Laser Vision Correction/LASIK

Reach The Full Potential Of Your Vision

Regular Vision Correction is based on evaluation of a single point: as you’ve heard so many times from your eye doctor, “Which is better, 1 or 2?” In sharp contrast, Wavefront Guided Laser Vision Correction, like LASIK or PRK with iDESIGN, allows us to measure the visual imperfections in your eyes at 1200 individual points.  We can treat each of the 1200 points individually to create a personalized vision correction that is ideal for you.  This treatment can potentially provide better vision than you have ever experienced with glasses or contact lenses.

Our Laser Vision Correction technology is a combination of the most advanced FDA-approved technologies, so accurate and so clinically advanced that it has been approved by NASA and the U.S. military for the professions most dependent on accurate vision: astronauts and pilots.

What is LASIK?

LASIK (Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) is a procedure that corrects your vision by changing the shape of your cornea, making it possible for your eye to properly focus light on the retina.  Two lasers are used during LASIK, a femtosecond laser is used to create a corneal flap.  An excimer laser is then used to perform the reshaping of the cornea based on your prescription measurements. This laser is extremely accurate and can remove a quarter of a micron of tissue at a time (a human hair is approximately 50 microns thick).  After the treatment laser, the flap is folded back into position and reseals itself; no sutures are needed.

What is PRK?

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) was the original laser vision correction option used in the early 1990s before the development of LASIK.  For some individuals, particularly those with thin corneas or corneas with irregular epithelium (skin), LASIK may not be the best option. Just one laser is used during PRK.  There is no flap created during PRK, instead the thin superficial skin layer of the cornea is removed and the excimer laser is then used to perform the reshaping of the cornea as it is during LASIK.  A bandage contact lens will be placed on the eye and the epithelial (skin) layer grows back, usually within a week following the procedure.  PRK patients should understand that recovery times after PRK are longer than recovery times after LASIK.

Laser Vision Correction Candidate?

1. Is your prescription stable and are your eyes healthy? Whether young or young at heart, good candidates for laser eye surgery usually have a stable prescription for at least one year and have no significant ocular disease.

2. Is your prescription better suited for LASIK, PRK or something else? LASIK and PRK surgery are great procedures for many patients, but sometimes it is NOT the best option for your particular eyes.

3. Schedule a FREE consultation with us! There is no way of knowing for sure what procedure fits you best unless you undergo a comprehensive dilated eye exam with Advanced Ocular Analysis.  Please allow 2 hours for this examination.

LASIK Technology

The iDESIGN® Refractive Studio

The iDESIGN® Refractive Studio provides a new level of technology with over 1,200 personalized measurements of your eye.  IT IS THE LATEST Technology in refractive surgery.  This helps to create a custom procedure plan, which is designed as the most personalized laser vision correction available.  It allows our surgeon to deliver a LASIK procedure that is designed specifically for you.

The iDESIGN® system measures both the inside and outside of your eye.  We scan your eyes with iDesign Advanced Wavescan System to obtain a complete and precise 3D map of your eye’s unique imperfections, capturing over 1200 points of data per eye.  This detailed digital map is then used during your LASIK procedure to individually address each tiny imperfection.  Precision of this caliber is only possible because of recent advances in digital technology.

The pattern of visual imperfections in your eye is as unique to you as your fingerprint. Using this digital technology, originally developed for use in high-powered NASA telescopes to reduce distortions when viewing distance objects in space, we can now identify, measure and correct imperfections in your eyes 25 times more precisely than with standard methods used for measuring you for glasses and contact lenses.  This information is transferred to the VISX laser, providing a new level of precision and accuracy.

VISX STAR S4 IR® Excimer Laser

The VISX STAR S4 IR® Excimer Laser is a system that sets the standard for customized LASIK surgery.  It is powered by iDESIGN® System’s Wavefront Guided measurements to deliver personalized and custom treatment that produces the smoothest surface on the cornea after the procedure.  This promotes faster healing which results in better vision.

This advanced laser platform allows our skilled surgeon to reshape the cornea with extraordinary precision and accuracy.  The process is quick, only lasting a few minutes, and is generally comfortable for most patients.  The platform is FDA approved to treat Nearsightedness, Farsightedness and Astigmatism. 

VICTUS Femtosecond Laser

VICTUS femtosecond laser emits optical pulses of very short duration (one-quadrillionth of a second).  These ultra-short pulses do not emit heat or shock to the corneal surface and make surgical incisions with extreme precision. 

When performing all-laser, bladeless LASIK surgery, our surgeon uses the VICTUS to create the corneal flap.  This technology provides our surgical team exceptional, quick corneal flap creation.

All-Laser LASIK is a combination of the most advanced FDA-approved technologies, so accurate and so clinically advanced that it has been approved by NASA and the U.S. military for the professions most dependent on accurate vision: astronauts and pilots.

What To Expect After LASIK Surgery

LASIK surgery is performed almost 600,000 times a year in the Unites States.  It has become the most sought after correction for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism due to the uncomplicated nature of the surgery and the ease of recovery.  LASIK aftercare is relatively simple with most patients able to drive and go about their regular activities the next day.

LASIK surgery is fast: both eyes are usually completed in 15 to 20 minutes.  The eyes begin to heal immediately and continue to complete the healing process rapidly.  You will notice improvement in your vision within hours of surgery, with improvement continuing as the eyes heal.  Your eyes may feel irritated or dry during LASIK recovery.  They may also be watering and be sensitive to light.  These symptoms can last anywhere from one week to one month following surgery and will gradually diminish over time. 

You will be prescribed antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops, which will greatly help with irritation.  You will also need preservative free artificial tears, which will lubricate dry eyes.  It is not uncommon for the eyelids to be swollen for several days after the surgery.  As your eyes continue the recovery process, you may experience some blurred vision for two to three weeks.  You may also feel as if there is something in your eye, like an eyelash.  This is normal and you should resist the urge to rub your eyes.  This is important since the corneal flap created during LASIK surgery is healing and should not be disturbed.

LASIK recovery has few demands, however, care must be taken to protect the eye against infection.  Our doctors recommend that patients do not swim or use a hot tube, Jacuzzi, steam room or sauna for a week following surgery.  Patients can shower or bathe as they wish.  Alcohol should be avoided on the day of surgery.  Eye makeup can be worn after 24 hours but it must be new unopened make up to avoid bacterial infection.  After a week, the original make up can be used.

Patients who are active in sports are cautioned to wear protective eyewear to ensure their eyes are not injured.  LASIK aftercare includes physical protection, particularly when playing sports that could potentially result in a blow to the eyes.   Lubrication is important during the ongoing healing process.  Patients are advised to use the lubricating drops 3 to 4 times a day even if the eyes don’t feel dry.  LASIK recovery is complete after a few months although improvements to vision will be experienced right away.  Our doctors will examine your eyes as you progress through recovery, testing your vision improvement and ensuring you are experiencing the best vision possible.

LASIK/PRK Alternatives

-Implantable Contact Lens (ICL)

-Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Implantable Contact Lens (ICL)people with moderate to severe nearsightedness may no be suitable candidates for LASIK or PRK, can benefit from ICL.  These lenses are placed inside the eye in a brief outpatient procedure.  They provide a permanent correction without the need for removal or cleaning.   During ICL surgery, a tiny contact lens is inserted inside the eye, where it remains permanently.  The procedure takes as little as 15-20 minutes per eye and patients begin seeing clearly after the procedure.  Most patients do not experience pain.  The lens is both invisible to the patient and to any observer. 

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)-an alternative to LASIK yet similar to cataract surgery.  It replaces the natural lens to correct a range of vision. RLE is also called clear lens extraction, a popular option for patients who want to decrease or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts but are not suitable candidates for laser vision correction.  RLE is typically for patients with moderate to severe farsightedness or those over the age of 40 who have become dependent on bifocals or reading glasses.  During RLE, the eye’s natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens to correct a range of vision (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and/or presbyopia).  With this procedure, patients will never have to worry about developing cataracts and will have eliminated their dependence on glasses or contacts.

Our Laser Vision Correction Team

Eric Johnston, MD

Dr. Johnston is a board certified and fellowship trained ophthalmologist specializing in cornea and refractive surgery.  He has twenty years’ experience in ophthalmology and has performed more than 10,000 intraocular and refractive laser surgeries.  He specializes in LASIK, dry eye, corneal transplantation, surgical correction of astigmatism and cataract surgery with specialty multifocal lenses. 

Dr. Johnston attended Michigan State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and a minor in the History of Science, both with Honors. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.  He completed his residency training in Ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.  He was specialty trained through a fellowship in Cornea and Refractive surgery at the University of Texas southwestern in Dallas. 

In addition to his surgical practice, Dr. Johnston has headed many cataract missions to Mexico and other countries include Guatemala, Panama and Honduras.  These missions provided cataract surgery and exams for those who could not otherwise obtain eye care.

Dr. Johnston is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS).  He has presented and published articles at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

In his spare time Dr. Johnston enjoys automobile restoration, playing tenor saxophone, beach volleyball, tennis, biking and spending time with his family.


Marianna Samuels, OD., Dipl.

Dr. Samuels is a board certified primary eye care doctor with doctorate in Optometric Medicine from University of California Berkeley, School of Optometry, graduating with Clinic and Research Honors.  After graduation she completed a Fellowship in medical optometry at an ophthalmology practice, with a high volume of cases in ocular disease.  Dr. Samuels manages patients with ocular disease as well as pre- and post-operative care of refractive surgery cases.

She completed her internship at several VA Hospitals.  During her training at Berkeley, she also collaborated with UC San Francisco Retina Department, imaging patients with a rare retinal condition with awarded grant from National Institutes of Health (NIH).  This work was published in American Journal of Ophthalmology as a first author.  Dr. Samuels has also presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).  She participates in yearly Refractive Surgery Alliance Society’s Grand Rounds. 

Dr. Samuels completed her Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology with Departmental Honors from UCLA, then continued her research studies in stem cells at UCLA, co-authoring manuscripts and abstracts.

Dr. Samuels is passionate about her work and her friends often comment on her keen sense of humor.  In her spare time she enjoys exploring the world of interior design and is also passionate about dancing.  She lives with her husband and daughter in San Diego.

Escondido (2nd Ave.)

Escondido (4th Ave.)