Avera Medical Minute AM: Lasik Eye Surgery Comes to Marshall - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute AM: Lasik Eye Surgery Comes to Marshall

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Three out of every four Americans will require some type of vision correction in their lifetime. With so many people in specs, Lasik Eye Surgery is becoming the popular alternative to glasses and contacts.

Kayla Aus used to be your typical near-sighted Rad-Tech at Avera Marshall. But after eight years of fiddling with contacts and glasses she decided on a simpler option.

"I'm usually on the go so the big this is having to bring along a contact case, solution extra glasses, I just thought I'd be nice to not have to remember all that." Said Aus.

Kayla decided to have Lasik surgery to repair her eyesight. The laser assisted procedure is a service Avera Marshall just started offering in March. It's an out patient surgery that basically puts the glasses on your eye instead of on your face.

"What the laser does is it transfers the lens prescription onto your cornea so in order to do that it actually removes a little bit of tissue to create a prescription profile on the cornea so you have to have enough tissue to safely do the procedure." Said Dr. Curtis Louwagie.

"They cut a flap and then they pull it back and kind of scrape your cornea so it's thinner and the doctor told me I was a good candidate because I had a really thick cornea so mine was really successful." Said Aus.

Dr. Chris Buntrock has done more than 10,000 Lasik surgeries in his career, but Kayla was just his second Lasik patient at Avera Marshall. Kayla says she was definitely nervous during the procedure, but after just a few minutes working on each eye, Dr. Buntrock's work was complete.

"I sat up and said, oh my gosh! I can see!" Said Aus.

Kayla says things were a little blurry at first but her eyesight only continued to improve.

"I went back for my follow up and I have better than 20/20 vision which I've never had." Said Aus.

Kayla says colors are brighter and her eyes focus better on the computers and equipment at work. But Dr. Buntrock says she's yet to enjoy the full benefit of Lasik.

"Kayla, she's in her 20's she's got over two decades before she'll need any reading glasses so when you think of the utility she's going to get out of having this procedure now, it works great!" Said Dr. Buntrock.

Lasik can be done on any patient 18 and older as long as they qualify. Patients should have a full eye exam with their ophthalmologist to go over all the risks and benefits of Lasik. It is elective surgery, so insurance won't cover the procedure, but that shouldn't be the deciding factor.

"If you're a young person in your 20's and you look at the cost of glasses or contacts over two decades, Lasik surgery comes out very competitively." Said Dr. Buntrock.

Most insurances have a financing plan to lessen the burden of improving your eyesight. For those considering Lasik, it's a big step to take, but Kayla says it's a no-brainer.

"If you're a candidate I'd say do it for sure it's the best decision I've made I think, and I wouldn't go back to wearing contacts or glasses if I didn't have to." Said Aus.

The hospital spared no expense in getting top of the line equipment. Avera Marshall is now the only ophthalmology center that provides Lasik surgery in Southwest Minnesota.

For more information about Lasik eye surgery just call 877-AT-AVERA

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