Laser Vision Correction
Clear Vision is in sight
About Laser Vision Correction
Today, millions of Americans are seeing better with the help of Laser Vision Correction and LASIK, procedures that are performed in a matter of minutes and can provide years of freedom from the hassle and expense of glasses and contact lenses. Depending on your desired outcome as well as the health of your eyes, Dr. Collins’ advanced fellowship training allows him to offer a variety of Laser Vision Correction procedures.
Who is a Good Candidate?
- Be at least 18 years of age or older
- Have a stable prescription for at least one year prior to your procedure
- Be free of any diseases of the eye that will alter your results
- Have reasonable and realistic expectations
If you answered “Yes” to these questions, you are probably a candidate for Laser Vision Correction. Schedule your complimentary consultation today and meet one-on-one with Dr. Collins to discuss your options.
Rather speak to someone in person? Call us at 239-936-4706, option 4. Day or night, we’re available to speak to you.
The Consultation Process
Laser Vision Correction Options
LASIK or Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis, but that’s a mouthful! LASIK takes the award for the World’s Most Popular Elective Surgery, an honor it has rightfully earned due to a quick and painless surgical procedure and almost instantaneous results.
During LASIK, Dr. Collins uses a femtosecond laser to create a thin, protective corneal flap. Then, a separate excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea and correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Afterwards, the flap is put back into place.
ASA, or Advanced Surface Ablation, is essentially flapless LASIK and can be a great option for patients that have been told they have thin corneas, have had previous LASIK, or have chronic dry eyes. As with LASIK, an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea and correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The difference is that, with ASA, the epithelial layer of your cornea is gently removed before using the excimer laser and a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye for comfort while your cornea grows back over the treated area. The end results are the same, but ASA does require a slightly longer healing process.
Around the age of 40, the inevitable happens and we start to lose our ability to focus on near objects. This is called presbyopia. Activities like reading restaurant menus, texting on our cell phones, and working on the computer all become progressively more frustrating. Blended Vision is a technique used in both LASIK and ASA to help decrease a person dependence on these glasses by setting the non-dominant eye to see better at intermediate range (arm’s length) and the dominant eye set to see better in the distance. Your brain blends these two streams of information together smoothly so that you’re not conscious of having different visual ability in each eye.
While most people are candidates for LASIK or ASA, some extreme hyperopic (farsighted) patients or certain presbyopic patients might benefit more from a Refractive Lens Exchange. The benefits of a Refractive Lens Exchange can be two-fold: it is able to correct both near and distance vision as well as eliminate the development of cataracts later on in life. The procedure itself is virtually the same as cataract surgery with the eye’s natural crystalline lens being replaced with an artificial intraocular lens.
Are you a candidate for LASIK?
Find out more by answering a few questions.
Laser Vision Correction FAQs
Generally speaking, to be a good candidate for Laser Correction you should:
- Be at least 18 years of age or older.
- Have a stable prescription for at least one year prior to your procedure.
- Be free of any diseases of the eye that will alter you results.
- Have reasonable and realistic expectations.
- Anyone whose prescription is actively changing, especially more than one diopter per year.
- Pregnant or nursing mothers with unstable refractions.
- Someone with unrealistic post-surgical expectations. Although most of our patients are able to see 20/20 or better after surgery, no surgeon is able to guarantee post-surgical results.
- Anyone with an uncontrolled or untreated eye disease. Certain corneal dystrophies or a history or herpetic keratitis (a herpes infection in the eye) may be relative contraindications, as are certain arthritic syndromes and other autoimmune disorders.
Both procedures use the excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The difference is that, with ASA, the epithelial layer of your cornea is gently removed before using the excimer laser and a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye for comfort while your cornea grows back over the treated area. In comparison, an additional laser called a femtosecond laser is used during LASIK to create a thin, protective corneal flap before using the excimer laser and then the flap is replaced, eliminating the need for a bandage contact lens. The long-term results of both procedures are the same but visual recovery with LASIK is usually faster, with less discomfort.
There is usually no pain or discomfort during your LASIK or ASA surgery. The eye is anesthetized with numbing drops at the start of the procedure. Pressure can be felt, but it is not uncomfortable.
One of the things that patients always find surprising is quickness of the procedure. We regularly hear from patients “That was it??”!
For LASIK, surgery usually takes less than 20 minutes. For ASA, the length of time is usually even shorter, although you can still expect to be at St. Mark’s for about an hour to an hour and a half from start to finish.
Yes, if bilateral surgery is being performed, both eyes will usually be corrected on the same day. The results are so predictable and the procedure so safe that most people undergoing surgery prefer to have both eyes corrected on the same day. It also restores your balanced vision as quickly as possible.
This is one of our most common questions, and thankfully, nothing you need to worry about. Our excimer laser has built-in tracking device able to adjust the placement of the laser, if and when, your eye makes any involuntary movements. If your eye were to move too far out of range, the laser simply stops until it can get back on target and then restart exactly where we left off.
The only type of anesthesia used is anesthetic eye drops. These are very effective in making this a truly painless surgery. It’s normal to feel a little nervous! During your pre-operative visit, you will receive a prescription medication to take by mouth 30 minutes prior to arriving at St. Marks to help ease your nerves.
Yes. The surgical technique will not change, but your lens implant options may and a different formula to determine your lens implant power will be used.
Your likelihood of avoiding the need for eyewear is excellent but it also depends on the severity of your prescription or correction. You may still need to wear glasses and, as you get older, you will most likely require reading glasses to see up close.
Once your eye has stabilized, the laser vision correction is permanent. Any additional need for glasses after that will usually be the result of normal aging process and not related to any instability of your procedure’s outcome.
No. Unfortunately, among the many LASIK eye surgery benefits, the prevention of cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, or any other eye disease is not included.
Depending on the severity of your dry eyes, ASA may be recommended over LASIK because it is thought that making the flap can exacerbate dry eye symptoms After the procedure, your operated eye may feel temporarily drier because the corneal nerves have been cut, causing the eye to produce fewer tears. This condition is usually temporary and typically lasts three to six months. It’s important, especially during this time, to take steps to reduce your dry eye symptoms through the use of Omega 3’s as well as artificial tears.
Most LASIK patients see clearly within 24 hours of surgery and are able to drive after their first-day post-operative exam. Many return to work and resume normal activities within a few days of LASIK. The results of the surgery will take several weeks to stabilize completely. For ASA patients, this process takes a little longer. Most can drive 3-4 days after surgery and see their best visual outcome within 4 to 6 weeks.
We suggest that the patient go home immediately after surgery and take the weekend to relax. We ask that patients do not swim and avoid dirty, dusty, and smoky environments for two weeks. If you’re having LASIK surgery, we will also give you protective, clear shields to place over your eyes at night during the first week to keep you from inadvertently rubbing them.
What To Expect During Surgery
Surgery is performed at St. Marks Surgical Center, located a just few blocks away from our main office in Fort Myers. When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a familiar Collins Vision face, who will administer a series of eye drops in preparation for your procedure. She’ll also take the time to review your post-operative instructions again and answer any last minute questions you may have. Dr. Collins will also be there to greet you, let you know what to expect in the operating room, and make sure you feel comfortable.
In the operating room, Dr. Collins will first use a femtosecond laser to create a hinged corneal flap. This is opposed to some practices who use a manual blade instead of a laser to create the flap. Using a laser adds a layer of precision and safety during your LASIK surgery and greatly reduces any risks associated with manual flap creation.
After the flap is gently lifted back, Dr. Collins uses the calibrated excimer laser to remove microscopic particles of the underlying corneal tissue, thereby re-contouring the curvature of the cornea. This corrects the refractive error that is causing myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and / or astigmatism. Once Dr. Collins is satisfied with the newly shaped cornea, he carefully replaces the corneal flap back in its original position, where it naturally re-bonds to the eye without the need for sutures.
LASIK patients generally notice a dramatic improvement in their vision within 24 to 48 hours after surgery. They are often able to reduce their daily dependence on prescription glasses or contact lenses. While no surgeon can promise 20/20 vision or better, Collins Vision exceeds the national average of satisfied patients.
The process is similar, but there’s no need to create a corneal flap. Instead, the epithelial layer of your cornea is gently removed before using the excimer laser and a bandage contact lens is placed on the eye for comfort while your cornea grows back over the treated area. The end results are the same, but ASA does require a slightly longer healing process.
The decision to have Laser Vision Correction is an investment but, in many cases, can pay for itself. Here is an estimated cost comparison for glasses and contact lenses over a 15 year period.
At Collins Vision, we believe financial considerations should not hinder your desire to obtain your best visual outcomes. If you are considering Laser Vision Correction, we offer interest-free financing through both Alphaeon and Care Credit. To learn more or to apply, click on the logos below.
Laser Vision Correction Testimonials
Having Laser Vision Correction Surgery was the BEST decision I've ever made. Now my life is so much easier and my vision is PERFECT. I'm getting married in a few months and I'm so excited because I will be able to see all my family and friends with perfect vision. That's a brides dream! The best part is that I can go on my honeymoon and not have to be hassled with packing saline solution, contacts and glasses. I feel FREE! Before going into surgery, Dr. Collins explained the entire Laser Correction procedure to me. That eased my mind and my nerves because I knew exactly what to expect. I'm so thankful to have Dr. Collins as my doctor. I'm forever grateful to Dr. Collins. His attention to detail, dedication and customized care is what makes him stand apart. I feel proud to say that Dr. Michael Collins is my eye doctor! Laser Vision Correction was the greatest gift I ever gave myself. Its completely changed my life. I LOVE my new visual freedom!The Bachelor
July 10, 2009 will go down in my history book for the greatest day of my life. Before that day I was wearing glasses for 12 years. I was 11 when I started wearing glasses. At age 21, I just couldn't take it anymore- buying expensive glasses, breaking them, contacts getting stuck in my eyes...having to depend on glasses everywhere I went was not cool to me anymore! So, I started looking for options. I googled LASIK Eye Surgery and found that Dr. Collins was in my city and scheduled a free consultation on Mon. June 29th. Dr. Collins told me that I was qualified for the new Blade-Free IntraLase custom Lasik procedure, so I didn't hesitate to set up my surgery date. On July 10th, 2009, at 9:56 am, I took my glasses off for the last time. After the procedure I was taken to a room where Dr. Collins examined my eyes after the surgery. In that room there was a clock. I saw this clock and the time as clear as day, at that moment I was shocked and amazed to see clear just minutes after the procedure. I was filled with tears of joy and happiness. I couldn't thank him enough for giving me what I thought would be gone forever, back to me. I AM NOW FREE FROM GLASSES AND CONTACTS, and it feels GREAT! I recommend this procedure to anyone that I see wearing glasses and is ready for a drastic change in their life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I don't know how to explain the professionalism one feels in Dr. Michael J. Collins presence. Not only have I had LASIK surgery, but my two fine sons as well. All with perfect results- 20 20 vision. He is without a doubt one of the finest and gifted surgeons we are blessed to have in this area. From the first meeting I was put at ease with his knowledgeable and helpful staff. At no time did I question his expertise in this gratifying field. The gift of sight is that in itself "A Gift". I wish this for many with no hesitation.
After wearing glasses (almost my entire life) I had someone that I know stop and say, "You look amazing. Your eyes are so beautiful and clear!" This was the first time I had a compliment about my eyes with or without my glasses. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Dr. Collins and his friendly and quite professional staff. He did a great job. I must say that I went to several other Doctors in the area before choosing Dr. Collins. I loved his care especially the personal phone call after my surgery to make sure I was doing ok. He really cares about each patient and so does all of the staff at his office. I will recommend Dr. Collins to everyone.
I can't say enough good things about Collins Vision. The entire staff is very knowledgeable, professional and caring. Show up on time----they see you on time! They take the time to clearly explain everything to you and anticipate your questions, concerns, and needs. I was additionally impressed a few hours after my successful LASIK surgery when Dr. Collins personally called me at my home to make sure all was well with me and the surgery. That is first class service! I am very thankful and fortunate to be a patient of Dr. Collins.