Lasik Eye Surgery

If you are tired of wearing glasses all the time or wrestling to put contacts into your eyes every morning, it might be time to consider LASIK eye surgery.

Most people have probably heard about LASIK, the refractive eye procedure that can help treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatisms. It has certainly become a popular way for many patients to get the eyesight that they have always wanted without the need for glasses or contact lenses.

LASIK stands for “laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis”, and this quick and painless surgery is designed to change the shape of the cornea so that when light enters the eye it is projected onto the retina properly for perfect or near-perfect vision. During surgery, we will create a small flap in the cornea and reshape it so that vision is corrected.

LASIK is great for patients over the age of 18 years old, who have healthy eyes, are in good general health and who aren’t pregnant or nursing. When you come in for your consultation, we will sit down with you to discuss your goals and expectations for treatment and also perform a full eye examination to make sure that LASIK is the right procedure for you. During this visit it’s important that you provide as much information as possible about your medical history and any medications you are taking.

Before your surgery, we will also discuss the possible risks or complications that can arise with any surgery. Of course, complications are rare and we provide the best care we can to all of our patients to minimize these risks.

LASIK is performed as a fast outpatient procedure. Numbing eye drops are placed into the eye or eyes prior to your surgery, and the procedure usually only takes about 10 to 15 minutes per eye. Sometimes both eyes are treated at the same time or only one eye is treated at a time to see your final results before performing surgery on the other eye.

Fortunately, eyes heals quickly, but you will want to take a few days from work after your LASIK surgery to give your eyes time to heal and for symptoms to subside. There may be minimal burning for a few hours after your procedure, but medication can be prescribed to ease your discomfort. Vision will be blurry right after your procedure but should be significantly better by the next day. During your recovery time you shouldn’t drive, and you should avoid pools and hot tubs for at least a couple weeks.

If you want to find out if you’re an ideal candidate for LASIK then call our Nashville, TN office today at (615) 340-4733.


    It was so quick and easy. Why didn’t I do this sooner, I thought? More so, why doesn’t everyone do this?


    It was really fast and really easy. After the procedure, they told me to look at the clock and I could already see it real well. It was incredible.


    I do a lot of traveling, so to have one less thing to worry about as I travel is going to be amazing. My only regret is I didn’t do this sooner.


    I am very happy with the results. I have already recommended Dr. Shofner to friends and relatives. I appreciate that all staff treated patients like people instead of numbers.



What is Lasik?

LASIK (Laser in situ keratomileusis), is an outpatient surgical procedure used to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. With LASIK, your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) uses a laser to reshape the cornea (the clear covering of the eye) to improve the way the eye focuses light onto the retina.

Which Lasik Procedure is Best?

Some vision care centers advertise Custom 3D, Bladeless, Z-Bladeless, Traditional LASIK, and you may also be aware of PRK. With all LASIK procedures, a hinged flap is created over the cornea and after the Excimer Laser performs its magic to reshape the eye, the flap is laid back down over the cornea. However, some patients request the Z-LASIK because they do not like the idea of a blade being use to create the flap.

The Advanced CustomVue Procedure (Custom or 3D LASIK) begins with an individual vision evaluation using our WaveScan System which creates a map of your eyes' unique imperfections. The Advanced CustomVue Procedure uses the digital information from that map to design a custom treatment for each of your eyes. This WaveScan map information is then transferred to the STAR S4 IR Excimer Laser. The laser uses this information to apply a cool laser beam that reshapes your cornea to create a new curvature and correct your vision.

PRK Surgery is a Type of Laser Vision Correction. Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a procedure in which the surface of the cornea is reshaped using an excimer laser. This process removes only 5-10% of the thickness of the cornea for mild to moderate myopia - about the thickness of 1 to 3 human hairs.

Not sure which LASIK procedure is best? Dr. Shofner will assist patients in determining which flap method works best.

Am I a Good Candidate?

Dr. Shofner and his staff will advise you about certain conditions that may prevent you from being a good candidate for this procedure. For instance, the ideal candidate for LASIK is over 18 years of age, not pregnant or nursing, and free of any eye disease. You should not have had a change in your eye prescription in the last year and should have a refractive error within the range of correction for LASIK. Schedule your free LASIK consultation today.

How is Lasik Performed

LASIK is performed with the patient reclining under the laser in an outpatient surgical suite. First, the eye is numbed with a few drops of topical anesthetic. These drops may sting. An eyelid holder (called a speculum) is placed between the eyelids to keep them open and prevent you from blinking.

A suction ring placed on the eye lifts and flattens the cornea and helps you keep your eye from moving. You may feel pressure from the eyelid holder and suction ring, similar to a finger pressed firmly on your eyelid. From the time the suction ring is put on the eye until it is removed, vision appears dim or goes black.

Dr. Shofner will use an automated microsurgical instrument called a microkeratome to make a flap in your cornea. This device is attached to the suction ring. As the microkeratome blade moves around the cornea, you will hear a buzzing sound. The microkeratome stops at a preset point, far enough from the edge of the cornea to create a hinged flap of paper-thin corneal tissue. The microkeratome and the suction ring are removed from your eye, and the flap is lifted and folded back.

Some ophthalmologists use a specific laser instrument instead of a bladed microkeratome to make the flap in your cornea. With this technique, tiny, quick pulses of laser light are applied to your cornea. Each light pulse passes through the top layers of your cornea and forms a microscopic bubble at a specific depth and position within your cornea. Your Eye M.D. then creates a flap in the cornea by gently separating the tissue where the bubbles have formed. The corneal flap is then folded back.

As the flap is moved aside, your vision gets blurrier. Then a special laser for sculpting the cornea with measurements customized to your eye is centered above the eye. In most cases, a pupil tracker will be used to keep the laser centered on your pupil during surgery.

You will stare at a special pinpoint light called a fixation light or target light while laser sculpts the exposed corneal tissue. The laser makes a clicking sound you can hear during the procedure. After the laser has completed reshaping the cornea, the surgeon places the flap back into position and smoothens the edges. The flap adheres on its own in two or three minutes.

What Happens before Lasik Surgery?

Dr. Shofner and his staff will perform a thorough eye exam to measure your prescription and check for any abnormalities that might affect the procedure. Your doctor will check your eyes for unusual dryness, which could cause dry eye symptoms post-operatively, or unusually large pupils, which could affect night or low-light vision.

What Happens after Lasik Surgery?

To help protect your cornea as it heals, your ophthalmologist will give you goggles to wear for the first day and especially at night so you don't rub your eye. It is normal for your eye to have a burning sensation or feel "scratchy." This usually disappears in a few hours. Plan on going home and taking a nap or just relaxing after the procedure. You will be given eye drops to help the eye to heal and to alleviate dryness. Healing after LASIK is usually more comfortable than with other methods of refractive surgery because the laser removes tissue from the inside of the cornea and not from the more sensitive corneal surface.

What are the risks, complications and side effects?

LASIK, like any surgery, has risks and complications that should be carefully considered. LASIK can sometimes result in under-correction or over-correction. Fortunately, these problems can often be improved with glasses, contact lenses or an additional laser surgery.

Most complications can be treated without any loss of vision. Permanent vision loss is very rare. There is a chance, though extremely small, that your vision will not be as good after the surgery as before, even with glasses or contacts. This is called a "loss of best-corrected vision."Some people experience temporary side effects after LASIK that usually disappear over time. In rare situations, they may be permanent. These side effects may include:

  • discomfort or pain
  • hazy or blurry vision
  • scratchiness or dryness
  • glare, halos or starbursts around lights
  • light sensitivity
  • small pink or red patches on the white of the eye

Almost everyone experiences some dryness in the eyes and fluctuating vision during the day. These symptoms usually fade within one month, although some people may continue to have symptoms for a longer period of time. Infection is a small possibility with any surgical procedure, including LASIK. Antibiotics can usually clear up such infections. Rarely, complications during surgery may cause irregularities in the corneal flap, requiring further treatment.

What will my vision be like after Lasik?

It is important that anyone considering LASIK have realistic expectations. LASIK allows people to perform most of their everyday tasks without glasses or contacts.More than 90 percent of people who have LASIK achieve somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40 vision without glasses or contact lenses. If the procedure results in an under or overcorrection, your doctor may decide to perform a second surgery, called an enhancement, to further refine the result.

How popular is Lasik?

Today's LASIK procedure is the most popular form of refractive surgery for decreasing dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses. If LASIK surgery is appropriate for your eyes, you could join thousands of people who have benefited from this widely performed procedure. To make the decision that's right for you, discuss with your ophthalmologist whether or not you make a good candidate for LASIK.

Is Lasik safe?

The risk of laser vision correction continues to diminish as technologies continue to evolve. In addition, 3D Custom LASIK can now provide better vision while also reducing or eliminating night glare, one of the early common complaints of LASIK patients. Dr. Stewart Shofner is one of the first laser vision correction facilities in Middle Tennessee to offer all laser Z-LASIK vision correction procedure.

LASIK Military Program

What is Lasik Military Program?

The United States Military now recognizes that in a combat situation, glasses and contacts are simply not very functional and can even be very dangerous. Shofner Vision Center embraces those who serve in the military and has provided LASIK and PRK for many Pilots, Soldiers, and even Snipers.

Our Military Program offers special LASIK prices for all active duty, reserve, and National Guard Military personnel and military families (children, spouses, parents). Additionally, Shofner offers Complimentary LASIK for Wounded Warriors.

Is Lasik free to wounded warriors?

Yes, we have a special LASIK program for Wounded Warriors providing free LASIK for any Serviceman or Servicewoman who has lost a limb in combat. We also offer extremely attractive prices for Veterans, Reservists, and Active Duty Serviceman and Women and their dependents.

A serviceman or veteran whose combat wound (or in some cases a non-combat injury) during their deployment overseas hinders use of glasses or contacts may qualify for complimentary LASIK/PRK from Shofner Vision Center. Example: A serviceman/servicewomon who cannot put in contact lenses or glasses because of the loss of a hand.

Please note: Shofner Vision Center will determine, in its sole discretion, those who qualify for this complimentary LASIK/PRK service.

LASIK vs. Contacts

Is Lasik better than wearing contacts?

Lets face it. Putting a foreign body (contacts) in your eyes with your fingers is scary and potentially harmful. There is a reason that it is so hard to put contacts into your eyes. The potential risks of contact lens infections are widely known to eye doctors. Tens of millions of contact wearing Americans may be at risk of these serious infections.

Basically everyone wearing lenses is at risk. A Lancet study showed that people who wear daily contact lenses run a 1 in 100 risk of developing bacterial keratitis, an infection that can lead to a permanent loss of vision. Patients who abuse contacts by wearing them overnight or improperly caring for their lenses have an even larger risk.

Is Lasik safer than contacts?

YES. Statistically, LASIK is 5X safer than contact lens! According to a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology in October 2006, researchers found that LASIK surgery is safer than contact lens use. Sight threatening infections from contact lens use occur in 1 in 2,000 contact lens wearers, whereas the study confirms that less than one in 10,000 patients risk significant vision loss due to complications from LASIK, making LASIK the safest elective procedure being performed today.

Sources: Mathers, W.D. Archives of Ophthalmology, October 2006; Vol. 124: pp. 1510-1511.

Is Lasik more affordable than contacts?

Did you know that over the next 10 years, you may spend more money on contact lenses, contact lens solutions, and glasses than you will spend on LASIK? Besides fear, the key reason people do not have LASIK surgery is the cost. A good analogy to consider is buying a house vs. renting one...which one is more affordable over the long term?

What are the lifestyle costs of wearing contacts?

Do you have comfort issues with contacts? Can you swim, play sports, perform yard work, or do other activities with your contacts?Do you realize how much time you spend cleaning and caring for your contacts?Have you ever found yourself away from home without your contact supplies?

Have you ever had a contact-related eye infection? LASIK surgery is not without risk, but wearing contacts is also risky. Infections with contacts can occur, so considering this possibility, the hassle of contacts and the lifetime costs of wearing contacts, maybe it's time to Schedule Your Free LASIK Consultation at Shofner Vision Center.

What if I have allergies?

Many patients that used to wear contacts and chose LASIK eye surgery have reported a great deal of relief during allergy season. Wearing contacts and suffering from allergies can be very uncomfortable. Airborne allergens can get trapped on your contact lenses, causing extreme discomfort and cause your vision to blur. If discomfort persists, stop by Shofner Vision Center and visit with Dr. Shofner. A professional eye exam may help determine if your symptoms are allergy related or if you have an eye infection.

Also be sure to inquire about specific eye drops that can help relieve your symptoms and keep your contact lenses clean. Caution, some over the counter eye drops can damage certain contact lenses, so be sure you only apply solutions appropriate for contact lens wearers.

20-20 Guarantee

Can you guarantee that I will see 20/20?

Our LASIK patients are very pleased with their vision after LASIK and we believe in making sure our patients are very satisfied. However, we do not offer 20/20 LASIK Guarantees because this would be a violation of Federal Government Advertising Guidelines.

The Federal Trade Commission states, "As for promises of 20/20 vision — no doctor can make that guarantee". Further, the US Food and Drug Administration states:" Be wary of eye centers that advertise, "20/20 vision or your money back" or "package deals. There are never any guarantees in medicine."

How do I choose the best Lasik Surgeon?

Dr. Stewart Shofner is a graduate of Harvard University who completed his Medical Residency at Yale following medical school at the University of Virginia. He participated in the first Excimer Laser procedures while at Corneal Fellow, LSU. Dr. Shofner has performed over 60,000 ocular surgeries and is recognized by his peers as one of the outstanding Board Certified Ophthalmologist and LASIK and Cataract eye surgeons in the United States.

Dr. Shofner recognizes that fear of surgery is the patient's greatest concern. Therefore, he carefully evaluates each patient's vision to provide them their best options. He answers all questions, and never, never pressures anyone to have surgery.

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