Eye Health Seeing is Believing: Consider Laser Vision Correction By Eye Center, March 2, 2015 Imagine waking up in the morning and not having to reach for your glasses or put in your contacts. If that sounds too good to be true, then you should consider laser vision correction surgery, a procedure performed by surgeons at UPMC Eye Center ‘s Laser Vision Center. This procedure often allows patients to see better without glasses and contacts. Laser Vision Correction at UPMC According to Deepinder K. Dhaliwal, MD, L.Ac, director of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service and the Center for Integrative Eye Care at UPMC, laser vision correction has been performed at UPMC for over 20 years. UPMC was among the first in the region to offer it and was the only center in the area to participate in the initial studies of the procedure that resulted in its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “UPMC has the longest continuously running program in Pittsburgh,” Dr. Dhaliwal noted. “What sets us apart is our focus on providing patients with a continuity of care that is present from their very first visit with us, through their testing and evaluations that determine their candidacy for the procedure, to the surgery itself, and finally to their post-surgery visits. We also encourage our patients to meet and talk with their surgeon well in advance of their scheduled surgery so they feel completely comfortable with everyone and everything involved in their pre- and post-operative care. All of these things will help achieve good outcomes.” Is Laser Corrective Surgery Right For You? Dr. Dhaliwal explained that good candidates for laser vision correction are healthy individuals with healthy eyes. “People who have eye conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts would not be candidates for this surgery,” she said. Multiple other factors are involved in deciding if laser vision correction is right for you, and these are addressed during a complimentary evaluation with your surgeon. “We deliver a truly customized laser vision correction experience to each patient,” Dr. Dhaliwal said. “This includes an individualized map of the patient’s eye, which accounts for conditions such as astigmatism and the amount of their nearsightedness. Each treatment will be tailored and delivered to the cornea so that the patient receives the best possible outcome. This is not a ‘one size fits all’ type of procedure.” The Added Benefits of Laser Vision Correction Beyond the biggest benefit of the procedure, no longer needing glasses or contacts, other advantages include reduced risk of infection related to contact lens wear when they are cleaned and rinsed with tap water. “The number one risk factor for developing an infection in the cornea is sleeping in your contact lenses,” Dr. Dhaliwal noted. “And tap water is not sterile. There have been incidents of blindness when people have used tap water to clean their contacts.” In addition, people who wear contact lenses can often develop an allergy to them or can over wear them, particularly if they lead active lives that may prohibit the regular use of glasses. One of the benefits of choosing the experts at the UPMC Eye Center is that our program is backed by the care of the UPMC system. Some of the laser vision correction surgeons at UPMC are considered “Trusted LASIK Surgeons” who have met certain criteria and are highly recognized and trusted as experts in their field. To be included, surgeons must meet 12 criteria, including board certification by the American Board of Ophthalmology, having participated in FDA clinical investigative studies, and having published at least 10 scientific research papers in major eye journals. In addition, they must be certified to train other refractive surgeons on the use of lasers and/or other devices for laser vision correction or other vision correction surgery. For more information about laser vision correction, visit the UPMC Eye Center’s Laser Vision Center website or call 412-647-2917.