Kansas City's Advanced Surface Ablation and PRK

Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA), formally known as Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK), was the first procedure performed using the Excimer laser. Like LASIK, it corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. Instead of using a laser to prepare the cornea for treatment, ASA is performed by removing the epithelium (outer skin of the cornea) and the laser is applied to the surface of the cornea. Kansas City’s Advanced Surface Ablation and PRK is a very effective alternative to LASIK.

Who is a Candidate for ASA?

Kansas City’s Advanced Surface Ablation and PRK is typically reserved for those who are not candidates for SBK Advanced LASIK due to limited corneal thickness, corneal scarring due to contact lenses, previous eye surgery, or for those with specific occupational or recreational demands. During our Advanced Ocular Analysis, you will experience thorough diagnostic testing and meet with a surgeon to determine if this procedure is best for you.

ASA is designed to correct for the following refractive errors:

  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism

The ASA Treatment Process

On the day of the procedure, patients can expect to be in our office for 90 minutes.

While the entire procedure takes less than 15 minutes, the laser portion of the treatment is completed in only a few seconds.

  • Step-One
    Step 1

    Pre-operative preparations

    Several tests will be repeated to verify measurements. An optional mild sedative is offered to patients and anesthetic eye drops are applied to numb the eye. A small, gentle eyelid holder is placed between your eyelids so you don’t have to worry about blinking during the procedure.

  • Step-two
    Step 2

    Prep the cornea

    First, our surgeons gently polish off the epithelium to prepare the cornea for treatment.

  • Step-three
    Step 3

    Reshape the cornea

    Our surgeons then apply the excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct the refractive error.

  • Step-four
    Step 4

    Protect the cornea

    A temporary soft contact lens is then placed on the eye to help with healing.

Advanced Surface Ablation
and Recovery

Although ASA and SBK Advanced LASIK have similar visual outcomes and satisfaction rates, ASA patients can expect to experience a longer healing and visual recovery timeline than those undergoing SBK.

The longer healing time is due to the need for the epithelium to heal, which takes 48-72 hours after surgery on average. Here’s a look at a typical Kansas City’s Advanced Surface Ablation and PRK recovery timeline.

Day 1: Vision varies somewhat, but is fairly functional. (Some people can read close to 20/20 on the eye charts). Many individuals have legal driving vision after ASA, although we do not recommend driving. Vision is usually adequate for normal visual tasks like watching TV, some computer work, etc.

 

Day 2: Vision is usually similar to day 1. Your vision will be fairly functional for normal visual tasks.

Day 3: As the epithelium regenerates into the line of sight, vision usually declines. Vision may seem hazy, doubled, or produce multiple images. Computer work could be difficult.

 

Day 4: Vision is fairly similar to day 3 – hazy and doubled. The bandage contact lens is usually removed. Although vision significantly improves, the next few days could still be hazy, doubled, and imperfect. Most patients can resume normal visual tasks. Most patients can perform computer work at this time, but it can be difficult. Most individuals will have legal driving vision, but the clarity is decreased.

Week 2: Patients are doing fine, and their vision is continuing to improve. Vision at this point can still be somewhat doubled or decreased. Some patients whose job requires fine detail (like surgeons) should be advised that their vision to perform their work might be difficult for 2 weeks after surgery.

 

Week 3-4: Patients are doing well with vision at about the 90% to 95% level.

The Benefits of Laser Vision Correction

  • Save time

    Say goodbye to twice-daily contact lens cleanings. Laser vision correction gives you 5 more minutes at night and 5 more minutes in the morning. Over the course of 12 months, that adds up to 60 additional hours. What will you do with that extra time?

  • Live more simply

    Imagine no more contact lenses, glasses, or eye-care solutions to worry about managing. Just wake up and see. Ever tried swimming in contacts? Running in glasses? Laser vision correction better accommodates an active lifestyle.

  • Safety

    Did you know laser vision correction is 5x safer than wearing contacts? You’re more likely to develop a serious eye infection from contact lenses. Never worry about leaving your contacts in too long again with laser vision correction!

  • Save money over time

    While the cost of a vision correction procedure does come with an upfront investment, do you know how much you’re already spending on glasses and contacts? Try our cost calculator to see how it adds up over time.

Is ASA right
for you?

Find out through our signature
Advanced Ocular Analysis

The first and most critical step in determining candidacy for a procedure is to schedule a complimentary Advanced Ocular Analysis, or AOA.

Going above and beyond a traditional screening, the AOA sets the foundation for exceptional visual outcomes with each patient’s long-term needs in mind.

Step 1
Examine the health of your eye

When it comes to refractive surgery, a routine eye exam or LASIK screening may ignore details that are critical to your outcomes. For this reason, Durrie Vision developed the AOA. Featuring the most advanced combination of diagnostic testing available today, the AOA uses cutting-edge technologies to provide a three-dimensional visualization and analysis of the entire ocular system.

Step 2
Meet with a refractive surgeon

During the AOA, you will meet with one of our experienced refractive surgeons directly to discuss your results along with their recommendations. This is a unique component of the experience that provides an additional level of comfort and trust.

Step 3
Recommend a treatment plan

After your exam, we’ll share with you an in-depth analysis of your eyes, taking all the time necessary to explain what the evaluation revealed. You will leave with a comprehensive report of everything we discussed along with any recommendations for treatment, cost, financing, and recovery time.

Testimonials

  • McKensie Dopps

    “The quality of my life after LASIK is SO significant that I would’ve paid double or even triple the amount because it’s truly that incredible. Thank you, Durrie Vision for forever changing my life!!!”

  • Slimfast

    “Getting LASIK at Durrie Vision was one of the best things I’ve ever done. After being in glasses and contacts for most of my life, being able to see without them is amazing. In fact, I can see better than I ever did before. My biggest regret? That I put it off for so long.”

  • Laura Chambers

    “Durrie Vision has changed my life for the better. I have a WOW moment every day…from opening my eyes in the middle of the night and realizing I can see without my glasses, to being able to be ready for a run in 5 minutes in the morning…it’s always WOW! I am forever grateful for Dr. Stahl and his amazing staff.”

  • Hai Chen

    “The experience and applied research expertise at Durrie Vision inspired great confidence in the process. For myself, the entire process was informative, quick, and painless with minimal recovery period required.”

  • Lucy Delsarto

    “After Refractive Lens Exchange, my vision is incredibly sharp. Think of an HDTV vs. an older model. You often get so accustomed to what you see that you don’t realize what you are missing until you see it.”

LASIK FAQs

I have astigmatism. Can I still get LASIK?

Having astigmatism does not exclude you from laser vision correction. In fact, SBK Advanced LASIK is a superior treatment for astigmatism, which is simply a common refractive error like nearsightedness and farsightedness.

When astigmatism is present, the cornea has a slightly different surface curvature in one direction or the other. LASIK eliminates the astigmatism by changing the curvature of the cornea, either by flattening or steepening.

What if I'm not a candidate?

Advancements in the field of vision correction have led to new procedures, techniques, and technologies that translate to more options for more people. Age, corneal limitations, and previous eye surgeries are all factors in determining your candidacy for a procedure. While SBK Advanced LASIK is the most commonly performed vision correction procedure at Durrie Vision, it’s not the only one – we have seven! During the Advanced Ocular Analysis, one of our experienced surgeons will obtain an analysis of your entire ocular system and evaluate the overall health of your eyes. This in-depth assessment provides our surgeons with the information needed to determine your surgical candidacy for any of the seven procedures offered at Durrie Vision.

What are the risks?

The decision to have a vision correction procedure is one only you can make. Serious complications with ASA Advanced PRK are extremely rare. However, as with any medical procedure, the risk is not zero. Many of the risks associated with this procedure can be reduced or eliminated through careful patient selection and thorough preoperative testing using the latest diagnostic technology available at Durrie Vision.

What if I move or blink during the procedure?

The laser platforms used at Durrie Vision are all equipped with a feature to continuously track and monitor the position of your eye, making necessary adjustments for any movement during the treatment process.

A small, gentle eyelid holder is placed between your eyelids so you don’t have to worry about blinking during the procedure.

Is the procedure painful?

Anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye to alleviate any pain or discomfort during or immediately following the procedure. During the treatment, patients may experience a mild pressure from the eyelid holder.

How soon can I return to normal activities after my treatment?

With ASA, a soft contact lens is placed on the eye as a bandage and should remain in place for 3 to 4 days to allow the epithelium to regenerate. During this time, patients typically experience mild to moderate discomfort and light sensitivity and should refrain from physical activity and computer work. Most patients will notice improved vision and can expect to resume normal activities with the first few days after surgery with best results developing within 6-8 weeks.

When after the procedure will I be able to drive?

At the 4 day post-operative appointment, your doctor will remove the bandage contact lens, assess healing, and evaluate visual acuity. Patients are typically cleared to drive following this appointment.

Does LASIK wear off?

One of the most common misconception about LASIK is that it wears off; but, the reality is that LASIK (both SBK and ASA) lasts. This fact is best understood with a quick anatomy lesson. The eye has two lenses – the cornea on the front surface and the lens inside. LASIK is a permanent change to the cornea, which addresses nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Natural changes in the internal lens of the eye can affect your near vision beginning in your 40s, which is due to a common condition called presbyopia. Additional technologies exist to improve vision when those changes occur.

Does LASIK cause dry eye?

Moderate glare and dry eyes are common side effects immediately following the procedure, but for most, these resolve by three months post-surgery. Proper testing, like our state-of-the-art Advanced Ocular Analysis (AOA), before the procedure can identify patients who are at a high risk for complications and collectively decide if LASIK is right for them.

Will I need a touch up?

Our goal with any vision correction procedure is to get each patient to their best possible vision. This is unique to the individual and determined through the Advanced Ocular Analysis. When the outcome of the procedure does not achieve the expected visual results, a touch up – also referred to as an enhancement – may be necessary. At Durrie Vision, the combination of our extensive diagnostic testing and surgeons’ experience keeps our enhancement rates extremely low – approximately 1% of our patients will require an additional procedure within the first year after surgery, which is included in your post-operative care.