Dr. Jeffery J. Machat: Hello! I am Dr. Jeff Machat, Medical Director of Crystal Clear Vision. Today I am going to discuss how LASIK works. LASIK is an incredible procedure. It is the most commonly performed elective vision correction procedure in the world today, with over 13 million procedures performed worldwide over the past two decades. LASIK essentially takes the curve from your glasses or contact lenses and reshapes the inner layer of your cornea with that same curve using an excimer laser, so you are no longer depend on visual aids to see well. Each pulse of the excimer laser moves 39 millionths of an inch in 12 billionths of a second, an incredibly precise laser system. To better understand LASIK, think of your cornea like a book, with 550 pages. In LASIK we open the book to page 100, in the first step. Then remove say 50 or so pages depending upon your prescription in the second step. Then the book is closed and looks completely untouched. There are two steps in the LASIK procedure. The first step creates a corneal flap, opening the book. And we can create the flap with either a mechanical blade or a femtosecond laser. In the second step we treat your prescription, and this can be accomplished with either a standard excimer laser pattern or a customized or wavefront-guided pattern. The difference between the two is that with the standard pattern we take one single reading through the center of your pupil, and then do a standard pattern of laser pulses over the eye. In a customized pattern, we actually place a grid on your eye and take a measurement of your prescription in each of the hundreds of little squares, creating a customized pattern of correction, more like a fingerprint, or a tailor-made suit, to get you the sharpest vision possible. Depending on which technique is performed for the creation of the corneal flap and whether a customized pattern is selected, the cost, success rate, and risks can differ significantly. When a femtosecond laser created flap is combined with a customized laser pattern, this is commonly referred to as custom all-laser LASIK. If you are considering a LASIK procedure, be sure to consult with your eye doctor to find the right treatment option for you.