The most common laser vision correction procedures are done with an excimer laser. The excimer laser is a computer-controlled cool laser that corrects vision by reshaping the cornea to improve the way light is focused or refracted by the eye.
Three major procedure types are available for treating low to moderate levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism: laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK), wavefront-driven LASIK, and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). In each case, the laser sculpts the cornea in about 60 seconds and the entire procedure takes less than 15 minutes.
Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK):
After eye drop anesthesia is applied, a thin layer of cornea is surgically created. The surgeon carefully lifts the flap, and in about 60 seconds ultraviolet and high-energy pulses from the excimer laser reshape the internal cornea. After the cornea has been reshaped, the flap is returned to its original position. Because of the cornea’s extraordinary natural bonding qualities, healing is rapid and does not require stitches.
Wavefront is advanced diagnostic technology for laser vision correction. It creates a precise map of your eye that enables refractive surgeons to customize your LASIK treatment in ways they could not before.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK):
During PRK, the epithelium (the outermost layer of the eye) is removed by resurfacing the surface of the cornea with ultraviolet light and high-energy pulses. PRK is characterized by a lengthier healing process and more discomfort than LASIK. However, PRK requires less instrumentation and avoids the creation of the flap and its attendant risks.
The first excimer laser procedure to treat nearsightedness was done in 1988 and since those days has undergone many refinements. Excimer laser technology has added more precision and predictability to altering the shape of the cornea and is now used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism around the world.
Laser vision correction can treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. To be a good candidate you should meet the following criteria:
- be at least 18 years of age
- have stable vision for at least one year before surgery
- have healthy eyes that are free of diseases, scars, retinal problems, and corneal malformations
- be nearsighted or farsighted with or without astigmatism
- be well-informed and have realistic expectations
- be in general good health
No. Kaiser Permanente offers laser vision correction on a fee-for-service basis separate from your health plan benefits.
Our laser vision correction program operates within the Kaiser Permanente integrated health care system. We have over 50 years of experience as a medical care provider. Our physicians are recognized for their excellence by objective health care review organizations.
When you select Kaiser Permanente for your laser vision correction surgery, your fee covers complete service. You pay one price for the related care you will need. Our fee covers:
- evaluation and thorough preoperative exam
- surgery, including use of facilities
- any needed prescription drugs and postoperative supplies
- follow-up surgical care and any necessary enhancements up to a year
Our laser vision correction surgeons:
- undergo rigorous refractive surgery training
- adhere to strict criteria for suitable candidates
- perform thousands of eye surgeries
Presbyopia literally translated means “old eye” and occurs in most individuals around the age of 40 to 45. Presbyopia refers to the age-related loss of focusing power for reading and results in the need for reading glasses. Presbyopia is not currently treatable by laser vision correction.
To learn more about laser vision correction, please call us to schedule a private, complimentary consultation or to enroll in a free seminar.
We want to give you all the information you need to decide whether laser vision correction surgery is right for you. Our Kaiser Permanente refractive surgeons and optometrists conduct complimentary educational seminars. These seminars give you the opportunity to ask questions about any aspect of laser vision correction.
This extensive evaluation takes about 1 1/2 hours and includes a complete, dilated exam and refraction. Specialized tests, including corneal mapping, are included to help determine the procedure that best meets your needs.
To learn if you are a candidate, please call us to schedule a private, complimentary consultation or to enroll in an upcoming seminar.
Monovision describes a situation where one eye is slightly nearsighted (myopic) and one eye is corrected to provide good distance vision. The nearsighted eye focuses well on near objects and can be used for reading or similar activities. The corrected eye can be used for driving, sports, or other activities requiring distance vision.