Dr. Cutarelli was the first LASIK surgeon in the Denver area to offer his patients All-Laser LASIK – utilizing the most exciting combination of technological LASIK advancements, delivering the best possible visual outcomes and the sharpest laser vision correction possible. Cutarelli Vision is a leader in LASIK surgery in Colorado. People travel from across the country to receive our expert care. If you’re in Colorado and seeking world-class LASIK, Denver & Fort Collins are your destinations – and now Boulder Valley and Colorado Springs, as well! Visit Cutarelli Vision today.
The Total Laser Approach to LASIK in Denver & Beyond
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“Our patients appreciate the safety of Intralase and the improved quality of vision from CustomVue”
Paul E. Cutarelli, MD
LASIK has literally changed the lives of millions of people.
A nearly painless procedure, LASIK has been FDA approved for well over a decade. LASIK patient satisfaction rate rivals that of any other medical procedure.
The Denver area is home to more LASIK patients than any other region, and 98% of the participants in the original FDA clinical study had uncorrected vision of 20/20 after their procedure!
Individualized LASIK just for YOU!
Cutarelli Vision owns the most advanced custom LASIK technology in the greater Denver area. This allows each patient to receive customized LASIK treatment, individualized according to their unique vision and eye anatomy.
The Cutarelli Vision procedure consists of four steps:
- Acquire: We collect data on the patient’s wavefront error with the AMO WaveScan WaveFront System.
- Design: Dr. Cutarelli designs a customized treatment using the data collected on the unique characteristics of the patient’s eye with unique proprietary algorithms.
- Align: The treatment is aligned to the patient’s eye using Iris Registration technology. This links diagnostic information to the treatment delivered during the Advanced CustomVue procedure.
- Deliver: Using VSS and VRR technologies ensures the intricate shapes reconstructed by the Fourier wavefront algorithm are precisely ablated by the STAR S4 IR Excimer Laser System.
Step 1: Measuring The Eye For LASIK
Just like a fingerprint, your vision is 100 percent unique to your eyes. Many eye doctors only measure two values to correct vision using LASIK, meaning that your eye prescription could only provide a minimum level of correction regardless of your individual needs. Often, this leads to several more attempts to “fine-tune” the patient’s vision using LASIK. However, with the advent of the VISX WaveScan-based digital technology, Dr. Cutarelli can now identify, measure and address imperfections in your eyes 25 times more precisely than with more common methods.
Depending on your personal best-possible results, Dr. Cutarelli can measure and correct the unique imperfections of your vision using LASIK and provide the potential to experience better vision than is possible with glasses or contact lenses, most often to 20/20 and even beyond!
WaveScan’s wavefront technology was originally developed for use in high-powered telescopes to reduce distortions when viewing distant objects in space. Using this technology, Dr. Cutarelli can detect and measure the optical distortions unique to your entire optical system.
Light travels in a procession of flat sheets known as wavefronts. Gentle wavefront lights enter the eye, pass through the entire optical system (cornea, lens and retina) and are then reflected back into the WaveScan sensors.
The WaveScan system compares the reflected wavefronts with the original unaltered wavefronts. This produces a fingerprint of your vision, or WavePrint map. This information is then transferred to the VISX Star S4 excimer laser and is used as a guide to reshape the cornea during your laser vision treatment.
Step 2: Making The Flap
LASIK involves making a flap in the cornea and reshaping its inner tissue. IntraLASIK adds a tremendous amount of precision and safety by using a laser (not a razor) to create the LASIK flap. The Intralase femtosecond laser beam passes harmlessly through the outer layers of the cornea until it reaches its exact focal point within the cornea.
In seconds, with computer precision and high-speed delivery of 15,000 spots per second, the Intralase laser delivers over a million pulses as it gently separates the layers of corneal tissue and creates a customized flap of the desired thickness, size, orientation and location. After treatment, the flap is folded back into its original position where it bonds without the need for stitches.
This unprecedented level of control makes LASIK safer and allows more patients to qualify for LASIK. The level of accuracy, precision, control, and safety with the Intralase laser is simply impossible to achieve with a mechanical microkeratome.
Step 3: Customizing the LASIK Laser Treatment
CustomVue is the process of reshaping your cornea using your individualized wavefront measurements to give you your Personal Best Vision.
One year after the CustomVue procedure, LASIK patients in a clinical study reported these great results without glasses and contact lenses:
- 100% could pass a driving test
- 98% could see 20/20 or better
- 70% could see better than 20/20
Your unique correction information is transferred from the WaveScan to the VISX Star S4 excimer laser and guides the laser throughout the procedure.
The cool beam from the laser gently reshapes the cornea, removing microscopic amounts of tissue – less than the thickness of a human hair in most casts – to create a new curvature. During the procedure, the 3D ActiveTrak eye tracker follows the eye’s tiniest moves. It automatically repositions the laser to keep the laser focused where Dr. Cutarelli wants it, so you can completely relax during the procedure.
If you would like to read a more detailed, step-by-step explanation of what to expect before, during and after the LASIK eye surgery procedure, please check out our LASIK Eye Surgery Steps page.
What are the Benefits of LASIK for You?
- With the precession of LASIK eye surgery, laser vision correction is now an even safer and more predictable procedure.
- Custom-tailored precise corneal flap creation – especially important for patients with thin or misshapen corneas
- Safer intra-operative procedure
- Reduces risk of unwanted visual side effects
- More likely to achieve 20/20 or better vision
LASIK FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions about LASIK Surgery
Q: Is laser vision correction the same as LASIK?
LASIK is but one of many laser vision corrective procedures that are available. If a patient is not currently eligible for LASIK, Dr. Cutarelli may suggest an alternative.
Q: How long has LASIK been available?
FDA approval was received 1995. Though excimer laser technology was developed in the United States, most of the original patients received LASIK eye surgery elsewhere. This is because the United States FDA approval process is more extensive, requiring comprehensive, 5-year scientific and clinical studies. Every year, over 1 million Americans benefit from laser eye surgery.
Q: What is Personal Best Vision?
Personal Best Vision is the highest achievable vision within the physical limitations of your eyes. If your best corrected vision with glasses is 20/25, then it is unlikely vision after LASIK will be better than 20/25. However, many patients do see better than they did with glasses and contact because of a more tailored visual correction.
Q: What does ‘better than’ 20/20 mean?
20/20 is the current standard for excellence in vision. If you were 20/20, then what normal people see from 20 feet, you can see from 20 feet. If you were 20/400 (the big E on the chart) then what normal people see from 400 ft away, you would have to be at 20 ft to see it. Now, if you have better than 20/20 vision, i.e., 20/15, then what normal people see at 15 ft, you could see from 20 ft.
Q: How can LASIK help my vision?
If you are nearsighted or farsighted, LASIK may be able to significantly improve your vision.
Q: Can everyone have LASIK?
Typically 65%-80% of patients can have LASIK. The reason for not being a candidate include overall medical history, the health of their eyes, the thickness of their corneas, or the degree of their eye correction.
Q: Can I have LASIK if I have astigmatism?
Yes! In fact, astigmatism is just as easy to correct as nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Q: What if I’m not a good LASIK candidate?
Cutarelli Vision is more than just a LASIK practice. We offer many LASIK alternatives such as PRK, ICL, and RLE. Please see alternatives for more information.
Q: Can I have LASIK if I have had RK (Radial Keratotomy)?
In most cases, yes. However, Dr. Cutarelli will need to perform a dilated exam to make sure.
Q: Am I a good candidate for LASIK?
If you are above the age of 18, not pregnant, have stable vision with no significant changes in prescription for the last two years, have eyes free from disease and complicating injury, have a prescription in a correctable range, then most likely the answer is yes. However, you must have a dilated eye exam to determine ultimate candidacy.
Q: Can both eyes be done the same day?
Yes. Usually both eyes are treated at the same time . However, it is possible to treat one eye at a time. Dr. Cutarelli will help decide which option is right for you.
Q: Is LASIK safe?
LASIK is the most widely performed elective surgery in the world. It is approved by NASA for its astronauts and the military for its pilots. To date, millions of LASIK surgeries have been performed world-wide.
Q: How do I prepare for LASIK?
To find out what your options are, call for an appointment for a complementary initial exam. We also suggest you read over the information contained on our web site. We have a page specifically for preparing for surgery. If you have any questions, please call us at: Denver (303) 486-2020, Fort Collins (970) 225-2300, Boulder Valley (303)930-2020 or Colorado Springs (719) 475-2020.
Q: Will I need to remove my contacts before my exam?
If you presently wear contact lenses you will need to leave them out for a specified time period before your comprehensive LASIK eye exam. Wearing contact lenses can change the curvature of your cornea and removing them for a time allows the cornea to return to its natural shape. This is a very important step for proper measurements to be made, before your procedure can be scheduled. The time required for you to leave out your contact lenses depends on the type. For details see our pre-op exam section.
Q: How much time do I need to be off work?
For LASIK, 1-2 days is typical. PRK however can be 2-5 days. In both cases, it really depends on your job and your level of comfort.
Q: How long will my procedure take?
Laser vision surgery takes five to fifteen minutes. The actual laser time is usually less than a minute. The entire visit will be completed in about two hours.
Q: Is there any pain involved with LASIK?
LASIK eye surgery itself is virtually painless. You will receive a sedative before surgery, and topical anesthetic eye drops just prior. Most patients report that they experienced no pain whatsoever. There may be a slight pressure sensation as the flap is being created and as the eyelids are supported against blinking by an eyelid speculum.
Afterwards, some patients report mild sensations like an eyelash or sand in the eye, or watery eyes. These are temporary symptoms and are not a problem for most. Dr. Cutarelli can prescribe pain medication if needed, although he has yet to do so.
Q: What if I sneeze during surgery?
We have never had that happen, but it would not be a problem if it did, as the eye tracker would immediately stop the laser. When the eye was repositioned back into place, the laser would be restarted.
Q: When will I be able to see well?
Immediately following laser eye surgery most people notice that their vision is better. However, for several hours it will seem like you are looking through a foggy haze, plastic or water. However, by the next day approximately 80 percent of patients see 20/20 or better. Nearly all have 20/40 or better, which is the level of vision required to drive without correction.
Q: Can my vision results be guaranteed?
As with any medical procedure, there are no guarantees. Most patients are extremely happy with their outcome. If patients need a fine-tuning of their vision, Dr. Cutarelli can perform an enhancement if needed. Dr. Cutarelli also offers his patients a lifetime commitment.
Q: Will I need glasses or contacts after LASIK?
- Possibly. Although, six months after the FDA clinical study, without glasses or contacts:
- 100% of participants could pass a driving test
- 94% of participants could see 20/20 or better
- 74% of participants could see better than 20/20
Some patients with extremely high degrees of correction may still require glasses after surgery, but they will have thinner and lighter lenses.
If you are over the age of 40, or wear reading glasses prior to surgery, you may need to continue use or begin use of reading glasses due to a condition called presbyopia.
Q: Is there a treatment for presbyopia?
If you are older than 40 years of age, presbyopia develops and you will likely need reading glasses unless LASIK monovision eye correction is performed, where one eye is corrected for distance and the other for near vision. Prelex is a treatment for presbyopia that has had some inconsistent results most likely related to the particular lens implant utilized. Future IOL technologies may provide desirable treatment alternatives.
Q: Will I experience glare or halos at night?
In the past, glare and halos were an issue, especially in patients with large pupils. However, with our advanced technology, it is usually not an issue. In fact, with have the only laser FDA approved to improve night vision!
Many patients found their night vision was improved after their Wavefront guided LASIK procedure. In fact, in an FDA clinical study, more participants were very satisfied with their night vision after the procedure without glasses or contacts as compared to their night vision before with glasses or contacts.
Q: Does insurance cover LASIK?
Usually, LASIK is NOT covered by insurance. Please check with your surgery counselor at the time of your appointment if you think you have insurance that covers LASIK. Any available reimbursement by the insurance company will be made directly to you. For more information, please refer to our Insurance page.
Q: Does Cutarelli Vision offer financing?
Yes! We believe that money should not be an obstacle to obtaining this life changing procedure. Being sensitive to the fact that different patients have different needs, we provide several flexible payment options including no-interest and low-interest payment plans. Please read our LASIK Financing page for more information.