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, Fort Collins & Beyond
Finance your LASIK procedure with CareCredit, which is specifically designed for medical expenses and provides flexible payment plans, making it easy for you to get the treatments and procedures you need now for achieving your best possible vision!
“Our patients appreciate the safety of Intralase and the improved quality of vision from CustomVue”
Paul E. Cutarelli, MD
LASIK has 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 an 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 and Fort Collins 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 Eye Surgery
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.
Before LASIK Surgery
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.
Dr. Paul Cutarelli and his staff at Cutarelli Vision are committed to bringing patients the most advanced LASIK technology. He’s the most experienced LASIK and laser eye surgeon in the Denver area with over 70,000 procedures performed to offer next generation WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser. We provide the safety of the all-Laser technology and combine it with the precision of wavefront guided LASIK. We offer multiple laser technologies to help our patients gain their personal best vision.
Custom LASIK Treatment Exclusive
Allegretto Wavelight Laser
The Allegretto WaveLight utilizes PerfectPulse Technology™, which is responsible for the speed, precision, and safety of the laser. This control can track the eye’s movement 200 times per second. Every few milliseconds, the eye is measured and the Allegretto WaveLight automatically aligns itself, immediately before the laser pulse is delivered. If the eye moves, the laser pulse moves, if the eye moves too much, the laser can pause. LASIK was highly successful even before the advent of eyetracking which has made it that much safer.
The State-of-the-art Allegretto Wavelight Laser takes an innovative approach to laser vision correction. This technology can reduce or eliminate glare and halos at night. It is also fitted with a tracking system to make sure each pulse of laser energy is precisely delivered. Unlike other lasers, the Allegretto WaveLight adjusts to the patient’s corneal eye curvature. This allows for corneal reshaping in the patter of a smooth spherical curve, an improvement over most if not all other excimer laser systems.
This technology also has the largest corneal correction zone in excimer laser vision correction. The Wavelight Allegretto with its wavefront optimized pattern, reduces or eliminates glare and haloes in patients with large pupils. No other laser can match this feature or achieve this result.
VISX Star S4
The results of the FDA’s clinical study on visual acuity show that 6 months after the VISX CustomVue™ procedure:
- 100% of patients could see 20/40 or better
- 98% achieved 20/20 or better
- 70% were 20/16 or better
Overall, many patients were pleased with their quality of vision, with four times as many patients satisfied with their night vision when compared to wearing their glasses or contacts.
The WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser
This innovative FDA approved laser offers amazing 500Hz speed, PerfectPulse Technology®, which helps reduce procedure times and can improve outcomes and increase patient comfort. Patient recovery times are also minimalizing by reducing inflammation, swelling and dryness.
In the past, patient eye movement was sometimes a difficult issue to overcome. However, the WaveLight® EX500 excimer laser has the fastest multidimensional eye tracker which is more than twice as fast as previous models, moving from 400 times per second to an incredible 1050 times per second. That’s 10 times fastest than the human eye can move!
The WaveLight® EX500 excimer laser’s perfect pulse technology ensures safety and precision for our LASIK and PRK patients. It delivers an accurate pattern of pulses to the peripheral edge of the cornea (the portion of the eye being treated during laser vision correction), which can reduce the risk of nighttime glare and halos. The laser can also monitor corneal thickness before, during and after the treatment, which helps Dr. Cutarelli maintain constant awareness of his patients’ corneal thickness during the LASIK procedure.
This major advancement in refractive surgery increases speed, accuracy and safety and allows Dr. Cutarelli to treat a wider range of patients, such as those with high amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness and even astigmatism. Cutarelli Vision is proud to be the first in the Denver area to offer this amazing technology to Colorado.
WaveLight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser
At Cutarelli Vision, we take pride in offering our patients innovative laser vision correction technologies. That’s why we’re proud to be the first in Colorado to offer the WaveLight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser by Alcon.
LASIK is a two-step procedure; the first step involves creating a protective flap (femtosecond laser) before reshaping the cornea to the desired shape (excimer laser). The WaveLight® FS200 Femtosecond Laser offers one of the fastest flap creative times, approximately 6 seconds, which can help improve precision and visual outcomes. This tremendous 200Hz speed also reduces patient discomfort and allows for a faster recovery time.
Dr. Cutarelli who has performed over 70,000 vision correction procedures believes the WaveLight® FS200 is one of the finest femtosecond lasers ever developed. It combines an extremely low energy pulse and uses unique patterns for creating personalized corneal flaps. Dr. Cutarelli can use the WaveLight® FS200 to create an individialized protective flap to any size, shape, location and depth, allowing for a wider range of surgical options.
CustomVue® Wavefront-guided LASIK
CustomVue LASIK uses WaveScan® digital technology to improve the visual outcomes of LASIK. Originally developed for the Hubble Space Telescope to reduce distortions when viewing distant objects in space, WaveScan technology can identify, measure and correct imperfections in your eyes 25 times more precisely than with standard methods used for glasses and contact lenses. First, a patient will have a Wavescan measurement to get measure any amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Then, the laser captures the “unique” imperfections in the eye that cause glare, halo or other abnormalities. This detailed information is transferred to the laser, allowing Dr. Cutarelli to map and correct your eye’s optical imperfections with precision.
Wavefront-guided LASIK is personalized for you, resulting in sharper, clearer vision and reduced risk of side effects such as glare, night vision difficulties, and halos which can sometimes occur following standard LASIK procedures.
An FDA clinical study showed the following results from patients 12 months after undergoing Custom LASIK:
- 100% could pass a driving test without glasses or contact lenses
- 98% could see 20/20 or better without glasses or contact lenses
- 70% could see better than 20/20 without glasses or contact lenses
Intralase Femtosecond Laser
LASIK flap creation systems are not created equal! LASIK is a two-step process. The first step involves creating a protective corneal flap and the second step involves using an excimer laser to reshape the cornea to the desired shape to give you good uncorrected vision. At Cutarelli Vision, we perform LASIK surgery with a microkeratome. We feel that Intralase is the safest and most precise form of vision correction. Although a blade or “microkeratome” is very safe, the Intralase can be safer. Because Intralase can make extremely precise, thin protective flaps, LASIK also allows Dr. Cutarelli to perform LASIK on patients who would not have been a candidate due to thin corneas.
The Intralase Femtosecond (FS) LASER is used to create the corneal flap. We are pleased with the amazing precision offered by the Intralase machine and hope we can pass along this great precision in the vision of our patients.
Eyes treated with the IntraLase have fewer visual errors (haze, glare, sensitivity), less discomfort, and less dryness than a microkeratome. The Intralase offers flaps of precise thickness, and greater control of the flap design, which reduces risks, while producing superior visual outcomes.
Moria M2 Microkeratome
Microkeratomes have the longest track record for the creation of the LASIK flap. The Moria M2 microkeratome has been exquisitely designed by an ophthalmic device company in France with over 150 years of history. The Moria M2 creates the thin protective flap in the cornea during the initial step of a LASIK procedure. The Moria M2 has perhaps the best predictabilty for flap quality, precision, and accuracy.
A 2003 study by Jaime Javaloy, MD, PhD, Maria T. Vidal, MD, Antonio Quinto, OA, Victoria de Rojas, MD, PhD, and Jorge L. Alió, MD, PhD showed that the Moria M2 microkeratome had overall better predictability in flap thickness and the apparent quality over the Hansatome or the ACS. Most microkeratome study data and anecdotal opinion is based on the inferior performance of the Hansatome microkeratome and should not be extrapolated to the Moria M2 microkeratome, which has superior performance over other microkeratomes particularly for eyes with previous radial keratotomy (RK). Moria M2 in highly experienced hands will perform as well as femtosecond flap creation devices. Dr. Cutarelli has perhaps the most experience in Colorado with Moria microkeratomes.
Lifetime Assurance Plan for LASIK and LASEK*
LASIK is a very predictable procedure that is usually last a lifetime. But, nothing in life is predictable, and that’s why Cutarelli Vision offers the Lifetime Assurance Plan. So with this offer, if your vision changes in such a way that laser vision correction can be performed, you’ll have the comfort of knowing Dr. Cutarelli will perform that laser enhancement on you absolutely free.
*Please see complete terms and conditions for the Lifetime Assurance Plan
After 70,000 + procedures, Dr. Cutarelli has a formula for successful surgical outcomes. Sometimes factors such as individual prescription values, unique physiology and individual response to the laser treatment, an additional LASIK treatment or LASIK enhancement, may be needed to obtain personal best vision.
When is Retreatment a Good Idea?
LASIK enhancements or retreatment are occasionally necessary to fine tune the optical correction that is achieved during the initial LASIK procedure. After having a thorough consultation with Dr. Cutarelli, LASIK eye surgery is quite predictable when performed for patients who have well established goals and motivation. As an experienced LASIK surgeon, Dr. Cutarelli will take the time to perform all necessary diagnostic testing and carefully consider the treatment options to deliver the best possible results. Nonetheless, while every precaution is taken and painstaking attention is given to every detail, each of your eyes will heal in an individual way. In some small number of patients, if there is an overcorrection or an undercorrection as a result of your individual healing response, it may require a LASIK enhancement or retreatment surgery to help you obtain the best possible results.
Patients must wait a minimum of three months after the first LASIK eye surgery so as to allow stability of the results and must have adequate corneal tissue and meet other conditions set by Dr. Cutarelli. It is rare to require an enhancement beyond six months after the initial treatment.
Your eyes take time to heal. This is especially the case with Custom LASIK that can take as long as six to eight weeks before you will see the “custom” effect. Do not become anxious if you experience a dramatic improvement in your vision within the first 24 hours and then have a more modest improvement each day for the following several weeks. This is normal and you should NOT jump to the conclusion that you need an enhancement. An enhancement is a second surgical procedure and should be carefully considered as to whether it is actually necessary.
Whether you have Custom LASIK or traditional LASIK, give your eyes the necessary healing time before you begin to ask if you need an enhancement. Do not demand an enhancement of your LASIK surgeon. Enhancements should only be performed if there are specific activities that you are unable to perform due to residual overcorrection or undercorrection. Attempting to “improve the numbers” is not a good reason to ask for enhancement. If you are able to engage in the activities that you wish to do without being dependent on eyeglasses or contacts after your procedure, do not seek an enhancement just to “see a little better”. Enhancements have many of the same risks as the initial surgery so they should be considered only if medically necessary and at the suggestion of your eye surgeon.