LASER Vision correction is an amazing procedure and there are many excellent places to get it done. However, we know that when it comes to your eyes that it’s not only normal, but expected, to be nervous about getting this procedure done. We want to put you at ease and let you know what we would look for in a refractive surgery practice.
- An experienced and well-trained surgeon. Notice that we didn’t just say experienced. We find that many practices talk about how many “cases” they have done. However, what you really care about is how many they have done right. At Las Vegas Eye Institute Dr. Swanic has been doing LASIK procedures for 10 years since he began his Cornea and Refractive surgery fellowship at UCLA. He is certified to use both the Visx and Wavelight platforms but this does not mean he just did a weekend course (that is actually all it takes to become certified.) He did a year of fellowship training with Rex Hamilton M.D. at UCLA where he not only learned the best techniques to perform the procedure but more importantly the best way to evaluate people BEFORE performing the procedure. At a tertiary care facility like UCLA, that sees patients from all over the world, he was able to see the very rare complications of refractive surgery and learn how to avoid them.
- Up to date preoperative testing equipment. People sometimes feel our screening for LASIK can be a bit exhaustive, but of course, when something is as important as your eyesight you don’t want shortcuts. All patients at Las Vegas Eye Institute undergo an extensive evaluation of the shape and curvature of their cornea (the structure where LASIK is performed). We no longer use conventional corneal topography as we find it can give variable results that can be hard for even the most experienced surgeon to properly evaluate.
We utilize the Cassini system that uses up to 700 multicolored LEDs to detect even the most subtle abnormalities in the way light reflects off of your cornea. We then carefully evaluate the structure of the cornea with our Zeiss Cirrus 6000 OCT that measures the eye at a rate of 100,000 scans a second. It is able to measure the thickness of your cornea at thousands of points in just a fraction of a second. We further evaluate the epithelial thickness of the cornea with this same device to make sure the epithelium (surface layer) is not masking any underlying significant shape changes. Lastly, we utilize the iDesign system to measure your refractive error, the size of your pupils, the centration of your pupils, the topography of the cornea (a second time in addition to the Cassini), and lastly your whole eye’s wavefront which is a detailed map of the way light is bent in your eye.
- The latest in LASIK technology. LASIK technology has advanced significantly since the excimer LASER was FDA approved in 1995. We are celebrating 25 years of LASIK in the United States this year! This is great because it shows that the procedure is stable and safe, but it highlights that you want to make sure your surgeon has the latest tools to get you the best vision possible. We are proud to offer the latest in Wavefront-guided ablations utilizing the Johnson & Johnson Visx iDesign platform. This device measures your prescription to 1/100th of a diopter. It also utilizes over 1250 data points to provide our excimer laser with a sophisticated wavefront-guided plan to treat the most subtle abnormalities of your eye.
Prior to performing this wavefront-guided ablation we utilize the exquisitely precise Zeiss Visumax femtosecond laser to create your LASIK flap. The Visumax laser utilizes low energy pulses fired at 500,000 times per second to create a flap of any size and depth that Dr. Swanic chooses. If you have a thin cornea and we need a flap as thin as 80 microns (a human hair is 75 microns thick) we can deliver this result with remarkable precision.
The advantage our patients notice though is its comfort. The Visumax is low suction which means that your vision will not blackout at any point during your procedure and you are very unlikely to be left with unsightly red spots. Dr. Swanic loves this feature as he has gone through many different flap creation platforms in his career and none have been this comfortable or this gentle on the eye.
- Evaluation by your surgeon BEFORE and AFTER your treatment. Dr. Swanic takes great pride in his outcomes and that means that even with the best technologies he wants to double-check all of his preoperative and postoperative data personally. He will be seeing you for your LASIK consultation, he will perform your procedure, and he will see you after your procedure. You will likely find this very different than most practices. You may pay slightly more for this luxury but we think it’s valuable to have access to a surgeon with extensive knowledge and experience in refractive surgery.
- A surgeon who has had the procedure performed on his own eyes. It’s not great when you walk into your refractive surgery evaluation and see your doctor wearing glasses. You will notice that Dr. Swanic doesn’t wear glasses and that is because he had Laser Vision Correction performed on his eyes 10 years ago and still enjoys 20/20 vision. This means that he knows what its like to have this done not only because he has performed it countless times but because he has gone through it himself. He believes strongly in refractive surgery and loves giving his patients the gift of clear vision that he enjoys every day.