What is LASIK?

Types of Refractive Surgery

Do you qualify?

What happens during the Laser Procedure?

Epstein's History with LASIK

What technology is involved with LASIK?

 Laser vision correction is a type of refractive surgery. The goal of any refractive surgical procedure is to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. In laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomelusis) and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) a cool beam of laser light reshapes the surface of the cornea. The cornea is the clear 'window' in front of your pupil. Reshaping this surface allows images that enter the eye to focus properly on the retina (the sensitive layer of tissue lining the back of the eye that allows you to see objects and images). LASIK and PRK are both FDA approved for treatment of myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (irregular corneal shape).

LASIK Introduction


Common types of Refractive surgery


LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomelusis) is a refractive procedure designed to reshape the cornea in order to eliminate or reduce a patient's need for corrective lenses such as glasses or contact lenses. In LASIK a thin hinged flap is created in the cornea using an instrument call a microkeratome. The laser procedure is then performed under this flap on the underlayer or stroma of the cornea. The stroma is reshaped using a cool laser beam created by the excimer laser. Reshaping this surface allows light to be more correctly placed onto the retina. The hinged flap is then put back into place over the treated cornea and begins adhering immediately, so, there is no need for stitches.  


PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) is designed for the same purpose as LASIK. In PRK the epithelium of the cornea is removed over the area being treated. The epithelium is the outer most layer of the eye's surface. The laser then sculpts the surface of the cornea allowing light to focus correctly on the retina. The patient wears a bandage contact lens to help lessen the discomfort after the procedure as the epithelium grows back. This contact lens is usually removed 2-3 days later. 


Epi-Lasik (Epithenial LASIK) is a refractive surgery procedure very much like LASIK.  Epi-LASIK is an alternative for patients with thin corneas who would not otherwise be candidates for the conventional LASIK procedure.

The Epi-LASIK procedure uses a specific type of microkeratome, called the Epi-keratome.  The epi-keratome precisely separates the thin epithelial sheet--much thinner than a LASIK flap—from the rest of the cornea.  Once the epithelium is separated from the rest of the cornea, the thin sheet of epithelial cells is lifted to one side.  After a laser is used to treat the cornea, the thin sheet is then moved back into place, where it will self –adhere.  After the procedure, a bandage contact lens is placed on the cornea to promote healing.  The reshaped cornea then focuses light more accurately on the retina. 

3 Steps of a LASIK Procedure

Step 1

After the patient's eyes have become numb due to numbing drops. The surgeon ses a machine to make a protective flap incision in the outer portion of the cornea of the eye and gently lifts it out of the way.

Step 2

The cornea is then sculpted into a slightly different shape using a pulsed excimer. (laser)

Step 3

The surgeon cleanses the area and gently repositions the flap which sticks back into position naturally. 

PRE-OP and POST-OP Instructions


  • Keep contact lenses out for 48 to 72 hours prior to surgery unless otherwise instructed.
  • No make-up on the day of surgery and men should have face shaved.
  • No wool sweaters or clothing with high fiber content.  A button down shirt is the best.
  • Arrange for a driver on the day of surgery and for your post-op appointment the next day.
  • After your surgery, plan on going home for the duration of the day and on resting
  • Payment is due on the day of your procedure.
  • Nothing with a scent or fragrance on the day of surgery (ie. No perfume, cologne, lotion.
  • Pagers and/or cells phones cannot be brought into the surgical suite
  • Make sure you EAT before surgery
  • If an enhancement is needed using the laser , there is a royalty of fee $150 or sometimes $300.  This pays for the key card to operate the laser; there are no extra surgical services
  • Three days prior to surgery, use Johnson’s baby shampoo to wash your eyelids twice a day, and use artificial tear drops three times a day.


  • Do not remove the eye shield(s) until the first post-op visit.
  • Take over the counter pain reliever as needed for discomfort
  • Wear the eye shield taped over the operated eye(s) while sleeping for two weeks after the surgery date
  • Shower from the neck down.  Use a wash cloth to clean the face
  • Avoid smoke filled rooms
  • Do not change diapers or kitty litter for one week.
  • Avoid activities that could cause an object to hit the operated eye(s
  • NO swimming for three weeks/
  • NO eye make-up for three weeks

Dr. Epstein's History of LASIK

Dr. Epstein started regularly performing keratomileusis in 1983. He has performed thousands of LASIK procedures on patients locally, nationally, internationally and also on his own children. We know from many years of experience that LASIK results are stable in the long run.

Wavefront Technology

The Center for Corrective Surgery is committed to providing the best and most up to date LASIK technology and because of this we have implemented the wavefront technology or the ability to actually perform customized LASIK, or simply custom LASIK. 

Wavefront Technology is the scientific base for Customized LASIK laser vision correction currently being performed today. Wavefront Technology has improved the visual outcomes of patients and provided significant advantages over conventional LASIK. 

What is wavefront technology definition?

 The VISX® WavePrint™ system is both a diagnostic and treatment approach that allows the doctor to take very precise measurement of the patient's eyes. This is similar to a fingerprint of your vision. Just like a fingerprint no two corneal maps are the same. In the system's diagnostic phase, a device called the WaveScan makes a WavePrint Map, a detailed map of the patient's vision. In the treatment phase, the doctor uses the information from the WavePrint Map to perform the vision correction using the excimer laser. 

Clinical Study Results

 VISX's FDA clinical study results were remarkable. Among other things:• At one year after the VISX CustomVue procedure;
- 100% of the clinical study participants could pass a driving test without glasses or contacts
- 98% of the clinical study participants could see 20/20 or better without glasses or contacts
- 70% of the clinical study participants could see 20/16 or better without glasses or contacts• Four times as many clinical study participants were very satisfied with their night vision after the VISX CustomVue procedure, compared to their night vision before with glasses or contacts. 

Wavefront history

              Wavefront technology was first developed in 1978 by Josef Bille, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Applied Physics at the University of Heidelberg, to measure wavefront distortions that occurred when light traveling through the atmosphere entered a telescopic lens. This technology removed any visual distortion or aberrations from the atmosphere allowing astrophysicists to more accurately view images of the stars and planets.
             It is now possible to utilize this technology to record detailed information about the visual characteristics of the eye. Unlike standard measuring devices such as corneal topography, which measure the front surface of the eye called the cornea, the wavefront scans the way the entire optical system processes light. 

“Fingerprint” of the Eye

             Wavefront analysis works by measuring the distortion or irregularities of the eye, known as higher-order aberrations. When a ray of light first enters the eye, it passes through the cornea to the lens and vitreous, ultimately reaching the retina. As it bounces off the retina and returns back through the cornea, the wavefront analysis detects and documents these distortions, which are unique to each individual. Because each patient has a unique visual optical system, the wavefront data has been likened to a fingerprint. 

Custom LASIK

             Once the wavefront data has been documented for an individual patient, the next step is to use this information to utilize the excimer laser to correct the higher-order visual aberrations. The surgeon can then determine what adjustments must be made to the corneal surface to produce a clear, crisp image for the unique individual needs of each patient. The use of wavefront technology to provide a more precise laser vision correction is known as, "Custom LASIK" or "Wavefront-Driven LASIK". Early data suggests that the 5-10 percent of patients who demonstrate higher-order aberrations are the patients that will significantly benefit from Custom LASIK treatments. Other patients may benefit from Custom LASIK to a smaller degree. 


My vision is extremely poor. Will LASIK work for me?

 The laser we use is the VISX Star S4. It is FDA approved to treat higher degrees of refractive error (very strong glass prescription.) It is possible that you may be able to have a good result with LASIK. The surgeon will take measurements of the thickness of your cornea as well as perform many other tests that will determine if laser surgery is right for you. Because the VISX laser is the most tissue sparing on the market we are able to treat higher degrees of nearsightedness than in the past. 

I wear bifocals. Can LaserVision eliminate my need for glasses?

 Using a technique called monovision, LASIK may greatly improve your reading vision. In monovision one eye is corrected for reading while the other eye is corrected (if needed) for distance. This would be attempted with contact lenses first to determine whether you would like this option. The second option would be correcting both eyes to see well for distance and using glasses when reading.

I am 18 years old. Can I have LASIK?

 The FDA guideline does allow for laser vision correction on patient over the age of 18. However, many people are still in a stage of growth at this age and there is a higher likelihood that your vision will change as well. Therefore, LaserVision will perform LASIK only on patients 21 and older.

How well will I see after the procedure?

 Most patients, 95% - 98%, see 20/40 (legal driving vision) or better after the procedure. Many patients, about 85%, see 20/20 or better.

How quickly will I be able to see?

 Most LASIK patients will be able to see more clearly the same day as the procedure, however the drops given after surgery will make vision cloudy for the first day.  Most LASIK patients see very well the next day after the procedure. You may notice continued improvements over the next several weeks. 

LASIK Testimonials

 "Hi my name is Branda Breaden ...from Kenosha. And I decided to get eye surgery back when I was in college, however I didn't have insurance and I didn't know who to go to, So finally I heard of Dr. Epstein through a friend. And I decided to go for it. I had very bad vision beforehand, so I was very pleased about what happened. I had surgery three weeks ago on the 19th of January. And that day I sat up from the operating chair and I could see better than I could without my glasses. And that night after a short nap I felt so much better. I could see clearly. I could certainly see better than I could with my glasses. I was completely pleased with it. I think it is the best thing I have ever done at least for myself, healthwise at least. I would certainly recommend it anyone who has problems with their contacts or their glasses." 

 "Hello, My name is Dr. Nguyen. I'm from Gurnee, Illinois. I'm a dentist. I work at Naval Station Great Lakes. And about a month ago I had lasik surgery done with Dr. Epstein The actual procedure took about two minutes each eye After the procedure it was a little bit sore .. went home … took a nap, woke up, and my vision was pretty much perfect… little bit of light sensitivity, a little bit of dryness… The dryness lasted maybe a week tops. But now a month after my eyesight is absolutely perfect. I still use the drops regularly, but the dryness isn't there. I just do it because it just helps with the healing and I would definitely recommend this procedure for anyone would choose not to wear glasses anymore." 

 "Hi my name is Christine Lich I live in Antioch Illinois. I had the lasik surgery with Dr. Epstein. And I have had glasses for thirty years since before kindergarten and I had contacts for a while but my eyes would constantly go dry. And so my husband got it two years ago, also with Dr. Epstein. And then I decided to take the plunge and do it myself and it's the best thing I've ever done so now I can wake up and see my kids and go swimming with my kids without getting splashed on and getting spots on my glasses so it's the best I ever did and I recommend it to everybody." 

 "Hi my name is Cindy. I'm from Palatine Illinois. I had lasik done two and a half years ago. I had the multifocal done. I wore bifocal glasses and because of my job I work with numbers on the computer I had a hard time focusing and since having the multifocal lasik I can do my job so much better I can see again." 

 "Hi my name is Jim Giblin. I'm from Chicago. I had lasik with Dr. Epstein about three years ago. Before lasik. I wore glasses since I was in fifth grade or so… and the lasik procedure was... it was wonderful and afterward it was life changing. .. to be able to reach over the night stand and NOT have to reach for glasses is wonderful. It's just instinctive of me to reach over for them and to not have to do that anymore is great. I play sports Again it's instinctive for me to if I'm sweating to wipe my brown and to remove my glasses with the other hand. And I wish I had done it years sooner." 

 "My name is Gene Guetzow. I'm from twin lakes Wisconsin and I've struggled with contacts and glasses for a long and decided to have lasik surgery with Dr. Epstein. It's been great now. I've had this done months ago and I take it for granted how easy everything is now and how good I feel.. so I really appreciate Dr. Epstein and the lasik surgery." 

 "My name is Dave Thomas . I'm from Schaumburg Illinois. I work out here in the Woodstock area. I had LASIK done at The Center for Corrective Eye Surgery in McHenry. I've been wanting to get the lasik surgery for about 15 years. I have friends and also a sister who had it done many years ago the old fashioned....the old radial cuts down in Houston. I learned of Dr. Epstein through a number of friends and 1-800-I-CAN-SEE. And so I decided to do the surgery two years ago right before I turned 50 years old. Right now I'm going to be 52 and I am so pleased with the surgery. I came in on a Thursday had both eyes done. That day I could see perfectly and the next day came in for the check up and everything was just wonderful. Dr. Epstein called me that night that night to make sure that everything was just fine and it was and I'm pleased that I've done it . No more do I wake up in the morning reach over to shut off the alarm clock and look for my glasses. What a wonderful feeling." 

 "My name is Cindy Hinkl. I'm from Round Lake Illinois. I had lasik done a year ago in May of 2005. The reason why I came to get lasik was because I could no longer wear contacts I had contacts since I was a sophomore in high school. I kept getting pink eye. and my eyes were very red and irritated. I could no longer get good vision out of contacts.. So when I came to visit Dr. Epstein. he was able to help me. I did get plugs put in, which helped my dry eye. And then I had my lasik done in May. I was very nervous the day I came in, but I was very reassured by the staff….great staff…reassuring me every step of the way. The procedure was done. I was home the same day...rested that day…next day came in...had the shields taken off and could see very well. I was very surprised. Vision got better from then. Two weeks later I came in. I could see very well. And a year has gone by and it's been PERFECT. I've been able to do a lot of things I couldn't have done before. I've been able to grow my nails and have nice manicured nails. Because I can leave my contacts out without poking my eyes…able to get up in the morning and see very well go swimming … do things with my children that I wasn't able to do before because my eyes were very irritated. And a year had gone by and it's been great. . And I want to thank Dr. Epstein and his staff The staff was great. Thank you."