ASIK is a popular surgery in St Louis. It is used to correct poor vision. People who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism can benefit from LASIK.
All laser vision correction surgeries work by reshaping the cornea, which is the clear front part of the eye. LASIK is one of a number of different surgical techniques used to reshape the cornea.
Pepose Vision was the first to offer LASIK eye surgery in the St. Louis region and continues to have among the best track record for vision outcomes of any LASIK provider in the country. Our highly-experienced surgeons use the most advanced, bladeless technology available. We’ve even earned the distinction of “top 100” LASIK providers nationwide!
After reading this page, please contact us to learn even more and schedule a free consultation where we’ll explain the LASIK procedure in detail, perform key eye tests to determine your best option and answer all of your questions.
If you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have an astigmatism you could be a candidate for LASIK. If you are tired of wearing glasses or contacts, you could be a candidate, as well.
The only way to know is to have a complete examination by a LASIK expert. We offer a free one-on-one consultation at our St. Louis office where we’ll explain the LASIK process in detail and give you an eye exam to let you know if you’re good candidate for LASIK. Our St. Louis LASIK surgeons also answer any questions and explain your options honestly. If you have been told that you are not a candidate for LASIK please consider the Visian ICL procedure.
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During bladeless LASIK vision correction surgery (also known as IntraLase), a laser is used to create a thin flap in the cornea. The cornea is then peeled back and the underlying tissue is reshaped using another laser. After the cornea is reshaped so that it can properly focus light onto the retina, the cornea flap is put back in place and the surgery is complete. LASIK is performed while the patient is under local anesthesia. It usually takes about 10 minutes to complete. Patients may also request mild sedation.
The first step is to perform a diagnosis using theWaveScan WaveFront System. Your eye is unique, and is as personal as your fingerprint. The WaveScan WaveFront System creates a 3-D map that provides detailed information of your vision correction requirements. We use that to develop a LASIK correction plan.
Then we use a process called the IntraLase Method to create a thin LASIK flap, precisely personalized just for you. The flap is folded back in preparation to gently reshape the cornea. Studies have shown that flaps created with the IntraLase method have fewer complications and greater stability than flaps created with a blade.
Lastly, we use a second, ultra-precise “cool” laser to gently reshape your cornea to the desired curvature, based on the digital information from your personalized WaveScan WaveFront map. Then we reposition the LASIK flap, and your procedure is complete. Many of our patients sit up and immediately notice dramatically better vision. Serving LASIK to the St. Louis areas, schedule a consultation with us today!
Nearsighted treatments share a common goal — to flatten the center of the cornea in order to reduce or eliminate myopia. In contrast, procedures to correct farsightedness steepen the central cornea. Finally, treatment for astigmatism changes the contour of the cornea from football shaped to basketball shaped. Astigmatism treatment can be performed alone (if it is the only problem) or at the same time as treatment for nearsightedness or farsightedness. Using a cool-beam excimer laser, we are able to reshape the cornea to resolve these vision problems.
LASIK is the procedure of choice both nationwide and internationally for the treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Pepose Vision Institute was the first to perform LASIK in the bi-state region and remains the most experienced provider in the St Louis area. PVI was also the first to introduce Custom (Wavefront) LASIK, the treatment of choice for patients with irregular corneas; and Flapless LASIK (LASEK), which is used when patients are not good LASIK candidates. Finally, Multifocal Intraocular Lens Implants, the latest FDA-approved non-laser technology for correcting nearsightedness or farsightedness, is specifically targeted for cataract patients requiring a lens extraction (for more information about cataract diagnosis and treatment, please click here). All of these procedures are designed to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism at the same time.
LASIK requires that a thin corneal flap be created, which acts as a natural bandage to promote healing. Once the flap is created, a pulsating, cool-beam laser is applied beneath the flap to gently reshape the cornea. The flap is then refloated to its original position and within a short time re-adheres to the cornea and is extremely difficult to disturb. LASIK offers rapid visual recovery and minimal postoperative pain. Most patients opt to have both eyes treated together, and even drive to their follow-up exam the very next day. The only difference between LASIK for nearsightedness and LASIK for farsightedness is the way in which the laser’s beam is used to remove tissue from the cornea. During Hyperopic LASIK, the laser removes tissue from the periphery of the cornea, instead of from its center. This flattens the outer area and causes the center of the cornea to steepen, thereby reducing the patient’s farsightedness.
At Pepose Vision, we use the latest wavefront analyzer to examine every patient’s cornea, resulting in literally thousands of data points that your surgeon can use to improve your treatment plan. This is particularly important when a patient has significant corneal aberrations. These tiny aberrations cause some patients to complain that the letters on an eye chart appear “ghostly”, that headlights at night have “tails” on them, and that streetlights have “halos,” problems that are not easily corrected by contact lenses or glasses. Wavefront-Guided LASIK is clinically relevant for a small subset of patients who have large amounts of specific forms of wavefront aberration pre-operatively, sometimes associated with a larger pupil size, and who are not good candidates for standard LASIK surgery. Wavefront measurements are used in the programming of the laser to offset the eye’s higher order wave aberrations, as it corrects for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. This treatment is often referred to as Custom LASIK, because it actually customizes your laser treatment to the unique topography of your cornea.
FLAPLESS LASIK (LASEK) does not require the creation of a corneal flap. Instead, the outer skin of the cornea, called the epithelium, is treated with alcohol. This causes the outer skin to gel and adhere together. Using a special set of instruments, the outer corneal skin is delicately slid back as an intact sheet. The entire thickness of the underlying cornea is available for laser reshaping. The epithelial sheet is then gently floated back into its original position and a band-aid type contact lens is placed for 4 days of continuous wear. This allows the outer skin to quickly and completely heal. Flapless LASIK is ideal for individuals with thin corneas, deepset eyes, and those who are concerned about the creation of a flap. While flapless LASIK is associated with increased post-operative discomfort and a delay in achieving the full vision benefit of surgery, clinical studies have demonstrated that at 6 months post-op, patients who underwent LASIK and LASEK had the same improvements in vision. Because of its minimal discomfort and rapid visual recovery, LASIK remains the clinically preferred treatment for most patients.
Each and every vision correction procedure requires that a surgeon perform microsurgery on your cornea, using the laser and other instruments as tools to achieve your vision outcome. Each stage of the procedure requires surgeon input, whether it is to choose the appropriate laser, pre-program it for your precise vision treatment plan, create a corneal flap or epithelial sheet, or monitor the eye to avoid post-operative complications. Because all of these vision correction procedures are forms of corneal surgery, choosing a surgeon who is subspecialty trained in cornea will ensure the very best vision outcomes possible. At Pepose Vision Institute, your surgeon is cornea subspecialty trained and at the forefront of vision correction technologies and procedures.
The FDA has approved laser vision correction performed using the latest generation IntraLase™ FS Laser, PVI’s laser of choice. This approval is based on clinical data generated by the leading cornea surgeons in the United States, including Dr. Jay Pepose. In fact, Dr. Pepose was one of the first eight investigators to participate in clinical trials of the excimer laser over 20 years ago. This laser has been used worldwide for decades, and has been found to have the highest level of performance in terms of vision outcomes and long-term stability.
While the FDA has approved this laser in terms of safety and effectiveness, it does not guarantee that all surgeons using this technology will achieve the same vision outcomes. Pepose Vision Institute has tracked its vision outcomes from the beginning. These outcomes have been consistently superior to those reported to the FDA during the laser’s clinical trials. During your visit to PVI, ask to see its vision outcomes for patients with a pre-operative prescription just like yours.
You should not have LASIK or any other laser eye surgery if you are pregnant, nursing, or expect to become pregnant or nurse within six months of the procedure. If pregnant, wait at least two months beyond delivery or after nursing has ended to talk to your eye doctor about when it is optimal to have your laser eye surgery.
Hormones produced during pregnancy causes most women’s prescriptions to fluctuate dramatically, whether they are wearing glasses or contacts. The same occurs during the breastfeeding phase. This is because variability in hormonal levels causes fluctuations in the curvature of the cornea. As a result, having LASIK surgery during pregnancy or while nursing increases the likelihood that a re-treatment will be needed later.
If you are 18 years of age or older and have a stable prescription, you are likely to be a good candidate for one of the many vision correction procedures available today. We offer a free, personal consultation to determine whether your prescription is within the treatable range and whether you would be likely to benefit substantially from laser vision correction. Our 3+ hour comprehensive pre-operative exam enables us to evaluate the health of your eyes and to confirm that your vision problems are not caused by other factors such as cataracts or glaucoma. We use millions of data “points” derived from your pre-operative exam to create a customized treatment plan that will produce the very best vision outcome possible. At every stage in the evaluation process from personal consult to pre-operative exam the surgeons at PVI will assess the candidacy of each and every patient and, when necessary, defer surgery until an eye condition is resolved or a more appropriate technology is available. Because PVI is at the forefront of clinical trials and applications, and has longstanding relationships with the international leaders in eye technology, it knows what is coming “down the pike” and whether it will contribute to a better outcome for specific patients.
The wait is over! FDA-approved Verisyse Phakic IOLs are available for patients with very high degrees of nearsightedness, for whom laser vision correction is not an option. This intraocular lens is a micro lens placed behind the cornea that works alongside the natural lens. It is made out of PMMA, the same material used safely for the past 50 years in cataract surgery. The word “phakic” means that the natural lens is left in the eye (not removed as in cataract surgery). This is important because the natural lens helps the eye adjust between seeing objects near and far.
Because the Verisyse IOL is placed directly behind the cornea, it is important that this surgery be performed by a cornea subspecialist, who is trained to evaluate the cornea to ensure that you are an excellent candidate for the procedure. Pepose Vision Institute was one of the first centers in the nation to be certified in the use of Verisyse Phakic IOLs and has the most experience in the bi-state area in safely implanting these lenses.
We have had patients as young as 18 and as old as 82 who have had outstanding vision correction outcomes. The most important determinant for young people is whether their eyesight has stabilized (no prescription change for at least one year). For older patients, it is critical that a thorough eye exam be performed to eliminate any other cause of vision loss, such as cataract formation. Because Pepose Vision Institute is a comprehensive eye care provider offering vision correction surgery as well as treatment for glaucoma and cataracts, it has the experience to diagnose and treat a wide variety of eye conditions that may be contributing to poor vision or may compromise an outstanding vision correction result.
At Pepose Vision Institute, our mission is clear: to protect, preserve and enhance your vision. If you are not well-suited for one of the many vision correction procedures we offer, we will NOT proceed with treatment. We have had a number of disappointed, but grateful, patients who have been turned down for surgery, or who have been diagnosed with other vision-compromising conditions that require treatment prior to, or in lieu of, laser vision correction. Because PVI provides treatment for glaucoma, cataracts and corneal problems in addition to vision correction, our patients can receive virtually all of their eye care services in one place, thereby assuring continuity and coordination of care. Having an experienced vision correction surgeon who is also experienced in other facets of eye care should be an important consideration when choosing your LASIK surgeon.
Yes, provided that he has been trained and certified by PVI surgeons in the delivery of pre- and post-operative vision correction care. Outstanding vision outcomes require meticulous pre-operative screening and post-operative attention to detail. We routinely “co-manage” our patients with their PVI-certified optometrists and ophthalmologists, working together closely as a team to provide you with the very best vision outcome possible.
Depending upon the type of contact lens you wear, and how long you have worn contacts, you will be asked to remove your contacts anywhere from two to 6 weeks prior to your comprehensive pre-operative exam. Our surgeons will monitor your cornea’s curvature once your contacts are removed to ensure that any artificial reshaping of your cornea due to contact lens use is fully reversed prior to surgery. This may require more than one pre-operative visit; there is no additional fee charged in such situations.
You may schedule your surgery so that it takes place as soon as the day after your preoperative visit, assuming that your surgeon concurs that this timetable is clinically optimal. Contact lenses wearers must have sufficient time out of their contacts to ensure that all corneal curvature induced by the contacts is gone prior to surgery. If you are a longtime contact wearer or wear hard lenses, we may schedule more than one pre-operative visit to check the curvature of your cornea.
There is no difference in vision outcomes whether both eyes are treated on the same day or not. Consequently, virtually all of our vision correction patients choose to have both eyes treated the same day.
Vision Correction treatments are performed on an outpatient basis. You will arrive one-half hour before the scheduled surgery time, during which time you will be given eye drops to anesthetize the cornea and a mild sedative such as Valium to help you relax during the procedure. You should plan to be at the surgery center for approximately two (2) hours.
Prior to your procedure you will be given a topical anesthetic (numbing eye drops) so that you will not feel any pain during surgery. If you have any discomfort after the procedure, you may take an over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol or Advil. We strongly recommend that you return home immediately and go to sleep so that your natural eye fluids can begin the process of soothing and promoting healing. You will be given eye drops that may be used should your eye feel scratchy or dry. Flapless LASIK patients should expect more scratchiness during the first week after surgery. These, too, can be remedied with eye drops and over-the-counter pain medications; in some cases, your surgeon will fit a bandage contact lens to promote healing during the first few days after surgery.
We use a lid holder to gently hold your eye open, making it impossible to blink during the procedure. Moreover, an infrared eye tracker follows eye movement and will automatically pause the laser if you look outside the treatment zone. We take the time to position you properly to ensure that your vision outcome is totally independent of any involuntary movements you may make.
Although everyone is a little different, most LASIK patients drive themselves to their one-day post-op exam the very next day! Flapless LASIK patients may take 4 or 5 days to achieve driving vision.
Visual recovery following LASIK is rapid. We strongly recommend that you rest immediately after your procedure. You can resume your normal activities as soon as the next day following surgery with a few exceptions. Patients should not wear eye makeup for at least one week following the procedure. Swimming, hot tubs and whirlpools should be avoided for two weeks, as should gardening and dusty, dirty environments. Also, it is a good idea to avoid smoking or smoky areas. While showering or bathing, keep your eyes closed to avoid soap or shampoo irritation.
Pepose Vision Institute includes in its fee exactly the amount of post-operative care that it deems medically necessary to ensure the very best vision outcome possible. As part of this fee, you will be seen 1 day post-operatively, as well as approximately 1 week, 6 weeks, and 6 months post-operatively by our team of doctors. During this time, your vision outcome will be repeatedly evaluated to assure that it is stable and that it does not require any further (no-cost) “touchup.” In addition, our surgeons are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to address any postoperative concerns you may have.
As with any type of surgery, there are potential, but extremely rare, risks associated with vision correction surgery. These risks are reviewed in our “Informed Consent” materials that you will have ample opportunity to review prior to scheduling your treatment. To put these risks in context, it is important to recognize that the prolonged use of contact lenses to achieve improved vision has its own risks, including corneal infection and scarring, both of which may result in the need for a corneal transplant.
Numerous studies of laser vision correction outcomes have demonstrated that the best way to minimize the risk of any complication is to choose a cornea subspecialty trained surgeon who has lots of vision correction experience and provides a thorough pre-operative exam to confirm your candidacy for the procedure and create a detailed treatment plan for your unique eye anatomy. Patients who meet their surgeon on the very day of surgery are unable to take full advantage of the medical training and surgical experience that assures the very best vision outcome possible.
Clinical data, gathered internationally from countries that have performed laser vision correction for decades, indicate that LASIK is a superior treatment in terms of long-term stability of vision. Studies of the first patients who had LASIK performed in 1991 indicate that they have maintained their corrected vision. Stability of vision is largely achieved within 3 months of surgery. For hyperopic patients, LASIK is the most stable treatment option available, remaining stable as long as the underlying causes of a patient’s farsightedness do not intensify.
All of the vision correction procedures offered by the Pepose Vision Institute will permit a patient to have cataract surgery should such surgery be warranted at some later date. However, once a patient has undergone laser vision correction, we strongly recommend that a highly experienced vision correction surgeon perform future cataract surgery; this will ensure that the intraocular lens replacement is measured precisely to reflect the earlier vision correction treatment.
In addition to being a leader in cataract surgery following laser vision correction, PVI surgeons have likewise performed vision correction surgery on patients who have already had cataract and other forms of eye surgery, thereby enhancing the clarity of their distance vision.
Pepose Vision Institute has been at the forefront of LASIK technology since the day it was first introduced. Proudly serving the St. Louis area with premier LASIK, Dr. Pepose has performed over 40,000 LASIK procedures. We are proud of the results we attain for our patients and will share with you (while keeping patient privacy) historical results of our LASIK procedures.
LASIK outcomes improve dramatically with the experience of the surgeon. Dr. Jay Pepose was the first to offer the LASIK procedure in the St. Louis region, and remains the most experienced LASIK surgeon in the bi-state area.
U.S. News & World Report recently listed Dr. Pepose among the TOP 1% of LASIK Surgeons in the entire nation.
Each patient undergoes a 3 hour state-of-the-art testing process, directly supervised by our surgeons who then create a precise, personalized treatment plan.
Pepose Vision’s research department is continually leading clinical studies for new LASIK technologies and techniques. We’ve done this since LASIK was first introduced and remain at the leading edge the industry.
PVI uses numerous diagnostic devices to confirm each patients’ unique test results. We are also constantly collaborating with eye technology industry leaders on “next generation” diagnostics.
Pepose Vision will never promote a less expensive service simply to get a patient in the door. We’ll never up-sell more costly procedures or reveal hidden costs. Nor will we ever provide varying price levels for our services just so we can do a procedure. We will honestly tell you the best way to improve your vision and provide the exact cost to do so.
Though LASIK Vision Correction has become “routine” in terms of occurrence, it is still SURGERY. We recommend that the best way to ensure a successful outcome is to choose a highly experienced surgeon who is involved in developing state-of-the-art treatments to enhance your vision outcome. Dr. Pepose is one such surgeon and guarantees the best LASIK St Louis has to offer.
We want you to make an informed decision about your vision. So we encourage you to compare our experience, skills and service to other providers’. You’ll see why we’re the leading laser vision correction practice in the bi-state region, and one of the premier providers in the entire United States. In fact, U.S. News & World Report recently listed Dr. Pepose among the TOP 1% of LASIK Surgeons in the entire nation.
PVI uses numerous diagnostic devices to confirm each patients’ unique test results. We are also constantly collaborating with eye technology industry leaders on “next generation” diagnostics.
PVI does more than LASIK. We diagnose and treat vision-compromising conditions to assure that you will enjoy the full benefit of your LASIK procedure and enjoy clear, crisp vision for a lifetime.
When M.D.s were surveyed and asked “to whom would you refer your family members if they needed vision correction surgery,” they have consistently answered Pepose Vision Institute, earning us recognition year after year in Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Docs.
If you know what technologies are coming down the pike, you can advise a candidate whether to wait until a new technology is available to better treat a specific condition. Pepose Vision Institute is at the forefront of new and developing eye technologies, working closely with leaders in eye care technologies around the world. We know whether today’s vision correction procedures are right for you, or whether another approach is on the horizon that will provide superior results for your unique vision condition.
The doctors at Pepose Vision Institute are pioneers in the development of LASIK, flapless LASIK, wavefront diagnostics and laser applications. We have earned an international reputation as a leader in new vision technologies and treatments. We are the home to numerous FDA clinical trials because we are known for our meticulous diagnostic skills and patient treatment.
LASIK is an elective surgery that should be performed only if it can enhance your uncorrected vision. At Pepose Vision, we are not afraid to say “no” to patients if they are not ideal candidates, or if they can benefit more from another treatment.
Some LASIK facilities have “hired gun” surgeons. They show up on the day of surgery and operate the laser, then they’re gone. They’re not involved in your pre-operative exam or treatment planning, which, frankly are critical parts of your procedure. Our approach is very different. Your Pepose Vision surgeon is integrally involved in your pre-operative exam and the development of a treatment plan customized to your vision needs. Our pre-operative exam is an extensive three hour visit during which time your eyes are measured and re-measured using a variety of diagnostic tests to ensure an exact treatment plan.
Don’t be fooled by corporate LASIK chains that quote national averages rather than outcomes for your specific surgeon. Pepose Vision Institute is the only St. Louis LASIK provider to make public its own patient vision outcome data. You can see the vision outcomes for people exactly like yourself, who have been treated by the same surgeons who will perform your procedure.
Ever try to reach your M.D. after office hours? You want the peace of mind from knowing you can reach your surgeon if you have questions or concerns, especially after surgery. At Pepose Vision, our surgeons are on-call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to respond to patients’ concerns. You will never hear “hang up and call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room if this is an emergency.”
Pepose Vision is committed to your eyesight for a lifetime. In addition to our “Vision Correction for a Lifetime” program for LASIK patients, we encourage our patients to return for annual follow-up to ensure that nothing compromises your newly- restored eyesight.
Pepose Vision Institute offers value when it comes to your vision correction surgery. Our fees include six months of post-operative visits, no-cost touch-ups during the first year after surgery, enrollment in our “vision correction for a lifetime” program, and all of the technology required to give you the safest, best vision outcome possible. This assures a continuity and quality of care that simply cannot be duplicated by corporate LASIK centers where the eye surgeon is retained on a “piecemeal” basis to perform surgery, and only sees the patient on the day of surgery.
Beware the bait and switch. Some LASIK companies will lure you in with a price based on using an old, inferior technology. They will only use the best technology for an increased fee over their advertised low price. Pepose Vision will never ask you to choose between “good”, “better” or “best” technologies, depending upon your willingness or ability to pay. We will never engage in “upselling” to increase your final fee. We believe that a doctor has an ethical responsibility to offer only the right technology that delivers the very best medical outcome possible. The appropriate treatment is a medical decision, not a “pocketbook” decision. This is why Pepose Vision offers the most competitive payment plans available including 0% down and 0% interest for qualified patients so that every individual can enjoy the very best vision outcome possible.
There are times when patients aren’t able to have LASIK, due to their thin corneas or they were too nearsighted. Now, there is an alternative to LASIK – the FDA approved Visian ICL™, Implantable Collamer Lens.
The Visian ICL™ is a procedure for the correction of moderate to high nearsightedness (myopia) that will allow patients to enjoy their active lifestyle demands with nothing less than the highest quality of vision. Why do these patients come to Pepose Vision Institute for their Visian ICL?
Patients come to us because we have a distinguished track record of surgical innovations and have experience with as many as 3 different lens implants for treating high levels of nearsightedness. The Visian ICL offers these attractive features:
Pepose Vision Institute knows that your concern about your eyesight doesn’t end the day after LASIK has brought your world into crisp, clear focus. Since serving the St. Louis areas, we’re dedicated to doing everything we can to assure our patients lifelong, quality vision.
LASIK vision correction procedures have been proven to be the most stable answer to nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. But Pepose Vision Institute goes the extra mile. We make a lifelong commitment to your newly restored vision.
We are pleased to offer qualified vision correction patients free enrollment in our Vision Correction for a Lifetime program. Unlike other providers who charge extra for this coverage, our coverage is included in your initial surgical fee. Yet another value that we bring to our vision correction patients!
During the first year after initial vision correction surgery, our patients receive touchups free of charge, when medically indicated. Beyond this first year, touchups continue to be offered free of surgical fees, when medically indicated. Patients will only pay laser facility and post-operative care fees, and applicable royalties or taxes.
Patients must have annual eye exams performed at Pepose Vision Institute or by your co-managing vision correction eye care provider, within three months of the anniversary date of the original surgery (patients are responsible for annual exam visit fees). These exams assure that unrelated eye conditions can be addressed so as not to diminish the benefit of your vision correction surgery.
In addition to having an annual eye exam performed at Pepose Vision Institute or by your co-managing vision correction eye care provider, touchups after the first year are free of surgical fees as long as:
The touchup is medically advisable, in a programmable range of refraction, with residual spherical equivalent of one diopter or more, and corrective lenses improve uncorrected vision by at least 3 lines on the acuity chart.
Patient’s uncorrected vision following initial surgery or enhancement during the first year is within 3 lines of the pre-operative best spectacle-corrected vision, as recorded at the one-year postoperative visit, and refractive outcome at the one year post-operative visit is of spherical equivalent of less than or equal to +/- 0.75D.
While the vast majority of our laser vision correction patients are eligible for our lifetime program, exclusions apply in the following situations:
If you're interested in LASIK Vision Correction, schedule your free consultation where we will explain the procedure in detail and see if you are a good candidate. You'll then be just days away from having great vision, without glasses or contacts!call today for your lasik consultation