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.
Patients who would like to request a copy of their records can do so by sending a written request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow 1-2 weeks for processing time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We hear from patients on a regular basis that they do this, however, please consult your tax advisor for an up-to-date answer.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
No, Kamra does not affect your peripheral (side) vision.
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.
Yes. In fact, because your eyes work together, we recommend they are both done at the same time.
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.
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.
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.
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.