There are many choices in the market and a lot of information and misinformation to sort through. At Cavanaugh Eye Center, we take a very personalized approach to our refractive surgery patients and strive to provide honesty, professionalism and care along with state-of-the-art technology. The bottom line is that every patient should feel comfortable with the Laser Center environment and with their choice of surgeon. We have listed five major reasons below of where Cavanaugh Eye Center excels.
1. Experience and Skill of our Surgeon
2. The Best Technology/Laser
See our special section on this Advanced Technology. We also have a video we would like you to view discussing the advantages of the new Technolas™ Zyoptix laser technology.
3. Personal Care and Attention
4. The Best Facility
5. Word of Mouth / Patient Testimony
Cavanaugh Eye Center is the only place in our region that provides you with all five of these important factors to ensure the best possible outcome.
Am I a Good Candidate for LASIK Surgery?
The ideal candidate for LASIK surgery is someone who wants to significantly reduce or eliminate dependence on glasses or contact lenses. In addition, ideal LASIK candidates should:
LASIK is more dependent on surgical skill than PRK. Take this into account when selecting a surgeon. Patients who previously had Radial Keratotomy (RK) are often candidates for LASIK surgery.
Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, keratoconus, and lupus may affect candidacy. You should discuss your health as well as pregnancy and any medications you are taking with Dr. Cavanaugh during your LASIK evaluation.
Not sure if you are a LASIK Candidate? Schedule a free LASIK consultation and let Dr. Cavanaugh examine your eyes and determine your candidacy.
What Are My Options If I Am Not Considered a Good Candidate for LASIK?
In cases where patients are not considered appropriate candidates for LASIK, Dr. Cavanaugh will discuss alternative treatment options that can help restore vision and eye health. These options may include LASEK , PRK, RLE, and implantable contact lenses.
To learn more about refractive errors, the revolutionary Technolas™ Zyoptix system, and world-class LASIK in the Kansas City area, please read the Frequently Asked Questions and technology sections of our web site. If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment to find out if you are a suitable LASIK candidate, please contact the Cavanaugh Eye Center today.
PRK (Photorefractive Keratoplasty)
Similar to LASEK, PRK is a laser refractive surgery that provides an excellent alternative for patients who are not good candidates for LASIK. The primary difference between PRK and LASEK is that PRK involves the complete removal of the outer layer of corneal cells in order to access the tissue underneath. Once these cells have been removed, Dr. Cavanaugh uses a laser to reshape the cornea as he would with custom LASIK and LASEK procedures. Although the outer layer of corneal cells will regenerate following the surgery, this results in a substantially longer healing period than with LASIK and LASEK. Nevertheless, patients will experience excellent results once they have achieved their best vision.
Your LASIK Experience
First, schedule a refractive consult appointment. Dr. Cavanaugh and a highly-trained clinician will discuss all options with you.
2) Diagnostic Tests
The next step involves a series of diagnostic tests to determine whether your eyes are suitable for the treatment. The basic procedure is exactly the same as with standard LASIK, except that the diagnostic tests are more complex, and with custom Zyoptix, your own special treatment program is created specifically for you.
Your vision has to be stable for at least two years before being considered for treatment. Your surgeon may contact your optician, GP or ophthalmologist. The appointment may last two hours. After testing is complete, the surgeon will discuss the results with you.
To make sure you have the right prescription, your vision will be re-tested.
People with large pupils who have had laser eye surgery often complain of halos and glare. The surgeon will determine if your pupils are the right size and fall into the right parameters.
The Orbscan® anterior segment analysis system measures the shape of the cornea and allows Dr. Cavanaugh to determine if you are suitable for laser eye treatment and that your eyes are healing.
It is vital to check if your cornea is thick enough for Zyoptix. If you wear contact lenses, you may need to manage without them for up to 4 weeks (depending on the type of lenses) to eliminate any corneal swelling and to make sure the surgeon can get an accurate measurement.
Zywave™ Aberrometer takes detailed wavefront measurements of your eyes' optics. A drop is put into your eye, opening up the pupil to make sure all necessary information is recorded. After this test, a drop will be given to let your pupil return to its usual size. The Custom Technolas™ Zyoptix treatment combines the Bausch & Lomb Orbscan Topography with the Bausch & Lomb Zywave™ aberrometry to help Dr. Cavanaugh design the best treatment plan unique to your own “visual fingerprint”.
Exam for Eye Disease
You will be checked to see if your eyes are healthy. This will include measuring your intraocular pressure and examining your cornea and retina. Your surgeon may ask you and/or your GP about your health as certain diseases mean that laser treatment cannot be performed.
On the Day of Your LASIK Surgery
LASIK is an outpatient procedure that requires no injections, stitches, or needles. On the day of your LASIK procedure, you should arrive at our Overland Park office about an hour in advance of your scheduled time to check in and be prepared for surgery.
Once the area around your eyes has been thoroughly cleaned, you will receive anesthetic eye drops that completely numb your eyes to make sure you feel no pain. You will lay face up on a laser bed and your eyelids will be kept open to make sure they don't get in the way of the laser beam. Dr. Cavanaugh will perform the surgery and the treatment should be over in a few minutes.
The laser treatment consists of three basic procedures:
1) Creating the flap:
An extremely precise instrument, called a microkeratome, is used to create a flap in the outer surface of the cornea. To promote the safety and comfort of his patients, Dr. Cavanaugh uses the Hansatome microkeratome, the most advanced and trusted microkeratome available. The corneal flap folded back out of the way. This procedure is generally painless although you may feel a very mild pressure from the vacuum pump. To calm you, we have a clinician holding your hand and talking to you throughout the entire procedure.
2) The Laser Correction
Once the flap has been created, Dr. Cavanaugh will be able to access the misshapen cornea tissue underneath. Flaws in the shape of the cornea are responsible for most visual errors. Using the extraordinarily precise Technolas™ Zyoptix excimer laser, Dr. Cavanaugh will reshape your cornea according to the data collected during your initial pre-LASIK exam. Because the laser is programmed to treat corneal flaws based on an extremely detailed analysis of your specific eye, your Custom Zyoptix LASIK procedure will be precisely tailored to your visual “fingerprint”, increasing your chances of achieving drastically improved vision.
The laser is programmed with your unique treatment instructions. The surgeon aligns your eye under the laser and asks you to stare at a red light. The laser's Eyetracker visually locks on to your pupil. The laser treatment begins and usually lasts for two minutes. During the procedure, the Eyetracker will compensate for even the tiniest movement in your eyes to ensure completely accurate treatment.
3) Replacing the Flap
The actual LASIK procedure requires only a minute or two per eye, after which the corneal flaps will be returned to place and left to heal without the need for stitches. Dr. Cavanaugh will perform one more final check on your eyes under a second microscope in the surgery suite.
What happens after the treatment?
After the procedure, your vision will be tested and you will be given medication to prevent infection and/or dry eyes. You will receive eye shields to prevent you from rubbing your eyes while asleep and sunglasses to protect your eyes from strain because they will be sensitive to bright light for a short time.
Although most patients will be able to see well enough to drive following the procedure, it is best to arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment, as well as to and from your follow-up appointment with Dr. Cavanaugh the day following your surgery.
During the follow-up, Dr. Cavanaugh examines your eyes to assess the results of your LASIK procedure. You may feel some slight post-operative discomfort in the 24 hours following surgery, and your vision may require several months to fully stabilize, however, you should notice an improvement in your vision almost immediately.
Post Operative Care
The next day, when you go for your first post-operative check-up, you should have very good vision. But no matter how well you feel or how pleased you are with your eyesight immediately after treatment, it is extremely important to follow your surgeon's instructions with regard to medication and general eye-care. You must attend all post-operative visits at day one, one week, one month and three months after treatment - and possibly at six and twelve months, too.
To learn more about refractive errors, the revolutionary Technolas™ Zyoptix system, and world-class LASIK in the Kansas City area, please read the technology pages of our web site. If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment to find out if you are a suitable candidate to undergo LASIK , please contact the Cavanaugh Eye Center today.
LASIK Frequently Asked Questions
LASIK Medication Schedule
STARTING THE DAY OF SURGERY
1. Steroid (Omnipred) - four times per day for 1 week
2. Antibiotic (Vigamox) - four times per day for 1 week
3. Artificial Tears (Systane® Ultra) should be used at least every 2 hours during the day for the first 2 weeks. You may switch to the bottled form of Systane® Ultra 4-6 times per day for the next 3 months. Keep refrigerated when at home.
What to Expect in the First Three Months
Comfort drops – as needed, no more than every 2 hours
What to Expect in the First Three Months