LASIK Eye Surgery in Monterey
LASIK is today’s most popular method of refractive surgery. Because of its safety and rapid results, about 1 million Americans choose LASIK each year to correct their myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. We also offer custom wavefront LASIK in Carmel, CA, which represents a new generation of laser surgeries that allow our doctors to correct higher-order aberrations. Contact us in Carmel, CA, to learn more about these types of laser vision correction. The eye sees images clearly when light entering the eye is bent by the cornea and lens so that it hits the retina at a precise focal point. One of the major causes of vision problems is an improperly shaped cornea. Laser vision correction, the most popular form of which is LASIK, serves to correct the shape of the cornea and thus allows light to be focused more precisely on the retina. Recently, technological advances have created an extremely precise procedure known as custom or wavefront LASIK. Thousands of our patients have come to know Dr. Penrose as an exceptionally gifted LASIK and custom LASIK surgeon.
The LASIK Procedure
Because it is able to correct a wide range of myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism, LASIK has quickly become the most popular refractive surgery in the United States. Improved versions of the procedure such as wavefront LASIK allow it to treat even more problems, including minute but important higher-order aberrations. The LASIK procedure is a two-step process. First, Dr. Penrose will numb the eye and create a thin flap on the surface of the cornea. This flap is folded out of the way and returned to its place once the surgery is over. The second step is the reshaping of the cornea. The doctor will direct pulses of laser energy in a precise pattern on the cornea. Nearsighted patients will have their corneas flattened while farsighted patients require steepening of the cornea. In either case, the final outcome with LASIK is that the cornea is given a more regular curve to help it bend and focus light more efficiently. The flap created at the beginning of the LASIK procedure is returned to its original position and the patient is sent home to rest. Generally, our LASIK patients experience very little discomfort and most people are able to drive themselves to their follow-up appointment the next day.
Up until recently, conventional LASIK was the standard in laser vision correction. But technological advances have led to the development of a revolutionary new procedure known as blade-free, all-laser LASIK with Intralase. All-laser LASIK, or bladeless LASIK, is a novel approach to refractive surgery that has maximized consistency and accuracy while reducing the possibility of complications. LASIK is a two-step procedure. The first step is the creation of a thin protective flap on the cornea, and the second is the actual correction of the patient’s vision, as a tiny laser beam gently reshapes the cornea. Prior to the advent of all-laser LASIK, the flap was created with a hand-held blade called a microkeratome, but with all-laser LASIK technology, a laser is used to create the corneal flap with a precisely predetermined pattern and depth. We use top-of-the-line lasers, including the IntraLase FS and the STAR S4 IR-VISX. Immediately following the procedure, the protective flap is folded back into place, where it bonds with your eye without the need for stitches. Because bladeless LASIK affords the surgeon greater precision and predictability in creating the flap than traditional LASIK, each flap is more specifically designed and therefore able to be more securely repositioned. The accuracy of this computer-controlled procedure significantly reduces the possibility of complications. Not only has all-laser LASIK made vision correction more exact and predictable, but its unique level of precision also makes it more accommodating to patients who may not have been candidates for laser vision correction in the past. Through its increased accuracy, bladeless LASIK allows for correction even in cases of above-average pupil size, thinner corneas, and greater corrections. Dr. Penrose is committed to using the latest technology to ensure that our patients achieve the best possible results. With that in mind, we are pleased to offer the unprecedented precision and consistency of all-laser LASIK.
Results of LASIK
The laser vision surgeries, including conventional and custom LASIK using Wavefront technology, which is performed at our practice, have shown excellent results over the years. There is no guarantee that you will have 20/20 vision after LASIK surgery, but with rare exceptions, you can generally anticipate a decreased dependence on your glasses and contact lenses. It is important for patients over the age of 45 to note that, while your distance vision will improve significantly after LASIK, you may still require glasses for near work. One alternative approach is a special LASIK technique called monovision which corrects one eye for distance and the other eye for near vision. Discuss this and other options for correction of presbyopia with Dr. Penrose during your LASIK screening consultation one of our two convenient locations in Monterey. After we complete your initial eye examination and determine the extent of your refractive error, we will be able to further discuss the probable outcome of your LASIK surgery. Contact Yesenia, our LASIK coordinator, to set up an appointment today.
Risks of LASIK
As with any surgery, there are some risks associated with LASIK. It is estimated that less than one percent of all LASIK patients will experience a problem with their treatment. Some of these surgical risks involve visual aberrations such as halos or “ghost” images, dry eye, and under-correction or overcorrection. An enhancement for an under-correction or overcorrection may be considered six months after the original treatment. Most side effects are less likely when the custom LASIK procedure is used. Our staff will be more than happy to discuss these issues with you in more detail.
You may be a good candidate for LASIK if the following qualifications apply to you:
- You are at least 21 years old
- You have a stable prescription for glasses or contacts that has not changed for at least a year
- Your eyes are free from disease including keratoconus, cataracts, or retinal disease
- You do not currently suffer from a collagen vascular disease including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome or dermatomyositis
- You are not pregnant or nursing
- You are not using certain medications including Amiodarone or Accutane®️
- You have realistic expectations of the visual outcome of LASIK after considering the benefits, risks, and alternative options to the procedure
There are other health considerations to be made when determining candidacy for LASIK. The only way to find out for certain if LASIK is right for you is to come into our laser eye surgery office for a complete eye examination. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any medications or have any health conditions that may affect the success of your procedure.
Custom Wavefront LASIK
Custom wavefront LASIK with Iris Recognition, a specialty at Eye MD Monterey, represents the most state-of-the-art laser vision correction technology available. In the past, lasers provided results that, though accurate, we’re unable to correct imperfections other than those that caused myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. This limitation meant that some LASIK patients would experience increased occurrences of halos and glare around lights at night. Doctor Penrose uses the VISX®️ S4 laser with Wavefront™️ technology and the most recent upgrade: iris recognition. The Wavefront™️ technology utilized in custom LASIK uses digital mapping to get an extremely precise image of your eye and its unique corneal surface. This image also recognizes and records fine details of your iris. Before the LASIK procedure, the digital map and iris image obtained are used to program and coordinate the laser that will reshape the cornea. This results in precise placement of laser pulses, minimizing unwanted glare and halos. Studies also show that patients who receive wavefront LASIK have a higher incidence of 20/20 or better vision. It’s easy to see why we now perform more custom LASIK procedures using Wavefront™️ technology at our clinics in Monterrey and Salinas than ever before. If you are interested in experiencing the benefits of this advanced treatment for yourself, please contact one of our LASIK counselors at 831-324-4730 today.
LASIK Financing Options
LASIK surgery is considered an elective procedure and is therefore not usually covered by insurance. However, not all insurance policies are the same, and some of our patients may be eligible to get their LASIK surgery covered through an expanded vision insurance plan. For our Monterey LASIK patients who are not eligible for insurance coverage, we offer the following payment options:
- Cash or Check
- Credit Card
- CareCredit Financing
For more information on CareCredit Payment Plans, please visit our financing page.
Flexible Spending Accounts and LASIK
While the bulk of the cost of a LASIK procedure is not usually covered by health insurance plans, there are ways for the patient to reduce the effective cost. A flexible spending account (FSA) is a tool set up by the federal government that allows people to set aside money for medical expenses without paying income tax on it. For a procedure like LASIK that may cost a few thousand dollars, the benefits of an FSA can mean hundreds of dollars in savings. Money that is put into an FSA each year must be used or forfeited within a set amount of time, but good planning should allow a potential patient to receive custom wavefront LASIK treatment at a significant discount. Call to discuss the details of this option with one of our LASIK counselors at 831-324-4730. They will walk you through this process as you prepare for your LASIK eye surgery in Monterey. As a leading Monterey laser eye surgery provider, Dr. Philip Penrose recognizes that not all patients are candidates for LASIK. This is why he offers several variations of laser eye surgery, including photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). PRK is based on the same principles as LASIK, but this procedure is appropriate for a wider range of patients. If you would like to learn more about PRK and find out whether you might be a Monterey PRK candidate, explore the paragraphs below.
PRK: What Is It?
PRK is a type of laser eye surgery in which laser energy is used to reshape the cornea in order to correct vision errors, including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. It is suitable for many patients who might not be good candidates for LASIK due to thin corneas or advanced prescriptions. The PRK procedure employs the same laser technology as LASIK and delivers results that are comparable to or better than LASIK. The main difference between LASIK and PRK is that PRK does not require the creation of a corneal flap. Instead, Dr. Philip Penrose removes the most superficial tissue of the cornea and then uses the custom wavefront laser with Iris Recognition to directly shape the surface of the cornea in order to achieve the required dimensions.
PRK: During the Procedure
Laser Vison Correction Procedure
PRK: Benefits and Risks
PRK is often the only laser eye surgery procedure available for patients with thin corneas or higher prescriptions. This procedure often results in better night vision than LASIK due to the fact that no flap is created during surgery. Thus, PRK completely eliminates the risk of flap-related complications, such as uneven flap edges, uneven corneal flap thickness, and flap infections. On the other hand, because there is no flap to protect the treated surface of the eye, PRK patients usually experience more discomfort than LASIK patients in the days immediately following their treatments. However, any pain and discomfort can be managed with prescription medications and eye drops. PRK patients also have to wait a little longer than LASIK patients to achieve their full visual potential.
PRK in Monterey: Is It For Me?
Whether you might benefit from PRK surgery can be determined only during a one-on-one consultation with our experienced PRK surgeon, Dr. Philip Penrose. Please contact our offices today by calling 831-373-0183 or by clicking here to schedule your initial appointment.