Lasik Surgery

What is LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK surgery (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) treats nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by removing precise amounts of tissue in specific parts of the cornea (the clear window in front of the eye).

The procedure usually takes about 4 minutes per eye and involves minimal discomfort for most patients. Most patients heal within 4-6 hours and can return to work the next day. Statistically, LASIK is safer than contact lens wear.

LASIK is performed in three steps

1. The doctor creates a small protective flap of corneal tissue with a femtosecond laser, which is lifted and folded back.

2. The doctor uses the laser to apply a cool beam of light that reshapes your cornea and corrects your vision.

3. The doctor gently repositions the flap and the healing process begins immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does the procedure hurt?

Most patients feel little or no pain during LASIK. You will remain awake and alert during the procedure. Typically, anesthetic eye drops are all that is required to avoid discomfort. Some patients report a mild burning sensation, which usually goes away by the next morning.

What sort of results can I expect?

The goal for surgery is to reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Following LASIK, many patients achieve 20/20 vision. Nearly all are able to pass a driving testing without glasses.

When can I go back to work and resume normal activity?

Patients can typically return to work and resume normal activity the day after surgery. Exposing eyes to water from swimming pools, hot tubs, the ocean or intense perspiration should be avoided for 7 days following surgery. Dusty environments and eye makeup should be avoided for the first 48 hours following surgery.

Is LASIK safe?

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recognizes LASIK as a safe and effective treatment. The procedure is performed with a cool, highly accurate beam of laser light. There are many important

safeguards in place to reduce the risk of surgical errors. As with any surgical procedure, risks and adverse side effects are possible.

Will insurance cover my procedure?

Typically, no. Insurance coverage depends on many factors, including which vision correction procedure you require. We recommend you bring your insurance card to our office so we can check for any coverage (extremely rare) or a negotiated fee with your vision insurance (more common). In rare circumstances, we are pleasantly surprised. We may also be able to work with your human resources or benefits department to arrange flex pay plans (paying for surgery with pre-tax dollars) or corporate contracts.

Unlike other surgeons who have access to only 1 excimer laser technology, Dr. Dougherty owns and utilizes the 3 most common used lasers; Alcon Allegretto, Nidek CATz, and Visx Wavefront-Guided. Because of this, he can customize the technology to your unique visual condition.

All Laser LASIK

Z-LASIK Z (All Laser LASIK) is the most advanced innovation in bladeless surgery. This is the latest and greatest z laser. The FEMTO LDV Z8 uses ultra-short pulses of invisible light to gently separate the layers of the cornea. It is designed to create truly customized flaps, precisely, safely and painlessly.

This high-frequency laser operates with a beam that is 100 times less intense than that of the first-generation femtosecond lasers. Never before have safety, accuracy and patient comfort in laser eye surgery been so good, as proven by thousands of Z-LASIK Z treatments.

CATz Topography-Guided LASIK

CATz technology provides uniquely detailed topographic (elevation) maps of the cornea (the clear window in the front of the eye) – one of the cornea prior to surgery, and another of the cornea as it should appear after correction with LASIK. These before and after images enable the surgeon to correct nearsightedness and astigmatism with a high degree of precision, as well as smooth out even minor irregularities to improve vision quality and night vision. Over half of our patients receive 20/20 vision results!

Left: A topographic map of the eye before CATz. Right: Expected topographic map of the eye after CATz.

Read Our CATz Topography Guided LASIK Brochure

Read Dr. Dougherty’s CATz Topography-Guided LASIK Research Paper

Watch Dr. Dougherty Perform CATz Topography Guided LASIK Surgery Live On-Air on Eyewitness News

Visx Custom (Wavefront Guided) LASIK

Custom (“Wavefront–Guided”) LASIK is a further refinement of the LASIK procedure that facilitates more precise eye measurement and correction.

While conventional LASIK is based on the patient’s overall eyeglass prescription, Custom LASIK uses Wavefront mapping technology to measure imperfections at hundreds of individual points on the eye. This enables the surgeon to highly customize treatment and help the patient achieve vision that is often better than the best vision possible with glasses or contact lenses. Custom LASIK also tends to result in better nighttime and low light vision than traditional LASIK.

Allegretto laser

The ALLEGRETTO WAVE® Eye-Q Excimer Laser is one of the newest generations of excimer laser technology and is the first system to receive concurrent approval for the treatment of both nearsightedness and farsightedness. The system tracks eye movement at a rate of hundreds of times per second while sophisticated energy intelligently controls the power of the laser beam, maintaining a perfectly attuned treatment system throughout the procedure. The result is quicker, safer, and more accurate treatment than ever before.

The ALLEGRETTO WAVE® Eye-Q Excimer Laser is a “WaveFront-optimized” system. WaveFront technology not only corrects a patient’s prescription, but aims to improve the “quality” of vision during daylight and prevent problems with night vision. Each procedure is customized for the refraction and corneal curvature of each patient.