Legacy Eye Care
Modernized Optometry, Affordable Quality Care

Lasik Surgery Consult

Cataract and PRK/LASIK Refractive Surgery Consultation and Co-management

Myopes (people with nearsightedness), hyperopes (people with farsightedness) and astigmats now have alternatives to glasses and contact lenses. Laser technology offers several procedures to correct these refractive problems. We have guided hundreds of patients through refractive surgery with comprehensive pre-operative and post-operative care.

WHAT IS PRK?

PRK stands for Photorefractive Keratectomy. During this procedure, the surgeon gently removes the top layer of cells on the cornea. The excimer laser is then used to sculpt the cornea by removing microscopic layers of tissue.

WHAT IS LASIK?

LASIK stands for Laser Assisted Intrastromal Keratomileusis. During this procedure, the surgeon uses an instrument called a microkeratome to create a thin flap of tissue within the cornea. The corneal flap is then returned to its original position, adhering without stitches. This procedure is nearly painless and is performed under topical anesthesia.



WHO IS A CANDIDATE?

Candidates should be at least 18 years old with a stable prescription. They must be within the range of the procedure, have no active eye disease and not be pregnant or nursing. There should also be no restrictions mandated by the candidate's employer. 

WHAT ARE REALISTIC GOALS?

Realistic goals for these procedures should include less dependence on glasses (e.g. having the ability to see the clock without spectacle correction or being able to swim without contacts). You should be able to enjoy an active lifestyle without being totally dependent on corrective lenses.

WHAT ARE POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS?

Side effects may include minor discomfort and blurred vision for one to five days following PRK. Although very rare, loss of corneal cap or irregular astigmatism from malpositioning of the cap can occur following LASIK. Transient dryness, nighttime halos and/or glare or a decrease in best-corrected visual acuities following either procedure are potential complications.

People who are most satisfied after having refractive surgery clearly understand the potential risks and side effects and have realistic expectations of what their vision will be like after surgery.

Many people will eventually need to rely on reading glasses or bifocal lenses due to a condition called presbyopia. This is a normal aging process in which the muscles that move the lens lose their elasticity. A condition called monovision, in which one eye is corrected for near vision and the other is corrected for distance vision, is one option with refractive procedures.

We would love to discuss these procedures with you in greater detail and decide which option will be right for you.

WHAT IS A CATARACT?

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens, the part of the eye responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. The lens is contained in a sealed bag or capsule. As old cells die they become trapped within the capsule. Over time, the cells accumulate causing the lens to cloud, making images look blurred or fuzzy. For most people, cataracts are a natural result of aging.

In fact, they are the leading cause of visual loss among adults 55 and older. Eye injuries, certain medications, and diseases such as diabetes and alcoholism have also been known to cause cataracts.

HOW ARE CATARACTS DIAGNOSED?

Cataracts are relatively simple to diagnose by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist during a routine eye examination. It is important, when making the diagnosis of cataract, to also examine the entire eye for evidence of any other eye disease which may be compromising the vision. In addition to taking a medical and ocular history and visual acuity test, the eye doctor will check eye movements and pupillary responses, measure the pressure inside the eyes and examine the front and back of the eyes after the pupils have been dilated with drops.

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR CATARACTS?

People with early cataract will find that changing their glasses, using sunglasses to decrease glare and having better lighting to read can significantly alleviate their symptoms. Magnifying lenses for close work and reading fine print may also be helpful.

Many cataracts are not bothersome, causing few symptoms. In that situation, no surgical treatment is necessary. However, the only true treatment for cataract is surgical removal of the cloudy lens. Surgery is suggested if the patient loses the ability to perform necessary activities of everyday life, such as driving, reading, or looking at computer or video screens, even with glasses, and there is the expectation that vision will improve as a result of the surgery.

Depending on a patient's specific visual needs, surgery is sometimes done on cataracts that are not very dense or surgery can wait until the cataract and the vision gets more cloudy. Patients' responses to cataracts vary as a cataract in only one eye may be disturbing to a particular patient and may not cause significant symptoms in another patient.

Cataracts usually do not harm your eye, so you can have surgery when it is convenient for you. Once you understand the benefits and risks of surgery, you can make an informed decision about whether cataract surgery is right for you. In most cases, delaying cataract surgery will not cause long-term damage to your eye or make the surgery more difficult.

If the eye has other diseases that have caused visual loss such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or optic nerve damage from glaucoma, cataract surgery may not improve the vision.

Occasionally, your doctor may recommend removal of a cataract if it prevents diagnosis or treatment of another eye problem, such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.

If both eyes have cataracts and surgery is agreed upon, the surgery on the second eye is generally planned at least a week after the first eye. There is usually no harm in waiting a much longer period of time between the two eye operations.

Since the lens of the eye is necessary to accurately focus light onto the retinal surface and removal of the cataract involves removal of the lens, modern cataract surgery combines removal of the lens with placement of a new artificial lens into the eye. Measurements for the size, shape, and power of this lens will be taken at least a week prior to the surgery so that the lens can be ordered and available at the time of surgery.

More than 2 million cataract surgeries are performed annually in the United States. It is extremely safe and effective, improving vision in the vast majority of patients.

SURGERY CO-MANAGEMENT

Our office provides many of the surgical services such as Cataract surgery, Laser surgery, Refractive surgery and Strabismic surgery. We offer this in conjunction with the hospital and local eye surgeons.

Additionally, we have working arrangements established with other specialized eye care doctors to manage such things are retinal detachments, retinal tears and hemorrhages.