See More Clearly with Surgical Eye Correction

Illustration of stages of LASIK surgeryThe cornea and lens combine to focus visual images on the back of the eye. When the overall shape of the eye is incorrect or when the curvature of the cornea is incorrect, the visual images are not in focus. The cornea accounts for approximately two-thirds of the focusing power of the eye. By surgically changing the corneal curvature, most or all of the blur can be eliminated.

Laser In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) and Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) are two surgical techniques which utilize lasers to reshape or change the curvature of the cornea.


LASIK had its origins about thirty years ago and was originally developed to treat patients who had very poor vision due to corneal disease. It has now evolved into a successful technique for correcting refractive errors. The current procedure, done an outpatient basis, has evolved into All Laser LASIK to correct most degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, with excellent results (95% of patients achieve 20/40 vision or better).

At our laser center, eye drops are all that are needed to numb the eye. The patient is initially taken for Intralase creation of the corneal flap. We have an array of excimer lasers to do the corneal ablation. The ideal laser is selected for the specific needs of the patient. The flap is gently lifted to expose the corneal stroma. With the eyes positioned under the laser, microscopic amounts of corneal tissue are removed in a computer-controlled pattern. The total laser time for flap creation and tissue ablation is usually less than one minute. Removal of the tissue changes the contour of the cornea. The flap is then returned to its original position. The extraordinary, natural bonding properties of the cornea allow prompt, effective healing without stitches.

After surgery, topical medications are provided. There may be some foreign body sensation for a few hours. The vision is initially blurred, but functional, likened to glasses smeared with Vaseline. Overnight, however, the vision rapidly clears. The patient is discharged home a few minutes after the procedure is finished. Most patients are comfortable driving the next day.

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Illustration of PRK treatmentPRK  Photo-Refractive Keratectomy, or PRK, is another method of surgically reshaping the cornea using the excimer laser. The difference between LASIK and PRK is that for PRK, the corneal flap is not created. That is, the outer layer of the cornea remains in place and the laser removes tissue directly from this outer layer. During LASIK, a part of the cornea is peeled back so that the laser removes tissue from the inner corneal layers. PRK is used for low to moderate amounts of nearsightedness.

Just as in LASIK, the laser treatment requires less than a minute. But unlike LASIK, the healing period time is longer. The correction for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism is the same as in LASIK. The corneal curvature is changed so that the visual images are properly focused on the back of the eye. 

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Jonathan Isaac Macy, MD

Macy Eye Center

Dr. Jonathan Isaac Macy is considered a leader in laser cataract surgery and LASIK. A clinical professor of ophthalmology at both USC and UCLA, Dr. Macy provides his extensive expertise to patients in the greater Los Angeles, CA, area. He is affiliated with professional organizations, including:

  • American Board of Ophthalmology
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • International Society of Refractive Surgery
  • California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
  • American Healthcare Professionals and Friends For Medicine in Israel

To schedule an appointment with our ophthalmologist, contact us online or call (310) 657-2777.

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Los Angeles Office

8635 W 3rd St
Ste 360W
Los Angeles, CA 90048

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