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LASIK Surgery Information: An Overview

LASIK At Woolfson Eye Institute

You’re searching the internet for LASIK information and have found your way to this page, which means you’re doing your due diligence by researching LASIK. That’s great!

The only problem— the conflicting and outdated information online about LASIK. You really have to be very careful who you trust.

At Woolfson Eye Institute, we’ve performed over 100,000 LASIK procedures, and we always stay current on the latest LASIK information, which includes safer, more accurate surgical methods, as well as protocols to minimize the risk of infection.

Of those 100,000 procedures, we’ve also performed LASIK on over 300 eye doctors. In other words, you can trust the doctor the doctors trust. So watch the video below, and hear what Dr. Jonathan Woolfson (Founder & Medical Director of Woolfson Eye Institute) has to say about your LASIK procedure and selecting the right LASIK surgeon to meet your needs.

The Woolfson Advantage

Have you ever dreamed of seeing clearly from the moment you wake up? With Woolfson LASIK, you are just moments away from enjoying your best vision at any age.

One of the most important factors to the successful outcome of your LASIK procedure rests in the skill and experience of your surgeon. At Woolfson Eye Institute, our surgeons – led by Dr. Jonathan Woolfson who participated in the first physician-sponsored clinical investigation of LASIK before the refractive laser’s FDA approval in 1995 – are among the first to have performed LASIK in the United States. Nothing says experience like being a true pioneer.

Our surgeons have performed over 100,000 LASIK procedures, and over 300 eye doctors have chosen Woolfson LASIK, designating us as the “Eye Doctors’ Doctor.”

Meet your LASIK surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Woolfson

Of course the second most important factor, just behind the skill of your surgeon, is the technology that the surgeon applies. The Wavefront technology we use at Woolfson Eye Institute was originally invented by NASA for high powered precision telescopes, and precisely measures the way light travels through your optical pathway while comparing it to an optically perfect eye. This technology creates a 3-D map of your vision that is as unique to you as your fingerprint. This custom “fingerprint” is then transferred electronically to a laser platform as a key ingredient to the delivery of your best results. Your Woolfson Eye Institute surgeon uses this map to develop a customized LASIK procedure unique to your specific case. Because we use the most advanced, trusted, and proven technologies in the hands of the most skilled surgeons, we are able to deliver a truly personalized treatment and result to each of our patients. This is the Woolfson LASIK Advantage and we urge you to accept nothing less for your eyes.

LASIK Patient Testimonials

An incredible team of LASIK doctors and staff

Woolfson Eye Institute’s team of world-renowned surgeons and patient support staff are with you every step of the way from your comprehensive evaluation through to your post-operative visits. Our team sets the standard in patient-centered care to deliver Your Best Vision at Any Age.

Our patients benefit from the Woolfson Difference, which optimally combines surgical skill and experience with the most advanced and proven technologies. Not only are our surgeons and staff the best in the industry, but we are also one of the only LASIK providers offering multiple laser platforms to provide our patients with a truly customized treatment plan.

We recognize that one size does not fit all when it comes to something as important as your vision. We have made the investments required both in technology and professional expertise to ensure that we remove any limitations from delivering the best possible results.

We only use the most advanced tools available

Woolfson Eye Institute utilizes the most advanced diagnostic equipment and tools. This allows us to identify patients who are not ideal candidates for LASIK, but would instead benefit from one of our other treatment options, such as PRK, ICL (implantable collamer lens) or Refractive IOL (intraocular lens).

Contoura/Topo-Guided LASIK

At Woolfson Eye, we utilize topography-guided LASIK treatment known as Contoura Vision. This treatment allows our surgeons to gather more detailed information on the structure of the cornea than prior generations of LASIK procedures. The result of this FDA approved topography-guided LASIK is that our patients are then able to receive a more individualized and precise procedure that can result in improved vision that can be equal to or greater than glasses or contact lenses.

Wavefront optimized treatment is another LASIK option that can provide the sharpest vision after laser vision correction. During surgery, wavefront technology is used to evaluate the unique characteristics of your eyes. This procedure is more precise and specific than your conventional LASIK surgery as detailed measurements of the curvature of the front surface of your eye are taken in order to preserve the natural, aspheric shape of your cornea. Your Woolfson Eye Institute surgeon can further discuss these options with you to decide which procedure best fits your individual scenario.

Topographic Guided LASIK

Are you interested in LASIK or any other vision correction procedure?

As mentioned above, we’re glad you’re doing research in order to select the best LASIK surgeon to meet your needs. Based on Dr. Woolfson’s experience and track record (including successful LASIK on his peers—over 300 eye doctors), we truly feel you won’t find anyone more qualified to perform your LASIK procedure.

We offer refractive surgery at each of our locations around the Southeast, so find a location nearest you and contact us today! Woolfson Eye Institute has 9 great locations in 3 different states: Georgia (Atlanta/Sandy Springs, Airport Location, Cumming, Lawrenceville), North Carolina (Asheville), and Tennessee (Chattanooga, Knoxville).

Also, we offer a free LASIK self-evaluation that you can take here.

If you’d like to know more about what to expect from your LASIK procedure, click here.

Are You a Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery?

At Woolfson Eye Institute, we’re proud to be at the forefront of LASIK technology with unparalleled surgical skill and experience among our doctors. This combination of expertise and technology enables Woolfson Eye Institute to allow the widest possible range of people to enjoy the freedom from glasses and contacts that LASIK provides.

In general, the qualifications for a good LASIK candidate are:

  • At least 18 years old
  • In good general health and not pregnant
  • A history of normal eye health
  • No active conditions that would affect healing
  • A vision prescription that has not changed within twelve months prior to the procedure

Of course, Woolfson Eye Institute examines each patient’s case individually and can compensate for many complications that can occur through a more customized LASIK procedure that is uniquely adapted to the patient’s situation.

Take Our LASIK Self Test

What Makes A LASIK Candidate

LASIK EDUCATION VIDEOS

LASIK: What to Expect Before, During, and After Your Procedure

First and foremost, our highly trained medical staff will make sure you are comfortable and relaxed while you are with us.

Every patient at Woolfson Eye Institute is unique, and your procedure here will be customized to deliver the best results possible for you. On surgery day, we will provide information about expectations and post-op care as we escort you through the Woolfson LASIK experience. Just before your surgery, we will provide you with thorough written and verbal pre-operative instructions, as well as the instructions you will need to follow after your procedure.

Before Your Procedure

If you haven’t already completed your comprehensive LASIK evaluation, you will need to have one prior to your procedure. Your comprehensive evaluation is a critical, mandatory step. During your evaluation you will receive the latest in diagnostic testing to identify the laser platform and procedure best suited to deliver your best vision possible at any age.

Patient Education Is As Important To Us As It Is To You

At Woolfson Eye Institute, patient education is important to us and critical to your making an informed decision. We will answer all of your questions and help you understand, based on your medical condition and history, prescription, and diagnostic testing, what results you can expect after your procedure.

What Should I Expect At My LASIK Consultation?
Your Surgery Day

Please plan to arrive as rested and relaxed as possible on the day of your procedure. It is completely natural to feel nervous and excited before your procedure.

Wear comfortable clothing and make sure to bring a sweater or light jacket, as the surgical room is kept very cool. Do not use creams, lotions, eye makeup, hair spray, perfume, or wear earrings or other jewelry (even jewelry in piercings) above the neck. This is important, as your eye area will be thoroughly cleaned for surgery. Additionally, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and anesthetic drops will be placed in your eyes.

Your Woolfson Eye Surgeon Will Walk Through Your Entire Surgery With You

Prior to your procedure, your surgeon will spend a few minutes explaining everything that is going to take place inside the laser suite, review your treatment plan with you one more time, and answer any final questions you may have. Once you enter the laser suite, you’ll be placed comfortably on the surgical bed attached to the laser, and your surgeon will begin to perform your procedure. During your surgery, the surgeon will provide you with occasional simple instructions, such as, “Look at the flashing red light.” He or she will update you as to what’s occurring during each step of the way.

Only The Best Surgeons At Woolfson Eye Institute

You are in the hands of the best surgical teams in the industry, supported by Woolfson’s wide array of advanced and proven technologies, as well as by the expertise delivered via the Stulting Research Center at Woolfson Eye Institute. The Research Center works hand in hand with the LASIK team to ensure that we are aware of the latest techniques and technologies, and that we are actively involved in their development.

Proper Arrangements

Please plan to allow for approximately three to four hours for your procedure. Be sure to bring someone to drive you home, or provide contact information to your Woolfson patient concierge to enable us to contact your support person as you are finishing your procedure to let them know you will soon be ready for pickup.

Your LASIK Procedure

Woolfson LASIK, the most common procedure performed at Woolfson Eye Institute, permanently changes the shape of the cornea with an excimer laser (a “cool” laser) to refocus how light enters your eye. The treatment is minimally invasive, virtually painless, and performed on an outpatient basis in one of our state-of-the-art surgery centers.

LASIK At Woolfson Eye Institute
After Your Procedure

After your LASIK procedure, you will receive a pair of protective sunglasses that you will be asked to wear over the next few days. You will also receive a Post Procedure Kit including lubricant drops, tape-on eye shields, and medication to help you sleep.

Your eye(s) may feel slightly irritated or you may tear up or water for a few hours. If you experience any discomfort, you may opt to take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Typically, patients go home, take their sleeping medication, and after a bit of rest (wearing protective eye shields) are quite comfortable within a short period of time. Please remember not to rub or touch your eyes during the early healing stage, especially those first few hours.

LASIK: Post-Operative Instructions

The Woolfson LASIK Procedure

Your customized LASIK procedure consists of four steps:

  1. Anesthetic drops are applied to your eye to ensure your comfort.
  2. One of our highly trained LASIK surgeons creates a protective flap and gently lifts it, revealing the inner corneal tissue.
  3. The Woolfson Eye Institute surgeon configures a sophisticated computer to emit controlled pulses of cool laser light to the inner layers of your cornea. As the laser pulses, it makes a ticking sound while evaporating microscopic amounts of corneal tissue, thereby reshaping your cornea.
  4. Once completed, your surgeon gently replaces the flap and aligns it to its original position. The flap will typically heal naturally and securely without sutures.

Most patients experience immediate improvement in their vision, and from that point continue to improve over the next few days and weeks through the healing process. Some patients may experience slight initial irritation, but most are quite comfortable after a few hours of rest.

LASIK: The Procedure

LASIK Testimonials

PRK LASIK Surgery & PRK Laser Eye Treatment Options in Atlanta, GA: An Alternative to LASIK Surgery

At Woolfson Eye Institute, our commitment to customized vision is why, in addition to LASIK, we offer a variety of other refractive surgery options designed to improve vision problems caused by refractive errors. These alternative treatment options allow us to treat patients who are not good candidates for LASIK.

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is an alternative to LASIK. For individuals with corneal scarring, thin corneas, and other corneal conditions, PRK may be the best treatment option. As with all refractive patients, during your comprehensive evaluation, you will be advised if PRK is the treatment option ideally suited for you to achieve your best vision at any age.

Why consider PRK instead of LASIK eye surgery?

Rather than creating a corneal flap, your surgeon will use a laser to gently remove a portion of the corneal epithelium in order to expose the deeper corneal tissue beneath it. The cornea is then reshaped with a laser just as it is in LASIK. After PRK, you will be fitted with protective contact lenses to prevent damage to your eyes while the corneal epithelium grows back.

Your PRK results will be comparable to those who undergo LASIK with the exception that patients who undergo PRK have longer recovery time because the corneal epithelium must be regrown.

LASIK Alternative: Visian ICL for Visual Freedom

The Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) is an additive technology that corrects common vision problems, such as nearsightedness and astigmatism. Unlike contact lenses that go on the surface of the eye, the Visian ICL is positioned inside the eye between the iris (the colored part of the eye) and the natural lens where it stays for permanent vision correction.

For peace of mind, the Visian ICL can also be removed, if needed or desired.  This procedure may be an excellent choice for patients that may have been told they were not candidates for LASIK or other laser vision correction procedures that permanently remove corneal tissue to correct vision.

So, if you have been told your corneas are too thin, then Visian ICL may be a good choice for you.

Learn more about Visian ICL™

Benefits of ICL

There are many things that sets the Visian ICL apart from other vision correction procedures. A few of those benefits include:

  • 99% patient satisfaction
  • 1,000,000 procedures worldwide
  • A removable, upgradable option
  • Great for those with thin corneas 6, 7
  • In harmony with your natural eyes
  • UV protection
  • Treats moderate to high myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Treats astigmatism
1. Sanders D. Vukich JA. Comparison of implantable collamer lens (ICL) and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) for Low Myopia. Cornea. 2006. 2. Shin, JY. Ahn, H. Seo, KY. Kim, EK. Kim, TK. Comparison of higher order aberrations after implantable collamer lens implantation and wavefront-guide LASEK in high myopia. J Refract Surg. 2012; 28(2): 106 -111. 3. Igarashi, A. Kamiya, K. Shimizu, K. Komatsu, M. Visual Performance after implantable collamer lens implantation and wavefront-guided laser in situ keratomileusis for high myopia. Am J Opthalmol. 2009. 4. MICL PMA data. 5. Parkhurst, GD. Comparison of Night Vision and Contrast Sensitivity in Patients Undergoing Implantable Collamer Lens Implantation or LASIK. Presented at: American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO); October 19, 2010; Chicago, IL. 6. Parkhurst, G. Psolka, M. Kezirian, G. Phakic intraocular lens implantantion in United States military warfighters: A retrospective analysis of early clinical outcomes of the Visian ICL. J Refract Surg. 2011;27(7):473 – 481. 7. Gimbel, Howard V et al. Management of myopic astigmatism with phakic intraocular lens implantation. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Volume 28, Issue 5 , 883 – 886. 8. Naves, J.S. Carracedo, G. Cacho-Babillo, I. Diadenosine Nucleotid Measurements as Dry-Eye Score in Patients After LASIK and ICL Surgery. Presented at American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) 2012.

 

Is Visian ICL Right for Me?

Visian ICL is well-suited for a wide variety of people. Ideal candidates for Visian ICL are aged 21 to 45 with nearsightedness and have maintained a stable prescription for at least one year. Visian ICL is not an option for patients who are pregnant, nursing, or those with a history of eye disease.

If you are seeking a solution to decrease or eliminate the cost or frustration of traditional contacts or glasses, Visian ICL may be your answer. Contact your eye doctor to discuss if Visian ICL is right for you.

Learn More About our Financing Options

LASIK FAQ

Q. Will the procedure hurt?

Most patients feel pressure but not significant pain. Anesthetic drops prior to surgery help to numb the surface of the eye, minimizing the chances of discomfort during the procedure. You may experience a dry, scratchy sensation immediately after surgery, but most patients are quite comfortable after taking a short nap. Any mild discomfort after surgery should respond well to the eye lubricant drops provided in your free post-operative care.

Q. How hard is it to look at the light during surgery?

For some individuals it can be challenging, while for others it is no big deal. Since our team has performed over 100,000 LASIK procedures, we are confident that we can get you through it. This should not be an issue that determines whether or not you decide to undergo the LASIK procedure.

Q. What can I expect on surgery day?

You can expect the following:

  • Plan on being at Woolfson Eye for 2-3 hours
  • Dress comfortably and warmly (the laser room is cool)
  • Arrange for a ride home
  • Procedure time of approximately 10-15 minutes
  • Total laser time of 20-70 seconds per eye
  • Rest comfortably after your LASIK procedure
  • Eye drops and shields for use during sleep for first four days or as directed by your doctor
Q. What pre-operative issues do I need to be aware of?

Your refraction must be performed on a stable eye and cornea. Our Contact Lens Removal Guidelines are as follows:

  • Soft Daily Wear – 2 weeks
  • Soft Extended Wear – 2 weeks
  • RGP / Hard Lenses – 4 weeks plus 1 week per decade of wear
  • Toric – Minimum 2 weeks

You should not wear any jewelry, makeup, perfume or hairspray on surgery day.

Q. Are there any Risks?

Yes, there are risks. Significant complications occur about as frequently as wearing contacts for a few years (including less severe complications such as dry eye or glare). Just like wearing contacts, there is a risk of permanent loss of best vision. While most Woolfson LASIK patients are very pleased with the results of their LASIK surgery, like any other medical procedure, there are risks involved. Please click here to learn more about the risks of LASIK.

Woolfson Eye Institute feels strongly that an informed patient is a happy patient. During your comprehensive consultation, our doctors will ensure you understand the risks and benefits of having LASIK surgery in order for you to make the best decision for yourself.

Hundreds of eye doctors have had LASIK on their own eyes – Dr. Woolfson has operated on over 300 eye doctors. We feel this puts the relative risk in perspective, and we’re honored to have been chosen by so many eye doctors to do their surgery.

Q. Does Woolfson Eye Institute stand behind my results?

Absolutely! Woolfson Eye Institute stands behind the results of our surgeons. While we cannot guarantee that you will have perfect distance vision for a lifetime, our Lifetime Assurance Plan is designed to help you maintain excellent vision forever. Most nearsighted patients qualify for the plan, provided they have no significant health problems and are not outside the prescription range covered by the plan. Even the small number of patients who do not qualify for the Lifetime Plan are eligible for free re-treatments, if medically appropriate, for two years following their procedures.

Q. What will my recovery be like?

Most LASIK patients are functional and legal to drive the next day. We encourage patients to take a rest day after surgery. While most patients notice dramatic visual results within the first few days following their procedure, the speed of visual recovery depends on personal healing patterns and the amount of treatment provided. Patients with extremely high prescriptions, for instance, often recover more slowly, but tend to be some of our happiest patients.

We also encourage our patients to avoid swimming pools and hot tubs for one week. In addition, please do not participate in any ball sports for about a week.

Q. What is the average recovery time?

With a busy schedule, including family, work, and other commitments, the amount of time you must allow for recovery is a valid concern for anyone considering laser eye surgery.

We sometimes tell our patients that “LASIK is like magic,” which of course is hyperbole, but for most patients, the recovery time following LASIK is minimal.

Patients commonly undergo the procedure and then have 20/20 vision (and minimal irritation to the eyes) the very next day.

Q. How Long After LASIK Before I Can Resume Normal Activities?

Most patients are able to return to work the following day. Apart from your post-procedure instructions, you will be free to resume most of your normal activities, except for the restrictions below:

  • Do not shower until the day following your procedure. When you do shower, avoid letting water directly in your eyes.
  • Do not rub your eyes for at least seven (7) days.
  • Do not wear eye makeup for one week.
  • Do not drive the day of your procedure.
  • Do not watch TV or read for prolonged periods of time for a few days.
  • Wear your protective sunglasses for the first two days following your surgery.
  • Do not exercise for one week.
  • Avoid swimming, hot tubs and whirlpools for one week.
  • Avoid outside and dusty environments for one week.
  • Avoid contact sports that could result in an eye injury for one month.

We understand that many people research about LASIK recovery times before they have their procedure. If you’ve been researching and thinking about having laser vision correction surgery for a while now, but haven’t yet, give us a call today (contact us today) to schedule your free LASIK evaluation!

Woolfson Eye Institute has LASIK centers across the Southeast in Georgia (Atlanta/Sandy Springs, Airport Location, Cumming, Lawrenceville), North Carolina (Asheville), and Tennessee (Chattanooga, Knoxville). We are prepared to give you your best vision, so contact us today!

Q. When can I exercise again? How about wearing makeup?

Approximately 48 hours after your surgery, you will be able to resume a light exercise routine (please allow one week for more strenuous workout routines). Do not push yourself too hard, and make sure to check with your Woolfson eye doctor for more information and details. As far as wearing makeup, we suggest that you refrain from wearing any kind of eye makeup for approximately one week.

Q. What is the Lifetime Assurance Plan?

Woolfson Eye Institute’s Lifetime Assurance Plan is an exceptional vision care policy offering LASIK retreatments, known as enhancements, to patients throughout their lifetime. While most patients have a single successful treatment, a small percentage of patients may require a slight fine-tuning of their result. Patients who are eligible for the program receive enhancements with similar technology free of charge.

Eligible patients will be given a Woolfson Eye Institute Lifetime Assurance Passport to document their compliance in returning for post-operative visits and their yearly examinations with an affiliate eye doctor.

If you have any questions about the Lifetime Assurance Program, please call 1.866.LASER.22 (866.527.3722).

Q. What kind of results can I expect?

Depending on your prescription and how quickly you heal, you may experience the results of LASIK immediately. Most Woolfson Eye Institute patients are capable of reading the clock in the laser room moments after their procedure, and usually demonstrate legal driving vision the next day. You can expect your vision to continue to improve over the next few days or weeks, as your eye doctor monitors your progress at your regularly scheduled appointments.

For most patients, laser vision correction permanently reshapes the cornea, resulting in excellent vision even many years later. A small percentage of the more than 200,000 eyes that our surgeons have treated, have required a repeat treatment or a ‘LASIK enhancement.’

As with any other medical procedure, there are risks involved. Please visit our Risks & Benefits page to learn more.

Q. What is the cost of LASIK?

Would you choose a brain surgeon or a heart surgeon based on price? We didn’t think so. Your eyes are obviously one of your most important assets. They allow you to experience the world around you. Why on earth would you risk your vision with a bargain-priced eye surgery provider?

While we’re sure you’ve seen many advertisements for cheap LASIK surgery, keep in mind that is simply a ploy to get you in the door and to upsell you on the specific treatment you really need. We are certainly not the cheapest LASIK provider, nor do we want to be.

Our mission has always been to provide quality refractive surgery procedures at a reasonable price. Providing the level of service and care that every patient should demand requires a higher fee than the $499 per eye that some LASIK providers (falsely) advertise.

Q. Is LASIK covered by my insurance plan?

Insurance rarely covers elective procedures like LASIK, but Woolfson Eye Institute offers a reduced fee to patients covered by several major insurers. You can contact Woolfson Eye Institute or your employer to check your eligibility.

Q. Are there ways to make LASIK more affordable?

Woolfson Eye Institute can assist you in obtaining financing with monthly payments as low as $48.00.

If you have a Medical Flex-Spending Account through your employer, you can use pre-tax earnings to reduce your effective cost by hundreds of dollars.

Many companies participate in our Group Advantage Plan, which can significantly reduce the cost of your procedure. Check with your employer; if they do not currently participate, we may be able to offer the program to your company prior to your payment for LASIK.

Of course, you also have the option of extending your payment period by using most major credit cards.

Q. Who are my doctors and what will they do?

At Woolfson Eye Institute, we believe in a team approach that includes you, your private eye doctor, our team of eye doctors and our surgeon working towards your personalized treatment plan. In fact, our team of doctors has performed over 100,000 LASIK procedures!

The process begins when you schedule your LASIK consultation with a Woolfson Eye Institute doctor or your private Woolfson Eye Institute-affiliated eye doctor who will provide a complete examination to assure that you are a candidate for LASIK. This pre-operative visit usually requires a dilation that can lengthen your visit and leave your vision temporarily blurred. Your doctor’s office then schedules your surgery, and your pre-op exam results are transferred to the Woolfson Eye Institute surgeon and Clinical Directors for careful planning of your procedure.

Following surgery, your doctor will closely monitor your progress for a full year. After your year of free follow-up care, you need to be seen on an annual basis in order to maintain eligibility for the Lifetime Assurance Plan.

This website provides general information & a list of our services. The information on this website is solely meant to assist you in your search for an eye specialist. You are urged to seek the advice of an eye specialist before undergoing any eye procedure. This site is intended for use only by healthy adult individuals. Any information on this website is not to be used as a substitute to seeking medical advice.