All About Lasik

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Are you tired of the cost and hassle of wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses? Each year, nearly one million people undergo LASIK eye surgery. LASIK, an acronym for Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, is used to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, and to reduce a person’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses. 

Now, the latest in LASIK eye surgery technology is available at Aloha Laser Vision in Honolulu, Hawaii. Using the state-of-the art WaveLight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser and the WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser, LASIK surgeon Alan Faulkner, MD can help you achieve the sharper, clearer vision you desire with exceptional precision and customization.

As one of the leading providers of LASIK vision correction, we can answer any questions you may have about the procedure, as well as provide you with excellent care from start to finish of treatment. To learn all about LASIK surgery, we invite you to explore the educational sections included throughout this page, or simply contact Aloha Laser Vision today to book a complimentary consultation.

Is LASIK Eye Surgery Right for Me?

If you are considering laser vision correction, we invite you to come in for a complimentary consultation to learn if you are a good candidate for LASIK. During this visit, one of our experienced doctors will perform a preliminary screening, taking several measurements—including pupil size and corneal thickness—to determine if you are eligible for the procedure. He or she will then conduct a thorough eye examination, as well as listen to your goals and educate you on the benefits and potential risks of LASIK. You will also have the chance to ask any questions you may have to fully understand what to expect. Our goal is for you to make an informed decision about your surgery and have realistic expectations of what you can achieve following your procedure. Be assured that before surgery begins, you will meet with your doctor and can ask any additional questions you may have.

Vision Screening

Here are the steps involved in the screening process:

  • You can wear your contacts to the screening; however, if you wish to continue with the comprehensive dilated exam, you must be out of contacts a minimum of three days for soft lenses and one week for toric lenses.
  • To ensure your eligibility for refractive surgery, we will take a short medical history.
  • Your eyes will be examined with an auto-refractor to determine the degree of your refractive error. Also, bring your glasses or contact lenses and information about their power—including copies of past vision prescriptions—in order to establish the stability of your prescription.
  • The thickness and shape of your cornea will be checked with our Pentacam corneal analyzer to find out if your cornea is healthy and thick enough for LASIK eye surgery.
  • Your pupil size will be measured in dim light using an infrared pupillometer to assess your risk of glare, halos, and night vision problems.
  • If you are over 40 years old, or if you wear bifocals or have difficulty focusing on near objects, the option for monovision LASIK will be addressed.

After your LASIK eye surgery screening, Dr. Faulkner will consult with you personally at our practice in Honolulu. First, he will briefly examine your eyes, and then discuss your test results. In order to determine your best options, he will ask about your lifestyle, hobbies, sports activities, and most importantly, your expectations and goals regarding refractive surgery. After this discussion, Dr. Faulkner will give you his opinion about what you can realistically expect to achieve, explain your treatment options, and answer any questions you may have.

Comprehensive Eye Exam

Following your vision screening, a comprehensive eye examination is necessary to ensure that your eyes are healthy and can undergo laser surgery with minimal risk. The exam also confirms the amount of refractive error—nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism—the procedure is intended to correct.

Before your comprehensive eye exam, stop wearing soft contact lenses for three days, toric lenses for one week, or hard or rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses for at least three weeks. The shape of your corneas will stabilize during this time period.

The comprehensive eye exam takes about two hours. During the appointment, your exact refractive error will be determined and your muscle balance and eye pressure checked. Eye drops will then be administered to dilate your eyes and allow us to more thoroughly examine your lens, optic nerves, and retina, in addition to re-checking your refractive error. Re-checking confirms the accuracy of the pre-dilation measurements. Dilation will last several hours, making your vision blurry and your eyes sensitive to light. Sunglasses are recommended afterwards, and we will supply you with disposable tinted shields for your regular glasses.

 

Every patient’s eyes are different and, therefore, need to be evaluated independently and uniquely treated. We now have fully customized all steps of the laser vision correction procedure: custom diagnosis before the procedure, custom flap creation to start the procedure, and custom corneal shaping to complete the procedure.

All-Laser LASIK Technology – WaveLight® Refractive Suite

The WaveLight® Refractive Suite is the most efficient laser system for refractive surgery in the United States. It includes the WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser, WaveLight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser, and Swiveling Patient Bed. The combination of these three technologies produces faster results while reducing the risk of complications during surgery. It allows procedures, such as LASIK and PRK, to be performed with more customization and precision than ever before. To learn more about all-laser LASIK with the WaveLight® Refractive Suite, feel free to watch the videos and read the sections below.

WaveLight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser

The WaveLight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser is the fastest of its kind. It is a reliable and safe device that can create the corneal flap in about six seconds. During the procedure, suction is slowly applied to the eye through the power of two pumps, which leaves patients with little to no discomfort. Through the use of the femtosecond laser, Dr. Faulkner can provide results that are predictable, increasing confidence throughout the procedure.

WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser

With the most hertz of any excimer laser, the WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser is most notable for its impressive speed and ease of use. Its ability to perform faster treatments has even been linked to providing more precise visual results. In addition to its efficiency, the technology has better connectivity over past excimer laser models. It is wireless, making it possible to transfer data among other devices without spending an excessive amount of time inputting the information. As a result, it is also more accurate and provides Dr. Faulkner with more information to utilize during surgery.

Swiveling Patient Bed

The third part of the WaveLight® Refractive Suite is the Swiveling Patient Bed. It was specially designed to use with the EX500 and FS200 lasers, increasing the speed and safety of vision correction surgeries. The functionality of the bed is demonstrated through its swivel ability and adjustable features, such as the headrest and supporting equipment. As a result, there is a shorter transition time between creating the flap and using the excimer laser. Overall, the bed contributes towards the safety of the system as well as increased patient comfort.

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Topography-Guided LASIK with Contoura™ Vision

Aloha Laser Vision continues to bring the latest in laser vision correction technology to our patients. Dr. Faulkner was one of the first eye surgeons in the nation to be trained in and perform Contoura™ Vision topography-guided laser vision correction, and he has now integrated the Alcon WaveLight® ALLEGRO Topolyzer and topography-guided treatment planning software into use at our practice.

This revolutionary platform is the next frontier in customized LASIK, capable of delivering better overall quality of vision for patients with nearsightedness (myopia) and nearsightedness combined with astigmatism. The key to its efficacy is in the diagnostic capabilities of the platform, which can precisely measure and map corneal imperfections to provide a highly personalized LASIK procedure that can yield unparalleled results.

Good candidates for topography-guided LASIK are often those individuals who:

  • Have less than eight diopters of myopia
  • Do not have over three diopters of astigmatism
  • Do not have more than nine diopters of myopia and astigmatism combined
  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Have a stable vision correction prescription
  • Do not have excessively dry eyes

Due to the unparalleled accuracy of topography-guided LASIK procedures, Dr. Faulkner may be able to deliver results that surpass the levels of visual acuity achieved with older methods of LASIK. Studies performed by Alcon® have shown that, of the patients who have undergone topography-guided laser vision correction, 92.7% have achieved 20/20 vision, and of that number, 68.8% achieved 20/16 vision within three months after surgery. Furthermore, clinical trials have also shown a reduction of negative post-treatment visual symptoms.

Ultimately, there is no other procedure with the diagnostic capabilities of topography-guided LASIK, which can translate to the delivery of unparalleled results for proper candidates.

Aloha Laser Vision in Honolulu, Hawaii was one of the first nine centers in the country to offer topography-guided laser vision correction. There are now 350 centers in the United States that have this new technology.

How Do I Prepare for LASIK Surgery?

In preparation for LASIK surgery, you will be instructed to stop wearing soft contact lenses three days to one week before your procedure. Hard contacts or rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses should not be resumed after your comprehensive eye exam. To avoid particles interfering with the laser’s optics or getting into the eye during LASIK surgery, do not wear any perfume, cologne, body spray, or facial make-up (cosmetics) on the day of your procedure.

What Does the LASIK Procedure Entail?

On the day of your LASIK surgery, a final eye examination will be performed in order to verify previously recorded data regarding your vision. A mild oral sedative will then be given, and  powerful anesthetic eye drops will be administered to numb your cornea.

All About LASIK: Real People Share Their LASIK Experiences

Watch the video below to see what REAL people have to say about their experience with LASIK.


The actual LASIK procedure is a two-step process. In the first step, Dr. Faulkner will utilize the guided WaveLight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser to precisely create a customized corneal flap in approximately six seconds (per eye). Next, he will fold the flap out of the treatment zone, exposing the inner corneal tissue to the WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser, which is used to gently reshape the cornea and correct refractive errors based on your unique needs. Once corneal reshaping is complete, the flap is returned to its original position where it bonds without the need for stitches.

Thanks to the exceptional precision and efficiency of laser technology, the entire LASIK procedure takes only about 10 minutes to perform here at Aloha Laser Vision. Upon completion, you will be taken back to the pre-op area and discharged.

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What is Recovery After LASIK Surgery Like? 

Immediately following your LASIK surgery, you can expect slightly blurred vision. It is normal to experience minor discomfort after your procedure, and we recommend you sleep for several hours after, or rest with your eyes closed. Typically, patients are able to drive to their next-day checkup and can return to work after their followup appointment.

For the first week, you should wear protective eye shields, and you will be prescribed eye drops to use for five to seven days. It is important that during this time you avoid eye rubbing, as well as swimming or getting unsanitary water in your eyes. If you play contact sports, you will need to wear protective goggles for between six months to a year.

How Much Does LASIK Surgery Cost?

Since LASIK surgery is completely customized here at Aloha Laser Vision, exact pricing varies from patient to patient and can only be determined once a personalized treatment plan has been created.

It is important to note that although LASIK is a significant investment, a lifetime of glasses and/or contact lenses is considerably more expensive. In addition, the difference between the cheapest and the best LASIK surgery center may only be a few dollars a month in the long run. A properly equipped and well-designed laser facility along with a well-trained, experienced staff is a considerable investment, but all of these features are necessary to achieve consistently good results.

For those interested in financing for LASIK surgery, we are pleased to offer Alphaeon™ Credit, which provides several budget-friendly monthly payment plans with little to no interest rates. Our LASIK counselors can assist you with finding an affordable payment option that fits your unique budget.

How Do I Choose a LASIK Surgeon?

Choosing the right LASIK surgeon is a personal decision, but there are a few requirements you should insist on. Your surgeon should be board-certified, have experience performing the LASIK procedure, and have an outstanding track record (that includes a complication rate of less than one to two percent). Before picking a surgeon, we encourage you to pose the following questions to any doctors you are considering to perform your LASIK surgery:

  • Do you only specialize in LASIK surgery?
  • Do you offer non-surgical LASIK alternatives?
  • Do you routinely perform any other ophthalmic procedures?
  • Which laser do you use for LASIK and why?
  • Is your laser updated regularly?
  • Are routine follow-up visits for one year included in the overall procedure cost?
  • Will you consult with me during my preliminary screening and see me during my follow-up visits?
  • What percentage of patients require additional enhancements after the initial LASIK surgery, and are these touch-ups included in the overall fee?
  • Do you track your results?

These questions—and any others you think of—should help reveal important information you will need to make the most educated decision about your LASIK practice and practitioner. Most importantly, we suggest you only choose a LASIK surgeon you feel comfortable with and can communicate with clearly.

Dr. Alan Faulkner, our award-winning LASIK surgeon at Aloha Laser Vision, is committed to providing his patients with only the highest-quality treatments and procedures to improve and optimize vision. When you choose Dr. Faulkner for your LASIK procedure, you can feel confident that you have chosen one of the best eye surgeons available. Our patients consistently refer friends and family to Dr. Faulkner and take pride in leaving outstanding online ratings and reviews about their experiences.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Faulkner, please contact Aloha Laser Vision today.

LASIK in the Military

Laser vision correction can be a tremendous benefit to men and women who serve in our military. LASIK has been approved by all branches of the military as a viable option for improving vision without the need for glasses or contacts. At Aloha Laser Vision, we offer treatment discounts to active members of the U.S. Military.

Learn More

Additional LASIK Surgery FAQs

In an effort to aid patient education, we have provided answers to many of the most commonly asked questions about the LASIK procedure. Simply click on the links provided to find answers to specific questions, or scroll through to read responses to all queries.

  • Am I a candidate for LASIK?

    To answer this question, a preliminary screening and consultation with your refractive surgeon is necessary to determine if you are a LASIK candidate. The screening should include corneal mapping, measurement of corneal thickness, and measurement of your pupil size to ensure that your required corrections are within the safe limits. A complete eye exam should also be performed prior to LASIK surgery.

    Your LASIK surgeon should discuss your goals and expectations with you, as well as the risks and benefits of the procedure. You should feel confident with your doctor’s assessment of your anticipated outcome. Since it is the LASIK surgeon who performs the procedure, they are ultimately responsible for your results. You should be comfortable with that person and the information they have provided you before you sign the consent form. Remember, there are no “dumb” questions except those not asked!

  • What is the All-Laser LASIK Procedure I have heard so much about?

    With the addition of the Wavelight® Refractive Suite, we are proud to offer all-laser LASIK. This means, with the FS200 Femtosecond Laser, there is no need for a microkeratome to surgically cut the corneal flap. The special laser works in conjunction with the EX500 Excimer Laser for a vision correction procedure done entirely with state-of-the-art laser technology. The most exciting part is that while offering the ability to get the best results, we are doing it all with unprecedented safety and precision.
  • Can I finally get rid of my glasses?

    It depends on your individual condition. One hundred percent of our LASIK patients have enjoyed significantly improved vision and now have adequate enough vision to drive legally without glasses. When a person reaches the age of 40, he or she normally begins to experience poor reading vision and may require reading glasses. This condition is called presbyopia. Depending on the individual, this may be corrected by monovision LASIK surgery, whereby one eye is corrected for distance and the other for close sight. Ask us if this could work for you. Despite all the advancements in LASIK surgery, not all people can have perfectly corrected vision, and some may still require corrective lenses for certain conditions.
  • Are there risks involved in LASIK surgery?

    Any surgery has risks. Of the more than one million people who had LASIK eye surgery in the United States last year, less than one percent experienced serious complications. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has declared LASIK safe and effective for most corrections. When you consider the risks of LASIK surgery, you should remember that long-term contact lens wear also has risks, including serious infections that may cause loss of vision. Many ophthalmologists believe the long-term risk of contact lens wear may exceed the one-time risk of LASIK.
  • Will LASIK surgery hurt?

    The procedure is virtually painless for most people, though a mild sedative will be offered to make you even more comfortable. Shortly after the LASIK surgery is completed, your eyes will probably be teary, light-sensitive, and may feel like there is something in them. The best thing to do at this point is rest with your eyes closed, or better yet, sleep. When you wake up several hours later or the next day, your eyes may still be a little light sensitive or scratchy, but vision will be greatly improved.
  • How long before I can return to work?

    Most people are able to drive to their follow-up visit and return to work the next day after LASIK surgery. The actual operation takes about 10 minutes.
  • What type of equipment is used during LASIK?

    LASIK is a two step process. First, a corneal flap is created prior to laser treatment. In most laser centers, this is created by the microkeratome, a mechanical device that uses a steel blade. Although microkeratomes have improved considerably over the years, the risk of corneal abrasions, incomplete flaps, and inconsistent flap thickness still exists. Aloha Laser Vision utilizes the advanced WaveLight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser in place of a microkeratome for the majority of LASIK procedures.

    The second step of LASIK surgery is performed with an excimer laser. At Aloha Laser Vision, we use the WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser to correct refractive errors. This is the fastest excimer laser system available today in the U.S. It provides the most accurate results with a lower risk of complications.

  • What is a microkeratome?

    A microkeratome is a mechanical device that creates the corneal flap in LASIK surgery using a steel blade. Its proper functioning is just as important, if not more, than the laser. Flap complications can have significant adverse effects on the outcome of LASIK surgery. These include incomplete or partial flaps; flaps that are too small, thick, or thin; buttonholes; and free caps. Although microkeratomes have advanced greatly, they still have large variations in the size and thickness of the flaps they create and are dependent on the individual eye size and shape, as well as the quality of each individual blade.

    The WaveLight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser is significantly more accurate than the microkeratome in creating predictable flaps and greatly reduces the risk of complications. With the advanced laser, the size and thickness of the flap is not affected by the size and shape of the eye.

  • Is traditional LASIK unsafe?

    The Wavelight® EX500 Excimer Laser and FS200 Femtosecond Laser (the technology involved to make it an all-laser LASIK procedure) reduce the risk of complications reported with traditional LASIK, and we feel that it is very important for our patients. The advanced Wavelight® Refractive Suite technology has given many patients more confidence when considering laser vision correction. Our surgeons recommend the excimer and femtosecond lasers for all of our patients because they provide greater precision and may significantly reduce the possibility of risk.
  • What is tracking?

    Tracking is the ability of a laser to monitor the position of the eye during treatment. There are both “active” and “passive” tracking systems. Passive trackers are less sophisticated and simply turn the laser off if the eye moves beyond a certain point. An active tracker allows the laser to follow the movement of the eye and adjust the laser beam to compensate. Only if the eye moves outside of the range of the tracker does the laser shutdown and then, once the patient is re-aligned, the laser starts out exactly where it left off.

    All of the LASIK surgeries performed in Hawaii before November 2001 were done either without tracking or with the slower video-based systems. Tracking is important because the amount of tissue removed in LASIK surgery is often less than the size of a single human hair; there is little room for error.

  • What types of complications can arise during or after LASIK?

    Like any surgical procedure, complications can occur during or after the procedure.

    Non-Flap-Related

    Flap-Related

    Flap-related complications are the most common type of complication that occur during or after LASIK.

    During the procedure, possible flap-related complications include:

    • Epithelial abrasions
    • Partial flaps and buttonhole flaps
    • Incorrectly positioned or centered flaps
    • Flaps that are too thin or thick

    After the LASIK procedure, possible flap-related complications include:

    • DLK (Diffuse Lamellar Keratitis)
    • Flap slippage
    • Epithelial ingrowth
  • What types of long-term complications can arise after LASIK?

    Over-correction, under-correction, and regression may occur due to many factors, as treatment is based on the average response. Variations in corneal hydration, individual healing responses, environmental factors, and other unknown circumstances affect outcomes. Most of these conditions can be treated with an enhancement procedure once the eye heals and the refraction becomes stable. Typically, this occurs three to six months after the original procedure. In rare circumstances enhancements may not be possible. Persistent glare, halos, or starbursts are uncommon with larger ablation zones and small beam lasers.
  • Are there alternatives to LASIK surgery?

    Yes there are, but LASIK surgery remains the best option for most people. The most common LASIK alternatives are outlined below:

    PRK: PRK is a surface ablation procedure used for patients whose corneal shape or thickness makes LASIK an inappropriate choice. This procedure is often referred to as “no-cut LASIK.” The recovery time of PRK is often longer than with LASIK. However, PRK may be a better alternative for certain occupations or lifestyles.

    Phakic IOLs or ICLs (Intraocular Contact Lenses): Phakic IOLs and ICLs are, in essence, implantable contact lenses that supplement, rather than replace, the eye’s natural lens.

    Clear Lens Extraction: Clear lens extraction—or refractive lens exchange—is the removal of the natural lens of the eye (as occurs during cataract surgery) with replacement by an intraocular lens implant.

Schedule a Free LASIK Consultation

Aloha Laser Vision is dedicated to meeting the vision needs of our patients by providing safe, high-quality LASIK eye surgery procedures. We are proud to serve patients from Hawaii and beyond, and we look forward to helping you attain optimal vision. If you are interested in LASIK, please fill out and submit the form below to get started on the path to clearer vision with a complimentary consultation.

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