LASIK Refractive Surgery

At UC Irvine Healthcare’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, our top priority is outstanding patient care. That is why our surgeons meet with each patient to determine his or her vision correction needs.

Our refractive surgeons at UC Irvine’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute are certified by
the American Board of Ophthalmology. Additionally, all of our refractive surgeons have had advanced fellowship training and have been distinguished as top doctors in Orange County and the nation.

Our relationship with you as a patient is focused on fulfilling the needs and priorities of your eye condition, applying state-of-the-art diagnosis and surgical procedures, and supplying experienced advice for achieving your best possible visual results.

A typical evaluation begins with a vision counselor at the Refractive Surgery LASIK Center in the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute building on the main Irvine campus. The counselor discusses different vision correction procedures and treatments that are available and gives a tour of the center.
The patient next meets with one of our refractive surgeons. This ophthalmologist personally supervises all necessary measurements and tests, while answering many of the patient’s questions. Based on the examination and test results, the surgeon determines which vision correction procedure—LASIK, PRK, implantable contact lens or cataract surgery—is right for the patient. The surgeon and counselor remain available to the patient for further questions on the procedure and the healing process. After the procedure, the surgeon continues to meet with the patient for post-operative testing, measurements and follow-up care. By guiding the patient through each step of the process, we are able to individualize patient care, which results in greater patient satisfaction. Unlike most refractive surgery centers, at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, your surgeon takes the time to follow you through every step of your refractive surgery experience -- your preoperative evaluation, your surgery, and your post operative care visits.

Conditions - Click for more details

Patients with myopia are nearsighted, meaning they can see near objects clearly but things at a distance are blurred. Myopia usually results when the eye is too large or elongated, which causes light entering the eye to focus before reaching the retina.

LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis) is one of the most popular vision correction procedures for patients diagnosed with myopia.

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Patients with hyperopia are farsighted, meaning they have good distance vision but close-up objects appear blurred. Hyperopia is due to the eye being smaller than normal, causing light entering the eye from close-in objects to come into focus too far behind the retina.

LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis) is one of the most popular vision correction procedures for patients diagnosed with hyperopia.

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Astigmatism is a condition that can impair vision close up and at a distance. It occurs when the cornea and lens of the eye is oval in shape instead of round. This lets light entering the eye to focus at several points on the retina instead of one, causing blurring. Astigmatism often occurs with myopia or hyperopia.

LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis) is one of the most popular vision correction procedures for patients diagnosed with astigmatism.

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Most patients begin to experience presbyopia, meaning old-eyes, in their 40s. This occurs as the eye lens hardens naturally with age and loses the flexibility to focus on close-up objects.

There now are laser vision correction options available for presbyopia, including monovision LASIK and PRK surgery, in which one eye is corrected for distance vision and the other is corrected for near vision.

Surgeons at UC Irvine's Refractive Surgery LASIK Center conduct a thorough examination to see if the patient can adjust to this vision correction procedure. That involves a simulation in the office or having the patient test monovision glasses or contact lenses for a few days.

Some people with presbyopia choose Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), a procedure identical to cataract surgery with a lens implant that corrects for blurred objects at close range.

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A cataract is a clouding of the transparent dome-shaped surface of the eye that prevents light from reaching the retina. It results in blurred vision, glare and halos around objects.




There are three types of cataracts:

  • Nuclear cataracts, which form in the nucleus or center of the lens, usually as patients age.
  • Cortical cataracts, which form in the cortex, outside of the eye lens. Over time, this cataract extends from the outside to the inside of the lens. They are common in diabetic patients.
  • Subcapsular cataracts, which form at the back of the lens. This type of cataract is common in diabetics, people taking steroid medication and those who are farsighted or have retinitis pigmentosa.

When a patient has small or slowly developing cataracts, they can compensate temporarily with prescription glasses or bifocals or avoiding activity such as driving at night. Eventually, surgery to replace the clouded lens may be needed. For more information, please click here...

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At UC Irvine's Refractive Surgery LASIK Center, we are dedicated to finding our patients’ best personal vision. We do this by offering the most state-of-the-art vision correction laser available – the Visx Star S4 laser.

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Our ophthalmologists use the Intralase Method™ for all our LASIK treatments. The blade-less Intralase® femtosecond laser is the safest way of creating the corneal flap for vision correction treatment.

The Intralase® femtosecond laser has a special association with UC Irvine and the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute. Dr. Ronald Kurtz and Tibor Juhasz, professors at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, co-invented the blade-less laser. Institute director Dr. Roger Steinert pioneered its use in corneal transplants.

The Intralase Method™ uses a computer-guided, ultra-fast laser used to create a corneal flap without affecting the cornea. Using pulses of laser light, the Intralase Method™ creates microscopic bubbles at a pre-determined depth just below the cornea surface that are gently separated to create the corneal flap and expose a smooth treatment area for LASIK treatment.

The precision afforded by the Intralase Method™ makes it an option for patients who haven’t been candidates for traditional LASIK because of their thin corneas. Results from clinical studies have shown that more patients have 20/20 vision and reported less trouble seeing in dimly lighted conditions after having LASIK done in combination with the Intralase Method™.  

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Laser assisted in-situ keratomilieusis, or LASIK, is a refractive procedure involving a laser that cuts through a flap on the cornea and reshapes it to correct such eye conditions as myopia and astigmatism. LASIK surgery was first approved for use in the United States in 1995 and remains one of the most popular vision correction procedures, improving vision to 20/40 or better in 95 percent of patients. The procedure takes only a few minutes and vision is improved often on the day after surgery. Eye drops and night protection are usually necessary for a designated period of time after surgery.

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) surgery was first approved for use in the United States in 1995. It remains one of the most popular vision correction procedures to correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. Millions of patients worldwide have enjoyed clear, crisp vision after undergoing LASIK surgery.

Using the latest in LASIK technology, UC Irvine's Refractive Surgery LASIK Center surgeons customize each procedure to deliver even more precise vision correction. Many patients find that they have better vision than when they wore glasses or contact lenses. During the LASIK procedure, the surgeon carefully creates a thin flap that is gently folded back to expose the corneal surface for reshaping with the excimer laser. The flap is then carefully re-folded over the treatment area, acting as a bandage as the eye heals. Most patients see their vision improve within hours after treatment. Many are ready to return to work or their normal activities the following day.

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PRK or Advanced Surface Ablation
Not all patients are good candidates for LASIK surgery. For patients whose corneas are too thin or who have other conditions, other options are PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis) or Epi-LASIK surgery.

During these procedures, the laser treatment is done directly on the surface of the cornea after removing a small amount of the outer layer of cells.

The PRK procedure can be done to correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or astigmatism.

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PTK or Phototherapeutic Keratectomy uses the ablative properties of the laser to treat various medical conditions of the cornea such as opacities or irregularities.




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Conductive Keratoplasty
Conductive Keratoplasty or CK uses low energy radio waves to change the focus of the eye to allow for near vision (to treat presbyopia). This is an alternative to laser based procedures such as, LASIK or PRK, and may be an option for you.

Unlike LASIK or PRK, no tissue is removed from the eye during a CK procedure that takes only a few minutes. CK also is being investigated as a way to correct certain types of astigmatism that create an irregular eye surface due to trauma or surgical incisions.

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Phakic IOL (Implantable contact lens)


Patients for whom LASIK or PRK is not indicated because of extreme nearsightedness, thin corneas or other conditions have another treatment option, often called an “implantable contact lens.”

The implant, technically known as a phakic intraocular lens, is surgically inserted without removing the natural lens. Implantable lenses are currently available to correct nearsightedness and are in development for patients with farsightedness and astigmatism.
At UC Irvine's Refractive Surgery LASIK Center, we offer two types of implantable lens. The first is a soft, foldable lens made of a polymeric material that resembles the natural collagen of the cornea and is biocompatible with the eye. During the procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision at the edge of the cornea. The lens is folded and carefully inserted into the anterior chamber of the eye and placed behind the iris, or colored part of the eye.

Healing is relatively quick and patients often see immediate improvement in their vision. Most patients don’t feel or notice the lens once it is implanted. The lens is intended to be placed permanently but it can be removed if necessary.

The second type is a phakic intraocular lens for patients with moderate to extreme myopia who aren’t good candidates for LASIK surgery. This type of lens is placed behind the cornea and attached to the iris to give the eye additional focusing ability. Microscopic stitches used to close the incision dissolve over time. After patients recover from surgery, they usually have good distance and near vision.

After a phakic lens implant, most patients no longer need glasses. However, as the patient ages, it is normal for natural lens function to decrease, which may make reading glasses necessary. Cataracts also may develop over time. If cataract surgery is required later, the phakic implant is removed and the surgery proceeds in a standard manner.

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For more information, please call: 949-824-9970

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Your pre-operative visit
All eyes are unique. Not all people are candidates for refractive surgery procedure. No two cornea maps are the same just like with a DNA sample or fingerprint. Before refractive surgery is considered you will be required to undergo a series of diagnostic tests to determine the stability of your vision. After a thorough evaluation of your eye, your refractive surgeon will be able to determine if you are a candidate. This thorough diagnostic evaluation is the first step in creating a positive outcome for your best possible visual outcome.

The refractive surgeons at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute will perform this initial eye exam which includes:

  • Complete review of overall eye health
  • Glasses or contact lens history review
  • The measurement of corneal thickness, including corneal topography
  • The measurement of your prescription or refractive errors
  • WaveScam measurements for higher order aberrations.
  • Dry eye test
  • Complete dilation to view the back of the eye or the retina

As part of your initial evaluation, your GHEI refractive surgeon will educate you about refractive surgery. This will involve the history of refractive surgery, any risks, the procedure process itself, and the successes of this amazing eye surgery. If you have been told in the past that you are not a candidate for refractive surgery you might want to call us about the latest advancements or other options. Depending on your unique visual situation you may now be a candidate for the surgery.

Your decision to have laser vision correction is a serious decision. Ultimately, you will be the one to make the final decision. When selecting a refractive surgeon it is important to select a surgeon that can honestly explain your visual needs. The ultimate goal of LASIK is to reduce your dependence on glasses and contact lenses. LASIK does not always create perfect 20/20 vision, though most cases are successful in improving vision.

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After Surgery
These instructions maybe changed by your doctor. Please follow your doctors instructions.

Immediately After Surgery
Go home and go to sleep. When you are asleep your body goes into a healing mode. Sleeping is the best thing you can do for yourself. If you are uncomfortable, take two of your Extra Strength Tylenol tablets. Repeat once every 2-4 hours as needed. You should not drive a car, operate machinery, or attempt stairs immediately following surgery. You will be given an eye shield for your operative eye(s). Please wear the shields for the first day/night after surgery and the following two nights at bedtime to prevent you from rubbing your eyes(s) while sleeping.

General Cleanliness
Do not get anything in your eye(s) such as makeup, soap and water, or any particular matter. If you do, this will greatly increase your risk of infection. Avoid swimming pools and hot tubs for one week. Do not rub your eye(s) or allow any trauma to your eyes for one month.

First Day After Surgery
You will return to the clinic the first day after surgery. You can expect your vision to be hazy.

Medicated Eye-Drop Instructions
You may begin putting drops in your operative eye(s) after surgery, unless instructed otherwise by the doctor. You can expect your eye(s) to sting when you put them in.
Your drops will include: anti-inflammatory drops, anti-biotic drops, and lubricating drops. Your surgeon will give you instruction on how to use these drops depending on the type of surgery you have.

The Following Days
Your vision may fluctuate for the first 1-2 months. You may notice some light sensitivity and/or glare particularly at night. Any immediate post-operative discomfort you feel will begin to subside. You may notice some temporary over correction for the first few weeks. All of this is normal. Get plenty of rest.

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For ophthalmology appointments, please call:

UC Irvine Medical Center

Gavin Herbert Eye Institute Building

Laser Refractive Surgery



Marjan Farid, M.D.

Austin Fox, M.D.
Sumit (Sam) Garg, M.D.
Sanjay Kedhar, M.D.
Olivia Lee, M.D.
Ken Lin, M.D., Ph.D.
Sameh Mosaed, M.D.
Matthew Wade, M.D.

Kavita K. Rao, M.D.

Marjan Farid, M.D.
Sumit (Sam) Garg, M.D.
Sanjay Kedhar, M.D.
Olivia Lee, M.D.
Matthew Wade, M.D.

Austin Fox, M.D.
Ken Lin, M.D., Ph.D.
Sameh Mosaed, M.D.

Marjan Farid, M.D.
Sumit (Sam) Garg, M.D.
Matthew Wade, M.D.

Karen Lin, O.D.
Nilima Tanna, O.T.

R. Wade Crow, M.D.
Lilangi Ediriwickrema, M.D.
Vivek Patel, M.D.
Sam Spiegel, M.D.

Maria Del Valle Estopinal, M.D.


Lilangi Ediriwickrema, M.D.
Jeremiah Tao, M.D.

Joseph Bui, O.D .
Timothy Scott Liegler, O.D.

Kailey Marshall, O.D.
Annabelle Storch, O.D.
Kimberly Walker, O.D .

Charlotte Gore, M.D.

Stephen Prepas, M.D .
Mohammad Riazi, M.D.
Donny Suh, M.D.

Lbachir BenMohamed, Ph.D.
James Jester, Ph.D.
Tibor Juhasz, Ph.D.

Vladimir Kefalov
M. Cristina Kenney, M.D., Ph.D.
Tim Kern, Ph.D.
Philip Kiser, Ph.D.
Henry Klassen, M.D., Ph.D.
Anthony Nesburn, M.D.
Krzysztof Palczewski, Ph.D.
Eric Pearlman, Ph.D.
Magdalen Seiler, Ph.D.

Andrew Browne, M.D., Ph.D.
Baruch Kuppermann, M.D., Ph.D.

Stephanie Lu, M.D.
Mitul Mehta, M.D.
Mohammad Riazi, M.D.

Sanjay Kedhar, M.D.
Olivia Lee, M.D.

For ophthalmology
appointments, please call:

Gavin Herbert Eye Institute

Laser Refractive Surgery

UC Irvine Medical Center

Optical Shop
949-824-7690 Phone
949-824-8850 Fax





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