Orange County LASIK Surgery – Clarity Eye Group
Also Serving Newport Beach and Huntington Beach Laser Eye Surgery Patients
What Is LASIK?
LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a laser eye surgery procedure intended to reduce a person’s dependency on glasses or contact lenses. It is by far the most commonly performed refractive surgery procedure in the United States. Millions of Americans have undergone this surgery and enjoyed immediate, dramatic improvement in their vision. The procedure is quick – taking just about 15 minutes to perform – but the result can be a lifetime of clearer vision.
During the procedure at our Orange County LASIK facility, the surgeon uses a precise instrument (a laser or a keratome) to create a tiny flap in the surface of the eye. He then pulls back the flap to expose the underlying corneal tissue. Following that, a highly-concentrated, “cool” beam of UV light emitted from a computer-guided Excimer laser is used to gently reshape the cornea with exquisite precision. This step is carried out without pain, heating, injuring, shrinking or otherwise distorting surrounding tissue. By permanently reforming the misshapen surface of the cornea, the surgeon is able to reduce the Huntington Beach, Orange County or Newport Beach LASIK patient’s degree of refractive error and dramatically improve vision.
Once the correction procedure is completed, the surgeon gently repositions the flap onto the underlying cornea without sutures.
Recovery After the LASIK Procedure
Healing after laser eye surgery usually occurs very rapidly, with most patients noticing improved vision within a few hours after the procedure. You should arrange for someone to take you home after the LASIK procedure because your vision will be slightly blurred from the medication used to protect your eyes. You may experience a small degree of discomfort over the next day, however, this can be alleviated with medication. In addition, some patients experience light sensitivity, swelling, or tearing for a few hours after the procedure.
Most patients are able to return to their normal daily routines one day after surgery, however, you should wait to drive until after your follow-up examination and our doctor give you the okay.
Let us look at the LASIK recovery time in stages:
- * First Day After Surgery – A follow-up exam at our Orange County LASIK facility should be scheduled the day after the procedure. You will need to regularly use the doctor-prescribed antibiotics, steroids, and other medications to prevent infection and keep your eyes moist. These eye drops may cause a momentary slight burn or blurring of your vision when you use them. Do not use any eye drops not approved by your ophthalmologist.
Do not rub your eyes for the first 7 days and, while showering, do not let the water strike you on the face directly. Soap and shampoo in the eyes should be avoided strictly. Computer work, watching TV, and reading are acceptable, provided you lubricate your eyes regularly, and blink frequently. Light exercises are OK, but keep the sweat out of your eyes. In addition, most patients resume driving and work without any difficulties.
- * One Week After Surgery – Avoid touching your eyes, and try to keep sweat out of your eyes. Exercising is fine, but avoid swimming, whirlpools and hot tubs. Keep your eyes well lubricated, and use lotions, creams and eye makeup with care, unless advised to the contrary by your doctor.
- Two Weeks After Surgery – Strenuous sports, including swimming, can be started, but with eye protection. You can start outdoor activities, but ensure that your eyes are well protected.
- * 3 to 4 weeks After Surgery – In general, by the end of one month, your vision is stable and recovery is complete. However, you may still experience Fluctuating vision which is part of the healing process.
Custom LASIK vs. Conventional LASIK
There are 2 types of LASIK procedures: Custom LASIK and Conventional LASIK.
Custom LASIK, which is also called Wavefront LASIK, is based on wavefront technology which was initially developed under the guidance of NASA. It was applied to astronomy and physics to help in reducing aberrations or “imperfections” in the optical systems of telescopes and laser devices. This technology was then tested, researched and applied to optical imperfections of the human eye.
The technology itself works to measure higher order imperfections of the eye. Conventional LASIK did a great job at correcting lower order aberrations (nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism), however, it did not address imperfections known as higher order aberrations. Higher order aberrations are imperfections that cannot be corrected with glasses, contacts or even traditional LASIK surgery. Wavefront technology addresses these types of visual imperfections for our Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Orange County LASIK patients and those from around the area.
The wavefront technology is ground breaking because it has the potential to improve not only how much you can see but also how well you can see, in terms of contrast sensitivity and fine detail. The wavefront laser uses light to make a “map” of your eye. While two people can have the same eyeglass prescription, no two people have exactly the same wavefront or curvature measurements. With custom laser vision, these more sophisticated measurements and more refined treatments are used to achieve a more accurate correction, in many cases better than 20/20 vision with reduced risks. This translates into a reduced risk of post-LASIK complications, such as glare, halos and difficulty with night vision.
So in summary, Custom Lasik’s advantage lies in the area of quality of vision:
- Greater chance of achieving better than 20/20 vision
- Reduced chance of losing best corrected vision
- Reduced chance of losing visual quality or contrast sensitivity
- Reduced chance of night-vision disturbances such as halos and glare
The potential also exists for custom LASIK to treat people who have lost best-corrected vision from any past refractive surgery: LASIK, PRK, RK, etc. Also, many patients who were once told they could not have their vision corrected in the past because of large pupils or unusual prescriptions may now safely have vision correction with custom LASIK.
As mentioned earlier, Conventional LASIK is based on the patient’s eyeglass prescription. It is still an excellent choice for many individuals. During your comprehensive eye exam and consultation, Orange County LASIK surgeon Dr. Fahd will recommend which procedure is best for you based on your visual aberrations and his clinical exam. He will help you to determine if you could benefit from the higher level of customization that Custom LASIK may provide or if your outcome can be quite satisfactory with Conventional LASIK. He will help determine the range of your probable outcome based on your particular prescription, healing profile and expectations.
LASIK Technology used at Clarity Eye Group
For Orange County laser eye surgery patients who are uneasy about “going under the blade,” we are happy to offer the Intralase™ Femtosecond Laser (Intralase™ FS Laser). This is a revolutionary tool that relies solely on laser energy instead of the traditional metal blade (Microkeratome) to create the tiny flap on the surface of the eye.
Once the flap is created, Orange County / Huntington Beach LASIK surgeon Dr. Fahd then performs the vision correction procedure using a computer-guided Excimer laser. At Clarity eye Group we offer our patients the superior technology of “Excimer” lasers including the Wavelight Allegretto, VISX CustomVue™ laser System and the LadarVision Custom Cornea.
The Wavelight Allegretto laser is recognized as the most precise system with the fastest laser pulse rate of any FDA-approved laser system currently available in the United States. Several key features contribute to its reputation of being the safest and most stable of laser systems.
First is the eye tracker. This can track and respond, in a matter of milliseconds (400 times per second), to the slightest movement in your eye during the procedure. Second, the laser’s speed is also a key benefit because it allows for an extremely fast laser correction procedure. This translates into less time for the patient under the laser and ensures that the open flap is not exposed for too long. Finally, the Wavelight Allegretto system has a beam size which is less than 1 mm. This is important for both accuracy and smoothness. Furthermore, the Optical Zone has the ability to provide a wide treatment range. In summary, the laser is very reliable, extremely quick, highly accurate, and has a fast-responding infrared eye tracker.
The VISX CustomVue™ Laser
The CustomVue procedure tailors a unique correction for each individual. It employs the VISX Wavescan® System, a new diagnostic system that captures a “fingerprint” of the eye which is 25 times more precise than what was previously measurable by standard methods for glasses and contact lenses. Wavescan evaluates more than nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism; it captures other, more specific imperfections in each individual’s vision. This data is then used to generate an individualized treatment for a CustomVue procedure, producing outstanding treatment precision and results.
Visx Custom View S4 with Iris Registration
The Visx Wavescan, which is used for the measurement.
Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK)
Both PRK eye surgery and LASIK eye surgery are used to treat myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism and both procedures work by using a laser to reshape the eye’s corneal tissue and correct vision. However, the procedures are performed differently.
During LASIK eye surgery, the surgeon uses a Microkeratome or a laser to create a corneal flap. This flap of tissue is then folded back, exposing the inner cornea where the treatment will take place. Afterwards, the flap is repositioned. During PRK eye surgery, however, the surgeon accesses the cornea’s inner layers by removing the thin outer layer of the cornea, the epithelium, altogether. To ensure maximum comfort, numbing eye drops are used and most patients report that the procedure itself is pain free. After the PRK procedure, bandage contact lenses are worn (for few days only) to promote healing of the epithelium.
Basic Concepts of the PRK Procedure:
1. PRK is an alternative surgery to LASIK. There is no incision or flap created. However, the outer corneal epithelium is gently removed before the laser treatment.
2. The laser is applied to the underlying surface. A contact lens is applied, and the epithelium then heals back over the surface in several days.
In the first few days following the PRK procedure, some patients experience slight discomfort as the epithelium heals and covers the treated area. Eye drops, pain medication, and protective contact lenses may be used to minimize this discomfort, and most patients find that they are able to resume normal activities within one to three days.
Both LASIK and PRK produce similar vision correction results, but it typically takes longer to fully recover from PRK. The main advantage of this procedure, however, is that patients who are not candidates for LASIK due to certain corneal conditions or corneal scars, can often be effectively treated with PRK eye surgery.
Are You a Candidate for LASIK?
Here are some general guidelines to help you determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery:
- Must be over 18.
- Should not be pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant.
- Must have had a stable eyewear prescription for at least one year prior to the procedure.
- Must be those afflicted with nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and/or higher
order visual aberrations.
- Must be free from any eye disease such as cataract or glaucoma.
- Must have sufficient corneal thickness.
- You may be a candidate for Lasik even if you had a prior corrective surgery.
Some eye conditions or diseases may preclude an individual from being a Custom LASIK candidate. For those individuals, there are various other options that can yield effective results. These alternatives can be discussed in detail with Dr. Fahd during your consultation.
The best way to find out if you are a good candidate is to schedule your complimentary VIP consultation with Dr. Fahd. Click here to contact us.
Complimentary Pre-Procedure Consultation
The primary objective of the consultation is to determine whether you are a candidate for laser vision correction, and if so, which procedure is most appropriate for you. Equally as important, Dr. Fahd will educate you about whether or not laser vision correction is right for you, and the benefits and risks associated with this type of surgery.
Learning everything you can about your options is the key to making an informed decision. We will help you understand what results you can reasonably expect after the procedure, given your particular prescription and circumstances. If you schedule a consultation, there is no obligation to move forward with the procedure.
It is important for you to realize that even if it is determined that you are not a candidate today, it does not mean that you will not be a candidate in the future. The technology for vision correction is constantly being enhanced, enabling higher and more difficult prescriptions to be qualified. However, laser vision correction is not for everyone, and some patients (those with certain diseases of the eye involving the cornea and retina) will never be candidates. The best way for you to find out is by having a thorough examination of your eyes.
What to Expect During Your Consultation?
Your consultation with Orange County laser eye surgery provider Dr. Fahd typically takes 30-45 minutes and will include a thorough eye exam as well as a detailed assessment of the following:
* Your prescription: Patients with extreme eyeglass prescriptions (high myopia or high hyperopia) may not be good candidates for LASIK because too much corneal tissue would need to be removed to safely perform the procedure. However Dr Fahd will be able to asses this during the exam.
* Thickness of your corneas: Because all excimer laser surgery (LASIK and surface ablation) requires the removal of small amounts of corneal tissue to correct your refractive error, the thickness of your corneas must be measured before surgery. Patients who have very thin corneas are at risk for excessive corneal weakening after surgery and may not be good candidates for LASIK. In these cases, surface ablation or other procedures may be more appropriate.
* Corneal curvature: There are many devices used today to measure the overall shape and curvature of your cornea. These devices are called topographers and are an essential part of your initial evaluation. Abnormalities in the shape and curvature of your cornea may indicate that your cornea is weaker than that of the average person, and this will exclude you from having LASIK safely.
* Dry eyes: Patients with dry eye symptoms, such as burning, redness, and tearing may have worse symptoms after LASIK surgery. This occurs because corneal nerves are cut during this procedure, and these nerves are partly responsible for stimulating tear secretion. Most patients have a full return back to their baseline state after surgery; however, patients with significant dry eye before surgery may not be appropriate surgical candidates.
* Size of pupils: Although less common today, some patients still notice glare, halos, or other night vision issues after LASIK. Patients with larger pupils may be more prone to noticing these things, so your screening evaluation should include measurement of your pupil size in a dark room.
* Previous refractive surgery: Prior corneal surgery or other types of refractive surgery, especially radial keratotomy (RK), may complicate additional procedures. If you have had previous refractive surgery, Dr Fahd will discuss your situation in order to make the best decision possible about your ability to be corrected with further surgery.
At Clarity Eye Group we strive to make LASIK affordable for every patient. We offer a variety of ways to pay, including a 24 month, $0 down, 0% interest financing plan (on approved credit).
The approval process is quick, easy and private. Please ask us for details.
Flexible Spending Accounts
Many employers or insurance providers offer Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Spending Accounts, or Health Reimbursement Arrangements to help offset medical expenses. The accounts may allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars for procedures like LASIK. Ask your employer or insurance provider about deducting pre-tax dollars from your paycheck for potential savings on your laser vision correction procedure.
While LASIK can be deemed elective and not covered, it may be tax deductible depending on your filing status. Please consult your accountant. Many patients choose to use their tax refund to pay for LASIK, an investment that can last a lifetime.
Many patients opt to pay for their procedure using a personal credit card. This may be a good option, especially if you have a card that carries a low interest rate, offers points or other rewards.
Why Choose Dr. Fahd and Clarity Eye Group?
Finding a good surgeon for your LASIK care is not as simple as it sounds. When you begin to do your research, you will discover that there are many surgeons and laser eye surgery centers that all claim to offer the best service and guarantee the best results. So how do you to make your selection?
With any professional service including elective surgery, there can be wide variations in critical factors including diagnostic capability, treatment capability, surgeon experience, surgeon judgment, staff training, and procedure price, among others. In order to help you reach a decision, we strongly advise you to do your due diligence: Ask questions, seek out others who have had similar care, etc. If you find it helpful, use may also want to use the following criteria as your own personal guide:
1. Experience. Dr. Fahd has successfully performed over 65,000 LASIK vision correction procedures. Make sure you specifically ask about LASIK, not just refractive procedures.
2. Personal Recommendation. Often, the best recommendations come from friends, family, or acquaintances that have already been to a particular doctor for vision correction care. While personal referrals and endorsements are persuasive, we advise that you do your homework, check out the surgeon through the other methods outlined here as well. Dr Fahd has personally performed LASIK on employees and family members of patients who worked at these laser companies.
3. Meet and Speak With the Surgeon Personally. In some practices, you don’t get a chance to meet the surgeon until the day of surgery. The doctor should be willing to spend the time to answer all your questions. If he or she is “too busy doing surgery” to speak with you personally, you may want to consider finding another surgeon. At Clarity Eye Group, Dr. Fahd meets personally with each patient to perform their free eye exam and consultation. He can be reached at any time after that to answer any questions or provide additional information. He is the surgeon performing the surgery and is the one who meets with patients the following day for their “post-op” checkup.
4. Long-term care – does your doctor encourage follow-up and management of you as a patient? Your pre-op and post-op care may be provided by a doctor other than the surgeon. Dr. Fahd personally performs all post op examinations himself.
5. Be comfortable – do you feel you know your doctor and are comfortable with an equal exchange of information?
6. Speak to Patients. Ask to speak to some of the patients that have had their procedures done with a particular doctor or center. Also ask to view an actual procedure, and take note of the proficiency of the staff, the attention to detail of the surgeon, and other intangible factors.
7. Results: The more meticulous and detail-oriented surgeons carefully track and statistically analyze their patient’s outcomes. Ask the surgeon to can show you his (or her) results and complication rate. The surgeon and/or staff should be willing to discuss these issues with you candidly and openly (not defensively). At Clarity Eye Group, our patients achieve 20/40 or better vision 99.9% of the time, when optimum distance vision is targeted. This level of vision would allow you to pass the DMV vision test without the need for corrective eyewear.
8. Enhancement Rate: In any practice, some small percentage of patients may benefit from a touch-up (sometimes called enhancement) to achieve ideal vision. One of the advantages of LASIK is that it can be “enhanced” or “touched up” if there is an under- or over-correction from the targeted goal. Seek out a surgeon who has an enhancement rate equal to or better than (below) the national average (about 8%).
Dr. Fahd’s enhancement rate is less than 1% for patients with nearsightedness and astigmatism, followed for one year after initial treatment.
9. Licensure. Check to see that the surgeon has a valid medical license, and that the license is in good standing. State medical boards including the California Medical Board typically list this information on their web sites. Licensure means only that the doctor has satisfactorily completed medical school and a one-year internship, but does not guarantee specialty training or competence in a particular field.
10. Board Certification. Make sure a surgeon is board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Believe it or not, many states permit physicians to perform LASIK with little or no specialty training. Just because a doctor has performed thousands of Lasik procedures, it does not mean that the dr. is board certified. Board certification means that a doctor has completed a rigorous three-year residency in ophthalmology (specialty training in care of diseases and surgery of the eyes), and has passed both a written and oral exam after residency. You can now verify board certification online through the American Board of Medical Specialties website, or call the American Board of Ophthalmology directly at (610) 664-1175.
Dr. Fahd is a board certified Ophthalmologist. He is also a fellow in the American Academy of Ophthalmology (FAAO) and in the prestigious American College of Surgeons (FACS).
11. Litigation Search. If you are extra careful, you may want to check one of the public information databases on the internet, searching for evidence of malpractice claims against a particular surgeon and/or laser center.
12. Celebrity Endorsement? Our celebrity and entertainment-oriented culture involves a great deal of celebrity endorsement. I would caution that, more often than not, celebrity endorsement is a form of paid advertising: Entertainment figures and/or media personalities are offered free LASIK in exchange for their “enthusiastic endorsement”. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it should be recognized for what it is. Prospective patients might inquire whether any discount, trade, or other consideration was afforded in order to secure such endorsement from any celebrity. Dr. Fahd has performed LASIK on many famous celebrities, however he does not advertise their names.
At Clarity Eye Group, we take the responsibility for our Orange County / Huntington Beach LASIK patients’ individual care very seriously. LASIK is an extremely safe procedure when performed by a well-trained and skilled surgeon. In the hands of an experienced surgeon, your LASIK procedure should seem like a few effortless minutes resulting in improved vision. We invite you to come to Clarity Eye Group, learn about vision correction, then relax and enjoy the LASIK experience with the confidence of knowing you are in the hands of a caring, experienced, well trained team using state-of-the-art technology.