LASIK & Vision Surgery

Dr. Townsend provides an unbiased opinion and is a trusted resource to answer your questions. He routinely observes the surgeons in the area during procedures, and can recommend the right one for you based on first-hand knowledge. Dr. Townsend can help you make the right decisions based on your current vision, your vision goals, your overall health, and your budget.

The latest eye correction technology provides us with a growing list of vision surgery options:

LASIK

Laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is a procedure for treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and age-related difficulty in focusing. With LASIK an ophthalmologist uses a microkeratome, an automated device.

With LASIK, an ophthalmologist uses a  laser to create a flap  of tissue about 160 microns thick (one-third of the cornea) across the surface of the eye. This flap of tissue which remains attached on one side is folded back, and the excimer laser is used to remove the underlying stromal tissue. Following laser treatment, the flap is laid back in place. This is a very patient-friendly procedure. Both eyes can be done at the same time and vision is good within four hours. Recovery is quick.

Cost: $499 – $2,300 per eye

Corneal Ring

Two crescent-shaped clear rings are placed into the cornea. This procedure is for low degrees of nearsightedness and is reversible. Recovery is quick. Both eyes can be done at the same time.

Radial Keratotomy (RK) and Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK)

The clear outer-covering of the eye, called the cornea, is normally 500 microns thick. Radial Keratotomy (RK) and Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK) are surgical procedures in which incisions cut through 90% of the thickness of the cornea. The incisions are intended to flatten the surface of the cornea to reduce nearsightedness and astigmatism. Usually, only one eye is done at a time.

Cost: $499 – $1,700 per eye

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) uses the excimer laser to sculpt an area approximately 6 millimeters in diameter on the surface of the eye. The process typically removes 5-10% of the thickness of the cornea, or 25-50 microns – about the thickness of a human hair. The PRK vision correction procedure does not affect the strength of the eye the way radial keratotomy (RK) does. This is not patient-friendly. One eye at a time is done. Recovery is slow and vision can be unstable.

Cost: $999 – $1,800 per eye

Phaser Surgery

A small incision, with no stitches, is made in the eye and the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic one. The “contact lens in the eye” allows those patients over age 40 needing reading glasses to see at both distance and near. One eye is done at a time. Glare and contrast problems will occur.

Cost: $2,500 – $3,000 per eye

Laser Thermal Keratoplasty (LTK)

LTK was approved by the FDA in the year 2000 for treatment of low degrees of farsightedness and difficulty in focusing for those over the age of 40. A laser produces two concentric rings of eight spots on the periphery of the cornea. The results are immediate, the procedure is very short and produces little discomfort. LTK involves the strategic placement of laser spots on the peripheral cornea causing the central cornea to steepen. The procedure was approved for treatment of farsightedness in patients without significant amounts of astigmatism.

Cost: $1,658 – $1,950 per eye