Diamond Vision’s award-winning LASIK surgeons are highly qualified and experienced

Dr. Steven W. Stetson, MD — Medical Director

Prior to joining Diamond Vision and becoming one of the most acclaimed LASIK surgeons, Dr. Stetson was Chief of Ophthalmology and Medical Director of the Air Force’s prestigious Air Force Academy Laser Eye Clinic. Under his guidance, the Air Force Academy Laser Eye Clinic achieved the best surgery results among the USAF’s six centers and Dr. Stetson was officially recognized for superior customer satisfaction. Dr Stetson was chosen to perform the very first Lasik procedure on a US Air Force active duty member, the four star general in charge of US Space Command! Dr Stetson’s work, as a vision doctor, with the general was instrumental to changing Air Force regulations to allow Lasik surgeons to perform procedures on USAF active duty personnel.

Born in Connecticut and raised in Upstate New York , Dr. Stetson graduated Cum Laude from Colgate University in New York, and then earned an MD degree with honors at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He distinguished himself again in residency at the Albany Medical Center, where he obtained the highest percentile in the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Examinations.

Dr. Stetson has performed more than 50,000 refractive surgeries and has been on LASIK surgeons staff at Diamond Vision since 2004, before becoming Medical Director in 2006.

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Dr. Amy Stein,
Director of Optometry

Dr. Amy Stein graduated from SUNY College of Optometry. She interned at OMNI Miami where she trained with prominent vision doctors and corneal surgeons and gained extensive experience in refractive surgery. After receiving her degree, Dr. Stein worked in various modalities of Optometry before joining Diamond Vision’s team of eye doctors 10 years ago. She is currently the Director of Optometry, responsible for overseeing all optometric aspects of care in our 6 offices. She is also involved in the Optometry co-management program and continuing education seminars.

Dr. Theresa L. Bacaris, O.D.

Dr. Bacaris earned her Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree from The New England College of Optometry in 1987, Bachelor of Science(BS) degree from Queens College in 1983, and an Associate in Applied Sciences(AAS) degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing from NYC Technical College in 1981. She is certified to diagnose and treat diseases of the eyes, as well as perform comprehensive eye examinations, fitting of contact lenses and eyewear dispensing. Dr. Bacaris has been serving the Long Island community for 28 years as a caring family oriented optometrist.

Advantages of PRK surgery:

  • You keep more corneal tissue than with LASIK, ensuring the long-term stability and integrity of your eyes.
  • You are also better able to have a ‘touch up’ procedure if necessary
  • There is no risk of flap-related complications.
  • You are at less risk for dry eyes, because there is no disruption in the nerves that tell your eyes to produce tears.
  • PRK is more comfortable during the procedure.

Disadvantages of PRK eye surgery:

  • Recovery takes longer after PRK. Most people do not work for at least 2 days after surgery to allow their eyes to rest. In a Diamond Vision survey of patients who have had surface ablations, seventy-five percentere back to work after 3 days.
  • Compared to LASIK, PRK is not as comfortable for a few days afterwards. However, advances in follow-up care have considerably improved the comfort of PRK. When patients in our Diamond Vision study were asked to rate their discomfort from zero to four, the majority (56%) said their discomfort was zero or one.

Once the eye is corrected, the surgeon will place a soft contact lens to protect your eye while the healing takes place. During the healing time – 5 to 7 days – it is normal to experience blurry or fluctuating vision, light sensitivity, dryness and/or a foreign body sensation. It is common for one eye to heal faster than the other, so do not be alarmed if your vision is better in one eye compared to the other. You will be given oral pain medication if necessary, along with topical eye drops. You may find that you do not feel confident driving while the protective lenses are in.

At your one-week visit the contact lenses are removed and your vision will slowly improve. Drops will be given to use for several weeks, which will aid in healing and prevent inflammation.

Although it can take a few weeks to a few months for patients to fully reach their optimal vision, your visual outcome will be the same as if you had LASIK. However, the long-term safety and stability of your eyes will be higher than if you had LASIK. A few days or weeks of patience will be rewarded by a lifetime of better vision.

In most cases, PRK is recommended for patients who have thinner corneas, slightly irregular corneas, or are at risk for dry eyes or other conditions. Your Diamond Vision doctor will be able to make a recommendation for you based on extensive testing.

In other cases, patients who are candidates for LASIK chose to have PRK eye surgery instead, because they prefer a flapless or bladeless procedure.

If you would like to discuss the procedure with patients who have had PRK (or a very similar procedure, LASIK), please ask our staff for a list of patient phone numbers. As always, we encourage you to speak to our knowledgeable doctors for any questions regarding this procedure

In most cases, PRK is recommended for patients who have thinner corneas, slightly irregular corneas, or are at risk for dry eyes or other conditions. Your Diamond Vision doctor will be able to make a recommendation for you based on extensive testing.

In other cases, patients who are candidates for LASIK chose to have PRK eye surgery instead, because they prefer a flapless or bladeless procedure.

Many studies show that LASIK and PRK produce the same visual results after a few weeks or month. Now that the disadvantages of the “old PRK” have been conquered, doctors like the extra long-term safety afforded by PRK in many patients.

Diamond Vision’s Expertise

As we mentioned earlier, when it comes to PRK Surgery, our Medical Director, Dr. Stetson, has extensively studied the different methods and results of surface healing of PRK patients. After observing which techniques provide the best results, it was only natural for him to implement them into Diamond Vision’s processes. As such, our practice uses an Amoils Brush (or rotating brush) that gently removes the surface cells in the treatment zone. This method brings better results than alcohol-assisted removal and speeds up the procedure, minimizing patient anxiety.

About the PRK Procedure

Otherwise known as Photorefractive Keratectomy is a “surface Ablation” procedure where the laser is applied directly on the cornea’s surface and not under the flap, like in the case of LASIK. It removes the tissue from the surface of the cornea and thus, depending on the problem, may treat astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness.

A lot of patients wonder whether PRK surgery hurts. Our eye surgeons use eye drop anesthesia to numb the eyes prior to the procedure. Then, they will remove the epithelium, which is the thin protective skin covering the cornea.

Then, patients are told to look at the target light directly, and in only a few seconds, the brush will remove the unnecessary tissue.

Potential Side Effects

Until the epithelium heals fully, patients may experience hazy and/or blurry vision for a few days, along with some discomfort. However, all of this can be minimized by using pain medication, eye drops, and protective contact lenses.

Recovery Timeline

As mentioned above, the healing process following PRK eye surgery can take a bit longer than with LASIK. The epithelium may take four to five days to heal, and during this time, patients might feel discomfort and experience blurry vision. However, once the epithelium heals, the discomfort subsides, and the vision starts to clear up, sometimes taking several weeks to a month. Total improvements in visual clarity and crispness after PRK will continue for three to six months.

It’s also vital for patients to know that even though the success rates for PRK surgery are high, not everyone will get perfect results. Nearly 5% of all PRK patients find that their vision could still be better. If this is the case, eye surgeons will usually recommend enhancement procedures, most notably, another PRK surgery for small corrections six months after the initial procedure.

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