Dr. William Ellis has performed over 60,000 LASIK procedures providing thousands the precious gift of sight!
The odyssey to better uncorrected vision begins when you pick up your telephone to call our toll free number 1 800 SEE SHARP (1 800 733 7427, or if you speak Spanish 1 888 VER BIEN ( 1 888 837 2436). Our patient counselor will help you to schedule your free lasik evaluation. If you live in the San Joaquin Valley, Turlock , Tracy, Modesto , Merced or Stockton our San Jose (Silicon Valley) office or Roseville office may be the most convenient. In Sacramento, Auburn, Oroville Marysville, Chico, or Redding, our closest office will probably be in Roseville. There are also four additional centers in the Bay Area to serve you: San Francisco, Walnut Creek (Antioch, Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton area), Corte Madera (Marin), and El Cerrito, (Berkeley area,).
Your evaluation will be very thorough. If you are a hard contact lens wearer we suggest you do not wear them during the week prior to your exam. Soft lens wearers should not wear their lenses for one to two days prior to their exam. When you arrive at our office you will be given a contact sheet to fill out. Please list both your home and office telephone numbers. Be sure to include your cell phone number if you have one. If you have an e mail address list it also so that we can send you important information and updates. When you have completed your encounter form hand it into our receptionist. Sit down, and make yourself comfortable. Our optometrist and technician will soon be with you.
Our Technicians and Optometrists Will Thoroughly Evaluate Your Eyes
Your examination will begin with a complete evaluation of your eyes. Your visual acuities will be measured with and without eyeglasses. A refraction of your eyes will be performed first with the eyes undialated and later mydriatic drops will be placed in the eyes to dilate the pupils. A dilated examination allows us to most accurately ascertain your refractive errors and facilitates the visualization of the tissues and structures within the eye. You will be examined for cataract and diseases of the retina which is composed of the photoreceptors which detect the light in the image focused upon them The outermost surface of the eye, the clear cornea, through which you see, and which is the principal refracting surface of the eye will be examined. The status of the tear film layer which covers the surface of the cornea is important to ocular health. If dry eye is present due to insufficient tear production artificial tear drops, punctum plugs, or Restasis eye drops may be prescribed. Sometimes flax seed oil is beneficial for the treatment of dry eye. In addition several sophisticated scientific scans of the visual system will be performed:
EyeSys Corneal Topography. A topographical map will be constructed of the front surface of the cornea by shining multiple placedo disk mires on the cornea. A mathematical analysis of the spacing between mires will be used by the computer to draw a three dimensional picture of your cornea.
Goldman Tonometry will be evaluated to determine the intraocular pressure within your eyes to rule out glaucoma.
An Orbscan of the cornea will measure the curvatures of both the front and back surfaces of the cornea and will also measure the thickness of your cornea. Candidates for lasik must have enough tissue for the lasik procedure. If there is insufficient corneal tissue present for your degree of myopia or astigmatism , PRK or Advanced Surface Ablation by EpiLasik may be the procedure of choice.
The Zywave Aberrometer will be used to measure the wavefront pattern of the refractive media of your eyes. Specifically the Aberrometer will detect higher order optical aberrations which degrade the quality of vision especially at night and can be responsible for glare and halos in the vision. Thanks to modern technology Zyoptix laser vision correction can reduce or eliminate these higher order visual distortions, and in some cases improve the vision beyond 20/20.
Other tests will also be performed as part of your FREE EVALUATION too numerous to mention here. A thorough examination such as this would normally cost more than $300 but because you are interested in laser vision correction we are providing this service as a free gift to you.
Certain ocular conditions may rule against your being a good refractive surgery candidate. These include:
- Eye infections or inflammations
- Dry eye conditions unresponsive to treatment
- Thin or scarred corneas including Keratoconus.
- Active rheumatologic conditions such as lupus in flare-up and not in remission.
- Degenerative conditions of the Cornea.
- Use of specific drugs.
- Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.
- Certain time intervals during pregnancy.
Our Patient Counselor
Will confer with our doctors and determine if you are a candidate for lasik or other refr active procedures such as PRK., EpiLasik, CK , or refractive lens exchange. The counselor will assist you in determining the best procedure for you. She will explain the pros and cons of each procedure, as well as the risks and complications. This is part of the informed consent procedure and will include video materials as well. Your surgeon is not required to explain risks that are extremely remote, or those that become known at a later time. Your surgeon will provide you with information that would be material for a reasonable person in your position to use to decide whether or not to undergo the procedure. If you do not understand anything be sure to ask your patient counselor to explain it in more detail. Dr. Ellis and other staff members are also available for any questions that you want answered. The counselor will tell you what to expect on the day of surgery, and about the postoperative recovery course. She will tell you about medications you will need to take and help to call in any prescriptions to your pharmacist.
Your patient counselor will find the very best financing and payment plan for your specific needs. We work closely with many sources of patient financing such as CARE CREDIT and can tailor specific programs, including those with delayed payments, so that refractive eye surgery will be affordable and within your ability to pay. A small deposit will be required when you schedule your procedure in order to hold your place. Your surgery must be fully paid for by the day of surgery or alternatively, your financing plan must have been approved.
Arrangements Before Surgery
Contact lens wear should be stopped at least 3 days prior to surgery if soft lenses have been worn and longer for hard lenses or semipermeable lenses.
Please arrange for transportation home on the day of surgery as you should not drive home yourself . Most lasik patients are able to drive themselves in for the one day post operative visit but only if you feel that your vision is O.K. Following the EpiLasik and PRK procedures you will not be able to drive for at least 5 days. At the time of your postoperative visits your doctor will advise you when healing has been sufficient to allow you to drive.
Please arrange for time off from work for your procedure. Our doctors will be happy to provide medical excuses for your employer if necessary.
The following applies only to Cataract and refractive lens exchange procedures which are medical procedures and will be performed at our Medicare and State licensed surgery center in El Cerrito. These procedures will require preoperative laboratory tests and an EKG. In addition your medical doctor or internist must perform a preoperative physical examination on you prior to the day of surgery.
Do not wear eye makeup on the day of surgery. Particles of mascara can lodge under the lasik flap.
Do not use perfumes or after shave lotions on the day of surgery. Vapors from these can interfere with the laser beam and be harmful to the optics of the laser.
There are usually no restrictions on eating or taking medications on the day of surgery, but please advise us as to any medicines you are taking.
Postoperative visits are usually on the first day following surgery, the first week post op, the first month post op, and the second or third month as well.
What Happens on the Day of the Lasik Procedure
In order to insure a semi-sterile environment you will put on a surgical gown prior to entering the laser room. The nurse will take your vital signs and enter them into your surgical chart.
Prior to the procedure Dr. Ellis will spend time with you to go over your proposed treatment and to answer any further questions that you may have.
Following this you will be given an oral tablet such as Valium to relax you.
You will be taken into the laser room and lie down on a flat bed under the laser. The area around your eyes will be washed with an alcohol sponge and a sterile towel will be used to drape off the periocular area. Numbing drops will be placed in the eye and a small eyelid speculum will be positioned to hold the lids open. It is important not to squeeze the eyelids over the speculum since oil from the eyelash follicles can be released and can cause post operative inflammation.
Relax, and open both eyes. There will be no pain or discomfort with the procedure. At the appropriate time the microkeratome will be placed to create the lasik flap. There will be pressure, but no pain. The vision in the eye will be gone for a second or two and then will return when the device is removed. It will take about 5 to 10 seconds to make the flap.
Dr. Ellis will fold the flap back and the excimer laser will be used to perform the optical correction. Be sure to keep both eyes open and look at the red aiming beam under the laser. After the treatment is finished Dr. Ellis will reposition and dry the flap with oxygen. The lid speculum will be removed and you will follow the nurse to the post op area where Dr. Ellis will again examine the eyes. You will be sent home with your medications, which will include antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops, and sleeping and pain pills. Although there is no pain during the laser procedure after the topical anesthetic drops wear off there will be mild discomfort with the lasik procedure for the first post op day. Be careful not to rub your eyes and do not put any pressure on them or sleep on them on the first day.
Postoperative care and Recovery
Your first postoperative visit will be mandatory on the first post op day. Lasik patients generally see well enough to drive to the office however, if your vision is still blurred do not drive. Usually it will clear in one to two days, but sometimes can take longer. You will use antibiotic and corticosteroid anti-inflammatory drops for several days or weeks. Generally the antibiotic is stopped after the first day and anti-inflammatory drops after several weeks. Dr. Ellis will change your medications as needed.