We are pleased to offer the latest advances in refractive surgery to eligible patients.
Laser vision correction is a set of commonly performed procedures that surgically modify the eye's physical structure, improving its ability to focus. With LASIK or PRK, patients' vision can often be corrected to 20/20 - or better - thereby eliminating the need for glasses or contacts for years. If you are interested in having this elective surgery, please ask to be evaluated for LASIK at your next eye exam.
Refractive surgery is not medically necessary, and as such, will generally not be covered by any form of medical insurance. We offer a flat fee to our LASIK and PRK patients that covers the pre-operative exam, the procedure itself, and all subsequent post-operative visits as deemed necessary.
While we are happy to discuss your refractive surgery options with you, several contraindications exist for any procedure. LASIK requires the top layer of the cornea to be folded back in order for the laser to reshape the underlying layers. As such, a minimal corneal thickness must exist for LASIK to be performed safely, which will vary depending on your prescription. If your cornea is not thick enough to meet the LASIK requirements, however, the option of Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) may still be available. During PRK, the outermost layer of the cornea is simply removed and regrows with the help of a bandage contact lens after the procedure. In both cases, the doctor will use laser bursts lasting a fraction of a second to reshape the eye. The whole procedure typically takes only two to three minutes to complete, and patients can expect to resume normal functions the next day.
Refractive surgery can correct vision with dramatic results, but any change will not be permanent. While most patients will find that they do not need glasses or contacts for at least a decade, in some cases the eye will begin reverting to its original prescription before then. This may occur as part of the eye's unique healing process after the surgery, or simply with age. A secondary procedure, termed an enhancement, may be necessary to fully correct your vision.
Before having any refractive surgery, you should stop wearing contact lenses for at least one week prior. Be sure to inform both our office and the laser center of any medications you may be taking, and follow all post-operative instructions. Your vision may take weeks to fully stabilize after surgery, and side effects can include dry eyes, seeing halos, and light sensitivity. Side effects are usually temporary. Please be sure to come in for your post-operative visits so the doctor can evaluate any changes to your eyes.
Dr. Essepian uses the laser surgery center suite at TLC in Tyson's Corner and utilizes the following laser systems:
- Allegretto, OptiLASIK® Laser Vision Correction
- VISX S4 with Customvue and Iris Registration, iLASIK
- IntraLase™ FS