Educational Materials: LASIK

LASIK (Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is the most common vision correction procedure whereby a thin flap of the cornea is created which allows an Excimer laser to sculpt the inner layers of the cornea.
High Definition Custom LASIK is a fusion of the newest, safest, and most advanced technologies for LASIK. This combination of superb technological advances allows better outcomes than ever before. These advancements also allow more people to qualify for the procedure. Patients who have a high degree of astigmatism or thin corneas are examples.

LASIK is a two-step process. In the first step, our doctors create a small hinged flap in the cornea. In the second step, the flap is moved aside to allow for reshaping of the the cornea to correct refractive errors.

In the first step, many doctors still use a traditional hand-held surgical instrument with a blade called a microkeratome. Dr Findlan uses a femtosecond laser to create the corneal flap. The femtosecond laser gives him unprecedented control over the flap’s consistency and thickness, and it has a superior record of accuracy, safety, precision, and reduced complications compared to the microkeratome.

In a process that takes less than thirty seconds, the femtosecond laser delivers short pulses of light to a precise point within the central layer of the cornea. Each pulse of the laser creates a microscopic bubble of carbon dioxide and water. Instead of using a hand-held surgical blade, thousands of these microscopic bubbles are precisely positioned to create a flap of the exact diameter and thickness for the individual patient. The surgeon then lifts the flap aside to begin the second step, reshaping the cornea.

The second step of LASIK corrects the refractive error of the eye. For years, LASIK could only correct standard prescriptions used for glasses or contact lenses. Today, with wavefront technology, Dr. Findlan is able to detect and potentially correct more than just standard prescriptions. He can identify tiny visual imperfections called higher order aberrations that are individual to each and every eye. Until the advent of wavefront technology, it was not possible to measure or correct these visual imperfections. At the Pittsburgh Eye Institute, our commitment to the best technology allows us to offer our patients the broadest range of treatments possible. We have wavefront-driven treatments available not only for patients who are nearsighted, but also for those with farsightedness and astigmatism.

Lastly, Dr Findlan has the ability to utilize Iris Registration technology. The beautiful portion of your eye, the iris, is unique to each individual eye. These unique patterns on your iris are already used to identify people for security purposes. Iris Registration provides more precise treatments that improve the outcome of LASIK.


What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?

In the LASIK procedure a thin corneal flap is created with a device called a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. The patient does not feel or see the lifting of the corneal flap, which only takes a few seconds. An excimer laser then reshapes the inner layer of the cornea. Afterwards, the flap is repositioned. The corneal flap begins to adhere within a few minutes. After LASIK, your vision should improve within the first 24 hours.

In the PRK procedure, a thin layer of corneal tissue is removed with an alcohol solution and then an excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea. After the procedure the patient is fitted with a bandage contact lens to improve comfort during healing. The bandage lens is usually removed within the first week, and the patient uses drops to increase comfort and promote healing. It can take several weeks for vision to stabilize, which is one reason LASIK has become the procedure of choice for many surgeons and patients. Some patients will be better candidates for PRK however because they have thin or slightly irregular corneas.