Monthly Archives: May 2008

Tough questions you should ask your LASIK or PRK surgeon

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If you are considering laser vision correction in Calgary Alberta or elsewhere, don’t be afraid to ask your refractive surgeon tough questions.

LASIK or PRK may take only a few minutes to perform but you need your good vision for years to come. Here are some questions you may wish to ask your surgeon:

  1. How long have you been doing laser vision correction surgery?
  2. How many laser vision procedures have you performed total?
  3. How many refractive procedures have you performed in the last 12 months?
  4. How have your results been with the surgeries you perform?
  5. What kinds of complications have you seen, and am I at a higher risk for any specific complications
  6. How many laser vision surgery candidates do you decline?
  7. Do you use wavefront technology in your evaluation and treatments?
  8. What is the chance I will need an enhancement or second treatment to achieve good vision?
  9. What is the worst complication of laser vision correction you have had and what was the final result?
  10. If you intend to use an excimer laser, is it broadbeam, variable spot, or flying spot? What are the benefits and possible side effects of this type of laser?
  11. Have you ever had malpractice insurance problems, malpractice claims, or license revoked?
  12. If another doctor will be comanaging pre- and/or postoperative care, can I see you at any time without my comanaging doctor’s authorization?
  13. What should I expect my vision to be like for the first few weeks after surgery?
  14. Will you perform a complete refractive examination including evaluating the medical health of my eyes both before and after surgery?
  15. If you recommend LASIK, how will you make the flap?
  16. Do you measure tear production prior to surgery?
  17. Will you measure the size of my pupils when naturally dilated in a dimly lit room prior to making a recommendation about surgery?
  18. Do I have to stay out of contact lenses before evaluation and surgery?
  19. How often and when will you perform postoperative examinations?
  20. How will my occupation, leisure activities, and hobbies influence my candidacy and results or PRK or LASIK surgery?
  21. Is there anything in my medical history that would make a difference in my candidacy or result of laser vision correction surgery?
  22. Does being pregnant or contemplating pregnancy make a difference for laser vision correction surgery?
  23. What are your qualifications to perform this surgery? Do you have any board certification or other specific certifications?You may wish to discuss some or all of these points with your laser vision correction surgeon. There may be other questions you may wish to ask. A qualified and experienced surgeon should be willing to take the time to answer all your questions before recommending laser vision correction.

    Questions about outcomes or complications from LASIK or PRK surgeries should be easily answered by your surgeon – any experienced laser vision correction surgeon will have had a few complications over their career. It is not possible to have a complication rate of zero with any type of surgery including LASIK or PRK.

    Some of these questions might be answered by the technical staff, by reading written materials provided by your surgery center, or by viewing the laser vision correction centre’s website. Be sure you ask your surgeon any additional questions that you may have before surgery.

    For your complimentary laser vision correction assessment call 403.547.9775 or contact us using our online form.

Beautiful eyes before and after LASIK

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Healthy eyes are beautiful. Whether or not you have had LASIK or PRK the following tips will help you keep your eyes healthy and beautiful:

  1. Replace your eye make-up about every 3 months. If you ever have an eye infection it is advisable to discontinue make-up until the infection has cleared and replace all products used around the eyes. If you have laser eye surgery, your surgeon may recommend you avoid make-up for a period of time following PRK or LASIK.
  2. Never use testers at cosmetic counters as they may harbor infectious agents.
  3. Practice good eyelid hygiene. Remove all eye make-up before going to sleep. Avoid waterproof products as they are more difficult to remove. Eye make-up removers often contain products which may contribute to plugging of the oil glands which line the eyelids. It may be helpful to soak the lids with a warm wet cloth for 3 to 5 minutes once or twice per day (only use warm water and a face cloth – never use heating pads or microwave as it may burn the lids).
  4. To avoid allergy or sensitivities introduce one product at a time. Wait at least 2 weeks between introducing new products.
  5. Apply make-up to clean lids. Do not apply make-up along the eye side of the lashes as this area contains oil glands that may be prone to plugging in some people. This may be particularly important for people who suffer from dry eyes or seasonal allergies.

Keep your eyes healthy and beautiful. More information can be found here.

At Western Laser Eye Associates, we are committed to the health of your eyes before and after surgery. For more information call 403.547.9775 or contact us here.

Am I a good candidate for LASIK?

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LASIK is a surgical procedure that reshapes your cornea to improve your eyesight and lessen your dependency on contacts or glasses.

In my ophthalmology practice, I consider LASIK one of the most rewarding refractive surgery procedures because it offers patients not only improved vision but an improved lifestyle. Patients are amazed at how a simple and quick LASIK procedure can provide clearer vision than they have enjoyed in years or even decades.

If you are wondering whether you are a good candidate for LASIK, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are my eyes fully developed (usually this means you are 18 years or older)?
  • Do I have realistic expectations about what the procedure can and can’t do?
  • Have I had stable vision for a year prior to the surgery?
  • Am I in generally good health?
  • Do I have the proper type and degree of refractive error (nearsightedness, astigmatism, farsightedness, etc.)
  • Am I tired of wearing and maintaining my contact lenses or glasses?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, then surgery might be a good option for you. Please contact Western Laser Eye Associates for more information about what surgery can do for you and to schedule a free consultation.

Is PRK surgery right for me?

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People that are not good candidates for LASIK surgery may want to consider PRK surgery.

PRK surgery does not involve the creation of a corneal flap, thus making it a generally safer and more effective choice for those individuals who have:

  • thin corneas
  • corneal scars
  • corneal dystophy
  • large pupils
  • or other types of eye conditions

Individuals in certain occupations may also chose PRK surgery over LASIK surgery if their professions do not make LASIK the safest choice. These professions include:

  • Pilots
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Athletes
  • Military personnel

People whose lifestyles involve a lot of contact sports may also want to consider PRK over LASIK surgery.

While PRK surgery is safer than LASIK, it also takes longer to recover. Most people will have to realize that they will not be able to return to work or other activities for at least a week. Long-term healing will take place over a few months where your vision will continuously improve and become sharper and more focused.

Deciding whether LASIK or PRK surgery is best for you should be done in consultation with an experienced and compassionate ophthalmologist. Please contact Dr. Anderson Penno at Western Laser Eye Associates for more information about what PRK surgery can do for you and to schedule a free consultation.