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The Joy of Happy Medicine
It is January and the refractive surgery world is busy again! Thanks to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) my January’s are always busy with Fridays being the busiest. I am lucky because this is such a wonderful procedure and it has advanced so much in the past years.
I have had the pleasure of working in the refractive surgery world since its inception over 15 years ago. It started with Jeff Machat, MD describing how the excimer laser removes 39 millionth of an inch in 12 billionth of a second and a picture of a human hair. The advances in the technology have resulted in a decrease in complications and an improvement in outcomes. What were once deemed just a “side-effect” of the surgery are now the most common complication- dry eyes.
Today, two different types of lasers perform this elegant procedure. A femtosecond laser creates a “flap” in the cornea and an excimer laser removes tissue and in the case of near-sighted patients flattens the cornea. The magic of the procedure is patients see so well the next day! While the vision is not perfect the next day, most patients are amazed at their vision. Where in medicine to we get such immediate gratification? It is similar to the child who puts on their first pair of glasses and just stares in amazement at the stimulating world around them.
For all of those who are active, this procedure changes your life. Whether it is the burden of putting contact lenses in and having them feel scratchy at the end of a long run or just not seeing in the surf because you do not where your glasses, adding great vision to an active lifestyle is a corner piece of the puzzle.