What is LASIK?

LASIK Surgery Options in Nashville & Franklin, TN

lasik surgery Nashville, TN / lasik surgery Franklin, TN

The term LASIK is short for Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. Like Photorefractive Keratectomy, known as PRK, which utilizes the Excimer Laser, LASIK reshapes the cornea with laser technology. The shape of the cornea is a major determinant of whether you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or normal vision.

The Excimer laser system emits a "cool" beam of light that can remove microscopic amounts of tissue with extreme precision. The surgeon programs the laser to sculp your cornea to the prescription needed. Our doctors use the very latest in state-of-the-art technology, the VISX Star S4 Excimer Laser system, the most widely used FDA approved laser for LASIK on the market. (www.visx.com)

Are You A Candidate?

To determine whether LASIK is right for you, we offer a complimentary educational screening. The refractive coordinator can identify if you meet the range for treatment, tell you possible outcomes, as well as explain the steps of the procedure and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. LASIK can treat a very broad range of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

Your next step would be to meet with your surgeon. Drs. Shivitz, Groos, Chang and Ewald complete all the pre-operative exams for LASIK. This two hour exam consists of important diagnostic testing and calculations to determine level of treatment, as well as to make sure you have healthy eyes conducive to good surgery results.

The consultation will also provide information about the possible risks and side effects of refractive surgery. Part of the success of any refractive procedure depends on your understanding and expectations of the procedure. Refractive surgery has reduced the dependence on glasses or contact lenses for millions of people, including many refractive surgeons.

Appropriate candidates should be:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Within range of treatment
  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Free of eye diseases such as cataracts or glaucoma
  • Contraindications to laser refractive surgery on individuals include:
    • Collagen vascular, autoimmune (rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s, lupus, etc.) or immunodeficiency disease
  • Evidence of keratoconus
  • Patients taking isotretinoin (Accutane) or amiodarone hydrochloride (Cordarone)


The Procedure

Throughout the LASIK procedure, you are awake. Drs. Shivitz, Groos, Chang and Ewald will administer numbing drops to the eyes so that throughout the entire procedure you are comfortable. Next, using an automated instrument called a microkeratome, the doctor gently lifts a thin layer of the corneal surface, which serves as a protective flap. The excimer laser is then used to remove microscopic layers of tissue. Typical laser time for the LASIK procedure is under 60 seconds.

After the treatment, the protective flap is gently replaced in its original position, and the eye is allowed to heal naturally. Because tissue removal with LASIK is subsurface in nature, healing time is rapid and the visual recovery process is dramatically improved. Most patients enjoy improved vision less than 24 hours following their procedure. You may take comfort in knowing our surgeons are involved in all phases of your laser vision correction procedure from the pre-procedure consultation to the post-procedure care.