Fraser Valley Cataract & Laser

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Surrey (604) 372-3937 | Abbotsford (604) 853-5575 | Coquitlam (604) 474-3937

FVCL Official Blog

BCLasik – Our Lasik Experience

Every year, thousands of Canadians are putting away glasses and contacts for good with the help of Laser Eye Surgery. These procedures, performed by BCLasik, are the most commonly practiced methods of correcting refractive errors such as astigmatism (blurry vision at any distance), myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), or presbyopia (inability to focus on nearby objects). One of the leading forms of Laser Eye Surgery is Lasik, and the purpose of this post is to help people understand what they should expect during their LASIK experience.

Lasik Consultation

The first step is to book a consultation with a vision counselor to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for LASIK. As discussed in our last post, even though Lasik has opened the opportunity of laser eye surgery to more people than ever before, not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. At this consultation, you will undergo several simple tests to help the vision counselor assess the best treatment option for your eyes.

To properly prepare for this consultation, there are some things you should keep in mind. First, if you wear contacts, it is important that you remove them and switch strictly to glasses before your evaluation with the counselor. Contact lenses can change the shape of your cornea even after you stop using them, leading to inaccurate measurements and reducing your chances of perfect vision post-procedure. For testing purposes, we ask that you stay away from contacts for 3-5 days prior to your appointment.

After this consultation, your vision counselor will let you know which procedure, either Lasik or a Lasik alternative we offer, is best for your specific vision needs. They will also go over the pre and post-surgical steps you should take to help you get the best results medically possible. At this time, you will be able to book in for a surgery date or go home and get back to us with your final decision later on.

Preparing For Laser Eye Surgery

Once you’ve booked your surgery date, be sure to follow the pre-operative instructions provided during your consultation. Do not use creams, lotions, make-up, or perfumes the day before surgery. These products can produce debris along your eyelashes, increasing the risk of infection before and after surgery.

Please ensure you have a driver who can take you home after surgery is complete. Even though most patients experience the clear sight Lasik provides immediately after their procedure, there is a chance your vision will be blurred for a short time, making it unsafe to drive. Also, if a patient is nervous, the doctor may administer medicine to help the patient relax. The medicine’s effects may be felt for a short time after surgery so you must have someone to help you get home safely. 

Date Of Your Procedure

Even though the procedure takes only 5-10 minutes, expect to be at the clinic for at least 2 hours. You will lie down on a chair in the room with the laser system while a numbing drop is placed in your eye. Your eyelid will be cleaned and a tool called a lid speculum will be used to hold your eye open as an opening is created in your cornea. Some patients have reported feeling discomfort in the form of pressure during this step. 

Finally, the doctor will ask you to stare at a light. This light is not the laser that will be correcting your vision; it is a focus point to ensure your eye remains still during the procedure. When you are focussed on the light, the doctor will start the laser. The pulse of the laser makes a ticking sound and you may become aware of a burning smell as the laser adjusts your corneal tissue. Before the surgery begins, the doctor will have programmed the laser to adjust your cornea based on the measurements taken at your initial consultation.

When the laser finishes, the opening in your cornea will be closed back up, and an eye shield is provided to ensure your cornea heals properly. Because there are no stitches involved with this procedure, it is important that you keep the eye shield in place. The shield will protect you from rubbing your eye or getting poked throughout the day and from putting pressure on it while you sleep.

Post-Lasik Care

In the days following your procedure, your eye may feel itchy, irritated, or have minor to mild discomfort. Both your eyes may water, and your vision may be blurry. You will instinctively want to rub your eyes but be sure not to! Contact with your eyes could result in the surgical site shifting and cause further treatment to be necessary. These symptoms should decrease drastically over the next couple of days, but it is recommended that you take a few days off work while you recover. Please note that you should contact your doctor immediately if you experience severe pain or your symptoms start to worsen instead of getting better.

We recommend that you wait 1-3 days after your procedure to resume any non-contact physical activities. To help prevent infection, you should wait 2 weeks (or the time recommended by the doctor) before beginning to apply creams, lotions, make-up, or perfumes. For at least 4 weeks, do not participate in contact sports, swimming, or the use of hot tubs. 

Additional precautions will be covered by your vision counselor. If you have any questions, please be sure to write them down so we can address them during your consultation. Join the millions of people who now live life without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses. Let us help change how you see life with this safe, pain-free 5-minute procedure. 

FVCL Official Blog

LASIK – Common Myths And Misunderstandings

Every year, thousands of Canadians are putting away glasses and contacts for good with the help of Laser Eye Surgery. These procedures, performed by BCLasik, are the most commonly practiced methods of correcting refractive errors such as astigmatism (blurry vision at any distance), myopia (near-sightedness), or hyperopia (far-sightedness).

While LASIK surgery has become the most popular form of Laser Eye Surgery in Canada, there are many misconceptions that people should have cleared up prior to considering Lasik.

Despite LASIK being an incredibly safe and common procedure, it’s still normal to have questions or concerns. It’s part of our job to address these so that you can be confident in making the best decision for your vision. Below, we separate fact from fiction and address common misconceptions about LASIK to help you decide if this procedure, or another form of vision correction, is right for you.

Myth: Anyone who wants to have LASIK is a candidate.

Fact: While today’s technology has made LASIK more inclusive than ever before, not everyone is a LASIK candidate. To ensure safety and the very best post-LASIK outcomes, each patients’ eyes are thoroughly analyzed to determine if they are ideal candidates. The great news is that even if you aren’t a LASIK candidate, other solutions like PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), ICL (implantable collamer lens), or RLE (refractive lens exchange) will provide great results and may prove to be right for you!

Myth: LASIK is not affordable for most people.

Fact: The cost of LASIK has decreased significantly over the years as the technology has improved and the treatment has become more common. In addition to vision insurance coverage, there are a number of financing plans that can help make LASIK affordable for everyone. At BCLasik, we want to restore the gift of good vision to as many of our patients as possible and will do what we can to ensure obstacles like large payments are removed. We offer excellent financing options.

MYTH: You can go blind from LASIK surgery!

Fact: Refractive surgery is in fact one of the safest medical procedures performed, as it is a non-invasive process. The technology being used makes it possible to treat near and farsightedness, astigmatism, and other vision problems that glasses and contacts simply cannot solve. The side effects are temporary and minor. Serious complications happen very infrequently, and no one has gone blind from LASIK surgery.

Myth: The procedure is painful.

Fact: While you may experience some discomfort and slight pressure around the eye, Lasik eye surgery is a relatively painless procedure. In fact, many of our patients are surprised by how little discomfort they experience during the surgery. Before the procedure, you will have numbing drops administered to each eye to minimize any discomfort. We can also provide a mild relaxant, such as Ativan, to help calm your nerves. The procedure lasts between 10-15 minutes.

We hope that this information has cleared up some of the misconceptions you may have had about the LASIK procedure. Millions of people are now living life free from the hassle of glasses and contact lenses. You can too! If you are interested in LASIK and want to find out if you qualify, please book a no-cost, no-commitment consultation with one of our vision counselors using the red “Book Your Consultation” button at the top of this page.

FVCL Official Blog

Your Cataract Surgery Should Be Laser Assisted; Here’s Why!

What Are The Benefits?

New laser assisted procedures increase the precision and predictability of cataract surgery more than ever before. Instead of manually performing much of the operation with the traditional blade, this innovation allows our surgeons to undergo the most delicate, and challenging steps of cataract surgery using a computer programmed blade-free laser.

Fraser Valley Cataract and Laser is one of the first eye centers in the Fraser Valley to adopt this new technology. It’s important to us that we offer our patients the best eyecare medically possible and the laser lets us do just that. By using the LenSx® Laser, our surgeons have more control over a procedure’s outcome allowing us to precisely tailor the surgery to our patient’s specific needs

How Does This New Technology Work?

During your laser assisted surgery, an ultrasound device is placed over your eye to map out its surface. This device registers the exact location, size, and depth the incisions should be then sends that information to the computer operating the laser. In addition to making the incisions, this laser can also soften the cataract before a probe breaks it up and clears the pieces out.

Conclusion

Although there is an additional cost, many consider laser assisted cataract surgery to be well worth it. The comfort of having a laser rather than a blade to create incisions for the operation is one most vision counselors would recommend. Although there is nothing wrong with traditional cataract surgery, by automating the most difficult and delicate steps, you can maximize results and minimize risk.

FVCL Official Blog

Why Do You Need A Visual Field Test

Function Of A Visual Field Test

Visual Field tests are a fundamental part of assessing eye health. The purpose of a Visual Field test is to measure a patient’s central and peripheral vision. These results provide necessary information to our doctors, to help diagnose and monitor numerous conditions.

Who Should Get A VF Test

Examination of one’s visual field is an important part of regular eye care, especially for those who are at a higher risk of vision loss due to underlying diseases or conditions. People with the following conditions should be monitored regularly due to their heightened risk of vision loss:  

  • Glaucoma
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Thyroid eye disease
  • Pituitary gland disorders
  • Central nervous system problems (such as a tumor pressing on the brain)
  • Stroke
  • Long-term use of certain medications

People with diabetes or high blood pressure have an increased risk of developing blocked blood vessels in the optic nerve and retina. Regular appointments with your ophthalmologist accompanied by visual field tests can help identify any problems or potential risks. Visual Field tests allow our doctors to identify and address these issues before serious damage can occur.

VF Tests At Fraser Valley Cataract & Laser

Visual Field tests are subjective. The test relies on a patient’s cooperation and ability to respond to prompts the test gives them. For this reason, our technicians at Fraser Valley Cataract and Laser are constantly monitoring patients throughout the duration of the test. This ensures that doctors are presented with the most reliable information on the patient’s eye health. There are certain guidelines that must be followed ie: the patient must not be moving their head, their chin, they can not be looking around, etc. If the guidelines are not followed it invalidates the test results necessitating the re-administering of the test.

 

If you are in need of an ophthalmologist in the lower mainland, our qualified team at Fraser Valley Cataract and Laser is ready to help.

News

Focal Retinal Laser Procedure

What is a Focal Retinal Laser?

Retinal laser therapy, also known as focal laser photocoagulation, is an outpatient procedure that treats macular edema (fluid buildup, swelling) and/or small breaks in the retina. These conditions affect the retina and threaten vision. The retina is a thin membrane in the back of the eye that senses light. It captures images from the eye lens and sends them along the optic nerve to the brain. Retinal laser therapy can preserve the health of the retina and prevent vision loss.

Who benefits from a Focal Laser?

Patients at risk of, or who already have a retinal tear can benefit from a Focal Laser. Retinal tears can be caused by advanced diabetes, eye injury, extreme nearsightedness, and age. Left untreated, retinal tears can lead to detachment of the retina from the eye wall causing permanent vision loss and blindness. Focal laser therapy generates an inflammatory reaction that allows the torn retina to reattach.

What are the benefits of the treatment?

Laser treatment may or may not restore vision that is already lost, but, when done on time, laser treatment will likely reduce the risk of future vision loss. Therefore, this can be beneficial for patients at risk of vision loss caused by retinal macular edema.

What are the uncommon risks?

⦁ Laser treatment may cause your central vision to become temporarily worse due to increased macular edema (swelling).
⦁ Bleeding in the eye (vitreous hemorrhage).
⦁ Traction retinal detachment.
⦁ Accidental laser burn of the fovea (a depression in the central macula that contains no blood vessels). This results in central vision loss or central “blind spots”.

What should I expect after the procedure?

⦁ You should be able to return to most activities right away.
⦁ You may feel a mild ache in your eye or see flashes of light for a day or two.
⦁ Your vision may be blurry for up to a week.
⦁ You may have a headache for a few hours.

Contact Us:

We accept patients for both MSP and private procedures. Call us now at 604-372-3937 or send an email at info@fvcl.ca for an appointment

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Refractive Lens Exchange – Is It Right For You

45 years old is a special age for visual loss. Our natural lens starts to become less pliable and we lose our ability to accommodate and see up close. This is why we need to either take off our glasses to see close (if you’re nearsighted) or get reading glasses through bifocals or progressive lenses.

If you are affected, you are in luck. There’s a relatively easy solution. To decrease your dependence on glasses and contacts, and see clearly like when you were younger, there is a safe, painless same-day procedure called RLE. 

What is RLE? 

RLE stands for “refractive lens exchange”; the eye’s natural lens is replaced with a custom IOL (intraocular lens). It is a procedure very similar to cataract surgery. The main difference is the lens replaced in cataract surgery is a cloudy and hazy lens to correct blur or light scatter as opposed to a clear crystalline lens in RLE.

RLE treats all ranges of visual errors including nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), presbyopia (problems with focusing up close), and astigmatism. Because RLE is nearly identical to cataract surgery, patients after RLE do not need cataract surgery anymore into their senior years.

What are the benefits of RLE? 

RLE 

• makes you less dependent on glasses and contact lenses, and often glasses-free

• is particularly advantageous for age-related vision problems such as presbyopia (the need for reading glasses), as there are few other options (Lasik cannot correct for presbyopia)

• helps you to have a more active lifestyle with freedom from glasses and contacts

• eliminates the need for cataract surgery in later life

• corrects your vision if you are not a candidate for LASIK because of severe refractive errors or thin corneas or severe dry eyes

Am I suitable for RLE?

The patient’s prescription, corneal curvature and thickness, visual expectations, and age are important factors determining eligibility for RLE.

You are an ideal candidate if you:

• are over 45 years of age with moderate and severe refractive errors; nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism

• have presbyopia (it worsens between 45 years old and 60 years old) and want to reduce your dependency on reading glasses

• over 40 and not a candidate for LASIK; your glasses prescription higher than the normal range for Laser surgery, if you have severe Dry Eye Disease, or if you have thin corneas

• need vision correction and have early cataracts

How is RLE performed? 

RLE is a quick, painless day procedure that typically takes 15 minutes per eye. 

A tiny micro self-healing incision is made at the cornea’s edge (at the limbus) with a precise Femtosecond Laser or micro blades. The natural crystalline lens is removed with a micro ultrasound-based process, also known as phacoemulsification. The new replacement lens (IOL) is folded and inserted through the same incision into the same space (capsular bag) of the crystalline lens. The new lens stays in place permanently where the natural lens used to sit. This procedure is done without any sutures or needles.

What type of replacement lenses, IOLs, are implanted in RLE?

There are several types of IOLs to fulfill the needs and goals of the patient. IOLs available for lens replacement surgery include:

• Multifocal lenses – extended depth of focus to help at near and/or intermediate ranges, may still need reading glasses

• Monovision with monofocal lenses – correct one eye for distance and the other eye for short vision

• Monofocal lenses –provide clear vision at either a distance, intermediate, or near ranges — but not all three at once. Usually, these lenses are used to correct distance vision, however then patients will need to wear glasses for reading, or less often, vice versa

• Toric monofocal lenses – to correct astigmatism, and again it only corrects for one distance

How long does it take to recover from the RLE procedure?

Patients most likely notice better vision within hours to 48h. It may be a few weeks before the vision reaches its maximum improvement. 

How are the results of RLE? 

RLE surgery has had years of successful history. Approximately 95 % of patients are satisfied with the outcomes of RLE, and many describe it as life-changing (1)

In another study, 73% of the patients said the treatment exceeded their expectations. (2)

What are the risks and side effects of the RLE?

Overall, RLE is a safe procedure; the surgery is not different from cataract surgery, which is one of the world’s most common and safest surgeries. 

Like any other surgery, RLE is not a risk and complication-free procedure. However, if there any rare issues are either, they are self-limited or easily treated.

Some of the complications are:

• Dry eye symptoms (temporary)

• Retinal tear or detachment (rare)

• Halos, glare, shadow, or shimmering arc of light caused by the IOL (infrequent)

• Dislocation of the lens position (rare)

• Infection (rare)

• Bleeding inside the eye (rare)

Small targeting refractive errors (uncommon)

Most of the visual problems diminish with time, and patients are satisfied. But approximately 0.5% of patients can not adapt to a multifocal lens and undergo an IOL exchange.

0.1% of cases can end up in severe vision loss. 

Common eye care problems such as glaucoma, diabetic eye, and maculopathies can be easily monitored and treated as usual by your ophthalmologist or optometrist after RLE.

Are you wondering if refractive lens exchange is right for you? 

Please schedule a free virtual consultation from the comfort of your home or free in-person consultation with a specialist in one of our clinics at FVCL. There may be some in-office testing we have to do before any surgery.

RLE surgery at Fraser Valley Cataract and Laser

At FVCL, we pride ourselves on providing our patients with:

• Highly experienced Cataract/ RLE and LASIK surgeons 

• More than 20 years of experience in vision correction

• Leading-edge technology

• Affordability and Financing

Schedule your free consultation now at https://bclasik.ca/lasik-or-prk-laser-eye-surgery/