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Dr. Ronan Conlon is a locally based ophthalmologist who has been pioneering LASIK surgery in Saskatchewan for over 25 years. He has an unparalleled level of expertise and has performed an impressive 40,000 refractive laser surgeries, making him one of the most experienced LASIK surgeons in Canada.
Since opening his practice in 1995, Dr. Conlon has gained a reputation as a skilled and innovative surgeon, providing top-quality eye care to his patients. His extensive experience in refractive surgery has established him as a leader in his field, both locally and internationally.
Dr. Conlon’s dedication to his craft is evident in the countless patients he has helped achieve improved vision through LASIK surgery. His years of experience and expertise provide peace of mind for those seeking laser eye surgery in Saskatchewan, knowing they are in the hands of one of the most experienced surgeons in the country.
Overall, Dr. Ronan Conlon’s long-standing reputation as a leader in refractive laser surgery in Saskatchewan, and his impressive number of successful cases, highlight his exceptional skills as a surgeon. Patients can trust in his expertise and experience to provide the best possible outcomes for their vision needs.
LASIK 101: Unveiling the Path to Clearer Vision
- LASIK, short for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, is a popular refractive eye surgery designed to improve vision by reshaping the shape of your cornea using a precise laser.
- This Health Canada-approved procedure has been transforming lives for over two decades, allowing millions worldwide to enjoy clear vision without relying on other corrective lenses or eyewear.
- LASIK is an excellent option for individuals with common vision problems such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
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Benefits of LASIK
One of the most significant advantages of LASIK surgery is the potential for improved vision. Many patients achieve 20/20 vision or better after the procedure, experiencing a dramatic enhancement in their quality of life.
Freedom from Glasses and Contact Lenses
Many individuals who undergo LASIK surgery can say goodbye to the daily hassles associated with glasses and wear contact lenses only. This newfound freedom can open up opportunities for various activities, including sports, outdoor adventures, and even enjoying a 3D movie without the inconvenience of wearing glasses over 3D glasses.
Moreover, the long-term cost savings of not purchasing glasses, contact lens lenses, and cleaning solutions can be significant.
Quick Recovery Time
One of the most appealing aspects of LASIK is the relatively quick recovery time. Most patients experience improved vision within 24 hours of the procedure and can return to their normal activities shortly thereafter.
The laser surgery itself is minimally invasive, often lasting only 10-15 minutes per eye, with minimal discomfort.
LASIK provides long-lasting results for most patients. While no surgical procedure can guarantee perfect vision for a lifetime, LASIK has a proven track record of stability, with many patients enjoying the benefits of clear vision for years or even decades.
In some cases, minor touch-up procedures or enhancements may be necessary, such as laser vision correction, but these are generally the exception rather than the rule.
Candidacy for LASIK Surgery
Ideal candidates for LASIK eye surgery should meet the following criteria:
At least 18 years of age
Stable vision for at least one year
Healthy eyes free from eye diseases or corneal abnormalities
Adequate corneal thickness
Not pregnant or nursing
Patients with severe dry eye syndrome, uncontrolled glaucoma, or other eye conditions may not be suitable candidates for LASIK surgery.
Our LASIK Procedure
- Our clinic is committed to using the latest advances in LASIK technology to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients.
- We utilize cutting-edge laser systems, such as the femtosecond laser for creating the corneal flap and the excimer and laser beam for corneal reshaping.
- These advanced technologies allow for unparalleled precision and accuracy, resulting in improved visual outcomes and a reduced risk of complications.
Personalized Treatment Plan
Wavefront technology is an advanced method used in modern LASIK surgery that creates a personalized treatment plan tailored to each patient’s unique eyes and vision needs.
By analyzing the eye’s optical aberrations, or imperfections, Wavefront provides a detailed map of the eye’s visual system, allowing surgeons to perform precise and customized treatments that lead to better patient visual outcomes.
In addition to wavefront technology, other advanced tools and techniques may be incorporated into the personalized LASIK treatment plan, such as:
Femtosecond laser technology: A femtosecond laser can create the corneal flap in bladeless LASIK procedures, offering increased precision and reduced risk of complications compared to traditional microkeratome-based methods.
Customized treatment algorithms: Surgeons can use advanced software algorithms to optimize the LASIK treatment plan, considering corneal thickness, pupil size, and the patient’s specific refractive errors.
Eye-tracking technology: Modern LASIK systems are equipped with sophisticated eye-tracking systems that monitor and adjust for involuntary eye movements during the procedure, ensuring that the laser treatment remains accurate and precise.
The LASIK Process: Step-by-Step
We have outlined the key steps, from the initial consultation to post-operative care, to provide a comprehensive understanding of what you can expect during your LASIK journey.
Step 1: Preoperative Assessment
Before the procedure, a comprehensive eye examination is conducted to evaluate the patient’s eye health, corneal thickness, and pupil size. This assessment of normal vision helps determine if the patient’s blurry vision is suitable for LASIK laser eye surgery afterwards.
Step 2: Creating the Corneal Flap
During the eye surgery, the eye is numbed using anesthetic eye drops. The surgeon then using laser eye surgery, creates a thin corneal flap using a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. This flap is carefully lifted to expose the underlying corneal tissue.
Step 3: Reshaping the Cornea
The excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea to correct vision based on the patient’s own vision prescription alone. The laser precisely removes microscopic layers of corneal tissue, modifying the cornea’s curvature to improve vision.
Step 4: Repositioning the Corneal Flap
After reshaping the cornea, the eye surgeon carefully repositions the corneal flap, which naturally adheres to the cornea without stitches.
Step 5: Post-Operative Care and Follow-Up
After the LASIK procedure, you will receive post-operative instructions and medications to ensure a smooth recovery.
Most patients notice an immediate improvement in their vision, with optimal results typically achieved within a few weeks.
Following all post-operative guidelines, attending scheduled follow-up appointments, and reporting any concerns to our medical team is essential. By adhering to these instructions, you can enjoy the long-lasting benefits of clear vision.
LASIK vs. Other Refractive Eye Surgeries
There are several other refractive surgery and eye surgery options available, including:
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy): Like LASIK, PRK reshapes the cornea using an excimer laser. However, the surgeon removes the cornea’s outer layer (epithelium) before the laser treatment instead of creating a corneal flap. PRK may be a better option for patients with thin corneas or those involved in high-impact activities.
LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileileusis): LASEK is a hybrid procedure combining LASIK and PRK. In LASEK, the surgeon creates an ultra-thin flap of the epithelium, which is lifted and preserved during the laser treatment. LASEK may be suitable for patients with thin corneas or not candidates for LASIK.
SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction): SMILE is a minimally invasive, flapless procedure that uses a femtosecond laser to create a small lenticule within the cornea. The lenticule is removed through a small incision, resulting in a reshaped cornea. SMILE is primarily used to correct nearsightedness and may be an alternative for patients not candidates for LASIK or PRK.
- Refractive Lens Exchange: Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) or Clear Lens Replacement: A refractive lens exchange procedure where the surgeon removes the natural lens of the eye, with an artificial lens (or implant) which corrects the refractive error the eye (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia), which allow the patient to see clearly without glasses.
Conditions LASIK Can Treat
LASIK has proven to be an effective treatment for various refractive errors, helping millions worldwide achieve clearer vision. Below, we explore the common vision problems and refractive surgery that LASIK can effectively treat.
Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a condition where close objects appear clear, but distant objects appear blurry. This occurs when the cornea has a steep curvature or when the eye is longer than usual, causing light rays to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. LASIK can correct myopia by flattening the shape of your cornea, allowing light to focus correctly on the retina, and improving distance vision.
Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is the opposite of nearsightedness. People with hyperopia can see distant objects clearly but struggle to focus on nearby objects.
This condition occurs when the cornea is too flat or the eye is shorter than usual, causing light to focus behind the retina. LASIK can treat hyperopia by making the cornea steeper, enabling light to focus properly on the retina and enhancing near vision.
Astigmatism is a common vision problem caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens, leading to blurry or distorted vision at all distances. With astigmatism, light rays do not focus on a single point on the retina, resulting in distorted images.
LASIK can correct astigmatism by reshaping the cornea to create a more even and symmetrical surface, allowing light to focus accurately on the retina and improving overall vision clarity.
It is important to note that while LASIK can effectively treat these common refractive errors, it may not be the best solution for everyone. Factors such as age, eye health, and the severity of the refractive error can influence whether LASIK is a suitable treatment option.
Our experienced team at the Conlon Eye Institute will assess your situation during your consultation and advise on the most appropriate course of action for your vision needs.
Presbyopia and Monovision
Presbyopia is an age-related vision condition that affects the ability to focus on near objects. It occurs as the lens inside the eye loses flexibility, making shifting focus between near and far distances difficult. While LASIK does not directly correct presbyopia, it can be used in monovision to help those struggling with this condition.
Monovision involves correcting one eye for distance vision (usually the dominant eye) and the other eye for near vision. This approach allows the brain to adapt and choose the appropriate eye to use depending on the viewing distance. While monovision may not provide the same level of clarity as bifocal or multifocal lenses, many people find it to be a convenient solution to address presbyopia without relying on reading glasses.
Before opting for monovision, discussing the potential benefits and drawbacks with our experienced ophthalmologists is crucial. They may recommend a trial with contact lenses to simulate monovision, allowing you to determine if this approach is suitable for your lifestyle and vision needs. If you find monovision to be a comfortable and effective solution, LASIK can be used to make the necessary adjustments to your eyes, providing a long-lasting solution to presbyopia.
Safety and Potential Risks
As with any surgical procedure, LASIK has potential risks and side effects. Our commitment to using advanced technology, experienced surgeons, and personalized treatment plans significantly reduces these risks.
However, being aware of potential complications, such as dry eyes, glare, or halos, and discussing any concerns with an eye doctor and our team during your consultation is important.
Rest assured; our primary goal is to provide a safe and effective LASIK experience that improves vision and quality of life.
The Importance of Selecting the Right LASIK Provider
Choosing the right LASIK provider is crucial to achieving the best possible results and ensuring your safety. When evaluating potential providers, consider the following factors:
Experience and Expertise
Select a provider with a team of experienced, board-certified ophthalmologists specializing in LASIK surgery. Verify their credentials and track record of successful outcomes to ensure you are entrusting your vision to skilled professionals.
The technology used by a LASIK provider can significantly impact the quality of your results. Opt for a clinic that utilizes state-of-the-art laser systems and is committed to staying at the forefront of advancements in LASIK technology.
Your vision needs and goals are unique, and your LASIK provider should recognize this by offering personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific requirements.
A thorough pre-operative assessment and consultation are essential to developing a customized plan that will yield the best possible results.
Reputation and Patient Satisfaction
Research the provider’s reputation by reading patient reviews and testimonials. Positive feedback from previous patients can provide valuable insights into the quality of care and outcomes you can expect.
Transparent Pricing and Financing Options
LASIK can be a significant investment, so choosing a provider that offers transparent pricing and a range of financing options to suit your budget is essential. Make sure you understand the costs associated with the procedure and any additional fees that may apply.
Q: What is LASIK surgery?
A: Known as laser eye surgery, Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK), is a corrective procedure for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Reducing or eliminating the need for corrective eyewear, it is the most common vision corrective surgery. LASIK refocuses light entering the eye to a single point, using a thin corneal flap, thus sharpening vision. With minimal discomfort, vision is typically restored within 24 hours.
Q: What requirements make a good LASIK candidate?
A: We offer complimentary consultations to assess eligibility for LASIK and to answer patient questions. To be considered for LASIK a candidate must exhibit:
- Healthy eyes
- Adequate corneal thickness
- Age of 18 years or above
- Stable vision for a year or more
- Overall good health
- Realistic surgery expectations
Q: How safe is LASIK?
A: Health Canada recognizes laser eye surgery as an effective treatment for refractive vision errors. Studies suggest that long-term minor complications occur at a rate of 3% to 5%. Potential complications include:
- Dry eyes
- Fluctuating vision
- Ectasia – weakening and bulging of the cornea (rare)
- Infection (0.050-0.033% chance)
- Over or under treatment (<2% chance)
Any specific risks for individual cases will be discussed in detail at the complimentary consultation. It is important to highlight pre-existing medical conditions and lifestyle choices during this time, as certain conditions/lifestyles may impact risk levels.
Q: What equipment is used for LASIK?
A: As a laser eye surgery leader, it is integral to remain on the cutting edge of the field’s latest technology. Equipment advancements facilitate the highest quality procedure results. Combined use of the iDesign Refractive Studio, IntraLase, and Star S4 IR® Excimer Laser technologies facilitates these results:
iDesign is a wavefront-guided mapping tool used to measure vision imperfections. It takes a precise measurement or “fingerprint” of the eye, incorporating wavefront aberrometry, corneal topography, autorefractometry, keratometry and pupillometry, for optimal accuracy. This fingerprint improves diagnosis, allowing for a more specialized treatment plan and superior procedural results.
IntraLase® is a brand name femtosecond (one quadrillionth of a second) laser used to make the LASIK corneal flap. IntraLase® is the first technology to create a corneal flap blade-free, using tiny, rapid laser light pulses instead. This technology replaces the microkeratome, an oscillating blade instrument. It eliminates microkeratome associated risks, improving safety and precision while providing improved patient visual results.
STAR S4 IR® Excimer Laser uses ultraviolet energy to disrupt chemical bonds in the cornea without causing any thermal damage to surrounding tissue. Modifying the corneal surface enables light to be focused on the retina, thereby reducing or eliminating the dependence on external eyewear. The ablation is personalized as this laser uses the “fingerprint” collected from the iDesign system, to ensure the most effective outcomes for a variety of patients.
Q: Will it hurt?
A: Undergoing the procedure itself is painless; it does not require general anesthetic, just local anesthetic eye drops. After LASIK, mild irritation for a few hours is common but most LASIK patients don’t need any pain medication.
Q: What will my recovery look like?
A: People can usually return to work one to three days following LASIK. Excluding the day of surgery itself, people may begin driving as soon as they see well enough. Patients can typically drive after their one-day-post-operative visit, where their vision will be checked and confirmation provided. A week post-surgery, makeup may be worn, but to prevent infection, it is advised to wear only new cosmetics.
Q: Are the effects of LASIK permanent? If not, can I have LASIK redone?
A: Post-healing, laser vision correction results are permanent. But laser eye surgery does not protect against natural vision changes that occur post-surgery. Vision may change unrelated to the laser treatment. LASIK and PRK do not interfere with the natural lens and thus do not affect visual conditions developed due to lens aging. Instead, Refractive Lens Exchange is recommended to eliminate such conditions. Therefore, depending on the vision change’s cause, retreatment may be a viable solution, while other treatment options also exist.
Q: How much does laser eye surgery cost?
A: Fees vary depending on the treatment option chosen. We can provide the most accurate cost assessment during a complimentary consultation. At the Conlon Eye Institute, LASIK and PRK is priced at $2200 per eye. Equalized pricing allows for treatment decisions based on the predicted outcomes for best treatment rather than on price differences.
Q: Can I pay in monthly instalments?
A: Laser eye surgery is an investment in your vision, and thus your overall quality of life. At Conlon Eye Institute, we understand that cost may seem prohibitive; however, we can help make your visual goals meet your budget. We offer financing through Medicard, Canada’s Patient Financing Company. Apply here or by brochure in our office. To meet almost every patient’s budget, plans start out at as little as $70 a month. Our trained staff can also work through the process with you. Enquire today.