Laser vision correction, one of the most exciting procedures available today, involves using a cold laser, the excimer laser, to reshape the cornea of the eye, so that images are focused clearly onto the retina without glasses or contact lenses. This procedure allows patients, many of whom have not been able to see television or well enough to drive since they were quite young, to perform most or all of their tasks without glasses or contact lenses.
Laser vision correction can correct most "errors" in the shape of the eye. It can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Most patients over age 18 can be considered for this treatment. The procedure is painless, quick, and in most cases, patients return to work the day following surgery.
The two most common procedures currently used to correct vision are LASIK and PRK. LASIK is an acronym for "laser assisted in situ keratomileusis". PRK is an acronym for "photorefractive keratectomy". Both procedures involve reshaping the cornea using the laser. PRK does this by molding the very front of the cornea. LASIK accomplishes the reshaping by doing so under a "partial thickness" flap of the patient's cornea. Because the surgery is covered by the flap at the conclusion of the procedure, and because the flap consists of the clear corneal tissue, unchanged by the surgery, LASIK is associated with a more rapid visual rehabilitation and return to normal functioning. After PRK surgery, the front layer of cells in the cornea needs to regenerate before the vision is restored to its proper level. In addition, PRK patients have some discomfort during this initial healing stage. Fortunately, this discomfort is easily managed with simple treatments.
Because of the more rapid recovery, LASIK is the more popular procedure. However, certain patients may be better candidates for PRK, for a variety of medical reasons. At Ophthalmology Associates, the procedure is individualized, and at the initial consultation, Dr. Lipka will advise you regarding which procedure may be appropriate for you.
Dr. Lipka was one of the first surgeons in New Jersey to perform PRK and LASIK procedures. He has extensive experience in the area, and one of the finest patient satisfaction ratios, and as well as one of the lowest complication rates, in the United States. Our patients benefit not only from his experience, but from the detailed explanations of all aspects of the procedure that he offers to all patients. Dr. Lipka performs all LASIK and PRK consultations personally, performs all surgery personally, and conducts all follow up personally.
At Ophthalmology Associates, we also have patient ambassadors -- LASIK patients who have volunteered to answer questions from a patient's point of view for other patients who are considering laser vision correction. Please ask us about this service at your consultation.
The laser vision correction experience is a surprisingly comfortable and pleasant one. The entire procedure takes roughly 10-15 minutes per eye, and both eyes are commonly performed at the same session. No anesthesia is required, other than topical (drops). We do commonly administer a mild oral sedative so that patients are relaxed during the procedure. Dr. Lipka explains all aspects of the procedure as he performs it. Following the procedure, the patient is comfortable, and leaves for home shortly thereafter. Clear plastic shields are placed in front of the eye to protect the eye for the remainder of the day. The following day, the patient comes to the office for a postoperative visit, and the shields are not required after that, except while sleeping for the first few nights. Normal activities are then resumed.
Dr. Lipka is committed to the the most modern and innovative forms of eye surgery. Accordingly, he has incorporated such innovations as custom cornea, wavefront-guided LASIK, computerized eye tracking, and, in selected cases, laser creation of corneal flaps. However, at Ophthalmology Associates, you will not be told that you must undergo the absolute "latest thing", prior to its being thoroughly tested and evaluated. Safety is always the primary consideration.
We invite all our patients to take advantage of our free laser vision consultation service. Should you desire consultation, Dr. Lipka will evaluate your fitness for the procedure, and answer any questions you may have about any aspect of it. Furthermore, our office staff can assist you in determining whether you have any insurance coverage that may benefit you in financing this procedure, and describe the various financing options we offer.