Our surgeons at Santa Monica Eye Group offer you the latest advances in laser vision correction. We offer a broad range of procedures, correcting nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, and presbyopia.
LASIK is the most popular procedure in the world to correct refractive error. At the Santa Monica Eye Group, our surgeons are some of the top LASIK specialists in the Los Angeles area. If you have wondered whether laser vision correction was right for you, call to schedule a consultation. Our surgeons will be there for you throughout the entire process, from the initial consultation to the surgery, to post-operative recovery period and beyond.
The procedure involves using a laser, known as an excimer laser, to reshape the cornea (the front clear window to the eye) in order to treat your prescription. In traditional LASIK, a surgical instrument called a microkeratome is used to create a partial-thickness flap in the cornea. This flap is then folded back to reveal the underlying corneal tissue. At this point, the excimer laser is then applied to precisely sculpt the cornea. The flap is then repositioned into place, and the procedure is complete. The entire procedure takes only a few minutes per eye.
Custom LASIK or wavefront-guided LASIK is a recent advancement in laser vision technology that we are pleased to offer, allowing our surgeons to further personalize your treatment and improve upon the excellent results provided by LASIK. With custom LASIK, your surgeon will use a state-of-the-art diagnostic tool to create a wavefront map. This map measures the individual irregularities of your eye. These irregularities have been termed “higher-order aberrations” and are often responsible for glare, halos, and starburst effects from bright lights. The wavefront map that is generated essentially functions as a fingerprint of your eye and the data is programmed into the excimer laser at the time of treatment to fine tune and customize your LASIK procedure. With custom LASIK, patients are less likely to experience glare and halos.
Small Incision Lenticule Extraction
Small Incision Lenticule Extraction or (SMILE) is the latest generation of laser vision correction surgery that corrects for nearsightedness and astigmatism. SMILE uses a single femtosecond laser to excise a small piece of tissue from an inner layer of the cornea (called the lenticule). A small incision is made at the edge of the cornea through which the surgeon can remove the lenticule and modify the shape of the cornea, correcting for the visual error. Recovery time is extremely quick and visual results are on par with LASIK.
Of the big three laser refractive procedures, it the least invasive. While LASIK requires a 20mm incision in order to form a flap, SMILE requires a 3mm keyhole incision. In addition, because there is no flap, there are no associated complications that could arise with creating a flap, meaning you can return to more intensive physical activities sooner.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (or PRK) is another type of laser vision correction procedure. People who do not have sufficient corneal strength to undergo LASIK may opt to instead undergo PRK. It is similar to LASIK, except that it does not involve the creation of a flap on the cornea. Rather, the surface cells on the cornea are brushed off, and then the excimer laser is applied to reshape the cornea. Once this is done, a protective bandage contact lens is placed on the eye and left in place for five to seven days until the surface cells heal. PRK is a quicker procedure and avoids the problems involved with the creation of a flap (e.g., an incomplete flap or the long-term risk of flap displacement). The major drawback to PRK is that visual recovery takes a bit longer than it does with LASIK. Patients who have PRK, however, have just as good visual outcomes as those who have LASIK.