Laser Vision Correction
Laser vision correction may be able to make that dream come true. Also called refractive surgery, laser vision correction reshapes your eye’s cornea (the clear, outer layer) with laser beams so your eyes can focus better. And that means no more eye strain, glasses you can’t stand to wear anymore or contacts you’re tired of taking in and out.
Our eye surgeons (ophthalmologists) are known all over the world for their skill with laser vision correction. We do all types of procedures, including the three most common — LASIK, PRK and SMILE — and can help you decide which one is right for you. Ready to ditch your glasses and make contacts a thing of the past? We can help.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Laser Vision Correction?
We’re a national leader in laser vision correction surgery and are respected worldwide for our skill. Our eye surgeons’ advanced training in refractive surgery means you get exceptional, personalized care and the very best results possible. Meet our team.
We’ve been doing laser eye surgery since the very beginning. Since then, we’ve helped develop new refractive surgery technologies.
We were among the first in Ohio to offer topography-guided laser vision correction. This technology maps out the unique shape of your cornea so we can customize the surgery to your specific needs.
We know that eye surgery can leave even the toughest a bit squeamish. And that’s understandable. Don’t be afraid to ask questions so we can make you feel comfortable and safe.
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named us a top hospital in the world.
Types of Laser Vision Correction Surgery We Offer
Our team uses the latest laser technologies to safely correct your vision by reshaping your cornea. LASIK, PRK and SMILE are three of the most common surgeries we do. All of them are quick (under 20 minutes), and you can usually leave right after we’re done. But you’ll need to have someone drive you home.
LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis)
You might have heard of LASIK before. It’s the most common type of laser vision correction surgery. We use LASIK to treat astigmatism (blurred vision at all distances), nearsightedness and farsightedness. With LASIK, we use a laser to make a thin flap on your cornea to allow a second laser to reshape the tissue underneath. Then we replace the flap for a quick recovery.
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)
In PRK eye surgery, we remove just your cornea’s outer layer (instead of making a flap) to get to the tissue beneath it. Then we reshape your cornea with a laser. Don’t worry. Your body will make a new outer layer for your cornea as you recover.
SMILE (small-incision lenticule extraction)
This alternative to LASIK uses a laser to cut a small disc-shaped piece of tissue (lenticule) in your cornea. We then take the tissue out through a tiny laser incision (cut). Like LASIK and PRK, this changes the way your eye focuses and improves your vision. We may recommend SMILE for nearsightedness or astigmatism depending on your particular needs.
If you’ve had surgery, but your vision still isn’t better, you might need a second surgery (called an enhancement). You also might need enhancement surgery if your natural eye changes and affects your prescription after your first laser vision correction. We’ll work with you to find the best solution for your enhancement treatment.
Who Treat Vision Problems
Preparing for Laser Vision Correction Surgery
Considering laser vision correction surgery? Here’s what to expect at your first appointment.
A technician will review your medical history, answer your questions and give you a complete eye exam. We want to be sure your cornea is healthy enough for surgery. We also want to make sure we know your current eye prescription.
Next, you’ll meet with a surgeon who’ll review advanced imaging tests from your eyes. We need to know how thick your corneas are, how they curve and if they have any imperfections. All of this information helps us decide which type of refractive surgery is right for you.
Finally, your specialist will look at the results of your eye exam and imaging tests and talk with you about which surgery they think is best. And if it turns out that refractive laser surgery isn’t going to work, we’ll talk through other vision correction options that might work better.
What to Expect After Laser Vision Correction Surgery
You shouldn’t feel any pain during any of the procedures. Afterward, you might:
- Have blurry vision for a few days.
- Be sensitive to light for a few hours or days (depending on the type of surgery you had).
- Have dry eyes.
Your provider may give you drops to help. The drops might burn a little or cause blurry vision for just a bit. That’s normal and will go away shortly. It’s important not to use any eye drops other than the ones your provider gives you.
You’ll need to schedule follow-up appointments after surgery so your provider can see how you’re doing. We’ll let you know when you need to come back.
Paying for Laser Vision Correction
Since laser vision correction surgery is an elective (not medically necessary) surgery, it isn’t covered by most insurance plans. Cleveland Clinic does offer payment plans to help manage the cost, though, and some patients can take advantage of flex spending or health savings accounts to reduce the overall cost of the surgery.
Taking the Next Step
If you’re thinking about laser vision correction, we can help. We’ll walk you through the whole process and help you decide if refractive surgery is right for you. And if it’s not, we’ll talk about what alternatives are available. We’re here help you see more clearly.
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