What Is Advanced Surface Ablation, or ASA?
Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) with an eye doctor is a minimally invasive laser vision correction procedure that uses a topographically guided, highly customized laser to reshape the surface of the eye and help correct common vision conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. ASA is also sometimes referred to as "surface-based" or "topography-guided" ablation. It is mainly used to reduce or eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses and can be used to improve all degrees of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
Is ASA Safe?
Yes, ASA is considered very safe when performed by a qualified eye doctor who has experience in performing this procedure, such as Dr. John A. Stefano of Shenandoah LASIK and Cataract Center. The laser beam used is only applied to the outer layer of the cornea, which makes it much less invasive than traditional procedures such as LASIK surgery.
How Long Does ASA Take?
The entire procedure typically takes no more than 15 minutes per eye, after which you will be able to return home right away without having any restrictions on activities or lifestyle changes needed post-treatment. This makes it much faster than other types of vision correction procedures like refractive lens exchange (RLE), which can take up to two hours per eye, depending on individual cases.
What Are the Benefits of Having ASA Performed?
Advanced surface ablation offers many benefits over traditional methods of correcting vision problems, such as glasses, contacts, or even LASIK surgery. These include:
- Improved visual acuity within 24 hours of treatment
- Greater accuracy due to advanced laser technology
- Less risk of complications
- Shorter recovery time
- Cost savings due to fewer visits required pre/post-treatment
- Improved quality of life with clear vision at all distances
- No need for corrective lenses after treatment in most cases
- Longer lasting results due to its ability to correct higher order aberrations
- Improved night vision for those who suffer from halos and starbursts around lights at night
Who Is the Ideal Candidate for ASA?
The ideal candidate for advanced surface ablation should be 18 years old or older with a stable prescription in their eyeglasses/contacts for at least one year prior to undergoing the procedure and free from any corneal disease or infection as well as any chronic dry eyes or allergies that could affect healing after surgery. You should also have good overall health, including no uncontrolled diabetes or autoimmune disorders that may impact wound healing following corrective surgeries.
What Happens During ASA?
An advanced surface ablation treatment begins with numbing drops being placed onto each eye before a computerized mapping system scans both eyes, carefully taking precise measurements across their surfaces. An ultra-short pulse laser beam called an excimer laser is directed onto areas around both eyes’ surfaces according to the map created earlier, helping reshape them.
Will I Have To Wear Glasses or Contacts After Having an ASA Procedure Performed?
In most cases, once you have had an ASA procedure done successfully by Dr. John A. Stefano, you will no longer require wearing glasses/contacts. The modern technology utilized during actual treatments, combined with our physician's expertise, ensures the best possible outcome for each patient.
Advanced Surface Ablation Procedure
Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) is ideal for patients whose corneas may be too thin to safely perform iLASIK or those patients who would have certain types or corneal irregularities. It is also recommended for certain professions where there is a high risk of eye trauma under adverse field conditions, such as those in the military or law-enforcement. Advanced Surface Treatment, treats the surface layer of the cornea only and does not require the creation of a flap. Like iLASIK, it is relatively painless and heals quickly but slightly slower than iLASIK. After healing takes place, the attained vision in ASA patients is comparable to that of iLASIK patients.
During the ASA procedure, a either a blunt micro-keratome or a chemical solution smoothly removes without cutting, the surface layer, or epithelium, from the cornea. Next, a the VISX CustomVue® STAR IR S4 Excimer Laser is used to reshape the surface of the cornea to reduce or remove the eye’s optical prescription. The epithelium is then replaced with a special type of protective contact lens. The epithelium re-grows in a few days with very little pain. The protective lens is removed after several days.
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