LASIK/PRK Surgery in Westchester County
Serving patients in New Rochelle, Mt. Vernon and Bronxville
Freedom from Glasses with LASIK / PRK
LASIK and PRK currently are among the most popular refractive laser vision correction procedures. These surgeries have helped millions of people in the United States and worldwide eliminate or reduce their dependence on glasses and contact lenses. As one of the most experienced PRK and LASIK surgeons in Westchester County, Dr. Lippman has performed thousands of successful refractive laser procedures. At Lippman Eye Care Center he performs LASIK and PRK to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism to help his patients achieve freedom from glasses.
How Does LASIK Work?
The sophisticated LASIK (Laser Assisted in-situ Keratomileusis) procedure usually takes less than 20 minutes to complete, and many patients experience significant vision improvement by the very next day. LASIK involves two steps — the creation of the corneal flap and the reshaping of the underlying corneal tissue. The goal of reshaping the cornea is to ensure that it refracts light rays properly — the key to clear, crisp vision. After Dr. Lippman has adjusted the shape of the patient’s cornea by using a special excimer laser, he completes the LASIK procedure by smoothing the corneal flap back into place. The flap serves as a natural bandage, which means that our Westchester County LASIK patients do not require stitches or eye bandages.
PRK vs. LASIK
Similarly to LASIK, PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy) works by reshaping the cornea so that it can refract light rays correctly. While LASIK and PRK might appear similar, there are several major differences between these two procedures. The most important difference is that PRK does not involve the creation of a corneal flap! Instead, Dr. Lippman removes the epithelium (surface tissue of the cornea) and then treats the exposed corneal tissue with an excimer laser without the need for flap creation!!
After reshaping the corneal tissue, Dr. Lippman places a soft contact lens over the treated area. The lens serves as a temporary bandage while the epithelium grows back, which typically takes three to five days. Due to the fact that PRK often involves a greater amount of surface healing than LASIK, the recovery and vision improvement after PRK is a bit more gradual than after LASIK, but with less intra operative trauma and less risk. While many LASIK patients often notice remarkable vision improvement the very next day, PRK patients typically require a few days.
The final outcomes for both LASIK and PRK are similar, with most patients achieving 20/20 vision or better. The main reason why certain patients choose PRK is the fact that this treatment is safer and appropriate for many individuals, especially those who may not qualify for LASIK. For example, patients with thin corneas, large pupils and certain corneal scars usually are not candidates for LASIK, but often qualify for PRK. Additionally, PRK spares the patient the sometimes anxiety provoking experience of flap creation, as there is no need for flap creation using Advanced Surface Ablation (CustomPRK).
Patients who suffer from cataracts or glaucoma often require different types of surgical treatments, as well as those with extreme myopia, hyperopia and/or astigmatism. For the latter patients, Dr. Lippman offers the leading-edge clear lens exchange procedure whereby he substitutes patients’ natural lenses with artificial lens implants, such as Crystalens or Restor, or Toric Implants for astigmatism.
Advanced Surface Ablation
Dr. Lippman has performed thousands of laser vision correction procedures (including Lasik) and now prefers “wavefront guided PRK” (Advanced Surface Ablation). He believes it is the safest and best method of laser vision correction currently available.
Advanced Surface Ablation has many advantages over Lasik as follows:
- A much easier intraoperative experience for the patient
- No cutting or weakening of the cornea.
- Much lower susceptibility to trauma in years to come (especially important for those involved in the military, law enforcement, and firefighting)
- No flap complications
- Lower incidence and severity of surgically induced dry eye.
Dr. Lippman and his team of highly skilled medical professionals are dedicated to helping LASIK patients from Westchester County, Mount Vernon, Scarsdale, Rye and White Plains achieve rewarding vision correction results. They perform thorough evaluations to determine which procedure is most suited to each patient. Please peruse these questions and answers to learn how Dr. Lippman determines if you are a candidate for LASIK, what happens on the day of the procedure, and what you can expect after your LASIK eye surgery.
- What is LASIK procedure?
- What is the history of Corneal Refractive Surgery?
- What is today’s best procedure?
- Does it really work?
- What do we do first?
- What happens on the day of the procedure?
- What happens in the future?
- How do I know if I am a candidate for LASIK surgery?
- Is the LASIK procedure painful?
- How quickly will my vision recover?
- Are the results permanent?
- Will I still need to wear glasses after LASIK?
1. What is LASIK procedure?
LASIK is a procedure that alters and often eliminates the need for glasses or contact lenses (refractive devices). During this surgery, the corneal surface is modified by an excimer laser to allow for the reduction or elimination of the need for glasses.
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2. What is the history of Corneal Refractive Surgery
Historically, there have been many attempts to alter a person’s need for glasses without removing the human lens. The first to achieve popularity was radial keratotomy or RK. This procedure was somewhat limited by the “depth” in which incisions could safely be made to the eye’s surface. As a result, many patients who needed refractive eye surgery could not undergo RK procedure. Modern laser vision correction started to become a reality in 1994. At that time, the excimer laser was being used with reasonable success in many countries around the world. However, at this time it was not yet FDA-approved and was not available in the USA.
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After the excimer laser received FDA approval in November of 1995, I carefully reviewed the meticulous, irrefutable research, and clinical results. Based on this review, I then chose to add LASIK and PRK to the treatments I offer for patients throughout Westchester County, including New Rochelle, Scarsdale and White Plains.
Beginning in 1996, both procedures became extremely popular worldwide among leading eye surgeons. Today both are widely recognized as a safe, reliable surgical vision correction methods. Both procedures can now be customized through wave front guided treatment ablations.
4. Does it really work?
Laser Vision Correction is now widely accepted throughout the world, as a safe and effective treatment for refractive errors. This “explosion” of demand for Laser Vision Correction is based on the tremendous technical advances and unparalleled patient satisfaction it affords. Without question, Laser Vision Correction will be the single greatest advance for healthy, eyeglass and contact lens-free eyes in the 21st century. The surgery is safe, predictable and stable. This is why I have built my own Laser Vision Correction Center as part of the Eye Surgery Center of Westchester to offer today’s best vision correction procedures at affordable fees.
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It is my personal belief that the most important part of the laser vision correction procedure takes place before you actually see the laser. During your preoperative evaluation, we will perform a detailed evaluation of your particular visual system. We will help you understand and decide the best approach for your vision correction. In addition, your eyeglass prescription will be tested several times using different techniques to ensure accuracy in our measurements. These are the numbers that we use in “instructing the laser” on what do to. Lastly, a comprehensive eye examination will be done to verify the health of your eyes.
With all this information, I will consult with you, and together we will plan your surgery. As one of New York’s most recognized and experienced eye surgeons, I feel confident that together, we can make a safe, intelligent decision as to whether or not a laser refractive surgical procedure is right for you. If we determine that such a procedure is not for you, I offer several other sophisticated procedures that can help you achieve freedom from glasses, including clear lens exchange (CLE) with Crystalens.
On the day of your Laser Vision Correction procedure, you will meet me at our center. Eye drops are then given to disinfect the eye and make it numb. After the eyelids are cleansed, a painless 10-minute procedure is performed on each eye and you leave the laser room awake, free of pain but a bit blurry. We check your eyes shortly after your procedure, give you clear instructions on what to do next, and send you home. We advise patients to go home, nap and relax for several hours.
The evening of the Laser Vision Correction procedure the eyes often feel “gritty”, the vision may be misty and some patients might feel fatigued. Most importantly, you will not feel pain. Your responsibility is to avoid rubbing the eyes and to protect them at bedtime. (We’ll provide safety goggles for you.) The next day we will see you again. We will take a look at your eyes and then we will answer your questions. Vision may be less than perfect on the day after surgery, but it should rapidly improve for the next few weeks.
7. What happens in the future?
We will see you again in one week and then in one month after your procedure. Your vision may fluctuate during the first 30 days following Laser Vision Correction surgery. We may choose to review your results again 3-6 months later. We also recommend that you see us yearly after your procedure. I am always available for a follow-up visit or to answer your questions.
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8. How do I know if I am a candidate for Laser Vision Correction?
If you are a potential Laser Vision Correction patient from White Plains, New Rochelle or other Westchester County location, we recommend you arrange a free Laser Vision Correction screening at our office. If this procedure is not right for you, we will tell you. If you are a candidate, you will have a chance to have all your questions answered one-on-one.
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9. Is the Laser Vision Correction procedure painful?
Since the laser surgery is performed under eye drop anesthesia, there is no significant pain during the operation. Afterwards, most patients experience a mild scratchy sensation for about 12 hours.
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10. How quickly will my vision recover?
Depending on the procedure performed, visual improvement occurs during the first post-operative week. Most patients notice dramatically improved vision after the surgery and are able to function visually for normal daily activities. Patients continue to see a gradual improvement in their vision during the weeks after the procedure.
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11. Are the results permanent?
Laser Vision Correction surgery creates a permanent change in your refractive condition. However, it will not prevent normal consequences of aging, such as cataracts or glaucoma.
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12. Will I still need to wear glasses after Laser Vision Correction?
Our goal is to reduce your dependency on glasses or contact lenses. Some patients may still wear glasses for special tasks, such as reading or night driving. After the age of 40, nearly everyone will need glasses to help with near vision for reading and close-up work due to presbyopia. Laser Vision Correction cannot halt or reverse the biologic clock of presbyopia — the normal loss of near focusing ability that occurs as we age. If you have successfully worn contact lenses for mono-vision in the past, speak with Dr. Lippman about achieving mono-vision with refractive surgery.
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Steps to Getting Laser Vision Correction in Westchester County
First Step – Free Refractive Surgery Screening
Contact Dr. Lippman’s Eye Care Center at 914-636-3600 or by e-mail to schedule a free one-on-one screening. During your screening, you will undergo a brief exam checking your spectacle prescription, and corneal, health and thickness. These tests will determine if you are a candidate for laser vision correction. If this procedure is not for you, we’ll tell you so. If you are a candidate, you will have an opportunity to have all your questions answered personally. Dr. Lippman’s goal is to help you develop a complete understanding of LASIK surgery and your particular situation so that you can make an informed decision.
Second Step – Complete Pre-Op Exam
If you qualify and desire to proceed with surgery, the next step is a thorough dilated pre-operative eye exam. This is necessary to exclude any type of unrecognized internal eye disease, which may interfere with the procedure, such as retinal disease or glaucoma. It is necessary to discontinue contact lenses for a period of time prior to this exam in order to allow your cornea to return to its natural shape. Dr. Lippman uses the WaveScan WaveFront System to map your eye’s surface, enabling him to customize the Visx STAR S4 IR Laser to your very unique requirements. The cost of the pre-operative exam is included in the surgical fee for LASIK surgery. Should you decide not to proceed with surgery, you are then billed for a regular eye examination.
Third Step – Surgery
You will arrive at the Eye Surgery Center of Westchester about thirty minutes before your procedure. Patients may choose to have an oral sedative to help them relax. You are escorted into the laser treatment room and positioned on a surgery table under the laser. Your job is to look at the blinking red fixation light and to keep you head relatively still. Under eye drop anesthesia, an eyelid retainer is placed to keep you from blinking. The FemtoSecond Laser may then be used to create the protective flap. This bladeless technique for flap creation allows for the finest quality flaps while minimizing risk to you. If you are having the Advanced Surface Ablation “procedure, no flap creation is necessary as Dr Lippman removes a sufficient amount of surface epithelium to allow the laser access to the corneal tissue using a small amount of 20 % alcohol. Next Dr. Lippman uses the cool beam of the Visx STAR S4 IR Excimer Laser to gently reshape the curvature of your cornea to match your refractive condition. The actual laser treatment time is usually less than thirty seconds per eye and you should experience little or no discomfort or pain. The protective flap can then be repositioned and allowed to naturally seal in place without sutures. If the Advanced Surface Ablation procedure is performed, bandage soft contact lenses will be placed on both corneas to allow for comfort and healing.
Fourth Step – Post Op Care
Careful detailed attention to post operative care by the operating surgeon is critical to the success of your LASIK procedure. Dr. Lippman is committed to personally providing your post-operative treatment. This begins about thirty minutes after your procedure when he will check your eyes prior to your returning home from our Eye Surgery Center of Westchester. It is then best to rest your eyes or sleep as much as possible. You will return to our office the day after surgery for a post-operative visit. Most persons can return to normal activities within 1-3 days of surgery. Additional post-op exams with Dr. Lippman may be scheduled at one week, one month, three months and six months following your procedure.
Final Step – A New Lifestyle
Although individual results vary, most patients experience a dramatic improvement in uncorrected vision, significantly reducing or eliminating their dependence on glasses or contact lenses for most activities. A very high percentage of patients, even those in contacts or glasses for many years, are able to drive without correction following Laser Vision Correction.
We encourage you to contact your insurance company to see if they offer coverage for Laser Vision Correction. However, because refractive surgery is considered to be elective, most insurance companies do not provide for Laser Vision Correction as a covered benefit.
The fee for LASIK surgery includes the pre-operative examination and testing, the surgical procedure itself, the laser center fee, and postoperative care for a period of twelve months. Payment is due in full prior to the procedure. Acceptable methods of payment are cash, cashier’s check, major credit card or pre-approved financing. Our office can assist your application for any financing option.
To learn more about LASIK/PRK and other laser vision correction procedures, contact our New Rochelle, NY office at (914) 636-3600 to schedule a consultation.