Custom Micro-LASIK®, a registered trademark with the U.S. Patent Office, describes a technique that Dr. Robert Lin helped to pioneer in 1999 to improve the results and safety of your LASIK eye surgery. The Custom Micro-LASIK® technique creates an ultra-thin corneal flap during laser eye surgery in order to gain access to the corneal stroma for laser treatment. Currently, Custom Micro-LASIK® utilizes a specially-designed microkeratome or a femtosecond laser to create an 80-110 micron flap that is almost 50% thinner than traditional flaps and preserves more corneal tissue strength, which allows laser treatment of patients with higher prescriptions and thin corneas. Dr. Lin’s Custom Micro-LASIK® technique is featured in numerous publications, both nationally and internationally, and practiced by ophthalmologists all over the world. As the pioneer of Custom Micro-LASIK®, Dr. Lin is one of the most experienced surgeons in successfully utilizing ultra-thin cornea flaps to correct your vision.
Who is a candidate for Custom Micro-LASIK®?
Good candidates for the Custom Micro-LASIK® technique include patients who:
- Have stable vision, with less than half a diopter of change in their vision within the past 12 months.
- Have an understanding of their current vision problems and clear understanding of their options.
- Have overall healthy corneas with no major vision-related issues.
- Have NO active eye diseases or viruses
- Are over 18 years of age and are in good general health.
- Are not pregnant or nursing, as hormonal shifts can cause fluctuations in prescription. Typically, a patient may be a candidate after at least 2 menstrual cycles after nursing has been discontinued.
Other factors which may impact your laser eye surgery that should be discussed during your consultation include:
- Lazy eye (amblyopia)
- Muscle imbalance (strabismus)
- Severe dry eyes
- Previous eye surgery
- Previous eye injury
- Eye scarring
- Any recurring or pre-existing eye concerns you may have
Determining if you are a candidate for Custom Micro-LASIK® starts with your personalized consultation. The consultation is completely free with no obligations. This enables us to perform a few optometry exams to understand your current vision issues. Once that is determined your vision correction options can be presented and discussed with you. At IQ Laser Vision, we understand vision is very important and our number one goal is to provide high-quality care and service so that you can see 20/20 without the need for glasses or contacts!
WHAT TO EXPECT…
CONSULTATION – FREE with no obligations
- During the consultation a number of examinations will be performed to get a thorough understanding of your overall eye health, these may include the following:
- visual acuity
- measurement of current glasses
- infrared pupillometry (measurement of nighttime pupil size)
- pachymetry (measurement of corneal thickness)
- corneal topography (using up to 3 different systems to measure both anterior and posterior surfaces)
- wavefront analysis.
- Based on these exams and your individual conditions (age, eye health and visual needs) your Patient Relations Manager will go over your vision correction options. During this time feel free to ask as many questions as you would like. We are here to guide you through the process and ensure that you feel comfortable about the procedure and the steps involved. You will also have an opportunity to meet Dr. Robert Lin, our surgeon, to personally discuss your laser eye surgery and further answer any questions you may have.
BEFORE YOUR SURGERY
- Contacts should not be worn at LEAST 3 days PRIOR to your LASIK eye surgery.
- Wash your hair the night before your surgery or the morning of.
- Make sure you eat a good meal prior to your LASIK surgery, you will need to go home and sleep immediately after your procedure to begin the recovery process.
- No caffeine (4) hours prior to your LASIK eye surgery, this includes soda, tea and/or coffee.
- Do not wear make-up on the day of your procedure. Be sure to clean off all make-up, such as mascara, the night before and again the morning of.
- Do not wear any cologne or perfume the day of your LASIK eye surgery.
- Bring your IQ Laser Vision Preventive Eye Care Package bag on the day of your procedure, these are provided to you during the consultation before your surgery date.
AT YOUR SURGERY
- Your eye will be numbed with an eye drop anesthesia. During the procedure, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to prevent you from blinking. Dr. Lin will need to access the corneal stroma (inside the cornea) in order to correct your corneal refraction with your chosen laser.
- The cornea will be gently reshaped and adjusted in order reflect light accurately onto your retina. This step involves using a laser to treat some of the corneal tissue in order to reduce the steepness of your corneal curvature. You will hear the sound of the laser’s hum.
- Once the laser step is complete the corneal epithelium/flap is gently positioned. The protective flap naturally bonds with the cornea, stitches or adhesives are not required.
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
- You should make arrangements for someone to drive you straight home after your procedure so you can get some rest. We strongly recommend going straight home after the procedure and going to sleep to rest your eyes minimize discomfort. We will send you home with shields on your eyes to protect them.
- It is important to keep the shields on your eyes and during sleep
- The cornea is about 80% healed in the first 24 hours after the LASIK procedure. Almost all patients are able to resume their normal activities the day after surgery. Patients are able to shower and wash their faces the next day if care is taken not to rub their eyes.
- You can resume your regular daily routine after two weeks.
- Make-up (including eye make-up) can be worn a couple days after surgery upon clearance from your follow-up exams. Once again, care should be taken not to rub your eyes.
- While patients may engage in sport activities within a few days following surgery and after clearance from follow-up exams, protective goggles should be used if there is a concern of sustaining trauma to the eyes. Sweat in the eyes is not a problem and will not affect the recovery.
- In general the entire healing process can take between 3-6 months depending on each individual.
- You will have a series of follow-up appointments throughout the first year to monitor your recovery progress. Our receptionist will schedule these with you each time you come in for a follow-up examination.
- If you have any questions or concerns after your procedure, your Patient Relations Manager would be more than happy to assist you.
What are the benefits of Custom Micro-LASIK®?
- The #1 reason for most individuals: Freedom from the limitations and inconveniences of glasses and contact lenses, not having to remember your glasses, look for your glasses, remembering your contacts and to take them off or clean them each and every day
- Eliminate the cost of constant maintenance for glasses, contact lenses, contact lens solution and cleaners, in the long-term, LASIK will be less expensive than daily-use contact lenses and/or glasses
- Decrease the chance of eye infection and corneal abrasions associated with handling contacts, the CDC released a recent study linking contact wearing to higher risks of eye infections
- Increased peripheral vision (side vision)
- Improve self confidence
- The procedure is quick, with the surgery itself taking approximately 15 minutes total with only a few seconds of the actual laser treatment
- Increased cornea strength and stability compared to conventional Lasik
- Speedy recovery, nearly all of our patients return back to work after 1-2 days post-surgery with the Custom Micro-LASIK procedure
- With Custom Micro-LASIK there is increased cornea strength and stability
- Decreased risks of potential side effects using Custom Micro-LASIK versus traditional
With the Custom Micro-LASIK® technique, the goal is to eliminate your dependency on corrective lenses like glasses and contact lenses. The benefit of the Custom Micro-LASIK® technique is that it increases cornea strength and stability by preserving more corneal stroma. The thinner flap also decreases the risks involved with the procedure by reducing the potential for side effects, like glare and halos. With Custom MICRO-LASIK®, corneal flaps are almost 50% thinner than flaps created by other microkeratomes and as thin as laser-created flaps. The thinner corneal flap decreases recovery time because the natural bandage can heal much faster when compared to a thicker flap. The extra corneal tissue available with Custom Micro-LASIK® also allows the surgeon greater flexibility in treating the eyes. Patients will benefit from this extra margin of safety, especially those with larger pupils and higher refractive prescription, because more corneal tissue can be treated in those cases while maintaining exceptional results.
When the pupil is large, a larger optical zone should be used and therefore, more corneal tissue will be removed. Currently most surgeons agree that the residual cornea should be at least 250 microns (µm=1/1000th mm). With conventional LASIK a 180 micron flap is usually created. This makes it difficult to safely utilize the 6.5mm optical zone. To err on the side of caution, Dr. Robert Lin at IQ Laser Vision prefers a residual cornea of 275 microns. Through Custom MICRO-LASIK®, a 100 micron flap can be created enabling use of the 6.5mm optical zone in a safe manner. More residual cornea is available to give the cornea strength while reducing side effects using Custom MICRO-LASIK®.
FAQs about Custom Micro-LASIK®
Q: After I have laser eye surgery, will my vision change later in life?
A: As our body’s age, usually after 40 years old, we experience a decline in the quality of our vision, typically up close (reading) vision is affected. This age-related problem is called Presbyopia, which is due to a weakening of the lens within the eye. Click here for more information on Presbyopia and vision correction options. By age 60 many individuals may experience Cataracts, a condition in which clouding of the natural lens inside of the eye affects our overall vision. Individuals affected by Cataracts require a special lens procedure to correct their vision. Those affected by cataracts typically experience vision issues like decreased visual clarity, cloudy vision or find it difficult to drive at night. Click here, for more information on Cataracts and correction options.
Your vision will change later in life regardless of whether you have had laser eye surgery or not. The goal of laser eye surgery is to provide clear vision and eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses for your current vision impairment. Laser eye surgery is very effective in providing clear vision by permanently correcting myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. After your laser eye surgery, it can take about 3 to 6 months for your eyes to heal and completely adjust to your new vision. Included with each laser eye surgery is our 1-year Commitment Promise, which includes 1 year of follow-up appointments to monitor your vision during your healing process and to ensure your vision stabilizes at its best corrected visual acuity. Also included is an enhancement procedure, if necessary. We find that our statistics at IQ Laser Vision, less than 1% of laser eye surgery patients require more than one procedure to achieve their best corrected visual acuity.
Q: Will I experience any pain with laser eye surgery?
A: At IQ Laser Vision it is our goal to ensure that our patients have a very comfortable experience during and after their procedure. Anesthetic drops and medicated eye drops are administered for the procedure itself. You may feel some slight pressure, but will not experience any pain during your laser eye surgery. Once the procedure is complete, some patients may experience some mild stinging and tearing of the eyes by the time they get home. This occurs as the numbing drops wear off. We recommend going to sleep as soon as you return home after your surgery and going to sleep for the next 4-6 hours as instructed will minimize discomfort and provide rest for your eyes to recover. Most patients are able to return to their routine activities the very next day.
Q: What will I see during the procedure?
A: During the procedure, we will ask you to focus on a blurry, blinking red light. Immediately after the procedure the red light should become much clearer, and you should notice an improvement in your vision.
Q: I am very concerned about being able to remain still during the procedure?
A: This is a common fear many patients have and we are very aware of this. At IQ Laser Vision, we use the latest vision correction technology to reduce the actual laser treatment time required and therefore minimizing the time you need to remain still. Focusing on the laser light is also important and Dr. Lin will talk you through the entire process. Many patients only require a few seconds of treatment. If for any reason there is eye movement, our lasers are equipped with laser eye trackers that follow your eye during the procedure to deliver the treatment accurately. They are also designed to stop instantly if necessary. To minimize blinking, your eye will be numbed by an aesthetic drop and a small device called a speculum is gently placed to hold your eye lids open. We welcome you to come observe an actual procedure at our viewing room to ease any additional fears you may have and to also witness how simple and quick the actual process is.
Q: What is the difference in creating a flap with a traditional microkeratome versus a laser?
A: At IQ Laser Vision, we offer Custom Micro-LASIK®, this flap technique can be created with either a microkeratome or an all laser method using the Zeimer Z6 Femtosecond LASER. Both techniques create a flap between 90-110 microns and use the same custom laser for treatment. Our experience in using either technique for our patients have provided similar and excellent results.
Q: Are there any long-term side effects of LASIK?
A: Over 20 million people worldwide, including our surgeon Dr. Lin, have had laser eye surgery since it was introduced decades ago. Long-term side effects are very rare, but understanding the risks of laser eye surgery is important. As mentioned above, there are a few common side effects associated with laser eye surgery but are typically short-term, including dry eyes and halos/glare. In extremely rare cases where the stromal bed is below 250 microns (0.25mm), the cornea can become unstable and require other procedures to strengthen and reshape it. At IQ Laser Vision, we measure the corneal thickness during the surgery to ensure that we maintain at least 275 microns in the stromal bed. With the Custom Micro-LASIK® thin flap technique we usually have more than 350 microns in the stromal bed for greater stability and decreased potential for any long-term side effects.
Q: I have high astigmatism. Can it be treated?
A: Yes, with our Custom Micro-LASIK® technology we are able to treat up to -6.00 diopters of astigmatism.
What are the potential risks of Custom Micro-LASIK®?
Laser eye surgery is an extremely safe and common procedure best suited for individuals who are thoroughly educated about the procedure, enough to make an informed decision after a thorough evaluation and examination from a reputable, experienced surgeon. Our surgeon, Dr. Lin has personally performed over 40,000 refractive procedures in his 15+ years of being an ophthalmologist/LASIK surgeon. He has had the procedure himself more than 18 years ago. By being a patient himself, he understands the importance of such a big decision and the concerns prior to making such a decision. To this day Dr. Lin still continues to enjoy 20/20 vision. Since 1999, not only have patients entrusted their vision to Dr. Lin but he has performed Micro-LASIK® on countless staff members of IQ Laser Vision, his own parents and brothers.
Dr. Robert Lin is a nationally recognized surgeon who operates with his patients’ safety as his top priority, which is why he developed the Micro-LASIK® technique—which aims to minimize risks associated with LASIK eye surgery and increase the quality of the results. The most common concerns associated with laser eye surgery may include:
- Major loss of vision, including blindness.
- This is extremely rare in laser eye surgery in general because of where the eye is being treated and has never occurred at IQ Laser Vision in the more than 15 years of operating.
- Dry eyes
- Unassociated with laser eye surgery, dry eyes are a very common issue amongst many people. Factors such as contact lenses, personal hygiene, occupation, make-up, allergies, weather conditions and computer-use are just a few things that impact one’s severity of dryness.
- Discussing pre-existing dry eyes at your consultation with the doctor is very important to reduce potential long-term risks after your procedure.
- Some patients may experience dryness for a short period of time, typically 3 to 4 weeks, occasionally longer, following laser eye surgery, as the eye heals and re-establishes its balance of tear production over the healing period.
- IQ Laser Vision offers a wide-array of dry eye treatment options, if needed, before and after laser eye surgery which you can expect to be discussed during your free consultation.
- Glare/Halos are caused by a number of factors but is essentially the scattering of light as it passes through the cornea. Factors such as eye fatigue, dry eyes, and astigmatism can cause this distortion which is typically more noticeable in lights at nighttime.
- Some patients may experience a degree of glare/halos following laser eye surgery as the cornea heals, but typically resolves after 3 to 6 months. However, procedures like ICL do not induce glares and halos.
With the latest in vision correction technology, IQ Laser Vision minimizes the risks and potential side effects associated with each laser eye procedure. Variations in individual recovery time are typical and as with any surgery each individual recovers at a different pace. Age, nutrition, gender, family background, adherence to recovery guidelines and activity level are some factors that may have an effect on recovery time. For the most part many patients are able to drive themselves to their follow-up appointment the day after their laser eye surgery! All risks will be discussed before the procedure and throughout the process. IQ Laser Vision goes above and beyond, to take all the necessary steps to minimize potential risks and is dedicated to answering any and all of the questions you may have to ensure you are comfortable with the procedure.