3101 W. 57th St., Sioux Falls, SD 57108
(605) 361-EYES (3937) or (877) 522-EYES (3937)

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1925 N 22nd Ave, Suite 201, Bozeman, MT 59718
(406) 219-0700 or (866) 620-EYES (3937)

3101 W. 57th St., Sioux Falls, SD 57108

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Laser Vision Correction and LASIK

If you're considering laser, implant or cataract vision correction, we encourage you to look over the following information, research your options and decide what 's best for you. We'll be there to answer any questions and help in the process.

What's the most important part of your surgery?

Quite simply, your doctor and the technology he or she uses. In laser or implant vision correction, experience and expertise are key factors in yielding excellent results. The teams at Vance Thompson Vision in Bozeman, Sioux Falls, and Fargo take pride in being world leaders in quality vision correction and setting global standards for your care.

In addition to their precise techniques, training and distinctions—like having the region's only doctor team Fellowship Trained in Corneal and Refractive Surgery—they lead the way in the future of laser and vision correction with extensive research and a commitment to using only the most advanced technology available.

What is Laser Vision Correction?

Laser vision correction involves using a precise computer-controlled laser to gently reshape the cornea, allowing light rays to focus more directly on the retina and ultimately reducing your dependence on corrective lenses. The in-office procedure lasts only a few minutes per eye, and most patients can return to work the next day. Laser vision correction can correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

Vance Thompson Vision has participated in more than 80 FDA-monitored clinical trials, including the FDA's monitoring investigation phase at the birth of LASIK technology. As part of a small, elite group of surgeons, Vance Thompson Vision helped introduce laser flap technology to the United States and the world. In addition, Vance Thompson Vision was the second surgical center in the world to perform laser vision correction.

Custom LASIK, in conjunction with IntraLASIK technology, and the team continue to lead the way for the future of laser and implant vision correction.

How Vision Works

Understanding how laser vision correction improves vision requires a basic knowledge of refractive errors and how the eye focuses light. To focus light rays, the eye depends on two major focusing elements: the cornea (the outer surface of the eye) and the lens (inside the eye). In an ideal eye, the cornea and the lens work together to focus light rays onto a pinpoint image on the retina. If light rays do not focus directly on the retina, the eye will be nearsighted, farsighted or astigmatic.

Ideal Vision:

Light rays coming through the cornea and lens converge and focus perfectly on the retina.

Refractive Errors:

Common Refractive Errors

Laser Vision Correction Options

LASIK, an acronym for "laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis" includes all procedures that utilize the Excimer laser to reshape the cornea. Vance Thompson Vision specializes in LASIK technology, which includes the latest innovations of LASIK: IntraLASIK and Custom LASIK. 

The LASIK Procedure

In preparation for the actual surgery, your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic eye drops. The surgeon will then place an eyelid holder between your eyelids to prevent you from blinking during the procedure. Next, a thin protective flap is made in the cornea. While some centers make this flap with a handheld, razor-sharp blade called a "microkeratome" the surgeons at Vance Thompson Vision give you the option of using the microkeratome or a newer way of making the flap: a laser. After the flap is created, the surgeon folds it back out of the way, then gently reshapes the exposed cornea with a cool Excimer laser. The actual procedure only lasts a few minutes per eye. When the cornea is reshaped properly, it works better to focus light into the eye and onto the retina, providing clearer vision than before. Following the laser correction, the flap is laid back in place, where it will bond with your eye without the need for stitches. Most people can return to work within 24 hours.

Completely Bladeless LASIK

With femtosecond laser technology, LASIK is a completely bladeless approach to refractive surgery that is even more precise than traditional LASIK. LASIK is essentially a two-step procedure. The first step is the creation of a thin protective flap on your cornea, and the second is the actual correction of your vision, as a laser beam gently reshapes the cornea. Until recently, the traditional LASIK flap was created with a handheld blade, but with femtosecond laser technology, the flap is formed using a computer-controlled laser. The result is a safer, incredibly accurate, less invasive approach to the flap creation step in the LASIK procedure.

Because bladeless LASIK affords the surgeon greater precision and predictability in creating the flap than traditional LASIK, each flap is more specifically designed and therefore able to be more securely repositioned.

The accuracy of this computer-controlled procedure significantly reduces the possibility of complications.

Not only has bladeless LASIK made vision correction more exact and predictable, but its unique level of precision also makes it more accommodating to patients who may not have been candidates for laser vision correction in the past. Through its increased accuracy and safety, this technology allows for correction even in cases of above-average pupil size, thinner corneas, and higher corrections.

The Custom LASIK Procedure

While most centers have only recently invested in this world-class technology, Vance Thompson Vision was one of the first centers to use femtosecond technology to create the initial LASIK flap. Since 2001, femtosecond technology has been the standard of care and Vance Thompson Vision boasts four different femtosecond laser technologies with exacting specifications for your eye.

Custom LASIK is the first FDA-approved LASIK procedure customized to your vision. Not only can this procedure correct your vision, but in many cases, Custom LASIK can actually improve it. How? This procedure effectively maps your eye 's unique visual irregularities to include those that cannot be addressed by glasses, contact lenses or conventional laser surgery.

Visual irregularities, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism - all known as "lower order aberrations" - are responsible for approximately 90% of your visual blur. The remaining distortions in your vision are a result of other unique imperfections in your eye called "higher order aberrations" which affect the overall clarity of your vision, especially in low-light situations. Until recently, laser vision correction - like correction via glasses and/or contacts - was only able to correct lower order aberrations. However, with revolutionary new Wavefront technology, our doctors are now able to generate a unique structural map of your eye and correct high order aberrations."

Preparation for the Custom LASIK procedure begins by using the Wavefront device to transmit a ray of light into the eye. When the light is reflected off the retina, it travels back through the cornea and the lens and is picked up again by the Wavefront device. This device uses the light to cast all of the eye 's irregularities as a 3-D image, known as a Wavefront map. This Wavefront map serves as an optical fingerprint of your vision, allowing our surgeons to treat your lower and higher aberrations. LASIK has always been a two-step process. With traditional LASIK, a handheld blade is used to create the flap, and a laser is then used to shape the cornea. But Custom LASIK (combined with bladeless femtosecond laser technology -  the most precise LASIK procedure ever) uses a computerized laser both to create the flap and shape the cornea. Custom LASIK is the first and only completely bladeless LASIK procedure to utilize an all-laser approach, both to make the corneal flap and customize the correction through Wavefront-guided technology.

With multiple laser platforms, we can better address your unique eyes. For vision correction, we use the Wavelight Allegretto 500 kHz in addition to the VisX Star V. For flap making, we have the IntraLase IFS and the Wavelight FS500 among other laser options.

Vance Thompson Vision was the second surgical center in the world to perform the Custom LASIK procedure in conjunction with the first bladeless LASIK technology. Today, our practice has offices that offer LASIK vision correction in Bozeman, Fargo, and Sioux Falls. Contact us today to schedule your vision correction procedure at one of our offices!