All About LASIK
|Visit Our Blog|
Dr. Stephen Slade and his scientific colleague, Dr. Stephen Brint, were the first ophthalmologists to perform LASIK in the United States. Dr. Slade’s early refractive surgery experience included performing radial keratotomy (RK) on patients with a relatively low degree of nearsightedness, and a procedure called Keratomileusis, on patients with high degrees of nearsightedness. Keratomileusis required removing a corneal flap made with a mechanical microkeratome, freezing it, reshaping it with a lathe, and suturing it back into its original position. Dr. Brint’s early refractive experience was also with radial keratotomy before he purchased an excimer laser to treat nearsightedness with a procedure called Photo Refractive Keratectomy(PRK).
In 1991, they teamed up to perform LASIK or Laser Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis. LASIK combined the benefits of treating the inner tissue of the cornea with the precision and accuracy of the excimer laser. Dr. Slade had the experience with the microkeratome and Dr. Brint had the experience with the excimer laser. (Dr. Slade has been featured on a PBS documentary which chronicles the history of LASIK called “20/10” by 2010” narrated by Walter Cronkite.)
LASIK is now the most popular procedure to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism in the world. Its popularity is founded on the high rate of patient satisfaction, excellent visual results, quick recovery, and the existence of very few side effects or complications.LASIK is performed under a hinged flap of corneal tissue. Once the flap is created and folded back, the excimer laser removes corneal tissue, reshaping the underlying tissue to correct any vision abnormalities. The corneal flap is then relocated over the treated area where it bonds with no need for stitches. LASIK patients experience little, if any discomfort. Functional vision returns very rapidly, with the majority of patients seeing well enough to drive in a day or two, without the need for glasses or contact lenses.