Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) is a permanent vision correction solution that can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism providing you with phenomenal vision results. Dr. Parkhurst had an early variation of this procedure on his own eyes over 10 years ago called PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), and he is one of the most experienced ASA surgeons in the state of Texas. ASA provides the proven benefits of PRK, with the technologically advanced laser treatment available to those patients selecting modern custom LASIK today.
Benefits of ASA:
- Advanced Surface AblationExcellent vision results when performed on the best of patients by the best of hands
- Enjoy activities you love without the inconvenience of glasses and contacts
- Very few appointments necessary from the start of the process to completion of your best vision
- Little downtime; back to what you enjoy doing within days
- Now a more affordable option than the recurring costs of glasses and contacts, financing options means ASA is available to everyone who needs it.
Like custom LASIK, ASA dramatically improves your vision by reshaping the front window of the eye (the cornea). Instead of using a laser to prepare the cornea for treatment, ASA is performed by loosening the epithelium (outer layer of the cornea) providing access to the layer of the cornea where permanent vision correction occurs. ASA is a very effective procedure as an alternative to LASIK. Dr. Parkhurst is trained in performing ASA on people from San Antonio and the surrounding areas. Having performed thousands of these procedures for over 10 years, he is one of the most experienced ASA surgeons in the state of Texas.
What is the difference between ASA and LASIK?
PRK, the earliest form of laser refractive surgery, is similar to LASIK in its goals, procedures, and results. The main difference between these treatments is the technique in which Dr. Parkhurst uses the computer-guided laser to improve your vision. ASA does not involve the use of a microkeratome blade or a laser to create a flap in the top layer of corneal tissue. Instead, Dr. Parkhurst will prepare the surface of the eye by loosening the epithelium, the thin layer of protective skin that covers the cornea, and gently moving it aside.
This important difference makes laser refractive surgery a possibility for people who are not good candidates for traditional LASIK, including those with thin or scarred corneas. However, the loosening of the top layer of the cornea means that the healing time for ASA is longer than that of LASIK (a few days rather than a few hours).
Advanced Surface Ablation is for those who:
- want to reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts
- are over 18 years of age
- have had a stable eye prescription (has not changed) for at least one year
- have corneas too thin for LASIK
Our doctors, serving people from San Antonio and surrounding areas throughout Texas, assess each individual’s candidacy for ASA during a consultation. After a complete eye exam is performed to determine the appropriate level of refractive correction, the eye is measured with precise instruments to determine the shape, thickness, and health of the cornea. One of these, a corneal topographer, is an instrument that maps corneal irregularities of the eye and allows for a precise level of correction. Dr. Parkhurst takes all these results into account, along with the patient’s medical history and any pre-existing conditions, in assessing a person’s candidacy for ASA. As with all surgeries, there is some risk with ASA surgery. Risk can be minimized by selecting an experienced surgeon and the right surgical environment. Your doctor will discuss potential risks and benefits of ASA surgery with you prior to determining candidacy and help you make an informed decision regarding whether or not ASA is right for you.
What to Expect on the Procedure Day
While the treatment itself takes only seconds, preparation for the treatment extends the visit to approximately 1-2 hours. Dr. Parkhurst uses special anesthetic eye drops (similar to those you’ve experienced during your preoperative exam) to numb your eyes providing complete comfort so you don’t feel anything during the treatment. Dr. Parkhurst will also help you with an eyelid holder, while he shows you a green blinking light that helps guide the invisible, cool laser that corrects your vision.
The laser is programmed with the information gathered in your pre-operative exam and will be completed in less than a few seconds. Once the cornea has been reshaped, the area will be “bandaged” with special contact lenses that assist the eye in healing. Our doctors and highly trained staff will advise you with easy-to-follow instructions and also provide a written hand-out on how to use drops and medications after your procedure.
It is important to take it easy and get plenty of rest during the first few days after the procedure. As with LASIK, patients recovering from ASA are advised to avoid rubbing their eyes, as this could disrupt the healing of the corneal epithelium. ASA has a slightly longer recovery time than LASIK, with some discomfort expected 24-48 hours after the procedure. Your doctor will provide you with a prescription medication to help with pain and inflammation. Most patients see improved visual recovery within 3-5 days. Though the recovery period is longer, ASA provides the particular benefit of being an effective alternative for those who are not ideal candidates for LASIK due to corneal scarring or other corneal issues.
Contact Parkhurst-NuVision today to schedule your appointment or call (210) 851-9587 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
If you are searching for an alternative to LASIK, undergoing the ASA procedure may be the ideal solution. Contact Parkhurst-NuVision, serving San Antonio, New Braunfels, Corpus Christi, Uvalde, and other Texas communities, to learn more about Advanced Surface Ablation and how it can improve your vision.
Dr. Gregory Parkhurst has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.