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Transforming Your Vision: LASIK and Other Refractive Surgeries Explained


As one of the Pacific Northwest’s preeminent care providers, Cascade Eye & Skin Centers is dedicated to meeting every patient’s needs with advanced medical technology and experienced physicians who are with you every step of the way. Although LASIK is our most popular eye procedure, some patients are better candidates for other types of refractive surgery and vision correction procedures.

LASIK: An All-laser Procedure

At Cascade Eye & Skin Centers, we use only the most advanced laser technology in our LASIK procedures, never blades. Our surgeons use the IntraLase® femtosecond laser, which – in seconds and with computer precision – delivers more than a million two-micron-sized bubbles that gently separate the layers of corneal tissue and creates a customized flap of the desired thickness, size, orientation, and location. This unprecedented level of control makes LASIK safer and allows more of our patients to qualify for LASIK.

iDESIGN® Technology

Coupled with the IntraLase® laser for blade-free flap creation, the iDESIGN Refractive Studio gives your surgeon the ability to deliver a truly personalized and ultra-precise LASIK procedure resulting in 20/20 or better vision for most patients. 

The iDESIGN system takes more than 1,200 measurements of your eye and maps each data point to create a custom procedure plan designed just for you in seconds. Using this plan, the laser can correct your vision to your exact needs in only a few minutes.

When the procedure is over, you’ll immediately notice a difference. After one hour, you’ll begin to see more clearly, and within a day, you can return to your normal routine.

PRK: An Alternative to LASIK

During photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), your surgeon will use the same state-of-the-art iDESIGN computer technology in combination with the accuracy and precision of an excimer laser to treat a wide range of vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Most patients who undergo PRK have visual results of 20/20, thereby reducing or eliminating their dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

What to Expect During PRK

After your eye is numbed, the clear, protective surface layer of the cornea is loosened from the underlying layers and is either removed completely or moved to the side. The excimer laser is applied to the cornea, reshaping it to the correct focusing power.

After the procedure, a protective bandage contact lens is placed on the eye for comfortable healing, which typically takes three to five days.

Most PRK patients notice an improvement in their vision soon after surgery. However, vision is usually somewhat blurred during the epithelial healing process and may take up to several weeks to reach ultimate visual acuity. Many PRK patients prefer to have one eye treated at a time.

RLE: A Procedure of Choice for Many Patients

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) corrects nearsightedness and farsightedness using an intraocular lens implant. It is a good treatment option for patients who are too nearsighted, too farsighted, have corneas that are too thin for laser vision correction, those over 40, and patients showing signs of cataract development. 

What to Expect During RLE

Performed as an outpatient procedure, the natural lens is removed from the numbed eye using ultrasonic vibrations through a very small micro-incision and replaced through that same incision with an intraocular lens.

Everyone heals differently, but many patients report improvement in their vision almost immediately, and most resume their normal activities within a day or two. One eye is treated at a time.

Determining Which Refractive Surgery is Right for You

Your first step is to have a complimentary consultation with one of our surgeons to determine the health of your eyes. Together, you and your surgeon will determine which refractive surgery option is best suited for your eye condition and lifestyle. 

The goal of any refractive procedure is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. Your doctor cannot guarantee your results. During your consultation, you will be given additional information about these procedures to help you make an informed decision.

Click here to schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our surgeons at Cascade Eye & Skin Centers, or contact your nearest office today.

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