Dr. Andrew Sorenson has been performing LASIK, PRK and other vision correcting surgeries since 1998. The “all-laser LASIK” technique utilizing the femtosecond laser has made LASIK an incredibly reliable and successful way to improve your vision. People who choose LASIK generally heal quickly and require minimal medication. While laser vision correction has freed many people from their dependency on glasses, the procedure is not for everybody and the risks and disadvantages need to be considered. Below is a short video overviewing the surgery. Follow the links above to learn if LASIK is a good alternative to your glasses or contact lenses. In addition, Dr. Sorenson recommends you review the information presented by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) LASIK website.
Should I Have Surgery?
- increased comfort
- lifestyle needs
- career considerations
- cosmetic concerns
- are over 18 years of age
- have had stable refraction for one year
- are within the limits of the following refractive corrections:
- myopia (nearsightedness): -1.0 to -9.0 diopters
- hyperopia (farsightedness): +1.0 to +4.0 diopters
- astigmatism: up to 4.0 diopters
- are not currently pregnant or breast-feeding
- are not being treated for severe medical conditions, especially ones affecting healing or vision
- are free from any eye maladies or abnormalities (keratoconus, severe dry eye)
- are not currently using Accutane
Before surgery, it is necessary to have a complete evaluation with your physician. Click here to set up an appointment.
What to Expect
- The initial exam will take around 90 minutes and is performed in our office
- We will evaluate your eyes for corneal irregularities (glaucoma, cataracts, etc.)
- We will also use computerized mapping of the surface of your eye, Orbscan imaging, and take ultrasonographic measurements of your cornea.
- We will cross-check your glasses/contact perscription
Dr. Sorenson will discuss your examination findings with you and advise whether laser vision correction is for you. Eyes that are not good candidates for this procedure may be better suited for alternative surgical treatments or continued use of contact lenses or glasses. Sometimes, an additional examination prior to the surgery may be required.
Before your visit:
- Do not use soft contact lenses for one week or hard lenses for three weeks.
- Bring your glasses and any prescriptions you have to the initial visit.
- Bring dark glasses to wear after the exam. You may want someone to drive you home.
- Arrange for transportation to and from the surgical center.
- Do not wear makeup on day of surgery.
- Do not use contact lenses for one week (soft lenses) or three weeks (hard lenses) prior to surgery.
- Upon arrival at the Laser Facility, register with receptionist and relax until called.
- A technician will escort you to an exam room, where you will receive instructions and Dr. Sorenson will examine your eyes.
- You will then be escorted to the Laser Suite where the procedure will be performed. The treatment takes about 10 minutes per eye.
- You will feel some pressure as Dr. Sorenson uses a laser to create the flap. You will hear continual guidance, so you will always be aware of what is happening.
- Once the flap is created, the VISX Star S4 Smoothscan or the Alcon Allegretto 400 laser system is used to reshape the cornea. The procedure is painless and lasts only a few minutes.
- After the surgeon replaces the flap to its proper position, your eyes will be allowed to rest for a few minutes while under microscopic observation. When everything is in proper order, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops are placed on your eye.
- You will wear dark goggles which will protect your eyes on the day of your treatment.
- You will be instructed about application of drops, and appropriate activities for the following day.
- You will be given an appointment for a post-operative examination on the following day.
- Recovery from laser eye surgery is rapid. Many people experience better vision shortly after their surgery. Eye discomfort is uncommon, but an optional eye drop is available if needed for relief
- Apply the antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops for five days as instructed. Use the artificial lubricant drop often for one month.
- Avoid submerging head in water for 10 days.
- Wear protective goggles (given to you by Dr. Sorenson) during sleep for five days.
- Do not rub your eyes for one month.
- Report any decreased vision, pain, or redness immediately to Dr. Sorenson.
- Visual fluctuation can occur for several weeks. It is more common in eyes requiring larger treatments and in eyes with underlying dryness. If you have dry eyes before laser vision correction, the symptoms may heighten for a period after surgery. Using artificial tears for a few weeks is often helpful.
- Some people note night time glare with lights, or a halo around bright objects, similar to that seen with contact lenses. These symptoms rarely affect the ability to function normally and usually dissipate over the course of the first few months.
- Individuals over age 40 may need reading glasses, unless monovision was intended.
Dr. Sorenson will examine you at the Berkeley office the first day after surgery. You may prefer to ask someone to drive you to this visit, though many people feel visually competent to drive themselves. Many people return to work the day after surgery. After the first day, you will have follow-up evaluations at day four, three weeks, three months, six months and yearly thereafter. It is important to continue yearly eye examinations; despite the absence of glasses, your eyes should still be evaluated for glaucoma and other eye diseases.
Data from our practice over the past several years suggests a 99% rate of 20/40 uncorrected visual acuity, with 80-85% achieving 20/20 vision or better, The rate of second procedures for residual nearsightedness or other corrections is approximately 7%.