What is refractive surgery and what causes it?
The most common vision impairment is caused by errors in refraction, or focus. Refraction occurs when light enters the eye through the cornea and lens. Refractive errors result when light rays do not come to a focus on the retina, causing the conditions of myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism.
How are these conditions treated?
The refractive error may be treated with either a laser or a lens implanted into the eye (intraocular lens). The choice of laser vs. intraocular lens depends on the amount of correction needed and the size and shape of the child's eye. The excimer laser reshapes the corneal surface to correct the focus. The intraocular lens also corrects the focus, but it does so by adding or subtracting power from the natural lens of the eye. The ultimate goal is to eliminate or reduce the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. The child is asleep briefly under general anesthesia during the surgeries. Both types of surgery are done as outpatient procedures, so the child can return home the same day.
Who can be treated?
Ideal candidates are children having challenges with vision correction through eyeglasses or contact lenses. Suitable candidates also include children with a large difference in prescription treatment per eye.
Who offers the treatment, and why come here for it?
The treatment is provided by Lawrence Tychsen, MD, and James Hoekel, OD, among the few pediatric providers nationally offering this procedure.
What is the process for referrals and follow-up care?
Physician referral is recommended. Parents can contact our office directly and provide their child's medical records for review. Follow-up care is determined during the referral process.