LASIK eye surgery and LASIK eye treatment from one of Pittsburgh's most trusted LASIK eye care and eye surgery centers.
Many people have trouble seeing, whether they live in Monroeville, Wheeling or Pittsburgh. LASIK surgery is one of the most popular ways to correct vision, and AIO knows just how to do it.
Although LASIK is not the only form of vision correction surgery, it is the most commonly selected procedure. The term LASIK is an acronym for “laser assisted insitu keratomileusis”. LASIK surgery uses a laser to reshape the cornea, also known as the “windshield” of the eye, so that light entering the eye can be focused better on the retina, allowing for clearer vision.
Having laser vision correction is a big decision, and like most people you probably have some questions and concerns. AIO continues to be a Center of Excellence and at the forefront of technology. We are excited to be one of the first practices in Western Pennsylvania to offer both the WaveLight EX500 Excimer laser and the Wavelight FS 200 femtosecond laser, bringing our patients the option of all-laser LASIK. The Wavelight Refractive Suite is currently the fastest surgery platform available in the U.S.
AIO is one of the longest established eye surgical practices in the country. Our Director of Refractive Surgery, Dr. Donald Santora, is board-certified and sets the standard of excellence for the entire refractive team. Dr. Santora is nationally recognized as a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of corneal disorders. Working with industry leaders, they develop and evaluate innovative eye technologies, using this research to make sure our patients are getting the very best the world has to offer.
If you are interested in improving your vision, choose AIO. We offer free consultations, 24 month interest-free financing, reduced recovery periods and more.
For more information on LASIK Eye Surgery and to find out if you are a candidate, call 1-800-246-1000 now.
FAQs for LASIK Eye Surgery
Yes, we do offer financing. Through CareCredit we offer a low interest payment plan. Click here
for more information.
Call our office at 1-800-246-1000 to request an information packet be sent to you, or click here. In addition, we offer free private screenings.
To be a candidate for refractive surgery, your eye must be in good health and your vision must be stable. The minimum age for refractive surgery at AIO is 21. Since some people are better candidates than others, a full dilated exam at AIO is essential. You will undergo a series of tests and measurements that will determine if refractive surgery is right for you.
Wearing contact lenses can cause the shape of your cornea to be altered. In order for us to take accurate measurements and to allow your cornea to return to its natural state, you must remove your contact lenses for a specified period of time. If you wear soft contact lenses, they must be out of your eyes a minimum of 5 days before your exam and again before surgery. If you wear hard or gas permeable contact lenses, they must be out of your eyes for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to your exam and surgery.
Refractive surgery alters the shape of the cornea so that it can focus light rays directly on the retina. A refractive procedure, like LASIK, PRK and clear lens exchange can dramatically decrease or even eliminate your dependency on glasses or contact lenses.
Before you have refractive surgery a variety of tests will be performed to be sure that your eyes are healthy enough for surgery. Our tests are aimed to ensure that your tear production is adequate, your pupils are not too large, and that your corneas are thick enough and not irregular. Based on these tests, AIO will be able to determine if you are a candidate and will select which procedure best fits your needs.
If you have not been referred by one of our credentialed optometrists, your preoperative examination will be done at one of our offices (which ever one is most convenient for you). If you have been referred by one of our credentialed doctors, your pre-operative and post-operative exams can be done by him or her.
After your pre-operative examination, some further testing will need to be performed. You will meet with a refractive counselor to review any questions you may have and complete consent forms. Based on the results of your tests, AIO will determine which of the refractive procedures we offer will be best for your individual needs.
You will be seen the day after surgery for a post-operative check. This appointment usually takes no more than 15 minutes. The doctor will advise you as to the other post-op appointments. Usually, they are scheduled one week, one month, three months, six months and one year.
Make sure contacts are out for a specified time.
Schedule a preoperative examination.
Schedule a consultation with AIO.
Schedule surgery with AIO.
Schedule first post-op appointment.
A normal cornea will take light rays that enter the eye and focus them clearly on the retina. When the cornea is irregular in shape, such as being curved too steeply, light rays are not focused correctly and blurred vision results.
Alternatives to LASIK Eye Surgery
Visian Intraocular Collamer Lens (ICL)
"15 Minutes That Will Change Your Life." The Visian ICL is a unique lens that is FDA approved to treat patients with a refractive error as low as -3.00 diopters to as high as -20.00 diopters of nearsightedness. Because the Visian ICL does not have any effect on the cornea it is suitable for patients with thin corneas or chronic dry eyes. See how the Visian ICL procedure works.
FAQs for Visian Intraocular Lens (ICL)
No, the lens is not noticeable after it is put in place. It does not attach to any structures within the eye and it stays in position.
No. The lens is positioned behind the iris where it is invisible to both you and observers. Only your doctor will be able to tell that you've had vision correction.
The ideal candidate for the Visian ICL is a patient between the ages of 21 and 45 who is nearsighted (myopia). It is preferable that the patient has not had previous eye surgery or a history with ophthalmic disease such as glaucoma, iritis, or diabetic retinopathy. Our practice offers a complimentary screening to learn more about this exciting procedure. A full dilated exam is necessary to determine if you are a candidate.
The Visian ICL is intended to remain in place within your eye without any maintenance. Should it become necessary, the lens can be removed or changed by a certified ophthalmologist.
The Visian ICL offers treatment flexibility. If your vision changes dramatically, the lens can be removed and replaced, or another procedure can be performed to enhance your vision. With the Visian ICL, you can also wear glasses or contact lenses as needed. The Visian ICL does not help presbyopia (the difficulty with reading which is experienced by people over the age of 40) Reading glasses can be worn if needed.
One to two weeks before your surgery your doctor will make a small opening using a laser to allow fluid to pass between the lens and the front chamber of the eye. The actual Visian ICL surgery takes approximately 15 minutes. Normally, very little discomfort is associated with this procedure. A light topical anesthetic is administered and a mild sedative may be given. Eye drops or an oral medication may be prescribed after the surgery. You will come back to our office the next day for a follow-up visit and again at one week, one month and six months. This procedure is performed in an outpatient surgery center and it is required that you have someone with you during the surgery and to provide transportation home.
The Visian ICL has been available internationally for over 15 years. Extensive research and development preceded the introduction of Visian ICL. It is now being used by more than 150,000 patients worldwide. The satisfaction rate among patients is extremely high - above 99%. The Visian ICL provides unparalleled quality of vision and has excellent and stable outcomes for patients with moderate to severe myopia.
The Visian ICL is made of Collamer which is an advanced lens material that is highly biocompatible. Collamer does not cause a reaction inside the eye and contains an ultraviolet filter that provides protection to the eye.
The Visian ICL is surgically inserted inside the eye just behind the iris, in front of the eye's natural lens. It is inserted by a trained ophthalmologist through a microincision. The Visian ICL does not touch any internal eye structure and stays in position without maintenance, indefinitely.
Clear Lens Exchange
Clear lens exchange, also known as lens replacement surgery, is a procedure in which your eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). This procedure is an alternative surgery for patients who may not be a candidate for LASIK or PRK. This refractive surgery is also recommended for patients with presbyopia or high hyperopia (farsightedness.) This procedure will reduce the need for reading glasses and is generally recommended for patients over the age of 45.
As in cataract surgery, there are several types of lenses that can be implanted, depending on your vision needs and the health of your eyes. The options include:
Laser-Assisted Custom Cataract Surgery with Toric Lens: (Astigmatic Correcting Lens)
- Corrects distance vision when significant Astigmatism is present
- Best option for correcting severe Astigmatism
- DOES NOT correct for Near Vision
- Glasses/Bifocals needed for all near and intermediate vision
Laser-Assisted Custom Cataract Surgery with Lifestyle Lens: (Multifocal or Accommodative Lens)
- Provides a full range of vision that includes NEAR, INTERMEDIATE, and DISTANCE vision
- Allows best opportunity to reduce your dependency on glasses
- Reading glasses may still be necessary for some tasks
- May also be used to correct astigmatism but additional treatment may be necessary to fine tune vision with severe Astigmatism
With intraocular lenses, there is no "one size fits all". Your eye surgeon will recommend an IOL that is most suitable for your individual needs.
FAQs for LASIK Clear Lens Exchange
Lens exchange surgery is done on an outpatient basis in our Associate Surgery Center in West Mifflin. The surgery takes approximately 20 minutes and is followed by a short stay in the recovery area. At this time post-operative instructions and eye drops will be reviewed, but like any surgery, there is some preparation beforehand. The patient will return the day after surgery for a follow up appointment with one of our doctors.
All surgery involves some risk. Our surgeons use the latest technology available to create the smallest of incisions, allowing for a more rapid recovery. Our surgeons have performed over 20,000 refractive procedures and their successes over many years allow us to confidently say we can provide quality care for your eyes.
The procedure is one in the same. Having cataracts before surgery affects your vision beyond the help of glasses and is then deemed “medically necessary” to improve your vision. However with Clear Lensectomy, cataracts are not altering your vision. Therefore, insurance companies see the reason for the procedure as “cosmetic”, meaning that glasses will fix your vision, but you are simply choosing to be free from them.
A clear lens exchange means that there were no cataracts affecting your vision; therefore, insurance companies deem this a “cosmetic” procedure and will not cover the costs. Most patients feel that it is well worth having surgery earlier, allowing them many years with stable vision. We now offer excellent 24 month interest-free financing to help you enjoy your best vision free from reading glasses. For more information about cost and financing options, please call 800-246-1000.
While most patients notice an improvement the very next morning, it may take up to 4 weeks for the vision to stabilize. Full visual outcome will not be noticed until both eyes are completed.
No, because the natural lens (which eventually develops a cataract) is removed and replaced with a custom lens, you will never need to have cataract surgery later. Occasionally after the surgery, scar tissue may develop over the implant and the doctor may do a simple, painless, laser procedure to remove the scar tissue. Once this is done, further surgery related to your lens may not be necessary.
There is usually no discomfort felt during or after the surgery. No general anesthesia is used, only a mild sedative and numbing medications.
Surgery is performed one eye at a time. The second eye will be performed a few weeks after the first eye, allowing adequate time for healing.
Presbyopia is a condition that causes a decrease in your up-close focusing power. It is a part of the natural aging process and is the reason why many people need reading glasses. The first signs of presbyopia usually appear around age 40. You may start having difficulty reading very fine print, such as the phone book, a newspaper, or a medicine bottle. Print may seem to have less contrast and your eyes may become easily tired when reading a book or viewing a computer screen.
A common misconception is that presbyopia is the same condition as that of being farsighted. Farsightedness is a result of a cornea that is too flat or an eye that is too short. Presbyopia, on the other hand, is the result of the eye's diminishing ability to change the shape of its natural lens to accommodate tasks such as reading as people age.
A Normal Process of Aging
When you have presbyopia, your natural lens can no longer accommodate, which is a term used to describe the eye's way of changing its focusing distance. The eye changes the shape of its natural lens as it is focusing on an object. As we age the muscle fibers around the eye’s natural lens lose their elasticity, thus decreasing the eye's ability to change the lens's shape, or accommodate. As the lens becomes less flexible the eye is less able to focus on close objects.
Early on in this aging process, holding reading material further away from you may help you read. This is why presbyopia is sometimes informally referred to as "long arm disease." Eventually, reading glasses, bifocals, or contact lenses may be needed for close work.
Monovision treats presbyopia by correcting one eye for distance vision and the other eye for near vision. The brain chooses which eye to rely on when you look at an object. The corrections are made using eyeglasses or contact lenses, or one of various surgical procedures. Exactly which method your doctor chooses for these corrections is based on your particular visual need.
Remember, your eyes and your vision are unique to you. As always, it is recommended that you discuss available treatment options with your doctor.