Your ecLASIK Experience
ecLASIK is the region’s premiere laser vision correction procedure. But what is Laser Vision Correction?
Laser vision correction involves using a precise computer-controlled laser to gently reshape the cornea, which allows light rays to focus more directly on the retina. This can ultimately reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. Laser vision correction is a proven treatment option for certain kinds of vision correction, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Laser vision correction is a procedure performed by a qualified ophthalmologist in an outpatient setting. The procedure usually takes less than fifteen minutes to perform, and most patients can return to work the next day. The eye will heal itself and there are no stitches.
Laser vision correction pre-operative exams are performed a few days prior to the procedure. Three or more post-operative exams are spread out over the weeks and months following the procedure to manage the healing process.
Laser vision correction is an excellent treatment for many vision conditions, but it’s not right for everyone. As part of the education and exam process, we will perform a thorough eye and medical history, a complete eye examination, and specialized testing at the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin office. We will also talk with you about your vision goals and concerns.
Many centers offer standard laser vision correction, often called LASIK. Only the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin offers ecLASIK.
Your Initial ecLASIK Evaluation
To establish your candidacy for ecLASIK, we must perform a refractive surgery evaluation. A refractive surgery evaluation will encompass everything that our comprehensive eye exam does plus several additional tests:
- Full dilated eye health examination
- Dilated and undilated eyeglass prescription measurement
- Normal and dim light pupil measurements
- Corneal thickness measurement and corneal mapping
- Dry eye evaluation
In addition to these tests, your ecLASIK evaluation will educate you on every aspect of your surgery. You will have the chance to ask ecLASIK staff questions about your vision, ecLASIK outcomes, and what you’ll experience during ecLASIK surgery.
The refractive surgery evaluation takes about two hours. The fee for this evaluation is included in your ecLASIK fee and will be billed to your account on the date of your procedure.
Once we determine you to be a candidate for ecLASIK, your procedure will be scheduled.
One week prior to the procedure, The Eye Clinic of Wisconsin will contact you with your arrival and surgery times. At this time they will remind you to bring your eye drops and Valium (if Valium has been prescribed) with you the day of the procedure, confirm that all post- operative appointments have been scheduled with your optometrist or with the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin, confirm that all appropriate paperwork is complete and remind you that you need a driver the day of the procedure.
On the day of the procedure do not wear any make-up, cologne or perfume. Wear comfortable clothing the day of the procedure. Do not wear any make-up for three days prior to surgery. On the day prior to your surgery use the lid wipes that have been given to you in the morning and evening. When using the lid wipes, keep your eyes open and gently wipe your upper and lower lashes. If you are having surgery on both eyes, turn the pad over and repeat the same procedure on the second eye, using the clean side of the wipe.
After you’ve arrived, checked in, and applied your anesthetic eye drops and oral relaxing medication, you will enter the laser suite. You will remain awake throughout the procedure, and will be asked to focus on a fixation light.
ecLASIK corrects your vision in three steps:
1. A thin flap is created on the surface of your eye using either a laser or a small instrument called a microkeratome. The flap is then carefully folded out of the way.
2. A cool excimer laser gently reshapes the cornea.
3. The flap is replaced so it can adhere naturally in the proper position. The procedure takes about 6 minutes per eye and you will not feel any pain. Some patients experience slight pressure on their eye during the creation of the flap. After surgery, we allow you to rest a bit, and then examine your eyes to be sure all is well before you go home.
Return of vision begins immediately following the surgery, although it will still be blurry for several hours after surgery. For the first 4 hours your eyes will feel scratchy and water a lot. We recommend that you take a 3-4 hour nap, so you can sleep through the worst of this sensation. After your nap, your vision will be much better, and the next day it will be even better!
Most ecLASIK patients are able to drive and return to their normal activities the following day. PRK patients will experience a slower recovery of vision, and will have a few more days of irritated eyes after surgery. Driving and work may not be possible after PRK for a few days to a week, depending on your pre-operative prescription. After the PRK procedure is finished, we place a special bandage soft contact lens on the eye. This lens remains on the eye until the surface is healed, usually 5-7 days.
Post-operative visits begin the day after your surgery. The Eye Clinic of Wisconsin is proud to partner with many area Optometrists to provide customized after-surgery care based on the schedule and goals of each patient. Your surgeon will discuss your after-surgery care options with you while planning your surgery timeline.
You will be using medicated drops and artificial tears after surgery, and will be given written and verbal instructions about this at the time of your surgery, and also the next day.
Most patients tell us that the whole experience is much better and easier than they expected!