LASIK Eye Surgery

The precision and consistency of LASIK is why it has become one of the most sought-after surgeries performed in the world today. The very high rates of improving poor vision due to focusing problems make it a life-altering event for most patients. Being able to assist in that event for our patients is for us at Sun Laser Vision Center both humbling and gratifying.

If you are tired of the fogging, smudging, broken, or misplaced glasses or are tired of the eye-poking and irritation from contact lenses and are ready for a change call Sun Laser Vision Center today to schedule your free screening exam. Take the first step towards experiencing greater freedom from glasses and contacts.

What is LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK and PRK are the most commonly performed laser refractive surgeries. These surgeries use laser energy to change the shape of the cornea and properly focus light into the eye. LASIK and PRK are very similar.

In LASIK a two-step laser process is used. In the first step a femtosecond laser is used to make a partial thickness flap of the cornea. The flap is lifted and folded over to the side of the cornea. During the second step an Excimer laser is used to re-contour the cornea. The flap is then repositioned.

In PRK a protective barrier layer of cells on the surface of the cornea is gently removed. The laser energy is then applied directly to the surface of the cornea. A zero power bandage contact lens is temporarily placed over the cornea and over the next 3 to 5 days the barrier cells regrow on the surface of the cornea.


How is LASIK Eye Surgery Performed at Sun Laser Vision Center?

Prior to your surgery multiple imaging devices will be used to measure your degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Your cornea also will be imaged.  Based on these measurements, your exam and your unique characteristics, we will make a recommendation on whether LASIK or PRK or another vision correction surgery is the ideal treatment for you.

The measurements from the imaging devices are then used to create a customized treatment which is calculated by the iDesign refractive studio system from Johnson & Johnson vision. This is currently the latest technology in wavefront guided laser eye surgery.

Sun Laser Vision Center was the first to introduce the iFS femtosecond laser technology for LASIK and adopt the iDesign imaging system in El Paso.  We currently use the STAR S4 IR excimer laser – the latest from Johnson & Johnson Vision.  Our team is committed to remaining the leader in vision correction surgery in El Paso and giving our patients access to the most up to date technology available. 

Is LASIK Surgery Right for Me?

Having surgery is a highly personal decision for everyone.  No one can make that decision for you.  However we are here to help guide you.  To determine if laser vision correction is likely going to be safe and effective for you, you will have a full eye exam and all of the measurements and imaging tests listed above.  Your corneas will be assessed to ensure they have normal structure, thickness and clarity to allow for ideal vision after surgery.  Your eyes will be evaluated for other diseases which may reduce the chance for improved vision after surgery.  Your medical history and medications taken will be reviewed   Your reasons for having surgery and expectations from surgery will also be discussed.   If these parameters are all normal and your expectations are realistic, you are likely a good candidate for surgery.

Why Should I Choose Sun Laser Vision Center for My LASIK?

Dr. Foote is a board certified ophthalmologist with over 20 years of experience.  We’ve performed thousands of vision correction surgeries at Sun Laser Vision Center.  We are committed to patient safety and providing the latest in technology to our patients.  We perform the greatest number of different types of vision correction procedures so that we can offer the best procedure to fit your individual needs.  Dr. Foote performs your surgery and will evaluate you before your surgery and follow you throughout your recovery.  We believe that your surgeon should be involved in every step of your care. 

What Happens During LASIK Surgery?

Before your laser procedure, you will be given medication that will relax you. You will also be given topical anesthetics to help numb your eye during the procedure.

At the beginning of the procedure a comfortable plastic or metal device will be placed to keep your eyelids open. A tracker on the laser will monitor your eye position during the procedure. You will see lights from the laser flashing and your vision will blur during the procedure. You will also hear the pulse of the laser during the procedure. Your surgeon will direct you to look at a target to help keep your eyes properly aligned during the procedure. The laser treatment itself is about 30 to 60 seconds for each eye. The entire process usually takes about 10 minutes in the laser operatory.

What Should I Expect After the Procedure?

Immediately after laser surgery your vision will likely be much sharper than usual but not yet perfectly in focus. This is normal. It ordinarily takes about 24 to 48 hours for the vision to sharpen after LASIK and about 4 to 6 days for the vision to sharpen after PRK. The vision during the initial recovery time is still however very functional.

You will be given a list of medications and eye drops to use for the next 2 to 3 weeks after surgery. Most patients are scheduled to return for follow-up at our clinic one day, one week and one month after surgery.

Avoid rubbing your eyes, strenuous exercise, swimming, makeup and lotions after surgery. You will be advised to wear a protective eye shield or goggles at night and sunglasses during the day while outside. Most patients can return to work within a few days to a week from surgery.

It’s normal after laser eye surgery for your eyes to feel scratchy or watery or to have light sensitivity. These side effects are generally temporary and go away within a few hours to a few days from the procedure in most patients. Some pain or discomfort is not uncommon in the first 24 to 48 hours after LASIK and the first 3 to 5 days after PRK. This discomfort is usually controllable with over-the-counter analgesics like Tylenol or ibuprofen.

As with any surgery it is always important to monitor for abnormal signs or symptoms. If you should experience any worrisome vision changes or pain please contact us immediately.

What Are Some Questions People Ask About LASIK Surgery?

Don’t see your question? Contact us if you have more questions.

Patients undergoing LASIK can usually return to work in one to two days. Patients having PRK usually require three to five days due to slightly longer healing. An individual’s experience may vary however depending upon your body’s healing process and the type of work to which you are returning.

Patients having LASIK may experience a pressure sensation during flap creation that can be uncomfortable for some. There is no pain during the laser procedure itself for patients having LASIK or surface treatments. In the days following the procedure patients undergoing LASIK or surface treatment can experience some discomfort, foreign body sensation or mild to moderate pain.

These symptoms are usually well tolerated by most patients and can, when needed, be treated with eye drops or oral analgesics. The symptoms can last longer for patients having PRK. Most patients report minimal if any pain with the procedure.

All patients who have laser vision correction to improve their distance vision will have to wear reading glasses after age 44 to 45. It is normal for a healthy eye with good uncorrected distance vision to lose near vision with age. Laser vision correction can improve your near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism but unfortunately it does not stop aging!  So whether you’re 35 when you have laser vision correction or 50, don’t expect that you’ll be the lucky one to miss out on the need for reading glasses after your mid-40s.

Some patients can become very fixated on numbers after surgery thinking that if they don’t see 20/15 or 20/10 that their surgery was a failure or that if they are 20/25 or 20/30 that there was a problem. It is important to understand that not everyone will have 20/20 uncorrected vision in both eyes after surgery.

Instead it is much better to remember the purpose of having laser vision correction is to reduce dependency on glasses and/or contacts. Provided that a patient’s uncorrected vision is better than 20/40, about 2% of patients having laser vision correction will need to have an enhancement usually due to a small under or over correction caused by the laser.

Our laser vision correction coordinator will go over with you in greater detail the cost of surgery, the financing options available to you, as well as what is included with your treatment in consultation with you. There is no charge for this consultation.

Yes. There is now however a surgery available to improve near vision with or without prior LASIK called the Kamra Inlay.  Another option is custom monovision treatment which may lessen the need for reading glasses. However loss of up-close vision is a natural aging process for all of us and is unavoidable.

Any near-sighted patient who is more than 45 years old who values his or her near vision more than far vision should probably reconsider proceeding with the laser vision correction for distance only.

We have the newest, most up-to-date lasers and laser vision correction equipment in El Paso. We can provide the widest array of treatment options. All of our lasers are permanently located on site and are not leased from a company that transports the lasers from city to city. Laser vision correction was part of Dr. Foote’s training during residency.

We take a conservative approach and consider patient safety our top priority.

It is normal for patients undergoing eye surgery for any reason whether cataract surgery, laser vision surgery or other eye surgeries to experience dry eye syndrome after surgery. For most patients the symptoms are brief lasting several weeks but often can last several months. Occasionally some patients may have long-term dry eye syndrome. This is particularly problematic for us here in El Paso given our arid climate. Fortunately most patients’ symptoms resolve however some patients can experience long-term dry eye syndrome which may require use of artificial tears or other medicated eyedrops.

It is not uncommon for some patients to experience halo and glare after laser vision correction. Studies indicate that fewer patients report problems with halo and glare after surgery than prior to surgery. However some patients may have more halo and glare after surgery while others may have less.

Under-correction or over-correction after surgery is probably the most frequent problem encountered after laser vision correction. The over- or under-correction is significant enough to require an enhancement in approximately 2% of patients.

Rare but serious complications can include infection, corneal ectasia (a progressive weakening and bowing of the cornea) or unmasking of keratoconus (a rare corneal condition causing a misshapen cornea). Other complications though rare can occur. Your physician will discuss these with you further at the time of your consultation.

Sun Laser Vision Center

5920 Cromo Dr.
El Paso, Texas 79912

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