Medical Center East Louisville

UofL Health - Medical Center East now offers patients refractive eye surgery procedures at its new Laser Eye Center

Featuring both an excimer and a femtosecond laser, the lasers are used by both UofL Physicians ophthalmologists and independent ophthalmologists to perform refractive surgeries including LASIK and PRK procedures to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism along with other disorders of the eye.

The Laser Eye Center at Medical Center East is also the site for the training of residents from the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at both the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky.

Begun in 2018, the UofL Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences is one of only three programs in the United States supported by Johnson & Johnson Vision in which residents are trained to perform LASIK and PRK procedures during their residency training. Physicians in the laser center train the residents to perform these procedures following required didactic and wet lab training by representatives from Johnson & Johnson Vision. Residents perform surgeries under the direction of UofL Physicians ophthalmologist Richard Eiferman, M.D., clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of Louisville, and Frank Burns, M.D., an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Physicians doing the procedures at the Laser Eye Center are among the most experienced and qualified in the region. Dr. Eiferman first used an excimer laser in 1989 when they were still being tested, and he was an early conductor of clinical trials under FDA protocols. Dr. Burns has been performing refractive surgery since 1995 and began performing PRK in 1997 and LASIK in 1999.

Patients can receive information on the center, including scheduling information by calling 502-259-6277.

About LASIK Eye Procedures

If you are frustrated with always having to wear contact lenses or glasses, you may wonder whether you are eligible for LASIK corrective eye surgery.

Successful procedures have been done on patients who were nearsighted, farsighted, or had astigmatism. LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is designed to correct refractive errors in the eyes that cause unclear vision by bending, or refracting, light. You can be assured of top-notch treatment from surgeons who have mastered the latest surgical techniques and technologies and who are committed to furthering their talents as the field advances.

LASIK surgeons are trained to carefully reshape patients’ cornea and remove tissue with a laser. Our surgeons take the time to accurately analyze your vision and calculate the treatment plan they will follow with the laser before you even decide to set foot in the operating room. LASIK eye surgery is an efficient outpatient procedure that has our surgeons in and out of each eye in 15 minutes with a speedy recovery process. LASIK surgeons require patients to come back within the first couple of days following the procedure to ensure the vast improvement has taken effect and provide optimal care.

Diseases & Conditions

LASIK surgeons perform refractive surgery to correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.

  • Nearsightedness (myopia) – close objects appear clear, but objects that are farther away appear blurry; occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia) – distant objects appear clear, but close objects do not come into clear focus; occurs if the eyeball is too short or the cornea has too little curvature
  • Astigmatism – blurred vision created from the prevention of light properly focusing on the retina; occurs from an irregularly shaped cornea or the irregular curvature of the lens inside the eye

Common symptoms treated by LASIK

  • Need to squint
  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue or headaches caused by eye strain
  • Aching or burning eyes
  • Blurry vision when looking at distant objects (myopia)
  • Difficulty seeing while driving at night (night myopia)
  • Difficulty in concentrating and maintaining clear focus on close objects (hyperopia)
  • Irritability or nervousness after sustained concentration (hyperopia)

The FDA and American Academy of Ophthalmology have developed guidelines for good LASIK candidates:

  • At least 18 years of age (21 in some cases), because vision tends to change more frequently in people younger than 18.
  • You should not have this procedure if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, because these conditions can affect eye measurements.
  • You should not have this procedure if you take certain prescription drugs, such as Accutane, Cardarone, Imitrex, or oral prednisone.
  • You should have healthy eyes with a stable prescription.
  • You should be in good general health. LASIK may not be recommended for patients with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, glaucoma, herpes infections of the eye, or cataracts.
  • You should be in general good health and discuss any other health concerns with your LASIK surgeon before undergoing the procedure. LASIK may not be recommended for patients with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, glaucoma, herpes infections of the eye, or cataracts.

If you are not a good candidate for LASIK, you may be eligible for photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). Learn more about PRK (below).

Treatments & Services

LASIK Consultation

Surgeons performing LASIK procedures at the Laser Eye Center at UofL Health – Medical Center East focus on precision in their consultations to plan the intricate work that will be performed for the procedure.  You and your surgeon will have to opportunity to discuss whether LASIK is right for your vision condition.

How is the LASIK procedure performed?

The procedure consists of reshaping the cornea by first creating a flap, which is lifted, prior to delivering the laser treatment to the underlying cornea. Surgeons are trained to accurately calculate the dimensions of the flap on the cornea to be lifted and the correct amount of tissue that should be removed to reshape the eye for better vision by having you focus your eyes on a target. Once the laser has reshaped the cornea, the flap is laid back in place. The procedure takes 10-15 minutes per eye.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

If you are not a good candidate for LASIK, you may be able to receive PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), in which a flap is not created. In this procedure, the outermost layer of the cornea (the epithelium) is removed and the treatment is delivered to the underlying tissue. A bandage contact lens is placed over the eye after the treatment for the first week after surgery to allow the epithelium to regrow and heal. The visual outcomes from this procedure are the same as LASIK.

What can I expect after LASIK?

We will provide specialized eye gear for you to wear after the procedure.

Our surgeons require the patient to come in for a post-operative checkup the day after the procedure. LASIK is intended to have an immediate effect with improved vision the day after the procedure and continuing stabilization for the next few days. At your post-operative appointment, your surgeon will provide you a time frame of recovery, including when you will be able to return to work/school or safely drive a vehicle. Your safe recovery is of the utmost importance and our physicians will treat you with the care you need. In addition, you will have the opportunity to have any questions answered by your surgeon.

For more information or to schedule an appointment at the Laser Eye Center at UofL Health – Medical Center East, call 502-259-6277.

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