[Disclaimer: The following article only reflects the opinions of Dr. Julia Tran and not of the other doctors at Northwest Eyes Network. ]

For the first time ever, West Seattle Vision and The LASER Center aka TLC Bellevue will be hosting a screening event at our office on October 23rd from 3-6 pm. If you schedule an eye exam from now until October 22nd, Dr. Chow and I will determine if your vision is stable to consider LASIK this year. Even if your vision is not stable, we can still schedule you for this FREE LASIK screening to discuss any concerns or financial questions that you may have.

More than four years ago when my -4.25 diopters of myopia started to stabilize, I was comfortably happy with my lifestyle wearing daily disposable contact lenses. Then the following year, the decision to get LASIK was provoked by the thought of waking up blind in the middle of the night to take care of an infant. Now at that time I was not married nor close to being pregnant but I realized the sooner I have vision correction, the longer I get to enjoy my vision before I entered the next infamous decade of reading glasses. Once I decided it was time, I immediately called TLC for an evaluation. I had previously referred a few patients to TLC  and all of them returned to my office with fabulous results of seeing 20/20 or better in both eyes. That statement is still true today!

Now at TLC, they are qualified to perform LASIK and PRK refractive surgeries. LASIK is actually short for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. PRK means photorefractive keratectomy and sometimes also known as LASEK, laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy. Both surgeries provide permanent alteration to the corneal stroma (middle layer of the cornea) to correct for the exact amount of prescription in your eyes. Unlike LASIK, where a corneal flap is created by the laser, PRK removes the first layer of the cornea called the epithelium. This layer of the eye is capable of regenerating after the surgery. However, during this regenerative process, patients are not able to see as well the first week to a month compared to LASIK patients. If that is the case, some of my patients would ask why they should bother with PRK if LASIK provides instant gratification. Well, PRK is actually advantageous for patients with thinner cornea or higher myopia. At the consultation, you will be informed if you are a good candidate for both procedures.

Another important fact that you need to know is that LASIK can be performed with a microkeratome to cut the flap in a horizontal direction. With the advancement in technology, TLC believes in using an excimer laser to perform intralase or “bladeless” LASIK. The laser creates a “lock-and-key” cut to secure the flap compared to a microkeratome.  Instead of peeling an orange with a knife, the laser acts like a knife carving a pumpkin in a vertical direction. For this reason, the intralase flap is less likely to be dislocated in addition to fewer post-operative complications.

If this post triggers any interest for you or someone you know, please call our office to schedule a LASIK screening!

Julia Tran, O.D.