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Prior to opening her practice in Durango, Dr. Joanne Lew-Goltz had worked as the primary full-time optometrist at 2 different LASIK centers.  She has extensive experience with caring for and LISTENING to over 20,000 LASIK and PRK patients and their experiences.  She is also a satisfied LASIK patient herself. 


While the risk of LASIK surgery is relatively low, and the majority of patient experiences are very positive, there are some side effects that not everyone is prepared to deal with.  During your exam, Dr. Lew-Goltz will discuss with you the benefits, risks, and side effects of the various types of surgery.  You will receive the information required for you to make an informed decision.  If you are a good LASIK candidate, she will recommend the best and most experienced surgeon for you.

LASIK

There are many types of laser vision correction.  LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) has become the most popular refractive surgery and is the procedure of choice for refractive surgeons worldwide. 

Treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism is possible.  Treatment for presbyopia (when a person needs bifocals) is not possible.  Patients who need bifocals may consider monovision.  Monovision is obtained when one eye is corrected for distance vision and the other eye is corrected for near vision.  While vision is not as clear as if both eyes were corrected for distance viewing, many patients enjoy monovision because there is less dependency for reading glasses.  Other side effects of monovision is lack of depth perception (both eyes are needed for fine tune depth perception), and glare at night. 


The entire procedure takes about 10 minutes for both eyes.  Clear vision can usually be seen the next day.  Common symptoms after the surgery include dry eye and night glare.  These symptoms will gradually return to normal in 3-12 months.  Depending on your prescription, the condition of your corneas, and type of procedure done, some patients may have a slight increase in night glare and a decreased ability to see contrast at night. 

Custom LASIK

There are 2 types of LASIK surgery, Standard/Traditional LASIK  and Custom LASIK (also know as Wavefront-guided LASIK).  Custom LASIK typically yields better vision and reduce the risks of night glare.  With Custom LASIK, your own corneal topography is mapped and used to guide the laser procedure. 

IntraLase Method

The IntraLase Method is a blade-free technique used to create the flap during the LASIK procedure.  It uses tiny, rapid pulses of laser light to create your flap.  Each pulse of light passes through the top layers of your cornea and forms a microscopic bubble at a specific depth and position within your cornea.  The surgeon separates the tissue where these bubbles have formed, creating the flap.  The benefit of the IntraLase Method is a faster recovery and fewer flap-related complications. 

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)

PRK is the next most common laser refractive procedure and is typically performed if the cornea does not have enough thickness to create the flap.  Instead of a flap, the laser treatment is applied onto the surface of the cornea.  Since it requires time for the surface to re-grow, the recovery time is longer than the recovery time with LASIK.  The recovery time with PRK usually is 2-4 weeks before you can see clearly. 


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