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Unique elevation points
on each eye are mapped
of CONTOURA Vision patients
achieve 20/20 or better
of patients would get
CONTOURA Vision again.

Imagine Life Without Glasses or Contacts

Imagine reducing or even eliminating your dependence on glasses and contacts. Today’s most common refractive surgery procedures are LASIK and PRK, which aim to correct myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism (uneven focusing of light) and to a lesser degree, hyperopia (farsightedness). St. Paul Eye Clinic uses state-of-the-art all laser technology called CONTOURA Vision LASIK, which measures over 22,000 unique elevation points on each eye to customize your procedure. Your custom treatment will be as unique as your fingerprint! Over 92.6% of LASIK patients achieve 20/20 or better without glasses or contacts. LASIK procedures are performed at St. Paul Eye Clinic’s Woodbury clinic and was voted Minnesota’s Best LASIK in the StarTribune's Minnesota's Best Awards.

lasik machine
“I think since I had my surgery, I've probably recommended it to about three or four people that I know.”
Jenna - St. Paul Eye Clinic LASIK Patient

Alternatives To LASIK

While LASIK is the most popular refractive surgery, it is not the only surgical option to reduce your dependency on glasses or contacts. At St. Paul Eye Clinic, we offer the below additional refractive surgery options outside of LASIK. At your consultation, your doctor will go over which refractive surgery option is best suited for your eyes

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) offers a valuable alternative to LASIK surgery. Unlike LASIK, PRK does not involve the creation of a corneal flap. In this procedure, we delicately remove the cornea's surface cells, after which a highly specialized cool laser is used to reshape the cornea. To aid in the healing process, a therapeutic contact lens is applied to the eye and generally remains in place for about 5-7 days.

Both LASIK and PRK yield similar visual outcomes in the long run. It's worth noting, however, that the path to optimal vision is generally longer with PRK due to the surface cells needing time to regenerate. PRK patients may experience a higher degree of post-operative discomfort compared to those who opt for LASIK

Rest assured, your comfort is our priority. We provide pain management solutions to ease any discomfort you may experience after the procedure. Most of our PRK patients find they can resume work and their regular activities within just a few days

PRK is an effective option for individuals with low to moderate levels of myopia or hyperopia, and is also suitable for those with astigmatism. At St. Paul Eye Clinic, our aim is to provide you with the best options for achieving visual clarity tailored to your unique needs

Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL)

At St. Paul Eye Clinic, we're proud to offer a revolutionary eye treatment option called the Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) using the EVO Visian ICL. The ICL procedure involves gently inserting a lens made of biocompatible material into the eye, between the iris and the natural lens. Once in place, it focuses light perfectly onto the retina, similar to how a traditional contact lens works, but without the need for daily maintenance. The procedure is typically completed in just 20 minutes per eye and is both quick and painless.

What sets ICL apart is its precision and reversibility. Moreover, it offers additional benefits like UV protection thanks to the unique properties of the collamer material from which it is made. Because ICL doesn't require reshaping of the corneal surface, it's an excellent choice for those with irregular corneas or for patients who are outside the treatable range for laser eye surgeries like LASIK and PRK. ICL is an effective option for individuals with moderate to high levels of myopia, with or without astigmatism

Our experienced team at St. Paul Eye Clinic is here to guide you through the process and help determine if ICL is the right fit for your lifestyle and vision needs

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Refractive lens exchange (RLE), also known as clear lens extraction, is an option for people who may not qualify for LASIK or other types of refractive surgery. This procedure is similar to cataract surgery, but unlike cataract surgery, you don't need to have a cataract for the procedure to be performed. During the surgery, your natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL), which can correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Just like other eye surgeries, not everyone is a suitable candidate for refractive lens exchange. Age, overall eye health, and specific vision correction needs will be evaluated, and our experienced team at St. Paul Eye Clinic will guide you through the optimal ways to achieve your vision goals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is LASIK safe? What if I move my eye?

Every surgery has risks, but LASIK is very safe. The eye tracker on the laser follows your eye at 2 milliseconds – 10 times faster than you can possibly move your eye. LASIK has been performed for over 20 years with over 20 million procedures successfully completed. It has a patient satisfaction rate of about 95%

Is LASIK painful?

No. The actual procedure does not hurt. Anesthetic eye drops are used during the procedure. Although the speculum that is used to hold your eyelids open may feel strange, it does not hurt. The most uncomfortable part of the procedure is the pressure feeling during flap creation with the femtosecond laser but it lasts for less than a minute. You do not feel any pain from the excimer laser treatment.

Can I afford LASIK?

Yes. It is a life changing investment in yourself that can be less expensive than glasses and contacts over time. Financing can also be used that allows a patient to spread a reasonable payment over many months

How quickly will my eyes recover?

During the first 4-6 hours after the LASIK procedure you can expect some irritation, sensitivity to light, a scratchy sensation (similar to an eyelash in your eye) and possibly some mild tearing/watery eyes. Although you will start to see better within a few hours after the treatment, the vision on the day of the procedure will seem a little foggy. Most people get back to their normal routine quickly – even going back to work the next day.

How fast is the procedure?

The actual procedure is very fast. The flap creation using a femtosecond laser takes about 10 seconds, and the excimer laser can reshape your eye in less than 15 seconds. You are usually in the laser suite for about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Am I a candidate for LASIK?

LASIK eye surgery can correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism allowing people under 40 to see better without glasses both far away and up close. If you are over 40, you can still correct the distance vision with LASIK, but you will likely still need over the counter reading glasses to read up close. Although some people over 40 use contact lenses to correct one eye for distance and the other eye for near, this does not work for many people and you would want to try it with contact lenses before attempting monovision correction with a laser. LASIK is performed after your vision has been stable for a period of time (typically 1 year or more). There are a number of factors that doctors must evaluate before they can determine who is a candidate for LASIK. Some pre-existing conditions may also exclude you from having LASIK including Keratoconus, rheumatological conditions (Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis), uncontrolled glaucoma, cataracts, retinal problems, and optic nerve diseases. Additionally, if you are pregnant or nursing, we recommend that you wait until you are finished nursing to be evaluated for LASIK.

I am currently only wearing reading glasses, can I get LASIK?

When people turn 40, the eyes start having difficulty focusing up close. Even if you never needed glasses (or previously had LASIK) before age 40, you will likely need help reading up close at some point in your 40’s. This is called presbyopia. LASIK does not stop the aging process. People who don’t need glasses to see in the distance often wear over the counter reading glasses. People who do need glasses to see in the distance often wear bifocals or take off their glasses to read if they are myopic. If you are over 40, LASIK can still correct your distance vision, but you will want reading glasses to see up close. If you are able to tolerate monovision (correcting one eye for distance, and the other eye for near) using contact lenses, LASIK may be able to provide a similar outcome, but your eyes will continue to age often requiring reading glasses in the future. Most people prefer using LASIK to correct both eyes for distance vision which allows the eyes to work together and maintain the best possible depth perception. At some point after age 40, even if you see perfectly in the distance, you will start using over the counter reading glasses to see up close.