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Alexandria: 703-660-9494
Arlington:   703-413-1400
Falls Church:  703-573-1200
Reston: 703-467-9080

LASIK, Custom LASIK, and Bladeless LASIK

Perhaps the most exciting advance in vision care has been the advent of refractive surgery. With the development of the excimer laser, correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism has finally become a realistic option for most individuals who would like to replace their eyeglasses and contact lenses.

Our doctors are highly experienced LASIK specialists. They perform an initial evaluation to determine if an individual is a good candidate for laser vision correction, and they provide exceptional pre- and post-operative care for patients undergoing LASIK and other forms of laser eye surgery. Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry is proud of its long association with TLC Laser Eye Centers (TLC) and Dr. Andrew Holzman in providing laser vision correction to our patients.

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LASIK (laser-assisted-in-situ keratomileusis) is a highly effective outpatient procedure suitable for most patients with low, moderate and higher prescriptions. LASIK uses a cool beam of light from the excimer laser to gently reshape the front surface (cornea) of the eye. The cornea is the transparent dome-like structure that covers the iris and pupil of your eye. By creating a flap in the cornea, the surgeon is able to treat the inner layer of the cornea with a laser, allowing for a rapid visual recovery. Total procedure time is 15 to 20 minutes per eye.

A LASIK Procedure

  • Anesthetic drops are applied to the eye.
  • A thin, protective flap is created and gently lifted by the surgeon, revealing the inner corneal tissue.
  • Computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light are applied to the inner layers of the cornea. The inner corneal layer is reshaped with the laser.
  • The surgeon gently replaces the flap and aligns it to its original position, where it heals naturally and securely.
  • After LASIK, some patients may feel slight irritation for a few hours. Most patients are quite comfortable after a nap and rest.

TLC Laser Eye Centers (TLC) is the largest provider of laser vision correction in North America -- offering patients the broadest choice of FDA approved technology for laser eye surgery available anywhere. Our patients can select from TLC centers in Tyson’s Corner in Virginia and in Rockville in Maryland. With more than 80 TLC centers across the U.S., our commitment to our patients can go with them wherever they go through TLC’s Lifetime Commitment, eliminating the need for expensive and time-consuming travel should they require an enhancement.

Custom LASIK

Custom LASIK enables further customization of the conventional LASIK procedure. This may result in patients seeing clearer and sharper than ever before. FDA studies show that Custom LASIK may produce better vision than is possible with contact lenses or glasses.

Custom LASIK uses a wavefront analyzer to measure the way light travels through your eye. The wavefront analyzer creates a customized three-dimensional ‘map’ of your eye. This map provides information about the unique visual characteristics of your eye which adds an additional level of data about your vision, enabling your surgeon to further customize your vision correction.

In clinical studies, Custom LASIK has been able to provide patients with:

  • A greater chance of having 20/20 vision
  • The potential for better vision than is possible with contacts or glasses
  • Reduced incidence of glare and halos
  • Potentially better overall vision, even at night

Clinical studies have shown that Custom LASIK may improve not only what you see but also how well you see it. In the past,  vision was measured using a standard eye chart to determine how well you could see. Many patients who have had Custom LASIK report the ability to see clearer than ever before.

Several types of visual imperfections -- known as lower- and higher-order aberrations -- exist within the eye and may affect your vision. These aberrations vary from person to person. Previously, only lower-order aberrations (such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism) could be measured and treated. Custom LASIK permits the treatment of higher-order aberrations that may have a significant impact on vision and have been linked to glare and halos. Your doctor will recommend the best procedure for you based on your unique vision problems.

Bladeless LASIK

Bladeless LASIK using the IntraLase® laser is now available in conjunction with LASIK and Custom LASIK procedures. During LASIK and Custom LASIK procedures, a flap of corneal tissue is created and then folded back. With bladeless LASIK, the surgeon uses a laser, instead of a blade, to create the corneal flap. This technology makes it possible to treat some individuals with thin corneas who were previously turned away.

Clinical studies have shown that bladeless LASIK may reduce the incidence of dry eye symptoms. Bladeless LASIK has been used in more than 1 million LASIK procedures worldwide, with more than 100,000 performed at TLC alone. Ask your doctor if you might be able to benefit from bladeless LASIK.