Am I a Good Candidate for LASIK or Advance Surface Treatment (AST)?

An ideal LVC (Laser Vision Correction) candidate is someone who is over 18 years of age and has healthy corneas with a stable prescription. People with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disease, conditions resulting in profound dryness of the eyes, pregnant and nursing women or individuals with fluctuating eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions may not be good candidates. Candidates should also have a good understanding of the risks and rewards from LVC. The best way to find out if you are a good candidate is to arrange for a free screening or a comprehensive exam; please contact us, and we will answer any questions you may have. Read more about how LVC and AST are done on the next page.

Understanding the Most Common Vision Conditions

Correctable by Laser Vision Correction
Clear vision is the result of light passing through two perfectly shaped lenses in the eye so that it focuses clearly on the retina. Abnormal focusing conditions of the eye are called refractive errors and consist of the following:

Myopia (Nearsightedness)
Nearsightedness, or myopia, occurs when the cornea is too curved or the eye is too long. Light focuses before it can reach the retina, which causes distant objects to appear blurry.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
Farsightedness, or hyperopia, occurs when the cornea is too flat or the eye is too short. This causes light to focus at a point beyond the retina, resulting in blurry close vision and sometimes blurry distance vision as well (not pictured).

Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is oval-shaped. When light passes through the cornea, it focuses in more than one place, which causes images near or far to appear blurred and distorted.

Laser vision correction works by gently reshaping the cornea to the desired curvature. The surgeon uses the cool beam of the laser to remove a microscopic amount of tissue (less than the thickness of a human hair in most cases) to create the new curvature.

A Well-Established, FDA-Approved Procedure
Laser vision correction has revolutionized vision care. Instead of just compensating for imperfect vision with glasses or contact lenses, common vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism can actually be treated and resolved. Contact us to learn more about the possibilities LASIK and AST offer for you!

How are these procedures done?

LVC is performed by creating a corneal flap using a femtosecond laser to create a flap of cornea approximately 100 microns thick. 100 microns is equal to 4/1000th of an inch! The flap is gently lifted and the excimer laser removes just the right amount of corneal tissue to correct the refractive error being treated. A computer controls the flying spot laser so that the tissue is not heated (which will cause it to swell and shrink) and controls the smoothness of the treatment. While the laser works, the eye is being tracked by another laser, so that the small movements of the eye during the treatment are followed and the laser spots land in the correct location! The flap is repositioned (like a manhole cover) so it is perfectly positioned in its original position, and the procedure is over! It takes about 5-8 minutes per eye for the entire procedure and numbing drops make it totally painless!! Pretty high tech, don't you agree??!!

AST is a variation on the LVC procedure and is done on patients who have thin corneas where there is not enough corneal thickness to allow for conventional femtoLASIK. Previously, we simply couldn't do LASIK on people with thin corneas. Think of AST as an ultra-thin flap procedure. A vibrating plastic slat is moved across the cornea removing only the surface cells rather than creating the 100 micron flap. The same excimer treatment is applied to correct the vision. The main advantage of the femtoLASIK over the AST procedure is that the femtoLASIK procedure heals more quickly and is a bit more comfortable in the post-operative period. The results are otherwise the same and permit those otherwise disqualified to have the procedure.

Laser vision correction treatments are performed using either the IntraLase or Ziemer LDV femtosecond lasers and the Wavelight Allegretto Excimer Laser system. Pre-operative evaluation is performed using state of the art topographic equipment to insure the doctors know all there is to know about your eyes. We do not rely on information collected elsewhere!! 

More information and videos are available, if you are curious!!

1801 Gunbarrel Rd.
Chattanooga, TN   37421