LASIK is a form of corneal surgery that uses an excimer laser to ablate corneal tissue in a fashion that can correct both nearsightedness and farsightedness. LASIK specifically involves the making of a flap that can be lifted prior to the laser ablation.This flap can be made with a blade or with a femtosecond LASER. Dr. Swanic is certified to use both of the dominant excimer LASER platforms to perform this ablation.He is also certified to use the Intralase femtosecond laser for flap creation and is also adept at the use of a blade to make the flap.The Allegretto platform typically performs “wavefront optimized” ablations to ablate the cornea. This is an excellent choice and is the platform that Dr. Swanic used exclusively at UCLA.The Visx platform performs a "wavefront guided" ablation.Both platforms lead to excellent outcomes. Dr. Swanic had his excimer ablation performed on his own eyes with the Visx platform; however, he is convinced that the Allegretto platform also leads to excellent outcomes. He is also certified to use the Visx platform.
Some patients are not great candidates for LASIK. Many patients will prove to be excellent candidates for an advanced surface ablation technique known as PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy) or LASEK (Laser Assisted Sub Epithelial Keratomileusis). These techniques are both quite similar. They do not involve the creation of a flap into the cornea. This allows for sparing of corneal tissue which may lead to less Dry Eye and a lower risk of postoperative complications. Both procedures are offered at the Las Vegas Eye Institute. Do not hesitate to discuss the subtle differences between these procedures. Dr. Swanic had PRK performed on his own eyes and is a strong believer in LASIK, PRK, and LASEK for appropriate candidates.
Many patients ask about the difference between "wavefront guided" LASIK/PRK and "conventional" LASIK/PRK. With modern LASERs both have been shown to give very good outcomes. Studies have shown very similar rates of "20/20" vision when measured on an eye chart with both forms of LASIK. However, wavefront guided treatments attempt to correct very small irregularities in your vision that are not treated by conventional LASIK. It is widely thought that the correction of these fine abnormalities can improve the subjective quality of vision and decrease the risk of glare and haloes following the procedure. Some patients will not be good candidates for Wavefront guided LASIK if their prescription taken in clinic does not match the wavefront planned prescription captured by the LASER. If this were to be the case Dr. Swanic would recommend that you procede with convenitonal LASIK to give you your best possible outcome.