Blurred vision can substantially impact your quality of life, and common solutions such as glasses or contacts can be a hassle.
Dr. Justin Coco is a refractive surgery specialist who can perform LASIK eye surgery to dramatically improve your vision.
Why should you consider LASIK?
What happens during LASIK surgery?
LASIK Has Impressive Success Rates
So what does LASIK actually treat?
We Understand the Importance of Seeing Clearly
At Hines Sight, Drs. Justin Coco and Stanley Cushing understand the significant impact clear vision has on your life and can determine whether LASIK is right for you. This advanced refractive surgery allows many patients to significantly reduce or eliminate their need for corrective eyewear. Dr. Coco's surgical skill and experience, paired with our entire team's genuine concern for your well-being, allow us to provide patients with the highest level of care at our Denver, CO, practice.
Determining if You Are a LASIK Candidate
Before determining if you are a strong LASIK candidate, your eye doctor needs to make sure you are a candidate for laser vision correction. You should go over the following list to make sure you are suitable for any type of laser vision correction procedure. Typically, a doctor would want - if not require - you to meet all of the following criteria before recommending you for the procedure:
- You are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism.
- You are between the ages of 18 and 60 (If you're over the age 60, you may be a candidate if you're free from cataracts. If you have cataracts, cataract surgery may be an option for you. Cataract surgery is also a refractive surgery procedure, and is usually covered by insurance).
- Your vision has been stable for at least 2 years.
- Have no significant eye problems. If you do have eye problems, you may still be a candidate for LASIK. Check with your eye doctor.
- Have no significant health issues that may affect your eyes (e.g., uncontrolled rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes that is currently affecting your eyes).
After determining your laser vision correction candidacy the doctor will perform a LASIK Evaluation to make sure your eyes are suitable for LASIK. Because each set of eyes is unique, there is no way to actually determine your candidacy 100% until you have had your pre-operative LASIK evaluation. The pre-operative evaluation will involve a series of diagnostic tests to determine the stability of your vision, the power of your refractive prescription, etc. Below is a list of some items that are typically involved in the evaluation process:
- Complete review of the overall health of the eye
- The measurement of corneal thickness and shape, including corneal topography
- Complete review of glasses and contact lens history
- Thorough eye exam
- The measurement of your prescription and refractive error in each eye
- Dilation of the eyes to check the health of the retina and optic nerve
- Dilation will also help determine the actual absolute power of the eye
- Custom LASIK measurement for higher order aberrations
- Dry eye test (Schirmer's test)
- Measurement of pupil size in a very dark room
Once you've completed your pre-operative evaluation the doctor will discuss with you whether or not you are a candidate for LASIK or other refractive vision surgery. After the discussion, you can go ahead and begin to schedule your appointment for the procedure in our downtown Denver office. Our office staff will assist you the best we can in preparing you to have Denver LASIK surgery.
How Does LASIK Work?
LASIK, formally known as laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is a laser eye surgery designed to correct visual errors, which occur when the eye is too short, too long, or not properly shaped. This prevents light that enters the eye from focusing correctly on the retina, causing the images you see to appear blurred.
At Hines Sight, we have helped over 50,000 LASIK patients achieve clearer vision.
By reshaping the cornea so light can focus properly on the back of the eye, LASIK can significantly improve your vision. Some patients may even find they no longer need their corrective eyewear at all. However, it is important to note that patients with thin corneas will typically require photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), a similar procedure that does not require a corneal flap. This procedure may also be recommended for patients in certain professions, such as athletes.
Correcting Visual Errors
There are several refractive errors that can be effectively treated with LASIK:
- Nearsightedness (Myopia)
- This condition occurs when the eye is too long, causing light to focus in front of the retina. As a result, patients can see close objects clearly but those in the distance appear blurry.
- Farsightedness (Hyperopia)
- Farsightedness occurs when the eye is too short, meaning light has not focused by the time it reaches the back of the eye. These patients see objects at a distance more clearly than those that are up close.
- When the cornea or lens within the eye is irregularly shaped, this prevents the light from focusing evenly on the retina. Images may appear stretched or blurry for patients with astigmatism.
During your consultation, Dr. Coco or Dr. Cushing will evaluate your medical history, current prescription, medications, treatment goals, and other factors to determine whether you are a candidate for LASIK. We typically recommend custom wavefront LASIK for patients who want truly optimal results.
Is LASIK Covered by Insurance?
Typically, most insurance plans do not cover LASIK because it is considered an elective vision correction treatment. However, Hines Sight accepts financing through CareCredit®. These flexible payment plans allow patients to break the total cost of their care into manageable monthly payments.
The LASIK Procedure
LASIK is a two-step outpatient procedure that is typically completed in about 15 minutes. Your LASIK eye surgery will be performed on-site by Dr. Coco. Prior to beginning the procedure, numbing eye drops, a lid speculum, and a suction device will be applied to the eye. The doctor will make a small incision on the cornea, creating a flap to reach deeper layers of tissue. The computer-guided laser will precisely remove very small amounts of corneal tissue to the achieve the proper shape. Once treatment is complete, the flap will be repositioned and left to heal on its own.
You should rest for the remainder of the day but many patients are surprised to notice clear vision upon waking the next morning. In the following weeks and months, you will be seen for several follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing.
Why should you undergo treatment at Hines Sight?