|What is LASIK?
|LASIK, otherwise known as Laser Assisted In
Situ Keratomileusis, is a type of laser eye surgery that is used to
treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and
LASIK eye surgery is one of the most popular
elective surgery procedures in the country. It is an extremely safe,
FDA-approved procedure that was first introduced to the US market in the
late 1980s/early 1990s. Since then, its popularity has grown
exponentially thanks to its proven results.
ophthalmologist Michael Tracy, MD is an expert when it comes to
performing LASIK procedures. He’s successfully treated thousands of
patients, with either LASIK or PRK surgeries.
|During laser eye surgery, a laser is used to reshape the cornea,
which is the transparent layer on the front of the eye that covers the
iris and pupil. The shape of the cornea determines whether you are
nearsighted (myopic), are farsighted (hyperopic), or have astigmatism.
During LASIK eye surgery, San Diego ophthalmologist Dr. Tracy uses a
laser to reshape the cornea and improve the way the eye focuses light
rays onto the retina in the back of the eye.
How Does LASIK Surgery Work?
LASIK is a surgery that works by using a two-step process. The first
step involves creating a thin round corneal flap. This can be done
either with a laser (Intralase
femtosecond laser) or with a blade (microkeratome). The laser or blade
creates a flap on the cornea, which is lifted to reveal the corneal
tissue underneath. The second step involves using another laser (Excimer
laser) to reshape the cornea.
Using the microkeratome for the
first step is referred to as “conventional” or traditional LASIK,
because initially this was the only option to access the deeper layers
of the cornea. However, today most surgeons use the Intralase laser to
create the corneal flap. When both steps are performed by lasers, this
is often called “blade-free” or Intra-LASIK.
Since everyone’s eyes are different and unique, San Diego
ophthalmologist Dr. Tracy will map your eyes carefully during
your consultation. If appropriate for your treatment, a Wavescan
machine will also map your cornea before the procedure, to
determine your custom treatment.
During the actual LASIK
surgery, San Diego ophthalmologist Dr. Tracy creates a thin
circular flap in the cornea using the Intralase laser. He then
lifts the flap and uses the VISX Excimer laser to reshape the
exposed corneal tissue based on your prescription.
| Dr. Tracy then replaces the flap on the cornea. The flap and the
epithelium are allowed to heal naturally, which can take 1-3 days. Over
subsequent weeks, the vision stabilizes as the cornea heals. This can
take a few weeks to a few months, depending on how large your treatment
was and your individual healing rate, among other factors.
Dr. Tracy uses only the blade-free, all-laser procedure. Dr. Tracy
has performed thousands of procedures and can help you decide on the
best choice for your needs and lifestyle.
|How Much Does Laser Eye Surgery Cost?
LASIK eye surgery cost can vary based on the technology and
equipment used, surgeon experience, and geographic area. It can
typically cost between $2,000 and $4,000 per eye. Be careful of some of
the lower fees advertised, as they may be bait-and-switch techniques,
involving unreasonable conditions and restrictions, or the laser center
may be using older, outdated technologies such as the
San Diego Ophthalmologist Dr. Tracy utilizes
the most advanced technologies and equipment, performing blade-free,
all-laser surgery. We charge one flat fee for your procedure, which
includes all pre-operative evaluations, surgery, and post-operative
care. At Carlsbad Eye Care, Dr. Tracy performs all pre- and post-op care
himself, including the initial evaluation. We offer no-interest Credit
Care financing and payment plans to help make the cost of your procedure
affordable. This will allow you to make small monthly payments over a
period of time in accordance with your budget.
|The LASIK Lasers
When performing laser eye surgery, expert
ophthalmologist Dr. Tracy uses the most advanced and state of the art
technology available. At Carlsbad Eye Care, Dr. Tracy performs bladeless
LASIK, and utilizes technology that is self-stabilizing with iris
registry so that even if your eye moves during surgery, the laser tracks
and follows the eye. The end result is a procedure that is effective,
quick, and extremely safe.
Before and After Laser Eye
Before undergoing any type of surgery,
it’s important to know what to expect before, during, and after
the procedure, and LASIK is no different.
As with any surgery,
there are precautions and measures that patients need to take
before and after LASIK surgery.
required to stop wearing contact lenses prior to the surgery, for a
minimum of two to six weeks, as instructed by the doctor. You need to
arrange for a driver to accompany you to your procedure, as you won’t be
able to drive yourself afterward, because you will be given a medication
to calm you during the procedure and you will wear eye shields over your
eyes. Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and refrain from wearing any
perfume or makeup. A responsible adult must accompany you on the day of
You will not be allowed to drive on the day of your surgery, so you
must arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure. During
the first few days after having the procedure performed, you may feel
some eye irritation and tearing (where your eyes produce excess tears).
The white part of your eye may be red for a few days. Your eyes may also
be sensitive to light. You will need to wear a shield over your eyes for
the first few nights or when sleeping, and you must avoid rubbing your
eyes for several months. You must use prescription eye drops to prevent
infection, and keep your scheduled follow-up appointments to ensure that
your eyes are healing properly.
Your LASIK Results
Patients can expect to experience a temporary dry eye sensation after
surgery. In the weeks following surgery, patients should refrain from
performing any physically demanding activities, as certain sports and
activities may dislodge the corneal flap created during the procedure.
For a few months, patients may experience vision fluctuations that
resolve over time. After a few follow-up appointments with Dr. Tracy,
patients have an excellent chance of achieving 20/20 vision for their
Although laser eye surgery is a common
procedure in the United States, many patients have questions about the
surgery and their eligibility. At Carlsbad Eye Care, we want to ensure
that no patient feels lost or confused, which is why we have compiled
this FAQ with some of the most commonly asked questions about the
procedure. If you have a question that isn’t listed below, please feel
free to contact our office today by calling (760) 603-9910.
Q: Is LASIK permanent?
A: The laser
permanently changes the shape of your cornea. However, your eyes
may undergo natural changes in shape as you grow older, or your
vision may regress. Although for most people, the procedure
results in long-lasting vision correction, some may experience
slight changes in vision and may wish to undergo an
“enhancement” procedure to correct these changes. Fewer than 10%
of patients need enhancements after having undergone LASIK eye
|Q: How long will it
take for my eyes to heal from the surgery?
people will experience significant visual improvement in 2-4 days. A
complete LASIK recovery may take six months. During this period, you
should avoid high-impact activities so that your eyes can heal. Contact
sports run the risk of dislodging the flap created during LASIK, should
you get hit in the eye.
Q: Will I still need reading
glasses after having laser eye surgery?
needs reading glasses at some point, as the ability of the eyes to focus
on objects up close decreases as we age (a condition called presbyopia,
which usually occurs after age 40). Depending on your age, you may need
to wear reading glasses after having laser eye surgery. An alternative
for people with presbyopia is to have monovision LASIK, which may lessen
or eliminate the need for reading glasses.
Monovision is where
one eye is corrected for distance and the other eye is corrected for
reading. Your brain may be able to adjust and focus on the eye needed
depending on your activity. Typically, you will try this method first
with contact lenses to see if you would be comfortable with it. Most
patients either love it or hate it, so it is imperative to try it out
before undergoing monovision LASIK surgery.
Q: How long
does the procedure take?
A: The entire procedure takes
about 20 minutes, approximately 10 minutes per eye. However, expect to
be at the surgery facility for 1-2 hours for pre-op testing, surgical
prep, post-op instructions, etc.
Q: Will I be awake
during the procedure?
A: Yes, but you will be given a
medication to relax. Also, your eyes will be numbed with drops so that
you will not feel any pain. You will feel pressure on the eye when the
Intralase laser creates the flap on the cornea.
Q: Do I
have to have one eye treated at a time?
A: No. Typically
both eyes are treated during the same visit; however you can have one
eye treated at a time if this is a good option for you.
Q: Can I resume normal activities after LASIK?
can resume your normal daily activities after a day or two, but
strenuous activities and swimming should be avoided for a few weeks. For
contact sports, you should wear goggles for a period of at least 3
months to ensure that your eyes do not get hit and risk dislodging of
the corneal flap.
Q: Can I have the procedure if I have
A: Yes, astigmatism is routinely corrected
through LASIK. More than 60% of patients who undergo laser eye surgery
have some astigmatism.
Carlsbad Eye Care Today!
To schedule your free
consultation with a LASIK expert in Carlsbad, please call us at (760)