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Enhancements in LASIK - To Lift the Flap or Not

Enhancements in LASIK - To Lift the Flap or Not

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LASIK laser vision correction has been very popular over the last decade. Many people have enjoyed the freedom of vision without glasses or contact lenses. There have been many advances in LASIK including the transition from blade flaps to blade-free laser flaps. According to Dr. Jeffrey Martin of Smithtown, New York in Long Island, Intralase revolutionized flap making in LASIK and took away the most complication-prone portion of the LASIK procedure. We have also seen customization of the LASIK procedure. The LASIK procedure now involves mapping each patient's cornea, as well as automatic centering and tracking of eye movements during the procedure. We even have iris registration for the best possible alignment during LASIK.

With all of the improvements in LASIK surgery over the last few years, surgeons still sometimes need to do enhancements or touch-ups. If patients are not fully corrected after LASIK, Dr. Martin, who is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at SUNY Stony Brook, routinely performs enhancement corrections at no charge at four to six months postoperative. In enhancements, Dr. Jeff Martin used to lift the flap and fix the correction under the flap. It has recently come to light that there is a greater risk of epithelial ingrowth with lifting the flap. Epithelial ingrowth occurs when the skin layer of the eye grows under the flap. Although treatable in most cases, avoidance is the best possible treatment. Therefore, we now do all of our enhancements on the surface of the eye, without lifting the flap. This type of surface enhancement does incur a longer healing time and can be more uncomfortable during healing. However, visual results are excellent and there is less risk of other problems such as epithelial ingrowth.

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