Refractive Surgery

FAQs About LASIK

FAQs about LASIK — Correcting Nearsightedness, Farsightedness, and Astigmatism

What is the ideal age for LASIK?

LASIK can be performed as soon as age 18, but it is preferred to wait until age 21 and the eyeglass prescription must be stable, ideally for two years.

There is no maximum age for LASIK, but patients over 60 often will have cataract formation, and when vision is affecting activities of daily life, cataract surgery is performed, often with an advanced technology, multifocal lens implant.  LASIK can be used to  fine tune the implant results for optimum visual results.

What are contraindications for LASIK?

Any known damage or disease process is likely to be a concern, and at least a relative contraindication to LASIK. Patients who carefully share their medical history create the groundwork for best surgeon/patient relationship, and ultimately the best visual outcome for the individual.  Here are a few of these concerns:

  • Autoimmune diseases can cause corneal problems and healing problems and are an absolute contraindication for the procedure.
  • Pregnancy and nursing can cause changes in the vision prescription, so it is best to wait at least 3 months after weaning before having measurements for LASIK.
  • Ocular herpes is a contraindication to LASIK, but some surgeons may feel it is permissible as long as there has been no activity for over one year, and no corneal scarring is present.
  • Severe dry eye is a relative contraindication to LASIK, but mild cases can often be treated successfully prior to LASIK.

What are the risks of LASIK?

The most feared complication is infection.  Antibiotic eye drops are prescribed to help minimize the risk, which has been quoted at about 1/1000.  It is best to avoid swimming, hot tubs and eye makeup for a week after surgery to help prevent problems.

How long does one need to be out of contact lenses before measurements for LASIK can be done?

The general rule is 2 weeks for soft lenses; and 3 weeks for rigid (Gas Permeable) contacts, plus one week for each decade of wear (for example, out of gas permeable contacts  for 7 weeks if you have been wearing them for 40 years.)

What prescription can LASIK treat?

Myopia, up to 11.0 diopters of correction, with or without astigmatism up to -3 diopters (Contrast vision is diminished after treatment of about 10 diopters, and so phakic intraocular lenses such as Verisyse or Visian lenses may be preferred).

Hyperopia, up to 3 diopters of correction with or without astigmatism up to +2 Diopters.

Mixed astigmatism, up to 5 diopters.  In mixed astigmatism, the unequal curvature of the cornea (and sometimes also the lens inside the eye) results in one meridian of the eye to be farsighted and a second meridian (perpendicular to the first) to be nearsighted.  Mixed astigmatism usually can be successfully treated with LASIK but results might be less predictable than surgical correction of simple nearsighted astigmatism.

Will I still need to wear glasses?

I like to say, “Nothing is as good as original equipment from the manufacturer when you are a teenager!”  Of course, after age 40 everyone is expected to need reading glasses or bifocals.  Some people may need night driving glasses, especially if nearsightedness (myopia) is intentionally under-corrected in older patients to preserve some reading vision without glasses.

What else should I know about LASIK?

There are several ways to approach your quest for better vision and vision without depending on glasses or contact lenses.  We are happy to answer general questions and welcome them here through your comments.

However, questions that are related to your particular health and potential for successful surgery can best be answered through a complimentary evaluation appointment.  At our clinic, you will receive a comprehensive dilated exam with extensive measurements and education.  Your questions can be addressed in real time when you doctor sees your health’s big picture.  At the end of two hours, you will be equipped to proceed with knowledge and confidence.  When we can help you further, please make an appointment through our website, 20better.com, or here. 

When we can help you further, please make an appointment through our website, 20better.com, or here.

Eye Surgeon, Dr. Bajenova

Eye Surgeon and Ophthalmologist, Dr. Bajenova has arranged to see patients in Edmonds on Wednesdays.

Eye Surgeon and Ophthalmologist, Dr. Bajenova has arranged to see patients in Edmonds on Wednesdays.

Dr. Bajenova sees patients in our Arlington Clinic and Surgery Center and also in our Edmonds office See Directions

Dr. Bajenova brings a fresh and professional love for ophthalmology to The Harman Eye Clinic. Her ability to speak fluent Russian and English is a wonderful asset for the Northwest community!

Dr. Bajenova performs refractive surgery including Bladeless CustomVue iLASIK, PRK, medical laser surgery, Refractive Lens Exchange, Cataract Surgery with standard or premium upgrade multifocal lenses and works very closely with our co-managing doctors throughout the northwest to bring about the best in eye surgery and the convenience of local postoperative care. She also provides Avastin and Lucentis injections for macular degeneration patients.

Dr. Bajenova welcomes new patients for refractive surgeryLASIK, PRK and Mutlifocal Premium Lens Implants.Dr. Bajenova is recognized for her unbending desire to give 100% of her attention and energy to any given activity. Dr. Bajenova believes, along with her partners, Dr. Ballon and Dr. Wietharn, that the relationship between doctor and patient is the most important element to successful eye surgery.She holds impressive credentials.

Dr. Bajenova came to the United States from Russia, 1999. She attended Khabarovsk Medical University, Khabarovsk, Russia, 1994-1999. From the University of Washington, she received a Bachelor of Science, cum laude in Biology with minor in Music, 2003. She earned her Doctorate in Medicine, with honors, University of Washington School of Medicine, 2008. Her Ophthalmology Residency was completed in Kellogg Eye Center, Ann Arbor, MI, 2012.

Dr. Bajenova’s philosophy is one that connects closely with her patients. She gets involved in their needs and concerns. She enjoys being a part of her patient’s happiness when they improve their vision.

Committed to Excellence! Dr. Ballon, Dr. Wietharn and Dr. Bajenova are partners and plan to work here at The Harman Eye Clinic until the day they retire. This fact is comforting to patients who seek a commitment and wish to develop a rapport with their eye doctor and surgeon.

LASIK: Nearsighted? Farsighted? Astigmatism?

The first step to understanding what LASIK can do for you is to understand vision disorders.  Eyes are amazing. There are mechanical, biological, anatomical aspects of vision. And, we continue to appreciate how specifically different we each interpret what we see. It is true there are people who have surgery and see explicitly clear by the end of their surgery day, yet we know that patients realize their new surgical vision each within their own time frame.  Much depends on overall health of body and emotions. With this knowledge, the Surgeons and Staff act as “training wheels” during the early postoperative days, and are available until support is no longer needed. It is our honor to work with patients at The Harman Eye Clinic.

To review the differences in vision disorders read more.  Be sure to take advantage of the graphic videos that will help demonstrate each vision condition.

Patients Are The Reason For Our Existence!

What’s the latest in testing for dry eye?

Red, stinging, irritated eyes are often endured rather than treated.  It’s hard to realize that the condition of your tear film directly affects the clarity of your vision.

When you decide to have LASIK, PRK, or  a mutlifocal lens implant,  your Dry Eye Condition can get in the way of achieving the wonderful, clear outcome you desire.

If you wish to learn more about our TearLab read on.  Choosing  LASIK this year is a life-changing decision.  Taking care of your dry eye disease beforehand can be one of the most important things you do for yourself to assure the visual outcome you desire.  Let us know how we can help!

 

Help Us Share The News!

Thank you for your continued confidence. We appreciate your kind words of encouragement. When you think of LASIK or Cataract Surgery, think of The Harman Eye Clinic!

Available Ophthalmology Services with Education Links

iLASIK Refractive Vision Correction: IntraLase bladeless flap maker; VISX S4 Excimer laser with iris recognition and tracking technology:  PRK (penetrating refractive keratoplasty); CustomVue and WavePrint LASIK.

Cataract surgery:  Crystalens AO lens implant; Tecnis multifocal lens implant; Tecnis monofocal aspheric standard lens; Toric lens implant to correct astigmatism;  in addition to cataracts; Bioptics (LASIK after cataract surgery) to refine vision correction and is included in multifocal lens package; LRI (lamellar radial incisions) to correct astigmatism in addition to cataracts

Comprehensive Eye Exams including glasses prescription: Glaucoma, Diabetic,  Macular Degeneration, RetinaDry Eye Syndrome, Cataract, Refractive Evaluations, Functional Eyelid Repair

Intravitreal Injection: Avastin (to treat wet macular degeneration), Lucentis (to treat wet macular degeneration), Triesence, a steroid, (to treat and prevent chronic inflammation), Kenalog, a steroid, ( to treat and prevent chronic inflammaton

Pterygium surgery

Ptosis Repair of eyelids

Therapeutic PTK (PRK) for recurrent erosion of cornea

LASERS:  SLT (Selecta laser trabeculoplasty) for glaucoma; YAG YLI (YAG Laser Iridotomy) for glaucoma; YAG Capsolotomy for posterior capsular opacity PCO (after cataract); YAG Vitreolysis (vitreous has come forward into anterior chamber; this procedure helps it to retract); ARGON focal (specific area of blood vessels is cauterized) stops progression of blood vessels in the peripheral retina (diabetics);  ARGON PRP (diffused area of blood vessels is cauterized) stops progression of blood vessels in retina (diabetes);  ARGON — treating a retina tear (tach welding) creating a little scar so that the retina cannot pull away from that area prophylasis; ARGON retinopexy — creates border around detachment that has started to detach to prevent a full detachment.

Always present for your eye surgery needs,

Dr. Ballon, Dr. Wietharn and Dr. Bajenova!

Request an appointment

Are you a candidate for LASIK?

See if you are eligible for LASIK.

See if you are eligible for LASIK.

Are you a candidate for LASIK vision correction? Refractive Eye Surgery is for patients with healthy eyes. Here are four questions that will help you determine your eligibility:

1) Are you able to see close to 20/20 with glasses? If answer is yes, then you may be a good candidate so far! (If no, read the last paragraph).

2) Do you consider your vision to be normal with the exception of glasses? If you answered yes you may be a good candidate so far! (If no, read the last paragraph)

3) Do you have any history of serious eye disease: glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retina surgery? Yes, you are probably not a good candidate and read the last paragraph.

4) Have you ever worn contact lenses?  Yes, you will need to be out of your contact lenses for  2 weeks for soft lenses, and a minimum of 2 weeks for hard contacts plus additional weeks for each decade you have worn contacts, before you come in for a dilated evaluation appointment.  You could come in for an initial evaluation to meet your surgeon and receive motivation to stay out of your lenses!

5) Females: Are you pregnant? Yes, you are probably not a good candidate until nursing has stopped.  Your vision may change during your pregnancy and the calculations for surgery will not be accurate for the long-term.  It is far better to wait.

If you think you may be eligible for LASIK, take a self-evaluation test.

LASIK is designed with a healthy eye in mind. This surgery will not improve poor vision and could potentially make your present condition worse. It may help you to discuss with your eye doctor further reasons why LASIK may not be for you. We hope these comments have been helpful. Your comments are welcome.

For more information…

Bruce Jay Ballon, MD, New President/CEO

You may have felt the lively, enthused energy rising from the city of Arlington.  We have been celebrating the well-deserved retirement of Dr. Lee Harman who has turned over the reigns to Dr. Bruce Ballon. now President/CEO of The Harman Eye Clinic, and Dr. Bruce Wietharn, now Vice President.

Dr. Ballon and Dr. Wietharn are getting ready to welcome  Dr. Bajenova’s arrival on July 18th.  Diligent planning has led to a confident outcome.  Our surgeons are ready to serve patients for:

    • Cataract surgery with standard lens implants. multifocal lens implants and toric astigmatic lens implants
    • iLASIK refractive surgery, with Intralase and VISX S4 technology
    • PRK
    • Ptyerigium repair
    • SLT glaucoma laser
    • YAG laser
    • Retina laser
    • Lucentis and Avastin injection treatment for macular degeneration
    • FA angiography
    • OCT diagnostics

We are providers for most all insurance plans, including the following:

    • Group Health
    • Community Health
    • Medicare and Medicaid/DSHS
    • Molina
    • SoundPath Health

Our website, www.20Better.com, now has a patient portal.  Patients can register directly from our website and request their appointment.  And, each Referring Doctor can have a portion of the “cloud” on our server to safely exchange pre- and post-operative patient information.  A quick phone call to our office and we’ll set it up for you.

Let us know if there are any other ways we can better serve you.  We appreciate the trust you place in our surgeons and staff.

IntraLase method, a 100% blade-free approach.

For More Information visit www.20better.com

Topic: What is the IntraLase Method?  The IntraLase Method is a 100% blade-free approach to creating the corneal flap, the thin layer of tissue that the surgeon folds back in order to perform your LASIK procedure. The IntraLase Method can only be performed using the IntraLase FS Laser. Millions of procedures have been performed safely and effectively using the IntraLase Method.

Topic: How is the IntraLase Method different from other methods of creating a corneal flap?  The IntraLase Method is the most advanced technology available—and the first blade-free way to create a corneal flap.

Prior to the IntraLase Method, doctors relied on an instrument called a microkeratome for the creation of corneal flaps. The microkeratome is a hand-held steel blade that creates a cut as it travels across the cornea. While LASIK complications are rare, when they do occur they are primarily related to the use of the microkeratome. With the IntraLase Method, a blade never touches your eye.

Topic: How does the IntraLase Method work? How does it create a corneal flap without making a cut?  Instead of using a blade, the IntraLase Method uses tiny, rapid pulses of laser light to create your corneal flap.

Each pulse of light passes harmlessly through your cornea and forms a microscopic bubble at a specific depth and position within your eye that is determined by the doctor. The IntraLase laser moves back and forth across your eye, creating a uniform layer of bubbles just beneath your corneal surface.

Just prior to LASIK surgery, the doctor creates your corneal flap by gently separating the tissue where these bubbles have formed. The corneal flap is then folded back so the doctor can perform your LASIK treatment.

Topic: What is the difference between a corneal flap created with the IntraLase Method and one created with a microkeratome?  The IntraLase Method is 100% blade-free, exceptionally advanced, and has been shown to improve outcomes for more patients.1 And patients report better quality of vision overall, particularly in terms their ability to see well in low light such as at dusk or at night.2

The reason for this lies in the way the IntraLase Method works.

A microkeratome is only capable of making a single, one-dimensional cut across the cornea. As it cuts, the blade creates “drag,” which can leave a rough surface after the flap is lifted. This can affect the quality of your postoperative vision.

Because of the unique way in which the IntraLase Method creates a precisely positioned layer of bubbles just beneath the surface of your eye, it creates a smooth surface after your flap is lifted. This may translate to better vision.

Topic: Is the IntraLase Method better for the eye?  Unlike the one-dimensional cut made by a blade, the IntraLase Method gives your doctor the ability to tailor the dimensions of your corneal flap based on what’s best for your eye. Everything from the circumference of your flap to the angle of its edges can be precisely determined. This is important because everyone’s eyes are shaped a little differently. Having a corneal flap that’s individualized to the patient contributes to excellent postoperative vision. A corneal flap created with the IntraLase Method also “locks” back into position after the LASIK procedure is performed and rapidly begins to heal.

Topic: Is the IntraLase Method proven, or is it still being tested out? IntraLase technology has been in existence since 2001. To date, it has been used in over millions of LASIK procedures around the world.

Topic: How long does it take to create a flap using the IntraLase Method? The creation of the flap itself takes only 15 to 20 seconds per eye.  Including preparation time, it takes about 10 minutes total.

Topic: Is it painful?  Prior to creating the flap, the doctor applies drops to numb the eye, then applies a special ring and an instrument that gently flattens your cornea in preparation for the IntraLase Method. This part of the process takes about 10 minutes and is not painful—patients report feeling only slight pressure.

Topic: What’s the reaction of patients who have experienced the IntraLase Method?  In a clinical survey, the vision in the IntraLase-treated eye was preferred by LASIK patients 3-to-1 over the vision in the microkeratome-treated eye (among those who stated a preference).3

REFERENCES: 1. Tanzer DJ, Schallhorn SC, Brown MC, et al. Data on file, IntraLase Corp. 2005. 2. Durrie D. Data on file, IntraLase Corp. 2005. 3. Durrie DS. Randomized prospective clinical study of LASIK: IntraLase versus mechanical keratome. Subsets presented at: Meeting of the International Society of Refractive Surgery of the American Academy of Ophthalmology; November 14-15, 2003; Anaheim, Calif; American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Symposium; May 1-5, 2004; San Diego, Calif; Refractive Surgery 2004: International Refractive Surgery: Science and Practice; October 22-23, 2004; New Orleans, La; American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Symposium, April 15-20, 2005; Washington, DC.

©2009 Abbott Medical Optics Inc. INTRALASE AND FOR A BLADE-FREE LASIK EXPERIENCE are trademarks owned by or licensed to Abbott Laboratories, its subsidiaries or affiliates. Mkt Doc 373 Rev. C

Dr. Ballon Is Searching for Patients Who Are Highly Nearsighted for Visian ICL

Dear Friends and Neighbors

Doctor Bruce Ballon is searching for highly nearsighted patients who do not qualify for iLASIK but would like to be free from dependence on glasses or contact lenses just the same.  You can learn more about this amazing lens correction by going to www.visianinfo.com

Made from Collamer, the Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) is one of the latest technological advancements in vision correction.  The Visian ICL is a long lasting solution for refractive error.  Through its myopia correction, the Visian ICL offers excellent quality of vision.  The Visian ICL and its unique Collamer composition offer numerous advantages including:

Quality of Vision – The Visian ICL produces not only improved visual acuity (20/20 vision is considered normal visual acuity), but also excellent visual quality. Many patients experience the “Wow” factor when they experience the immediate improvement in the quality of their vision.

Versatility – The Visian ICL offers a wider treatment range for myopia than LASIK and PRK procedures.

Simplicity – Unlike traditional contact lenses, once the Visian ICL is implanted in the eye, there is no additional maintenance needed.

Safety – After implantation in over 55,000 eyes worldwide, the Visian ICL has established a proven track record of safety.

Lens Placement – The placement of the Visian ICL makes the lens invisible to the patient and any observer.

Removable – The Visian ICL was designed to be permanently placed in the eye. However, the lens can be removed if a patient’s vision changes or if it otherwise needs to be removed or replaced.

Dr. Ballon was one of the first surgeons in the Pacific Northwest to perform a similar surgery using the Verisyse Phakic lens.  Pam Miller, billing specialist supervisor in our practice, was one of his first happy patients to take advantage, and that was five years ago. Dr. Ballon is pleased to bring the Visian ICL solution to our patients.  He is now searching for first patients.

If you think you are one of the first candidates (highly nearsighted) for this procedure, please call for a free, no obligation refractive evaluation.  If you are one of the first to qualify for a Visian ICL implant, you will receive an impressive discount.  Please call us at 360.435.8595.  I will be glad to personally facilitate your appointment.

Sincerely yours,

R. Lee Harman, MD, FACS, Bruce J. Ballon, MD, Bruce E. Wietharn, MD

Barbara Aliaga, Practice Administrator, THE HARMAN EYE CLINIC, 360.435.8595

Dr. Ballon is searching for patients who are highly nearsighted and wish Visian ICL