Question: How do I know if I am a candidate for laser vision correction?
Answer: A detailed consultation is required to evaluate the health of your eyes and to determine the degree of your prescription. 95% of patients that come in for a laser consultation are felt to be very good candidates for laser vision correction. It is essential to identify the 5% of patients that may not have the desired outcome. Computerized topography and elevation topograpghy are performed which measures over 20,000 data points on the curvature and height of the front and back of your cornea. These tests will rule-out any unusual steepening, flattening, or irregularity. The thickness of your corneas is measured to be sure that it is satisfactory. Next an evaluation of the tear film is performed to be sure you do not have a dry eye that can affect postoperative healing. Pupil size is measured to make sure they are not unusually large. A careful evaluation of the inside of your eyes is performed to be sure the lens, retina, and optic nerve are healthy. Your prescription is determined to be sure it is in the acceptable range for surgery. Today we can treat most ranges of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism with laser vision correction.
Question: How do I know the doctor is qualified to perform my surgery?
Answer: An experienced and qualified surgeon is important in order for you to achieve the desired outcome. The surgeon should be performing surgery every week and should have years of experience. It is interesting and reassuring that the percentage of eye doctors that have had laser eye surgery is higher than that in the general population. Ask the surgeon how many eye doctors they have personally treated. At the Bochner Eye Institute we have treated over 300 eye doctors with laser vision correction.
Question: How do I know I am getting the best technology for LASIK?
Answer: In addition to the skill of the surgeon the laser equipment is very important. Believe it or not most discount laser centres still use a metal blade instead of a laser to create the LASIK flap. Femtosecond laser technology has been shown to be much safer, more predictable, and can achieve superior outcomes.
Why would laser centres today offer inferior technology? The answer is very clear – cost. The purchase of a Femtosecond laser costs around $500,000, there is an annual maintenance fee of around $70,000, and a disposable cost (suction ring) of approximately $200 per eye. A microkeratome that uses a blade can be purchased for $35,000 or less, there are no annual maintenance fees, and the cost of a blade is around $50 for both eyes. So you can see from a cost point of view there are significant savings to a laser centre to offer inferior technology with a microkeratome.
Femtosecond technology continues to advance. At the Bochner Eye Institute we acquired the first IFS laser in Canada, which has a speed of 150 KHz. This is 2.5 times faster than the previous laser technology. This results in the suction ring being on the eye for less time resulting in a more comfortable experience for the patient. In addition the new technology can create a flap edge greater than 100 degrees. This leads to a more stable flap position like a manhole cover, and a rapid return of vision.
At the Bochner Eye Institute we continue to treat a significant number of eye-care professionals from across Canada and the United States. We feel this is because eye doctors understand leading edge technology and trust our surgical techniques and abilities.
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