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Category: LASIK

Woman's eye and high-tech concept representing LASIK surgery


Woman's eye and high-tech concept representing LASIK surgeryLaser Vision Correction has a long history of success and improvements have been made over the years. At present, Laser Vision Correction has a high success rate and low risk profile. Many people can see better than they could with prior contact lenses or glasses wear.

However, there is still some confusion over the types of Laser Vision Correction available. It boils down to whether a flap of corneal tissue is created, and the treatment performed under a flap or if the treatment is performed on the corneal surface without a flap. The flap treatment is known as Laser Assisted Intrastromal Keratomileusis (LASIK), and the surface treatment is known as Laser Assisted Subepithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK — which has a related surface treatment known as PRK -Photorefractive Keratomileusis).

What are the Differences?

Results of LASEK vs LASIK:

The results of each are the same because the treating laser for the prescription is the same.

  • Both give 99% 20/40 or better uncorrected vision in nearly all patients
  • Nearly 60% can achieve 20/15 vision uncorrected and some even better
  • Both can be associated with blurry uncorrected vision if the person is over 40 years old
  • Neither guarantee no need for glasses afterward

LASEK vs LASIK Surgery:

Both surgeries are performed with a state-of-art laser, the Alcon Wavelight EX500. Here are some similarities and differences:

  • If LASIK, a Zeimer LDV24 or FS200 femtosecond laser is used to create the flap
  • Both eyes can be treated at the same time with either procedure
  • Typically, there is mild discomfort and blurry vision early with LASEK, less so with LASIK
  • LASEK typically can treat higher corrections than LASIK safely can
  • It is possible to treat thinner corneas with LASEK than LASIK
  • It is possible to weaken the cornea structure with LASIK

LASEK vs LASIK Postoperative:

These are the biggest postoperative similarities and differences between the two procedures:

  • Recovery of vision is slightly longer at roughly 2 weeks with LASEK versus one week with LASIK
  • There are no possibilities of flap complications with LASEK that can dramatically affect outcomes
  • Both could be associated with longer recoveries in some individuals
  • Both can be associated with corneal scarring
  • Both can be associated with halos around lights especially at night- possibly severe with LASIK
  • Both can be associated with dry eye and may be severe with LASIK

Considering LASIKRequest Your Appointment Today!


Most medical fields deal with their share of common myths, including ophthalmology. When it comes to Laser Vision Correction surgery (LASIK), there are a number of myths we’ve encountered over the years that we feel should be addressed.


  • Nearly every person has anxiety and “fear” about things that are new to them. This is especially true for anything involving eyes.  Because of the light sedation given at the time of LASIK, anxiety is greatly reduced. Nearly everyone says after the procedure, “That was it?  That was nothing?”

Expensive Luxury

  • Laser vision correction, at its heart, is about lifestyle. There is a cost to improvements in lifestyle in many areas of life. To have some degree of glasses and contact independence in our active lives is hard to put a price on. Whether it is outdoor sports, playing with our children, or driving without restrictions, everyone can describe ways that their lives would be enriched if they didn’t need glasses or contacts to see well. The added bonus…you are truly saving money when you think about a lifetime of investments in glasses, contact lenses, solutions, and yearly exams.

Doesn’t Last

  • The effects of laser vision correction are permanent on the corneal surface. Sometimes in the first year or so, an enhancement to improve the effect is done. Generally, if vision ever changes over time, it is aging changes in other parts of the eye. The lens of the eye can stiffen and become hazy. This is the most common cause of visual changes after LASIK.


  • The usual sensation after laser vision correction is dryness and irritation. This is improved with artificial tears and time. If there is more than just mild irritation, then Tylenol or Ibuprofen can lessen it in the first few days.


  • After over 25 years, laser vision has shown to be an extremely safe procedure with a high success rate. Most people can eliminate their need for glasses or contacts. The risk of severe vision loss from scarring is negligible.

Doesn’t Correct Astigmatism

  • Laser vision correction is well known to correct high levels of regular astigmatism. Modern lasers are extremely accurate in this type of correction.

All Procedures Are The Same

  • There are different ways to correct nearsightedness and astigmatism with lasers. Some are corneal surface treatments (PRK or LASEK) and some are corneal flap treatments (LASIK). The success rate between the two procedures is the same, however, the laser system used can be different in the various treatments. Alcon Wavelight, VisX Wavefront Optimized, and Nidek are the major lasers in use in the US.

Long Healing

  • Although there are individual human variables, most people reach good vision within the first days or weeks after the surgery. At times, an enhancement of the laser surgery effect is needed. This is not usually done until the cornea healing is stable. This healing can take a year.

Considering LASIKRequest Your Appointment Today!

Overcoming the Fear of LASIK

One of the main roadblocks keeping people from enjoying the benefits of laser vision correction is FEAR. Like President Roosevelt said during the Great Depression, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”!

This can be said of laser vision correction, too. Thinking about how it might feel, reading terrifying anecdotal online stories, and listening to worries by well-meaning friends and family is not always consistent with reported scientific results. Laser Vision Correction has a decades-long history of delivering incredible visual results to most people who are good candidates. Long-term contact lens wear actually has a higher risk profile over one’s life than a once-in-a-lifetime laser vision correction surgery.

The biggest fear that Claris has seen in people considering laser vision correction is pain at the time of the procedure or in the early postoperative period. This fear is unfounded, and people usually say after it is done, “That was it? What was I worried about?” It’s human nature to fear the unknown. The best thing to do is trust the team. Laser Vision Correction offices, like Claris, have done thousands of these procedures and have heard every type of concern. Most concerns never happen!

Another fear is a horrible sight-threatening result. This also is an unfounded fear. The safety profile in modern lasers is incredibly high. The success rate is, likewise, incredibly high. At Claris, we know of nobody in the Twin Cities metro area that has experienced profound visual loss or blindness. But the laser is not perfect in every way. It may not eliminate glasses or contacts for all activities. There can be irritation and dryness that must be addressed in the healing period. Enhancements to achieve the best vision are still done in a low percentage of patients.

With the right expectations, Laser Vision Correction can be a positive lifestyle-changing event. We live in an active generation. The ability to see without correction for outdoor activities, sports, or family activities has been called “priceless” by many people after laser vision correction. What are you waiting for? Make an appointment to see if you are a suitable candidate!

Woman's eye and high-tech concept representing LASIK surgery

Contoura® Vision – Topographic Guided LASIK Treatments for Nearsightedness & Astigmatism

Woman's eye and high-tech concept representing LASIK surgery

Five years ago, Alcon Laboratories Inc released the Contoura® upgrade using the Wave-light EX500 Excimer laser.

Since that time, the results have been incredible. 92% of eyes achieve 20/20 unaided vision and 65% can even achieve 20/15 unaided vision! Of great importance, 30% of eyes have better vision than with glasses or contacts. This type of success rate has not been consistently reached with previous laser systems. Over 98% are very happy with their vision and would do the Contoura® procedure again.

How is this success rate achieved? Contoura® is a topographic guided corneal treatment utilizing the Alcon Wave-light EX500 laser. Every cornea is unique, just like every fingerprint is unique.

Sophisticated corneal measurements are made using thousands of points of data. This creates a treatment plan specific to every person. The goal is to make the eye surface as smooth and uniform as possible. Attempting to create the “closest” to perfect cornea, translates to the best possible vision.

The truth is, no two eyes are the same

Each one is unique

That is why the type of laser treatment matters.

Considering Countoura®? Request Your Appointment Today!

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