An Overview on Laser Vision Correction

Pioneering eye surgeon, Leon C. LaHaye, MD has been setting the standard in vision correction since the late 1980s. He was among an exclusive inner circle of global eye surgeons who brought the concept of laser vision correction to the forefront of the ophthalmic industry. He was the first refractive surgeon in the United States to develop his own laser vision correction procedure with FDA-cleared technology aimed at taking laser vision correction to a higher paradigm. His extensive efforts during the early years of FDA approval helped establish laser vision correction as the most proven and popular method of vision correction ever developed.

Our patented and proprietary LAHayeSIK™ procedure has demonstrated advantages over traditional laser vision corrections procedures. There are basically two laser vision correction options for treating your NEARsightedness, FARsightedness and Astigmatism. PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy) and LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) have both been FDA-approved for refractive surgery for more than two decades. The main difference between PRK and LASIK is that PRK does not involve cutting a flap. This surface treatment’ method of laser vision correction is sometimes recommended for front-line active duty military and high impact sporting enthusiasts who are more liable to experience direct contact with their eyes. Recent studies are demonstrating that surface ablation procedures such as PRK have advantages over the flap-based (mid cornea) LASIK operation. Both procedures are approved to correct specific ranges of refractive error and are explained in further detail below.
Incorporating the LAHayeSIK™ Surgical System in performing the various LVC procedures such as PRK and LASIK have added an unparallel level of safety, reproducibility and effectiveness.

LAHayeSIK™ Laser Vision Correction for both PRK and LASIK

• PRK – Photo-Refractive Keratectomy
• LASIK – Laser in-Situ Keratomileusis


Both Procedures are Safe

The main advantage of PRK is its greater relative safety compared to LASIK. LASIK is extremely safe (although no procedure is entirely risk free). Yet as safe as LASIK is, PRK is even safer. PRK was the first procedure performed using the Excimer laser. The difference between LASIK and PRK is that with LASIK a corneal flap is first cut into approximately 20% of the top corneal layers and the laser is applied to the inner tissue of the cornea. Because the laser treatment is performed on the corneal surface with PRK, there is no corneal flap. Without a corneal flap, there are zero risks of flap-related complications. Therefore, PRK has zero risk of a wrinkled flap, displaced flap, incomplete flap, debris under the flap, inflammation under the flap or an imperfect flap. Also, without a corneal flap, more corneal tissue is left intact and the cornea is generally stronger and more stable after the procedure. Because less tissue is cut in PRK there is an improved chance of being able to perform a second treatment or enhancement if it is ever needed. This preservation of more tissue

with PRK will also be important if and when one needs cataract surgery later in life.  Cataract surgery when combined with laser vision correction has taken cataract surgery to a new level of vision correction for those needing their cataract removed and want to reduce dependency on corrective eyewear. The feasibility of being able to incorporate a laser enhancement with cataract surgery in the future because more tissue is preserved with the primary PRK will be important.

In addition, because more corneal nerves are cut with the mid cornea LASIK procedure there is an increased incidence of post operative dry eye.

PRK in the past was associated with corneal haze. However newer lasers and the development and use of certain medications has significantly reduced and eliminated post operative haze in most cases. There is more post operative pain with PRK and the visual recovery may take several days as compared to LASIK.

The decision to have a flap based procedure or a surface based procedure is yours to make.





LAHayeSIK™ PRK Eye Surgery

PRK is for those who:

  • want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts.
  • areover 18 years of age
  • have had astable eye prescription for at least one year
  • haveno health issues affecting their eyes
  • havecorneas too thin for LASIK
  • have no signs of glaucoma or cataracts

LAHayeSIK™ PRK for Nearsightedness

To treat nearsightedness, the steep cornea is made flatter by removing tissue from the center of the cornea. This moves the point of focus from in front of the retina to directly on the retina.


Treating nearsightedness; the cornea is made flatter by precise removal of tissue at the surface

LAHayeSIK™ PRK for Farsightedness

To treat farsightedness, the flat cornea is made steeper by removing tissue outside of the central optical zone of the cornea. This moves the point of focus from behind the retina to directly on the retina.


Treating farsightedness; the cornea is made steeper by precise removal of tissue at the surface

LAHayeSIK™ PRK for Astigmatism

To treat astigmatism, the cornea is made more spherical — like a basketball instead of a football. This eliminates multiple focusing points within the eye and creates one point of focus on the retina. Astigmatism can be treated at the same time as nearsightedness and farsightedness.

Treating astigmatism; the cornea is made more spherical by precise removal of tissue at the surface

LAHayeSIK™ PRK what to expect on surgery day:

You will arrive at the laser center about an hour prior to your procedure. Once you have been checked in you may be offered a sedative to help you relax. You will then be prepared for surgery. The area around your eyes will be cleaned and a sterile drape may be applied around your eye. Anesthetic eye drops will be used to numb your eyes; no injections or needles will be used. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.

Dr. LaHaye will position the LAHayeSIK™ handpiece on your eye. You will feel pressure and cooling of your eye during removal of the thin epithelial layer of the cornea. During the following stages the LAHayeSIK™ handpiece will remain positioned to facilitate the multiple stages of the procedure to follow. You may feel a little pressure but no pain. You will then be asked to look directly at a target light while the laser reshapes your cornea. The Excimer laser will be programmed with the information gathered in your pre-operative exam. The laser treatment will be completed in less than a minute or two, depending on the amount of correction needed. To complete the procedure, the LAHayeSIK™ handpiece provides additional cooling and cleansing of the treated area. Following removal of the handpiece a bandage contact lens will be placed along with medicated eye drops.

Your eye(s) will be examined with the microscope.

Your eyes may be shielded for protection. Your vision may be blurry or hazy for one to five days. You will experience some discomfort as the epithelium heals and covers the treated area. Eye drops, pain medication and possibly a protective contact lens can be used to minimize this discomfort. Most patients resume normal activities within one to three days. Vision can fluctuate for up to six months, but most people can see well enough to pass a driver’s license vision exam following their procedure.

Realistic expectations:

The vast majority of our patients can do most activities without dependence on corrective lenses.[/caption]The decision to have PRK is an important one that only you can make. The goal of any refractive surgical procedure is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. However, we cannot guarantee you will have the results you desire. The vast majority of our patients are extremely happy with their vision after PRK and can do most activities without dependence on corrective lenses.

PRK is a safe, effective and permanent procedure, but like any surgical procedure, it does have some risks. After PRK, almost everyone experiences some visual side effects. These visual side effects are usually mild and temporary and have a tendency to diminish over time. But there is a slight chance that some of these side effects won’t go away completely, including light sensitivity, glare and halos. Serious complications to PRK are extremely rare.

Everyone heals somewhat differently

Since everyone heals somewhat differently, some patients may overreact to the procedure, and some may under react resulting in over corrections and under corrections. Once the eye has stabilized (3 to 6 months) you and your doctor can discuss whether a re-treatment could help fine tune your vision if you are over-or-under corrected.

After a thorough eye exam, you and your doctor will determine if LAHayeSIK™ PRK is an option for you. If you are a good candidate, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all of your questions answered to your satisfaction

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