Posts Tagged ‘LASIK’

Does LASIK Hurt?

Most patients who have had LASIK surgery tell me, “I can’t believe the procedure was so fast and painless!”

During our initial consultations, many patients express concern about pain during and after LASIK. The great news is that during surgery most patients do not feel anything other than slight pressure on the eye and perhaps some mild discomfort.

In preparation for your LASIK surgery, we’ll administer some anesthetic eye drops that numb your eyes. As a result, you will only feel some pressure while the laser reshapes your cornea. Some patients may experience a slight feeling of discomfort from the instrument we use to keep your eye open during the procedure – since our natural inclination is to blink. However, because the surgery only takes a few minutes, this discomfort is very brief.

During the recovery period, you may experience some mild stinging or dryness. This is part of the normal healing process and usually only lasts a few days. Artifical tear drops often help to quickly take care of these symptoms.

If you’re interested in seeing exactly what you’ll experience during the procedure, watch our video of live LASIK surgery (displayed below). You’ll hear firsthand from one of our Emory Vision patients. Still have questions about pain during LASIK surgery? I’m happy to answer them!

LASIK and Your Career

Throughout the years, I have heard countless stories from patients who say that having LASIK surgery enhanced their career.

Some jobs simply require good vision, like being a pilot, athlete, photographer, surgeon, and many more. For patients who work in these fields – or who want to – LASIK surgery can be a necessity. Improved vision may mean the difference between getting the job you want or not. It can also have a marked impact on your performance.

I always enjoy seeing the smile on a patient’s face who no longer has to constantly wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. As you know, eyeglasses can fog up, get dirty, or fall off, causing safety hazards. Contact lenses can fall out, shift in the eye, or make some tasks extremely dangerous. If you have one of the jobs I mentioned above, LASIK surgery can mean the problems or risks of always wearing eyeglasses and contact lenses are a thing of the past.

Even if your job isn’t hindered by eyeglasses or contacts, you may find that your job satisfaction and performance increase as a result of having LASIK surgery. Improved vision benefits almost every career, allowing you to focus on the job at hand rather than worrying about your sight.

Finally, be sure to check with your employer to see if having LASIK could in any way jeopardize your career. There are a few jobs requiring very precise vision that may preclude your having certain refractive procedures, so it’s always best to check before considering LASIK surgery.

If having LASIK has benefited your career, please share your story with us!

The Top Five Benefits of LASIK

Our patients choose LASIK surgery for many reasons. While each patient is unique, we hear the same benefits mentioned time and again. Besides improved vision, I’d like to share with you the top five benefits we hear mentioned most frequently:

Immediate Results – As soon as your surgery is complete, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in vision, and it will continue to improve while you heal. Read about one of our patient’s excitement over saying “Goodbye to Glasses”!

Quick Procedure – The procedure is fast, typically 15 minutes or so. In fact, most people are surprised at how brief the surgery actually lasts. Want proof? Watch a live LASIK procedure here.

Cost Savings – LASIK is a great solution to many vision problems, which means no more need to update your glasses every few years or replace contact lenses every month. The cost savings keep adding up year after year.

Improved Self-Confidence – After LASIK, I continually hear patients say, “It’s like seeing the world in a whole new light!” Seeing clearly can help you become more comfortable in social situations and more outgoing.

Freedom – After surgery, there is no need for many of you to worry about losing or breaking your glasses, or to pay for prescription sunglasses. There is no need to put in your contacts every day and clean them every night. And you can swim, golf, drive or whatever else you like to do without having to think about your vision!

To find out more information about the benefits of LASIK surgery, or to schedule a free initial exam, call Emory Vision today at 404- 778-2733.

Do you have any questions about the benefits of LASIK? Or, would you like to add some additional benefits of your own? If so, be sure to let me know in the comments.

Fun in the Sun After LASIK

From scuba diving to water skiing or swimming at the pool, LASIK surgery can make a world of difference in how you enjoy water sports during the hot summer months. Imagine how much better the experience will be with clear vision!

Just remember you’ll have to ease into the fun immediately after having LASIK. Swimming can be dangerous to your healing eyes in the weeks following the surgery. Keep in mind that the corneal flap needs time to heal. Though you will feel fine and your vision will be improved, be sure to take extra precautions for at least the first two weeks after LASIK.

Oceans, rivers and lakes contain countless microscopic organisms that could easily slip under your unhealed corneal flap and cause infection or other complications.  Swimming pools contain their own microorganisms, along with chlorine and other harsh chemicals, and present a level of danger.

If you have a vacation scheduled and plan to be at the beach within a few weeks after surgery, be sure to wear goggles or a mask that completely prevents water from having any contact with your eyes. In some cases, we may recommend avoiding water for a further amount of time, depending on your particular situation. So be sure to check with one of the experts at Emory Vision before heading into the water!

Still not sure whether LASIK is for you? Be sure to see our Novel Approach to LASIK and view live LASIK surgery to hear one patient’s testimony about how it completely changed his life for the better. To find out more information about Emory Vision or to schedule an initial exam, leave us a note in the comments section, or contact us at 404-778-2733 today.

A LASIK Surgery Update from Daren Wang

My wife and I share our anniversary date with my parents. It’s a happy coincidence, and one of the consequences is that each year, we all head out for a celebratory dinner at our favorite restaurant in Atlanta.

The chef puts together a five-hour meal for us that involves many, many courses with paired wine tastings. It’s an extravagant, incomparable way to spend an evening. And one of the pleasures of it is to have a great chef expose us to new exotic foods, unusual preparations, and wonderful wines. We always make a guessing game of which herbs or spices are flavoring a dish. And each year, we get a rundown of what’s included in the meal.

The dining room is lovely, but darkish. And with the fine, elegant print, the menu turned out to be a challenge for everyone to read this weekend, even with glasses. Well, everyone except me, that is. I worked as something of a translator the whole evening, reading the descriptions to our little party, because my eyesight was perfect. I could look out at the gorgeous landscape as the Chattahoochee rolled by, or I could read 6 point type on the menu fine print explaining what was in a particular reduction.

Since I had my surgery, people often ask me about my experience. In response, all I can do is rave about the results. The dinner example is just one of dozens of discoveries and examples I could share about the improvements LASIK has made in my life. Non-prescription sunglasses, not having to hunt for misplaced glasses, compliments on the color of my eyes, and enjoying workouts sans glasses are just a few of the new pleasures I enjoy on a daily basis now.

And in an effort to thank Emory for the fine work they did for me, I make a point to refer everyone that I can to Emory Vision. A friend of mine who was fascinated by my LASIK process recently spoke of my live LASIK surgery adventure to her friend in London, who is now plans on having the surgery at Emory during her upcoming trip to the US.

If any of you would like to share your story about LASIK, or if you have questions for me about my experience, please feel free to do so here in the comments section.

PRK Surgery Through a Physician’s Eyes

Dr. Maria Woodward

When Dr. Maria Woodward opted to have Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) surgery on April 1st of this year, she entered the doors of Emory Vision as a patient, rather than as a physician. When I asked her to describe the experience, she replied, “One word: surreal.”

Dr. Woodward’s description is understandable, especially when you consider how accustomed she is to being on the other side of the operating table. However, she knew that she was in incredibly capable hands with Dr. Randleman, who performed her surgery.

But before I continue with her story, I’ll explain some differences and similarities between LASIK and PRK. PRK corrects vision through the reshaping of the surface of the cornea, which involves the removal of the epithelium, the outer layer of cells that cover the cornea. After the laser reshapes the corneal surface, a new epithelium grows back over the treated area, which usually takes 3-7 days. In LASIK surgery, the surgeon uses a surgical instrument to create a protective flap in the cornea, allowing him or her to sculpt the cornea with a laser. The flap is then folded back into place and bonds securely without the need for stitches. The recovery for LASIK is just under 24 hours. PRK and LASIK yield the exact same results; however, PRK results are slightly slower to appear.

According to Dr. Woodward, nearly 20% of her patients undergo PRK, as opposed to LASIK. Example PRK candidates include military personnel, fighter pilots, professional athletes, or anyone involved in everyday situations that involve higher risks of trauma to their eyes. PRK is also performed when the cornea is too thin for LASIK, or when there are mild irregularities in the shape of the cornea.

On the day of surgery, Dr. Woodward was caught a little off guard by her nervousness: “I woke up and asked myself: Am I really doing this today? It’s one thing to talk about having the procedure done, and another thing entirely to actually go ahead with it,” she said.

“The surgery itself was actually much easier than I expected,” she added. “I think knowing exactly what was going to happen actually made it a very smooth process.”

Now, post-surgery, Dr. Woodward feels an even greater empathy and understanding for what patients feel when they experience a PRK (or LASIK) procedure. She learned extra tips to help facilitate PRK patient recovery, like using an egg timer or phone alarm to remind them of when to administer drops, storing drops in the refrigerator to keep them cool, and even listening to music or ‘This American Life’ on NPR during recovery.

She can also truly identify with the sense of joy her patients feel from their newfound ability to see life with absolute clarity.

Do you have thoughts or questions about PRK surgery? If so, be sure to share them with me in the comments.


I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the horizon over the past couple days. Right now, with everything turning green around Atlanta, the leaves on the trees are especially lovely to see. But the reason I keep staring at them is that the detail of each tree in the distance is so much greater than anything I remember seeing before. My vision seems far better now than it was before even when I was wearing glasses.

When I’m driving, I keep feeling as if I should be reaching for my glasses, simply out of habit. I don’t have them anymore—I dropped them in the recycling bin. I KNOW that I shouldn’t drive without them, so I reflexively look for them. It’s an odd sensation, but one I’m happy to get used to.

In the days leading up to the surgery, I spent a lot of time thinking about having great vision, but it was only “day of” when I thought seriously about the procedure itself and started to really get nervous. But my wife Eva was with me, and that helped a lot. At one point, I was sitting in the waiting room and woman asked me if I was the guy in the videos on the Emory Vision blog. She said she’d been watching to see how the surgery turned out. We talked about being a little nervous, but I think she was as excited to have the process done as I was.

The folks at Emory were great. They clearly understood that I’d be nervous getting ready, and they carefully explained each step of the procedure, and the follow up as well. Knowing exactly what to expect really calmed me down.

The procedure itself was shockingly fast, painless, and really psychedelic, with lights flashing green and red. I wish I had brought my iPod along, because it was like the best Pink Floyd laser light show ever. I would have played The Great Gig in the Sky for the actual procedure.

The evening of the procedure I sat in the dark and listened to music and a couple podcasts. Emory Vison didn’t put these kind of restrictions on me, but I just thought I’d play it safe. First thing next morning, I got checked out, and got the all clear. Since then, I’ve been applying the eyedrops they prescribed four times a day, but that’s just for a week. My eyes feel normal to me now, except for being able to see for miles and miles.

Goodbye to Glasses

Day Before LASIK Surgery

Final Countdown to LASIK

I ordered these great new shades this week. I realized I absolutely have to have sunglasses the day of my surgery, so I went ahead and ordered them with two day shipping. I mean, my eyes will be freshly operated on—how can I expose them to unfiltered UV’s? Don’t they look cool?

I’m sure that if I actually need sunglasses for the ride home, Emory will probably supply some for me, or let me know if I need to bring my own. Regardless, it was a good excuse to order some new (non-prescription) sunglasses.

I also went through my stuff looking for old glasses. Even after the frames have broken, or the prescription has gone a little out of kilter, I keep the old ones around so that if I misplace my current ones, I can use the ugly old ones. They won’t do me any good after this week.

Over the past few days, I’ve started doing this weird countdown. This is the last time I’ll go to Your DeKalb Farmer’s Market with glasses. This is the last meeting I’ll lead with glasses. I really, really hope this is the last time I drive the Perimeter in rush hour, with glasses… you get the idea. It’s kind of like the last week of middle school, when you’re getting ready for a big change. I vividly remember really wanting to be in high school, and later wondering how I possibly lived through those miserable years in that dump of a middle school. All the cool kids were in high school– that’s where I was heading. It’s funny how I have the same sort of feeling now, as I get closer to having LASIK surgery.