Providence Eye & Laser Specialists sat down with founder and LASIK eye surgeon Dr. Mozayeni to discuss how LASIK eye surgery is both art and science.
Q. Dr. Mozayeni, as a cornea trained LASIK eye surgeon, what do you feel is the most important factor when considering LASIK eye surgery?
Dr. Mozayeni: I don’t think there is just one factor to be considered. There are three factors that I believe contribute to optimal results. They are: surgeon experience, technology and patient care.
Q. How far has the technology come in the past 10 years in the LASIK industry?
Dr. Mozayeni: It is truly amazing how far LASIK technology has come! When I started doing vision correction surgery in 1995, I was using a blade to cut the cornea. When I opened Providence Eye in 2003, I was committed to having state-of-the-art technology, which is why I invested in the Intralase and was the first cornea specialist to offer it in the region. In 2011, just 8 years later, I reinvested and replaced the Intralase with the Allegretto WaveLight FS200, which is faster, more accurate, and more comfortable for the patient than the Intralase. We believe utilizing the best, most proven LASIK technology reflects our dedication to providing outstanding results and patient care.
Q. If today’s technology is so good then why does surgeon experience really matter? Aren’t the lasers computer controlled?
Dr. Mozayeni: LASIK technology can never replace quality work by a human being. The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” applies to the basic calculator and all the way up to the lasers used today in LASIK eye surgery procedures. We spend a great deal of time collecting data about a patient’s eyes, corneas & vision. To prepare for surgery, I research and examine every individual’s patient data and perform regression analysis with this data. This analysis that we do for every patient enables Providence Eye to provide predictable optimal results. In addition to analyzing the data and programming the data into the laser for each and every patient, the laser must be calibrated every time it is used. This step is mission-critical and should never be a concern to the patient. Our ophthalmic laser technicians, who calibrate the laser, are people that have the same standards, morals & attention to detail that I have, which gives me the trust and confidence I need every time I sit down at that laser.
Q. So why did you choose the WaveLight Allegretto laser suite? There are multiple lasers out there and some are in fact more recently FDA approved.
Dr. Mozayeni: I put an enormous amount of time into researching lasers, observing their execution & analyzing their results both online and in other surgeon’s offices before making my final decision. I am extremely pleased that I selected the WaveLight FS 200 and the WaveLight EX500 Lasers. [Updated October 2014] I made this selection for multiple reasons:
- These two lasers are sister lasers and they are built to work together. I can feel the difference and it makes LASIK eye surgery faster and more comfortable for the patient. Our patients do not need to switch beds or rooms they lay comfortably on the bed and the bed gently swivels from one laser to the other.
- These lasers are not "set it and forget it" LASIK technology. Like each patient, each LASIK procedure is truly unique. We program the laser for every person, specifically for their eyes, based on all the data we gathered. This is truly a customized procedure. As the LASIK eye surgeon, I can feel the precision that these lasers bring to the table.
- These two lasers are hi-tech! It is incredibly impressive, even to me! They allow me to treat a wide range of LASIK eye surgery patients, including those with high prescriptions and/or complex visual situations. Some of these patients have been told by other LASIK practices that they are not candidates. From a technological perspective these two lasers offer:
- The fastest eye tracker
- The fastest treatment speed
- Custom corneal reshaping
They measure temperature & humidity in the laser suite before every LASIK eye surgery. A patient should never have to know or worry about this, but they are very important factors for optimal laser performance.
Q. If you were sending a family member to have a LASIK consultation what would you tell them to look for?
Dr. Mozayeni: Honestly, I would tell them to look for exactly what we provide. We treat every patient as if they are a member of our family. That starts with the initial phone call, all the way to medical/surgical recommendations, to easing fear and nerves. I would tell my family to always do their research.
1. Look for a surgeon who specializes in LASIK and has done a large number (thousands) of LASIK procedures. This does not have to be the biggest or busiest guy in town.
2. Look at what kind of LASIK technology is being used. In this day in age, at a minimum, it should be all laser. Blade LASIK is really archaic at this point in time. If the lasers have been FDA-approved in the past several years, then that is a good sign. The follow-up question concerns how long the LASIK eye surgeon has been using the technology. And finally, make sure your procedure will be performed with that specific technology. Some LASIK practices have more than one technology, and they may boast about one, but come to find out, your procedure would be performed using something different.
3. Visit the practice(s) you are considering. This is your chance to “interview” the practice and the LASIK eye surgeon to see if they provide the level of care you are looking for. For example, I meet with every single patient who comes to our office for a LASIK consultation. I examine them, give them my recommendation (about 20% of the time that recommendation is to not have LASIK), explain my recommendation, and answer any and all questions they have. There are many LASIK practices where you never meet the surgeon during your consultation. Some practices even fly their independent surgeon into town on the day of surgery only.
If you have been thinking about LASIK and you are wondering if you are a good candidate for LASIK call Providence Eye & Laser Specialists to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Mozayeni.