The Latest in Lasik Surgery - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

The Latest in Lasik Surgery

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) -

Imagine seeing clearly without glasses or contacts from your first waking moments. Imagine seeing every detail without glasses fogging and slipping or contact lenses drying out. And imagine if you could have this sharp, clear vision 24/7 every time you opened your eyes.

According to millions of patients who have undergone Lasik eye surgery it's nothing short of a miracle procedure. "It's amazing. The smallest things like rolling over in the night and being able to see the alarm clock, what time it is without having to scramble around my night stand for eye glasses or being able to watch television in bed", says Lasik patient Laura Keogh.

Laura Keogh has been wearing glasses since she was six years old. Fed up with wearing glasses and contact lenses Laura decided to pay the West Georgia Eye Care Center in Columbus a visit. A few weeks after her surgery Laura's life visually changed. "I came in the day after surgery and my vision was 20-15, the day after the surgery, which is almost perfect", Laura said.

Lasik surgery is nothing new but technology for the procedure has advanced throughout the years. Lasik patient LaNai Laminack says, "It was painless, quick and very worth it".

LaNai is another satisfied customer. She's been wearing glasses since the third grade and after getting Lasik surgery in February she's seeing things a whole lot clearer. "Without my glasses or my contacts I could not read the big keys on the chart", says LaNai.

Doctor Cynthia Nix an Ophthalmologist and cornea specialist has performed Lasik surgery on more than a dozen eyes. While there are several types of Lasik surgeries performed everyday; it's the I-Lasik procedure that's top notch in technology. "This new Intra Lace IFF laser that we have here creates a more precis flap, a quicker recovery time and a much more precision in the procedure that we're doing now", Nix says.

It's a procedure that takes less than an hour to perform. "The recovery was remarkably fast. I went to bed after the surgery and woke up the next morning and I could see the television for the first time since I was six years old", Laura said.

According to Dr. Nix, the I-Lasik procedure is what NASA has approved for its Astronauts, making it even more appealing to patients. "I-Lasik is the only Lasik program astronauts can have. It's the only one that's accepted. I thought that was wonderful. It's good for Nasa why wouldn't it be good for me", says LaNai.

During the surgical procedure a flap is made in the cornea then laser energy is applied deep within to reshape the cornea and improve the eyesight. While 90-percent of Lasik patients rave about it, Lasik is not for everyone. Patients who are not candidates for Lasik are people with a thin cornea, an irregularly shaped cornea and patients that have a dry eye going into the procedure. Dr. Nix says, "It's rare to have a problem but things I always discuss are infection and that would be bacterial infection or a fungal infection under the flap that would require great treatment with antibiotics for anti-fungal. That's extremely rare. We haven't had one of those infections at West Georgia Eye Care Center, but we have managed people with those problems in the past".

Other Lasik complications can include bad night vision, starbursts and painful dry eyes. But for Laura and LaNai their complications were little to none. "I had a little irritation for a day or two but with a few lubricating drops it was almost immediately better", says Laura. LaNai told Fox 54, "It was little blurry the day after and I did see some halos around the light but that subsided within a week and everything has been great. It's amazing how wonderful it is."

And as wonderful as it is there is a slight chance that patients who had the surgery may go back to wearing glasses later in life. "It's rare. It's more uncommon to go back to wearing glasses. What we do see are people who will develop a problem or can't see things up close.  That is not affected by the laser treatments. We will all undergo that trouble at age 40-to-45 so we may need to wear reading glasses once we've had the distance corrected by the Lasik", says Dr. Nix.

Whether you're a fan of this procedure or not, it isn't cheap! At West Georgia Eye Care Center Lasik surgery would cost you around $4,300 for both eyes. And remember this procedure is not covered by most insurance. "It was a bit more that I was expecting but they offered a military discount here, my husband is in the army and we saved a little bit of money that way. I set up through the center here a payment plan so the payments each month are affordable and it was interest free", says Laura.

According to Dr. Nix a good candidate for Lasik surgery is someone who has had a stable prescription for a couple of years. And of course, people who are fed up with wearing glasses and contacts.

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