Portland Optometrist Annie Bacon – Eye Department eye care and eyewear Portland, Oregon

LASIK Portland Laser Eye Surgery Center Wet-Lab Day

I was recently invited by TLC Laser Eye Centers to attend a hands on LASIK surgery day at their Portland Laser Eye Surgery center and I loved it!  TLC opened up their wet lab to a few local doctors, brought in a tray of pig eyeballs and sat me in front of a microscope and gave me the joystick to a laser. I was a bit torn about dissecting pig eyeballs not just because my last name is Bacon but this learning experience was something I couldn’t pass up. It was a pretty awesome experience!<!–more–>

There are two steps to a LASIK procedure. The first step is making a thin flap on the surface of the cornea.  This process is done by securing the eyeball and using an ultra-fast laser with infrared light beams (IntraLase Femtosecond laser) that generate up to 60,000 pulses per second to create the actual corneal flap. Essentially, a bunch of little bubbles are made by disrupting the corneal tissue to create the flap rather than using a blade (aka Microkeratome, an oscillating razor blade). The flap looks like a horseshoe with a superior or temporal hinge that remains undisrupted and attached to the cornea after the flap is lifted.  The total time it takes to make the flap is 15-20 seconds!  After the IntraLase laser makes the flap, I lifted the flap by hand exposing the corneal bed. This was a very fun experience. I noticed that I needed to use much more force in lifting the corneal flap than I had previously anticipated. The corneal tissue was tougher than I’d imagined. This was the extent of our dissection and training for that day. In a LASIK procedure, the physician would then prepare the corneal bed for the excimer laser treatment.  This excimer laser treatment ablates the corneal bed in accordance to the patient’s prescription and corneal structure.  When the LASIK procedure is complete the flap is securely repositioned on its beveled edge and voila’ LASIK is done!
Watch out Dr. Madsen, I’m ready to start cutting—just kidding, or not! As much as I appreciated my experience, I will leave LASIK surgery in the experienced hands of Dr. Madsen. If you are thinking about pursing LASIK, please give me a call 503-227-0573 and we can schedule a pre-operation LASIK consultation to see if you are a good candidate. Our pre-operation LASIK consultations are complimentary and generally painless.   ~ Dr. Annie Bacon


Dr. Annie @ TLC Portland LASIK Centers dissects a pig’s eyeball!