THE PROCEDURE - LASIK
A few drops of an anesthetic will be placed in your eye eye surgerywhile you are lying on a special, comfortable bed. You are then positioned under the laser and a fine wire speculum is placed between your eyelids so that you are unable to blink during the procedure. A suction ring and a special instrument called a keratome are then placed on the eye and the corneal flap is made in a matter of only a few seconds. This procedure is painless. The corneal flap is folded back and the laser then sculpts a new curvature on the cornea. This takes 20 to 90 seconds, depending on the amount of your prescription. The flap is then floated back to its natural position and the surgeon waits 2 3 minutes for the vacuum of the cornea to seal the flap in place. The typical LASIK procedure usually takes about 10 minutes per eye.
THE PROCEDURE - PRK
After a few drops of anesthetic are placed in the eye, and you are lying comfortably under the laser, a fine wire speculum is placed between the eyelids so that you won't blink. The first layer (the epithelium) of the cornea is then quickly removed with a circular brush. There is no discomfort felt because of the anesthetic drops. The laser is then focused on the cornea, and while you are looking at the red target light, the excimer laser sculpts a new curvature of the cornea. This usually takes less than 60 seconds. A special contact lens is then placed on the cornea so that the epithelial cells, which were removed, can comfortably regrow in a few days. The PRK procedure takes about 5 minutes.
THE LASER MACHINE
The excimer laser is a unique laser because, unlike all other lasers, it does not destroy any tissues. It acts by breaking the bonds between molecules.
Dr. Fichman uses the most advanced laser delivery system in the world. The Chiron Technolas 217 is a scanning spot laser. This has the advantage over a conventional broad beam laser because it leaves a much smoother corneal surface. This machine also uses infra-red tracking cameras so that the laser beam is always centered on the pupil of the eye. These cameras assure a well-centered treatment even if there are small movements of the eye during the laser procedure.