Brinton Vision – Lasik St. Louis

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our most frequently asked question. If you have a question we have not addressed, or if you would like further clarification, please feel free to call us at 314-375-2020.

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How can I get a copy of my records?

Patients who would like to request a copy of their records can do so by sending a written request to [email protected]. Medical records requests require payment of a $25 processing fee for each file per MO Rev Stat § 191.227. Payment is required prior to processing. Please allow 1-2 weeks for processing time.

Is ICL safe?

Visian ICL technology may not be as commonly known as LASIK, but it has been proven to be safe and effective for decades. ICL has been used outside of the United States since 1993 and is known internationally as EVO Visian ICL or EVO Visian Toric ICL. More than half a million people in 60 countries have received ICL implants, and that number is growing. Every six minutes, someone is given the visual freedom an implant has to offer.

During the procedure, no corneal tissue is removed. Each lens is inserted behind the iris and in front of the lens through a tiny self-sealing incision. Vision is significantly improved immediately after surgery, and upon awakening the next morning, our patients love to talk about their “ultra-high definition” vision. As an added bonus, Visian ICLs contain an ultraviolet blocker protect the eyes from harmful UV rays.

Who is not an ideal candidate for LASIK?

LASIK may not be the best solution for you if you:

  • have a vision prescription that has changed four full steps or more on the eye exam in the last year (-1.00D).
  • are pregnant.
  • have uncontrolled or untreated eye disease.
  • have a corneal dystrophy or a history of herpetic keratitis (a herpes infection in the eye), or autoimmune disorders such as lupus.
  • are on certain medications, including Accutane.
How much would a Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis cost if you billed insurance?

If we were to bill out to insurance for the testing and consultation involved in a BVOA, the cost in 2017 would be $638.20. (Breakdown available upon request.) We only charge $120 because we want to let patients see for themselves how clearly they can see after surgery and how life-changing the whole process can be.

Why does Brinton Vision charge for a consultation?

Some LASIK chains perform LASIK with only a minimal screening exam. The screening may involve the following:

  • Minimal technology — usually one or two devices that may not be up-to-date.
  • You may have no contact with your surgeon; in many cases your surgeon and surgery team fly in and fly out from another city or state for the day of surgery, without an overnight in town.
  • Tasks are delegated to assistants. Your surgeon may take a minimal role or no role in ensuring the quality of your process, other than firing the laser.
  • You may not be seen by a trained refractive surgery specialist until you are about to be taken back for your laser procedure or when you are lying on the surgery bed.

These are not bad surgeons, but the process is depersonalized and is driven by a different patient care philosophy. Our approach is distinct. We invite you to come in and experience the difference for yourself.

We use only the most advanced, proven technology for a thorough diagnostic workup we call the Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA), which includes seven of the most modern diagnostic instruments found anywhere in the world. This is much different than the quick screening exam you may find at a big box LASIK center in St. Louis.

We block out 90 minutes of medical technician time for each BVOA, including one-on-one time with Dr. Brinton or Dr. Poore, to discuss your diagnostics and options.

What about macular degeneration?

In its early “dry” stages, macular degeneration can be mild and not bothersome. In its advanced “wet” stages it can be devastating and can even lead to blindness. We recommend contacting a retina specialist in your community if you are seeking treatment for macular degeneration.

Can I pay with a credit card now and later reimburse myself from my FSA/HSA?

We hear from patients on a regular basis that they do this, however, please consult your tax advisor for an up-to-date answer.

Do you accept cash?
Yes.
Where are you located?

The Brinton Vision building is located at 555 N. New Ballas Road, Suite 310 in St. Louis. We are near I-270 and Olive Blvd.

What does it mean to be fellowship-trained?

In short, to be fellowship-trained is to receive additional academic training on specific aspects of the field of ophthalmology. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors trained in all aspects of general human medicine, and who specialize in working with the eye. Not all ophthalmologists are fellowship-trained.

Dr. Brinton trained with one of the pioneers of LASIK, Dr. Dan Durrie of Durrie Vision. His clinical fellowship training combined outpatient and surgical experience in refractive surgery, the field that encompasses laser eye surgery. As a fellow, he assumed responsibility for patient care under the supervision of some of the world’s top specialists in the field. He was also responsible for instructing medical students and residents. In addition, he led research projects and published peer-reviewed articles about specific aspects of refractive surgery. For a full listing of Dr. Brinton’s journal articles, visit PubMed.com, an online index of peer-reviewed articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

How many laser eye surgeries has Dr. Brinton performed?

In most weeks, Dr. Brinton performs laser eye surgery three days per week while most centers only do so one day per week or less. Dr. Brinton has performed thousands of LASIK procedures and is among the most experienced refractive surgery specialists in the country.

Why do I have to remove my contacts before my exam and before surgery?

Contact lenses can alter the shape of your cornea and can also prohibit oxygen flow to the cornea. For that reason, we ask that you refrain from wearing them both before your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA) and before surgery. Soft lenses should be removed three days before your exam, and seven days prior if you wear toric lenses. If you wear rigid gas-permeable or hybrid lenses, leave them out at least 30 days prior to your exam. This is so that your cornea can be restored to a more natural shape before measurements are taken.

Are LASIK laser eye surgery centers required to use wavefront technology?

No. Wavefront optimized and wavefront guided technology is not required, but it is preferred. Older generation lasers are still approved by the FDA and are used across the United States. Like cell phones, the technology has become increasingly advanced. Many of the best laser eye surgeons stay on top of these advances as they occur. It is important to do your research and select a center that invests in the most advanced technology and expertise in using it to ensure the best LASIK outcome.

What is the benefit of wavefront-optimized and wavefront-guided technology?

Wavefront optimized and wavefront guided technology helps preserve the natural curvature of your cornea. This has been proven to improve the quality of night vision. While glasses and contact lens wearers often experience halos and glare, LASIK can significantly improve these unwanted visual complaints.

Does LASIK cause cataracts?

LASIK does not cause cataracts. The internal lens is never accessed in a LASIK procedure, so it is never scratched or damaged in surgery. As the eye ages, the internal lens gradually stiffens, clouds, and discolors, which eventually leads to cataract formation. LASIK is done on the cornea, which is a completely different part of the eye than the inner lens.

Can I have cataract surgery in the future if I need to?

Brinton Vision in St. Louis offers LASIK plus all six modern LASIK alternatives. While some of these procedures affect your options at the time of cataract surgery, we offer other procedures that keep all of the advanced lens options available to you when you get a cataract. We also provide Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), which keeps cataracts from developing and can allow you to avoid the years of declining vision that come as cataracts worsen. The best way to get an individual answer for your situation is to come in for a Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA).

What percentage of patients need enhancement later?

The percentage of patients who need touch-up, or enhancement surgery differs depending on your age, your prescription, and the procedure you undergo. Dr. Brinton will provide you with the information you need about possible later enhancement based on your unique eyes in your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA).

What is enhancement surgery?

If your vision is undercorrected or overcorrected with a procedure, we can usually perform a touch-up procedure called an enhancement within a few months. Recovery time is similar to that of the original procedure.

Can you guarantee 20/20 vision?

For many of our procedures, Dr. Brinton consistently obtains a higher rate of 20/20 vision than their contact lenses or glasses allowed them to see. We perform LASIK plus all six modern variations with the utmost confidence. We believe that the safety and effectiveness of our technologies, combined with Dr. Brinton’s extensive experience and education, make vision correction as safe as it can possibly be. Having said that, there are no guarantees or warranties of any kind in medicine, and it would be irresponsible to tell our patients otherwise. In fact, on fda.gov, the FDA states: “Be wary of eye centers that advertise, ‘20/20 vision or your money back’ or ‘package deals.’ There are never any guarantees in medicine.”

To-date, Dr. Brinton has never treated a patient whose visual acuity did not improve with surgery. We set a high standard for care, including thorough diagnostics using state-of-the-art technology and expertise, and incorporate years of skill and professional experience so that your results are as predictable and positive as possible for your eyes.

Can I go blind from LASIK?

There has never been even a single reported case of someone going blind because of a LASIK procedure. Further, there are no facts that show that any serious, vision-threatening problems were encountered in the FDA studies for the surgery’s approval. There have been cases of damaged or reduced vision after LASIK that were related to infections, haze and scarring, botched flap formation, or improper positioning. Many of these problems improved over time, but as with any surgery, anything can happen. The best way to minimize the possibility of problems is to trust your eyes to the best laser eye surgeons in St. Louis.

Dr. Brinton is a world-renowned, Harvard-educated, fellowship-trained refractive eye surgeon — the only one in Missouri to dedicate his practice solely to the range of refractive corrections. He has never had a case in which there were serious, sight-threatening problems following laser eye surgery. Our patients tell us that our advanced diagnostic technology and the one-on-one time they have to discuss all aspects of laser eye surgery have been invaluable.

What are my chances of not having to wear glasses or contacts after surgery?

Thanks to the fact that Brinton Vision is able to provide LASIK plus its six modern variations, there are a number of vision problems — some of them pretty severe — that we are able to fully correct. The likelihood that you will have complete freedom from glasses or contacts depends on what procedure is done and on your own body.

For example, even though your refractive error is completely corrected with certain procedures, you may still eventually have over-40 vision problems, or presbyopia, caused by aging lenses. For realistic expectations for your unique vision, please schedule a Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA). Statistically, one of every 250 LASIK patients will need to wear a contact to obtain their best vision after laser eye surgery.

What limitations are there after LASIK or other laser eye surgery?

After LASIK or any laser eye surgery, we recommend you go home and take it easy for a few hours. Using your eyes to read, watch TV, or use a computer is not a problem. You will apply medicated eye drops about four times per day for one week and preservative-free artificial teardrops frequently. Regardless of the procedure, most patients return to work the next day.

In a well-known study conducted by Dr. Brinton and Dr. Daniel Durrie of Durrie Vision, 100 percent of patients had 20/20 vision within four hours of their LASIK eye surgery.

We recommend that you bring someone with you to drive you home from surgery, as your vision may be blurry for a few hours. Following most surgeries, we will give you protective eye shields to wear at night for a few days to keep you from inadvertently rubbing them. Any other restrictions will be specific to certain procedures and to your lifestyle, and Dr. Brinton will discuss them with you prior to surgery.

How soon after surgery will my vision improve?

For most refractive procedures, the results are nearly immediate. By the next morning, our patients show up with smiles on their faces because they are seeing things they didn’t know they were missing all along. Results may take longer in some cases, however, and if so, Dr. Brinton will take time to talk to you about what to expect.

I have dry eyes. Will my condition affect my laser eye surgery?

Many people suffer from dry eyes, and it is a condition that can cause contact lenses to be especially irritating. Contact lenses themselves can cause and worsen dry eye, and can cause blepharitis. For that reason, many dry eye sufferers seek laser vision correction.

Unfortunately, LASIK doesn’t make dry eyes better, but there is a solution. If you are diagnosed with dry eyes during your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA), Dr. Brinton will advise you on a course of action — usually the use of tear supplements and tiny silicone plugs called punctal plugs placed in the tear drainage openings of your eyelids. Punctal plugs delay the drainage of tears so that your eyes will stay moist. This will help you to have the best possible results after your LASIK eye surgery procedure.

Immediately following LASIK or other refractive surgery, your eyes may feel dry. This condition is almost always temporary and typically lasts a few months, if that long. Dry eye symptoms tend to be more problematic if you use a computer frequently, read for long periods of time, or drive extended distances. It is important to use artificial tears to relieve your symptoms, especially in the first few months after surgery.

Are your lasers and lens implants FDA-approved?

Yes. All of the lasers and implants at Brinton Vision are FDA-approved. Many have also been used years longer in Europe and across the world prior to U.S. FDA approval.

Is LASIK approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?

The FDA approved the use of the excimer laser for the treatment of myopia in 1995. Since then, LASIK has gained popularity and has become the procedure of choice for refractive laser eye surgery in St. Louis and worldwide.

What if I move my eye during LASIK surgery?

Both our VISX and Wavelight laser platforms have built-in tracking devices able to adjust the placement of the laser if and when your eye makes an involuntary movement. These devices are capable of tracking movement up to 4,000 times per second — much faster than your eye is capable of functioning. If your eye moves too much, our lasers stop, then resumes when its target is back in range.

Can anyone get LASIK laser eye surgery?

The best LASIK surgeons in St. Louis and across the country will not try to push you into LASIK or other laser eye surgery because refractive surgeries are elective medical procedures and not everyone is an ideal candidate. Dr. Brinton is a conservative surgeon, meaning he only performs LASIK plus its six modern variations on people whose eye anatomy, vision and health history make it an excellent choice. At Brinton Vision, there is no one-size-fits-all laser vision solution. We take the time to perform the most comprehensive evaluation possible, and our patients are never counted as a “sale.” The best way to find out if you are a candidate for any laser vision correction is to visit us for a Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA).

The most dreaded part of visiting my eye doctor is the puff of air. Do you do that?

No. The technology and procedures we use eliminate the need for a puff of air. We are able to obtain more precise results using our modern technology.

What if I need bifocals or have other vision difficulties?

KAMRA® inlay is practical for many patients because it can be used in conjunction with LASIK and some other refractive or laser procedures. Patients have had very good outcomes, and eliminated their need for any kind of glasses, when they receive other treatments in conjunction with KAMRA®. KAMRA® inlay addresses 40+ vision problems caused by presbyopia, while other procedures address other issues.

Will KAMRA® affect my peripheral vision?

No, KAMRA® does not affect your peripheral (side) vision.

Can KAMRA® be removed?

KAMRA® inlay can be removed, although we have never been asked to do so. A clinical study showed that, when a KAMRA® inlay was removed, vision generally returned to the level the patient had prior to when it was put in and patients’ eyes sustained no permanent damage.

Can both eyes be treated in the same sitting?

Yes. In fact, because your eyes work together, we recommend they are both done at the same time.

Do I need to take time off of work?

Most people are back to work the day after their procedure. Dr. Brinton will recommend a course of action for your unique circumstances at your consultation.

How long does the SMILE procedure take to do?

The actual procedure takes only 15 minutes, but prior to the procedure, Dr. Brinton will repeat some of the tests that were done during your initial analysis to make sure there are no changes in your eye health and to verify results prior to surgery.

What are the risks of LASIK?

LASIK is one of the most successful human surgical procedures available today. That being said, every human body is unique. At Brinton Vision, Dr. Brinton works hard to minimize risks by personally taking the time to evaluate patients and discuss the results of careful preoperative testing at the Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis. We utilize the most advanced, proven technology to ensure you are a good candidate for our refractive procedures. Still, it is impossible to eliminate all risk.

Though they are rare and are unique to individual eye anatomy, some potential complications can be:

  • Under response/Overresponse: During the LASIK process, the shape of the cornea is modified to let light in at carefully determined ideal levels. For the vast majority of patients, what is clinically “ideal” is very good; however, it is possible that your eyes could respond differently, and that a small amount of nearsightedness or farsightedness could remain after the procedure. If this happens, and it is rare, a touch-up can be performed to fine-tune your results.
  • Dryness: Even though LASIK has fewer side effects than ever before, some patients report feeling dryness in their eyes after their procedure. This is typically alleviated over time (usually a few weeks at the most) and through the use of artificial tears. In a recent study, compared to patients who continued to wear contact lenses, patients who underwent LASIK had nearly half the rate of dryness (9 percent, compared with 16 percent). Part of your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis will involve testing your tear production, which helps us minimize your risk and predict whether or not this will be an issue for you.
  • Night vision and other vision disturbances: Some patients report glares, halos, and starbursts at night following LASIK. These are fairly common during the healing period, but thanks to technological advances, these are rare once the flap has healed. Recently, a three-year study of patient satisfaction in LASIK vs. contact lenses showed that people who undergo LASIK procedures have better night vision and experience fewer problems with halos, glare, and starbursts than people who remain in contact lenses.

Risks associated with LASIK surgery can be minimized through the thorough preoperative testing you will undergo during your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis. There is no substitute for training and experience, and skillful use of the most modern, proven of technology.

Is LASIK painful?

SBK should never be painful. Not only do our patients report that there is no pain (sometimes much to their surprise!), but studies show that LASIK is a pain-free process.

Prior to the procedure, patients receive numbing eye drops that keep them from feeling the procedure. The drops may sting a bit, but the feeling is temporary. During the procedure, the only feeling patients report is that of pressure but seldom is it uncomfortable.

For the first four hours after LASIK, the eye(s) can feel scratchy or possibly sting after the numbing drops wear off. This feeling is normally gone by the following morning.

How long do Visian ICLs stay in my eyes?

Visian ICL is a life-long game changer. Visian ICL can remain with you, in sync with your body’s chemistry, throughout your life. A lens can also be removed or updated to accommodate changes in your vision needs.

Once I get a BVOA, how long are my results valid?

Your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis results are valid for three months. That means that, if you do plan to have LASIK or any other procedure, you will need to schedule it within that timeframe. If you plan to wait longer, the BVOA will be repeated prior to surgery. This is because eye conditions can change. We will not perform surgery on someone without taking the steps needed to ensure accurate results.

Do you have financing plans available for laser eye surgery?

Yes. We accept all traditional forms of payment, including cash, credit cards, and checks. We also accept funding from FSAs and HSAs, and we work with financing companies to provide a range of payment plans based on approved credit. The two most popular plans our patients opt for are a convenient and affordable 60-month plan with no pre-payment penalty, and a 24-month, zero down, no interest plan. Once we know you are a candidate for a particular procedure, we will work with you to find the best plan for your budget and individual situation.

Why do you offer so many options when other places only have a couple? Isn’t LASIK just LASIK?

No two people have the same fingerprints, and no two people have the same eyes. LASIK is a good option for some people, but there are other procedures that can be a better fit, depending on your eye anatomy, health history, and vision problems. All of this is evaluated using state-of-the-art technology in a Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA) in our St. Louis laser eye surgery practice. Dr. Brinton is the only full-time, comprehensive refractive surgeon in the state of Missouri, and one of just a handful in the United States to provide LASIK plus its six modern variations (LASIK alternatives) to his patients. These include ASAKamra Inlay, RLESBK SMILE, and Visian ICL. He does so because he believes in providing personalized, customized care to each guest who walks through the door at Brinton Vision.

Other St. Louis lasik centers advertise free screenings. Why does Brinton Vision perform full evaluations and charge a fee?
We are a specialty laser vision correction practice that performs LASIK plus all of its modern variations. This is what we do, and we do it well. We are the only such LASIK eye surgery center in St. Louis and Missouri, and one of just a handful in the country. We don’t cut corners, and we are not interested in talking you into a procedure that isn’t right for you. By putting your needs first in an exceptionally personal consultation, not only will you feel more comfortable with your decision, but Dr. Brinton rests more easily knowing that you are receiving the best LASIK laser eye surgery for your unique eyes. If you are a candidate for a refractive procedure and you book your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis directly through Brinton Vision, your payment will be applied to that procedure. At the very least, you will have the most comprehensive analysis available of your eye health and vision, and can be armed with that knowledge moving forward.

Do insurance companies cover the cost of LASIK?

No, insurance companies do not cover the cost of LASIK or any of its six modern variations. However, there can be tax benefits for getting LASIK, and financing plans with zero down and zero interest can make it affordable.

What percentage of your patients are candidates for LASIK?

LASIK is a great procedure for many people, but it is not the best fit for everyone. About 50 percent of the people who come through our door are good candidates for SBK LASIK; the majority of the remaining people are either candidates for another procedure better suited for their unique eyes, or are not candidates based on their individual medical situation. For context, many LASIK providers have candidacy rates above 90 percent. Brinton Vision is different. We will never offer you a solution that isn’t the optimal choice for your vision goals. Instead, we offer seven of the most state-of-the art solutions and the most comprehensive diagnostics available anywhere in the world to arm you with the information you need to decide for yourself how you want to see the world for the rest of your life.

Will I experience halos and/or glare after my procedure?

Early after a vision correction procedure it is common to see halos and glare, particularly around lights at night. Our patients say that this is prominent at first, then dissipates over time to the point where it either completely goes away or is less noticeable. Glasses and contacts often have this same effect, as does applying artificial tears before driving at night.

Who is a candidate for LASIK eye surgery?

LASIK may be an excellent solution for you if you:

  • are at least 18 years old.
  • have nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia, or astigmatism.
  • have had a stable glasses or contact lens prescription for the last year.
  • are in good health.

If you have astigmatism, learn more here.

Am I too old or too young for LASIK or any other procedure?

Brinton Vision is a unique practice in that we specialize in LASIK plus all of its modern forms. With that range of tools, we can correct vision in patients ages 18 to 108 years old. We are also different in that we provide a tailored solution for your vision correction needs, rather than just offering one or two blanket treatments to everyone who comes in the door. During your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis, you will learn what the best option is for you and your individual vision goals.

What if I’m not a good candidate for LASIK?

Brinton Vision offers LASIK plus all six of its modern variations — Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA), Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)ReLEX SMILEImplantable Collamer Lenses (Visian ICL)ASA, and KAMRA® Inlay. Because of the technology, education, and dedication required to provide these treatments, we are one of only a handful of specialty refractive practices in the United States to do so.

We are also one of just a few practices to use seven different in-house, state-of-the-art refractive diagnostic technologies to ensure we have the most accurate analysis possible of your unique eyes. Because of this, we are able to tailor a solution just for you.

Still, there are certain times when laser vision correction is not ideal. Often there are treatments available for conditions that, when addressed, can make you a good candidate for laser eye surgery. In other cases, because of the technology we use, we have been able to diagnose problems that were previously missed, and to help patients establish a course of treatment that ultimately saved their remaining vision. A Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis provides the comprehensive information we need to decide which surgery, if any, is the right option for your unique eyes.

Does LASIK eye surgery hurt?

At Brinton Vision, your surgical technician will administer numbing eye drops to ensure you remain comfortable during the procedure. After LASIKICLASAKAMRARLE or SMILE, most patients experience little or no discomfort. Your eyes may feel scratchy, gritty or watery for a couple of hours. These are temporary symptoms and are not a problem for most patients. The exception to this is Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA), which is an effective procedure for some patients who are not good candidates for LASIK or other LASIK alternatives. If ASA is the best choice for you, Dr. Brinton will discuss what to expect and answer any questions you may have.

Will I have to repeat LASIK surgery years later?

You should not have to repeat LASIK later in life. Your vision correction will be stable about three months after your procedure, and the correction made in your cornea is permanent after that. It is important to note, however, that the lens of your eye is not accessed during LASIK. It is the loss of flexibility in the lens that causes “over 40” vision, and that later leads to cataracts. Vision reduction or loss due to the normal aging process of the lens can still occur. Also, certain eye diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma are not prevented by refractive procedures. We test for these prior to surgery, but should you develop them later, your vision will likely be affected.

What kind of lasers do you use?

As the only practice in St. Louis with multiple femtosecond and excimer laser platforms under one roof, we are better equipped to customize treatment options. We utilize the following lasers:

Intralase iFS laser — 150 Hz

This Intralase laser has been the gold standard of femtosecond LASIK flap makers since its inception in 2002. The iFS is the 5th and newest generation in this laser family, improving the speed of its predecessor by 2.5x. It can create a flap in under 10 seconds and also fashions the pockets we use for KAMRA® Inlay and Raindrop Near Vision Inlay procedures.

VISX S4 IR

This is one of our two excimer lasers. More LASIK cases have been done on the VISX laser than on any other laser in the world. It is also the laser approved for use in U.S. fighter pilots and NASA astronauts.

Allegretto Wavelight

This is the second of our two excimer lasers used for LASIK. The Allegretto Wavelight laser is the fastest excimer laser in the country (the Schwind laser is the fastest excimer laser in the world).

Zeiss Visumax — 500 Hz

This is one of our two femtosecond lasers. A femtosecond is one quadrillionth of a second. This is our newest laser and is the fastest femtosecond laser in the world, firing at 500Hz. It is also the only laser in the world that can do SMILE, a third-generation laser vision correction procedure. SMILE is a 100 percent femtosecond laser-based procedure.

Yag laser

This is a laser that we can use with Visian ICL and RLE surgery.

What vision problems are correctible using laser eye surgery?

LASIK plus its six modern variations are used to correct different degrees of refractive errors, including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia, and astigmatism. Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is also used as a cataract surgery alternative, and can actually keep cataracts from forming.

Will you correct both eyes at the same time?

Most of the time we will correct both eyes at the same sitting, but there are a few exceptions. Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) and Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICLs), sometimes called implantable contact lenses, are sometimes done one eye at a time if Dr. Brinton, your surgeon, deems it necessary. Dr. Brinton will discuss this with you and answer any questions you may have at your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA).

Will having laser eye surgery prevent me from having other eye diseases later?

No. With the exception of Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) which prevents formation of cataracts, laser eye surgery does not prevent diseases like glaucoma, retinal detachment, or macular degeneration. LASIK is “disease neutral,” meaning that it does not cause or prevent these diseases. Someone who has had LASIK can develop these eye diseases and be treated just like a normal-sighted person can develop and be treated for a disease.

Why do you offer so many options when other places only have a couple? Isn’t LASIK just LASIK?

No two people have the same fingerprints, and no two people have the same eyes. LASIK is a good option for some people, but there are other procedures that can be a better fit, depending on your eye anatomy, health history, and vision problems. All of this is evaluated using state-of-the-art technology in a Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA) in our St. Louis laser eye surgery practice. Dr. Brinton is the only full-time, comprehensive refractive surgeon in the state of Missouri, and one of just a handful in the United States to provide LASIK plus its six modern variations (LASIK alternatives) to his patients. These include ASAKamra Inlay, RLESBK SMILE, and Visian ICL. He does so because he believes in providing personalized, customized care to each guest who walks through the door at Brinton Vision.

What is the difference between Visian ICL and Visian Toric ICL?

The Visian ICL is a very effective implantable collamer lens (sometimes called an implantable contact lens) for many people who have moderate to severe myopia, or nearsightedness. Until now, however, people with steep astigmatism were not candidates for ICL, or for many other procedures. Visian Toric ICL was developed specifically for those patients in mind. It treats myopia as well as astigmatism, and it has also been effective in managing an eye disease called kerataconus.

Am I a candidate for ICL?

A good ICL candidate is typically 18 years or older and who has a moderate to high prescription for nearsightedness. Patients should not have had previous eye surgery, and they should not have been diagnosed with eye disease. You may be a good candidate for ICL even if you have been told that you are not a candidate for LASIK.

Will I experience halos and/or glare after my procedure?

Early after a vision correction procedure it is common to see halos and glare, particularly around lights at night. Our patients say that this is prominent at first, then dissipates over time to the point where it either completely goes away or is less noticeable. Glasses and contacts often have this same effect, as does applying artificial tears before driving at night.

How successful is Visian ICL?

To-date, Visian ICL has been used in over 1,000,000 patients worldwide with a success rate of over 99 percent. Visian ICL is a premium and primary option for patients with moderate to severe myopia, or who are not candidates for LASIK.

Are there any risks to Visian ICL?

Vision correction surgeries are, as a whole, among the most successful procedures available today. That being said, every human body is unique. No two eyes are alike, and in rare cases, there may be a risk of complications. At Brinton Vision, we work hard to minimize that risk by taking the time and utilizing the most advanced technology to ensure you are a good candidate for any of our procedures and achieve the outcome you desire. Still, it is impossible to eliminate all risks.

Though they are extremely rare and are specific to each individual, potential complications can be:

  • Under correction or over-correction: This is particularly problematic if a surgeon does not pay close attention to evaluation procedures, and it is a risk that can be virtually eliminated with thorough testing and skilled optic specialists.
  • Dryness: Dryness is very rarely a long-term side-effect, particularly in practices like Brinton Vision where adequate testing is done to ensure that each patient truly is a good candidate for each available procedure.
  • Night vision and other vision disturbances: Some patients report glares, halos, and starbursts at night following surgery. These are fairly common during the healing period, but thanks to technological advances, these are extremely rare once the slit has healed.
  • Cataracts: There is a very small risk that cataracts may develop following ICL procedures. If this happens, it is possible to remove the ICL and implant an intraocular lens.

Risks of Visian ICL surgery can be minimized by thorough testing, such as a Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis, which properly ensures patients are ideal candidates for the procedure. Also, there is no substitute for training and experience, and skillful use of the most modern of technology. Any patient considering ICL surgery is encouraged to discuss all relative advantages, disadvantages, risks and benefits with a refractive surgeon trained and experienced in Visian ICL surgery.

Is it normal to experience blurry vision or fluctuations after KAMRA® eye surgery?

Yes, it is common to experience these symptoms on and off during the first few months following a KAMRA® procedure. This is often a sign of dry eye or your brain adapting to the new vision. Using the eye drops prescribed by Dr. Brinton and giving your eyes frequent breaks can improve these conditions.

Will KAMRA® darken my vision?

The inlay is designed to help your eye focus the light so images and text look clear again. Right after the inlay is implanted, you may notice some darkening of your vision, but as your eyes adjust and you heal, it will return to normal.

Can people see the KAMRA® inlay in my eye?

For people with larger pupils and darker eye color, the inlay is virtually invisible. For lighter colored eyes, the inlay is rarely noticed unless someone knows to look for it and are very close. It may be easier to see from the side in very bright light.

How long does KAMRA® last?

Assuming your eyes don’t change, your vision with the KAMRA® inlay will go unchanged. However, if you develop cataracts or changes in your underlying prescription, you may need an alternative treatment for those issues, such as cataract surgery.

Why is KAMRA® only used in one eye?

You naturally have one dominant eye for seeing things far and a non-dominant eye for vision up close. The KAMRA® inlay is only placed in your eye used for reading vision, allowing you to see up close clearly. Your other eye is either left untouched or is corrected for great distance vision. Working together, the eyes allow you to see near, far and everything in-between.

Who is a good candidate for KAMRA®?

Ideal candidates for KAMRA® are between the ages of 40 and 65 who have noticed the progression of presbyopia, but whose eyes are otherwise healthy.

What are the risks of KAMRA®?

Every eye is unique. Just like every other laser or refractive vision correction procedure, everyone responds differently. The most effective way to determine what risks you may face is to complete a thorough refractive evaluation prior to surgery. A Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis will provide you and Dr. Brinton information needed to determine if you are a good candidate for KAMRA® inlay.

In the hours and days following the procedure, some patients have reported that their eye feels irritated or scratchy. This can be alleviated by using the artificial tears Dr. Brinton will prescribe. Some patients may also experience watery eyes or light sensitivity. This, too, is normal and temporary.

Is SMILE a permanent treatment?

Yes.

Is SMILE painful?

The SMILE procedure is not painful. In fact, patients are often surprised to find that it’s completed so quickly and with so little discomfort!

Who is a good candidate for the SMILE procedure?

If you are a good candidate for SBK LASIK, you will likely be a good candidate for SMILE. Dr. Brinton is one of the foremost surgeons in the United States performing SMILE, as well as LASIK plus five other modern variations of laser eye surgery in St. Louis. A comprehensive Brinton Ocular Analysis gives us the information we need to determine if you are a good candidate for SMILE or any other refractive surgery, and the best laser eye surgery options for your unique eyes.

Am I too old or too young for SMILE laser eye surgery?

Dr. Brinton uses SMILE to correct vision for patients between the ages of 18 and 55 years old.

What are the advantages to using SMILE over other procedures?

Because SMILE is a flapless procedure, it may be a better option for people who are prone to dry eye or who engage in contact sports. Your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA) will determine if it is right for you.

What type of vision problems can be corrected with SMILE?

SMILE corrects myopia and astigmatism. If you have astigmatism, click here to learn more.

Once I get a BVOA, how long are my results valid?

Your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis results are valid for three months. That means that, if you do plan to have LASIK or any other procedure, you will need to schedule it within that timeframe. If you plan to wait longer, the BVOA will be repeated prior to surgery. This is because eye conditions can change. We will not perform surgery on someone without taking the steps needed to ensure accurate results.

Am I too old or too young for LASIK or any other procedure?

Brinton Vision is a unique practice in that we specialize in LASIK plus all of its modern forms. With that range of tools, we can correct vision in patients ages 18 to 108 years old. We are also different in that we provide a tailored solution for your vision correction needs, rather than just offering one or two blanket treatments to everyone who comes in the door. During your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis, you will learn what the best option is for you and your individual vision goals.

Do you have financing plans available for laser eye surgery?

Yes. We accept all traditional forms of payment, including cash, credit cards, and checks. We also accept funding from FSAs and HSAs, and we work with financing companies to provide a range of payment plans based on approved credit. The two most popular plans our patients opt for are a convenient and affordable 60-month plan with no pre-payment penalty, and a 24-month, zero down, no interest plan. Once we know you are a candidate for a particular procedure, we will work with you to find the best plan for your budget and individual situation.

Will you correct both eyes at the same time?

Most of the time we will correct both eyes at the same sitting, but there are a few exceptions. Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) and Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICLs), sometimes called implantable contact lenses, are sometimes done one eye at a time if Dr. Brinton, your surgeon, deems it necessary. Dr. Brinton will discuss this with you and answer any questions you may have at your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA).

Will you use anesthesia?

Numbing eye drops are the only type of anesthesia (to use the term loosely) that you will need. You will likely be surprised at just how pain-free your procedure is! If you find you are uncomfortably nervous or anxious, let Dr. Brinton or one of our team members know ahead of time.

How much would a Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis cost if you billed insurance?

If we were to bill out to insurance for the testing and consultation involved in a BVOA, the cost in 2017 would be $638.20. (Breakdown available upon request.) We only charge $120 because we want to let patients see for themselves how clearly they can see after surgery and how life-changing the whole process can be.

Why does Brinton Vision charge for a consultation?

Some LASIK chains perform LASIK with only a minimal screening exam. The screening may involve the following:

  • Minimal technology — usually one or two devices that may not be up-to-date.
  • You may have no contact with your surgeon; in many cases your surgeon and surgery team fly in and fly out from another city or state for the day of surgery, without an overnight in town.
  • Tasks are delegated to assistants. Your surgeon may take a minimal role or no role in ensuring the quality of your process, other than firing the laser.
  • You may not be seen by a trained refractive surgery specialist until you are about to be taken back for your laser procedure or when you are lying on the surgery bed.

These are not bad surgeons, but the process is depersonalized and is driven by a different patient care philosophy. Our approach is distinct. We invite you to come in and experience the difference for yourself.

We use only the most advanced, proven technology for a thorough diagnostic workup we call the Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA), which includes seven of the most modern diagnostic instruments found anywhere in the world. This is much different than the quick screening exam you may find at a big box LASIK center in St. Louis.

We block out 90 minutes of medical technician time for each BVOA, including one-on-one time with Dr. Brinton or Dr. Poore, to discuss your diagnostics and options.

Can I pay with a credit card now and later reimburse myself from my FSA/HSA?

We hear from patients on a regular basis that they do this, however, please consult your tax advisor for an up-to-date answer.

Do you accept cash?

Yes.

Where are you located?

The Brinton Vision building is located at 555 N. New Ballas Road, Suite 310 in St. Louis. We are near I-270 and Olive Blvd.

What does it mean to be fellowship-trained?

In short, to be fellowship-trained is to receive additional academic training on specific aspects of the field of ophthalmology. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors trained in all aspects of general human medicine, and who specialize in working with the eye. Not all ophthalmologists are fellowship-trained.

Dr. Brinton trained with one of the pioneers of LASIK, Dr. Dan Durrie of Durrie Vision. His clinical fellowship training combined outpatient and surgical experience in refractive surgery, the field that encompasses laser eye surgery. As a fellow, he assumed responsibility for patient care under the supervision of some of the world’s top specialists in the field. He was also responsible for instructing medical students and residents. In addition, he led research projects and published peer-reviewed articles about specific aspects of refractive surgery. For a full listing of Dr. Brinton’s journal articles, visit PubMed.com, an online index of peer-reviewed articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

How many laser eye surgeries has Dr. Brinton performed?

In most weeks, Dr. Brinton performs laser eye surgery three days per week while most centers only do so one day per week or less. Dr. Brinton has performed thousands of LASIK procedures and is among the most experienced refractive surgery specialists in the country.

Why do I have to remove my contacts before my exam and before surgery?

Contact lenses can alter the shape of your cornea and can also prohibit oxygen flow to the cornea. For that reason, we ask that you refrain from wearing them both before your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis (BVOA) and before surgery. Soft lenses should be removed three days before your exam, and seven days prior if you wear toric lenses. If you wear rigid gas-permeable or hybrid lenses, leave them out at least 30 days prior to your exam. This is so that your cornea can be restored to a more natural shape before measurements are taken.

Can you guarantee 20/20 vision?

For many of our procedures, Dr. Brinton consistently obtains a higher rate of 20/20 vision than their contact lenses or glasses allowed them to see. We perform LASIK plus all six modern variations with the utmost confidence. We believe that the safety and effectiveness of our technologies, combined with Dr. Brinton’s extensive experience and education, make vision correction as safe as it can possibly be. Having said that, there are no guarantees or warranties of any kind in medicine, and it would be irresponsible to tell our patients otherwise. In fact, on fda.gov, the FDA states: “Be wary of eye centers that advertise, ‘20/20 vision or your money back’ or ‘package deals.’ There are never any guarantees in medicine.”

To-date, Dr. Brinton has never treated a patient whose visual acuity did not improve with surgery. We set a high standard for care, including thorough diagnostics using state-of-the-art technology and expertise, and incorporate years of skill and professional experience so that your results are as predictable and positive as possible for your eyes.

The most dreaded part of visiting my eye doctor is the puff of air. Do you do that?

No. The technology and procedures we use eliminate the need for a puff of air. We are able to obtain more precise results using our modern technology.