Rochester New York Lasik Surgery
Laser Vision Correction FAQ's
What is an Excimer Laser? An excimer laser
is an ultraviolet "cold" laser beam that is capable
of reshaping the cornea. It is extremely precise
and can remove minute quantities of tissue with
accuracy up to .25 microns or .00004 of an inch.
For comparison, a human hair is approximately
100 microns thick.
What is the difference between a broad beam
and a flying spot laser? The older lasers
treated a 6-mm area with a 6-mm beam. The newest
generation of lasers utilize a computer-controlled
smaller spot or "flying spot". The spot size is
2 mm with the Technolas and .8 mm with the LADARVision system. Flying spot lasers allow for a greater
degree of customization.
Are all flying spots the same? No. Lasers
vary widely in spot size, presence or type of
tracking, pulse rates, tissue removal, blend zones,
optical and transition zones and range of FDA
approvals. All of these factors have an influence
on eventual outcome.
What is PRK? PRK stands for Photo-Refractive
Keratectomy and refers to the procedure where
the cornea is reshaped by applying the laser energy
to the surface of the eye. The outer layer of
the cornea is removed either mechanically or with
the laser, and the upper tissue of the cornea
is ablated. PRK received FDA approval in the United
States in 1995. The outer skin must regenerate
as part of the healing process.
What is LASIK? LASIK is a newer laser eye surgery procedure
that preserves the outer skin of the eye. With
LASIK a flap is created of the outer skin and
some of the underlying tissue. Since the outer
skin does not need to regenerate, the visual recovery
is usually much quicker and comfort levels are
What is LASEK? LASEK is an even more recent
development. It is a surface ablation similar
to PRK with preservation of most of the components
of the outer skin like LASIK. Another popular
term for LASEK is "Advanced Surface Ablation".
Visual recovery and comfort levels with LASEK
are somewhere in between PRK and LASIK.
Do You Recommend LASIK, LASEK or PRK? We always
recommend the treatment that represents the best
combination of safety and efficacy for your eye.
Many different factors that include degree and
type of optical error, pupil size, corneal thickness,
lid and orbital anatomy, visual needs and analysis
of risk factors are all part of this decision
process. Robbins Laser Site currently performs
LASIK on approximately 80% of our patients.
What is LADARVision and why is it so important?
Many other lasers rely on the patient fixating
on a blinking light for centration and treatment.
Even in the most cooperative patient, rapid eye
movements (saccades) or involuntary loss of fixation
can degrade the quality of the ablation. Only
LADARVision actively measures and compensates
for rapid eye movements at in incredible 4000
times per second with laser radar. Only LADARVision has been clinically proven to improve both safety
Can You Treat Nearsightedness? The LADARVision 4000 is approved by the FDA to treat nearsightedness
with and without astigmatism.
What is Astigmatism? If the eye is not
optically round, the image will be distorted or
blurred. This optical aberration is called astigmatism.
It is not a disease and is not a contraindication
to laser vision correction.
Can Astigmatism be Corrected with the Laser?
Yes. Different lasers vary in their ability to
correct astigmatism. The Technolas 217 is approved
to correct up to 3 D or units of astigmatism with
myopia. The LADARVision is approved to correct
up to 4 D with myopia and 6 D with farsightedness.
Can You Treat Farsightedness? Yes. The
LADARVision is approved by the FDA to treat up
to 6 D of farsightedness, with or without astigmatism.
What is Presbyopia? Presbyopia is the term
used for the progressive loss of near acuity that
occurs with age. Most individuals with previously
"perfect" vision will eventually require glasses
for close-up tasks. If you need reading glasses
over your contacts, you most likely suffer from
presbyopia and will still need glasses up close
even after successful laser vision correction.
Some individuals can maintain both distance and
near vision with something called "Monovision".
What is an "off-label" use of the Laser?
The FDA has provided guidelines for applications
of the Laser energy that are 'proven safe and
effective'. Any use of the laser outside these
limits is considered "off-label".
What is Wavefront and Higher Order Aberrations?
Glasses and contact lenses correct approximately
90% of the focusing errors present in the average
eye. Adaptive optics developed by astronomy physicists
have taught us that higher order optical defects
can be measured and do impact the quality of vision.
The LADARVISION system with the LADARWAVE upgrade
is the first laser system in the United States
approved by the FDA for the treatment of these
What is CK? CK is conductive keratoplasty.
It is a non-laser treatment that heats the cornea
with a hot needle. CK is FDA approved for the
temporary treatment of low degrees of farsightedness.
When can I return to work after surgery?
After LASIK laser eye surgery, the majority of our patients see
well enough to drive the next day. We recommend
that most individuals plan on missing 2-3 days
of work. However, in many instances work and normal
activities can be resumed the day following surgery.
There are no restrictions in terms of heavy lifting
or bending. It is important to avoid contamination
of the eye or exposure to harsh irritants. If
you have an unusual occupation or hobby, make
sure you discuss this with the staff prior to
Do you treat both eyes at once? Bilateral
laser eye surgery is an option. The majority of our patients
do electively have both eyes treated on the same
day. In all cases, we perform laser eye surgery on one eye
first and proceed with the second eye only there
are no observed problems with the first laser eye surgery.
Will I experience glare at night or halos?
Glare and/or halos are a known complication of
refractive surgery. The older RK incisions frequently
extended into the central visual axis, and almost
all patients experienced some glare. The larger
treatment zones and more gradual transition areas
possible with flying spot lasers has reduced the
incidence and severity of these problems. FDA
clinical trials have shown that wavefront-guided
CustomCornea treatments with the LADARWAVE
system have further decreased the incidence and
severity of this problem.
Another doctor told me I was not a good candidate
for LASIK. Does it make any sense to get second
opinion? Absolutely! You may not be a suitable
candidate for older technology, but perfect for
a more recent development. Also, lasers vary in
their capabilities and how much tissue they remove.
The LADARVision 4000 is particularly tissue-sparing
when compared to other flying spot lasers. Also,
for eyes with thinner than average corneas, LASEK may be a safer alternative.
Can anything go wrong? Again, the answer
is a definite yes. Any surgeon who guarantees
his results or claims to have never seen a complication
is either dishonest, inexperienced or both. Years
of experience and the latest technology does not
guarantee a perfect result, but certainly improves
your odds. The timely treatment of such things
as infection or excessive inflammation can make
a vast difference in the visual outcome.
I was told my cornea is too thin for LASIK?
What does this mean? For LASIK laser eye surgery, we need to
have sufficient corneal thickness to make the
outer flap, remove tissue to change the prescription,
and leave at least 250 microns untouched in the
corneal bed. Some microkeratomes and lasers are
more tissue sparing than others, so it may be
a good idea to obtain a second opinion. LASEK is often an excellent alternative for individuals
with thinner than average corneas.
Can I pay by credit card? Robbins Laser Site
accepts most major credit cards including MasterCard,
Visa and Discover.
Is Financing Available? We have a variety
of payment plans available either through independent
private lending institutions. We also accept most
major credit cards.
When Is Your Next Informational Seminar?
The internet and our free personal consultations
have made monthly seminars superfluous. However,
we do occasionally hold seminars to introduce
new technology and will be offering web-based
seminars (webinars) in the near future.
Contact our office either via phone at 585-787-2020
or via email email@example.com for more information.
What is involved in the preoperative testing?
You will receive a complete eye examination including
refraction, slit lamp and retinal evaluation.
In addition, we will perform some specialized
tests such as corneal topography, pachymetry,
pupillometry and wavefront measurements of the
optical aberrations. For LADARVision, a special
digital photograph of the eye is taken to aid
the computer in tracking and alignment. This step
is unique to the LADARVision system. You will
receive drops to dilate the pupils and relax the
focusing muscles within the eye. You should expect
to be blurry for many hours following the exam.
Do I need to remove my contact lenses prior
to the evaluation? We can perform many of
the pre-surgical tests without removal of your
contacts for an extended period of time. However,
it is necessary to remove your contact lenses
for the prescribed period of time prior to the
Will my surgery be performed by Dr. Robbins?
Yes. Dr. Robbins performs all of the refractive
laser eye surgery at Robbins Laser Site. Other doctors may
assist with the pre-operative testing, counseling
and post-operative care, but every surgical procedure
at Robbins Laser Site is performed by Dr.
Us: Spring Pines Office Complex | Suite 400
Address: 1678 Empire Boulevard | Webster, New York
Call Us: (585) 787-2020 | Fax: