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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Surgeon's face

Vision Correction Procedures

Non-Surgical Vision Correction

Glasses, the traditional method for optical correction, have been used for more than 400 years. Although images become focused when glasses are worn, glasses do not improve (or worsen) a patient’s fundamental refractive error. Contact lenses, both hard and soft, function like glasses to focus light. However, many people would rather not wear glasses or contact lenses. Their reasons are both personal and professional.

Vision correction surgery is not for everyone. If you qualify as a candidate for vision correction at Bascom Palmer, we will recommend the best procedure for your visual needs. If you don’t qualify as a candidate, we will tell you that as well.

Surgical Vision Correction

There are two types of permanent surgical correction for refractive errors. The first is corneal surgery in which the cornea is reshaped to focus the eye, usually with a laser. This approach is typically used for low to moderate amounts of refractive error. A second type of surgical correction is implantation of a lens inside the front of the eye, usually for high amounts of refractive error and/or when there is a cataract. Today, there are many different options within each type of surgical correction and the best procedure depends on a variety of factors including a person’s profession, hobbies and his or her visual expectations and requirements. Medical and anatomic issues as well as the type and amount of refractive error all must be taken into consideration.

“Many of our patients are well informed and educated about vision correction surgery,” says Carol L. Karp, M.D., cornea specialist and refractive surgeon. “They come in with very high expectations. Part of the first visit is to evaluate the patient, put the various surgical options in front of the patient and explain the pros and cons of each. We ensure that their expectations are reasonable.”

Among the types of corneal reshaping surgery offered at Bascom Palmer are: