Everything You Need to Know
About Laser Eye Surgery
Thank you for requesting our consumer guide on laser eye surgery. We’re happy you have chosen to learn more about this life-changing procedure.
First, let me tell you a little bit more about my practice and myself.
My name is Dr. John Suson, and I have been involved in eye care for my entire life. My father, Dr. Elieser Suson, was an acclaimed eye physician and I must have inherited his love of medicine, specifically his passion for ophthalmology.
I graduated from Marquette University in 1988, summa cum laude in chemistry. I attended medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin, completing my studies in 1992. Afterwards, I completed an internship at St. Luke’s Medical Center, and gained specialty training in ophthalmology at the Eye Institute in Milwaukee. In 1998, I became board certified in ophthalmology.
My father founded Suson Eye Specialists of Milwaukee in 1972. Today, I run this prestigious private practice, along with my sister Dr. Judy Suson-Hoggatt. The ophthalmology bug is quite contagious in the Suson household. We have modern and technologically advanced facilities in both Wauwatosa and Glendale. In addition to my duties at Suson, I am also a clinical instructor at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
At the risk of tooting my own horn, I can genuinely say that I am one of the leading experts in laser eye surgery. I was one of the first surgeons in the state of Wisconsin to perform this procedure and have carefully followed the many advancements since its inception.
I have also watched this procedure become somewhat of a “fad” surgery, performed at chain store clinics. What I’ve noticed is that the information provided to patients about LASIK surgery is often incomplete, too complicated, and filled with misleading information.
That’s why I decided to write this in-depth consumer guide laser eye surgery. My intention is to clear up any rumors or falsehoods surrounding LASIK eye surgery. There is no such thing as a “quick and cheap” surgery, and it is important to me that people are made aware of this.
LASIK eye surgery can improve one’s life for the better. The gift of restored vision is a miraculous one, and something that I would love to share with as many Wisconsin residents as possible. Take some time to sit down and really read this consumer guide. On behalf of Suson Eye Specialists, we hope that this information will be helpful to you as you embark down the path of vision restoration through LASIK eye surgery.
LASIK eye surgery: The true, the false and the ridiculous
Okay, hypothetical question: What would you think if you saw the following advertisement hanging outside the entrance to a hospital?
”This Month Only: Buy One Get One Free Open-Heart Surgery! You Pay Zero Down; Monthly Rates of Only $499 After That!”
We know: Pretty ridiculous, right? Advertising such a “special” is just as silly for LASIK eye surgery as it is for open-heart surgery.
The facts are that discounts, zero-down, and “buy one get one free” deals are great marketing techniques for fast food joints… not for surgical clinics. To cut costs, these operations sacrifice what I would consider necessary quality & care in favor of high volume. Their goal is to get as many people to come in for consultations as possible.
And as for the cheap rates that are advertised by these clinics? We know they may sound alluring, but most of these advertised rates are highly-embellished and misleading.
Clinics will use these prices to get people through the door and then will try to up-sell better technologies to increase the customer’s total bill. Basically, these high-volume surgical clinics are advertising the rates for the old-fashioned methods of laser eye surgery, and then using cheap sales tactics to convince you that you should pay extra to be treated with the current surgical techniques.
At Suson Eye Specialists of Milwaukee, we use a slightly different technique. Rather than trick customers into coming through our doors with falsified sales claims, we obtain patients based on our high standard of quality and excellent reputation. For us, the current standard of surgical technology and methodology is not an “added-on” or “upgraded” purchase. It is simply the only way we perform our LASIK eye procedures, plain and simple.
But that is enough about us… and certainly enough about those “other surgeons.” Let us take a look at just what LASIK eye surgery is all about, so that you are as informed as possible.
The Alcon Refractive Suite LASIK technique
As we stated above, Suson Eye Specialists of Milwaukee utilizes only the most technologically advanced methods and tools, for all of the procedures we offer.
For our laser eye surgeries we use the Alcon Refractive Suite LASIK technique, which offers many advantages. But the biggest advantage is this: It is 100 percent blade-free.
Here is the key information you should know about this procedure.
- What is the Alcon Refractive suite Lasik technique?
- Why the FS200 Femtosecond laser? What is the difference between a laser and a blade?
- What is so great about this Wavefront Optimized technology?
- Can I have Lasik surgery if I have astigmatism?
- Am I a good candidate for the Lasik procedure?
- What does LASIK cost and what are the payment methods?
What is the Alcon Refractive suite LASIK technique?
The Alcon Refractive Suite Lasik technique is truly the culmination of decades of research and progress within the field of laser eye surgery.
With this method of Lasik, we can accurately and safely reshape the cornea of your eye to perfectly correct your vision. We utilize the two most technologically advanced lasers available to achieve this in a completely blade-free setting.
A blade-free procedure ensures that each patient has a shorter and less painful recovery time. At Suson Eye Specialists, we believe that this standard for laser eye surgery should be the only method ever used for this procedure.
The first laser we use for this procedure is the Alcon FS200 Femtosecond laser, which creates the initial corneal flap. This laser is used in lieu of the traditional hand-held blade.
The initial corneal flap is ultra-thin, and is created to allow us to reshape your corneal tissue (that is what ultimately corrects your vision).
Once we have created the initial corneal flap, it is gently folded back. That may sound a bit too science fiction, but don’t worry: Think of it like gently lifting the cover of a hanging calendar and taping it to the wall so that the contents can be easily read.
The second laser used is the Alcon Wavelight EX500 laser with Wavefront Optimized technology (say that ten times fast!). This technologically advanced tool is the most sophisticated in laser eye surgery devices. The reshaping of the cornea is what actually improves and restores your vision. The Wavelight EX500 laser uses a technology that matches to a personalized map of your cornea, ultimately allowing us to reshape your eye with absolute fingerprint precision.
We completely understand the “ick” factor associated with the sheer touching of one’s eyes, let alone the cutting or slicing of them! However, the Lasik procedure is far less scary in reality than it may seem in print.
You are awake for the duration of the procedure, but under topical anesthesia you feel no pain or discomfort. In addition, the entire procedure only takes a few minutes.
Why the Alcon FS200 Femtosecond laser? What is the difference between a laser and a blade?
We know what you may be thinking: Cutting is cutting, so what’s the big difference between a blade and a laser? Believe us, the benefits of this method are vast.
Other surgeons still rely on the old hand-held steel razorblade known as a microkeratome. We will admit that laser eye surgery complications are indeed rare. However, when serious problems do occur, they are almost always related to the use of blades. Removing the microkeratome from the procedure serves as an assurance that complications are highly unlikely.
The Alcon FS200 laser uses the highly-advanced Femtosecond laser technology. With Femtosecond technology, rapid pulses of laser light are used to create an extremely precise and smooth layer of bubbles within the cornea. Essentially, this means that the incision created is much smoother and finer than the one that would be created through a microkeratome blade. Once we have created this smooth and perfect flap, it can be gently lifted out of the way to allow the rest of the Lasik surgery to proceed.
What is so great about this Wavefront Optimized technology?
Wavefront Optimized technology utilizes extremely advanced optical methods previously used only in applications by NASA in their telescopes. To phrase it simply: This is the absolute utmost technology that can be used in a laser eye surgery procedure. It is the gold standard of LASIK technology.
The Wavefront Optimized technology used in our WaveLight EX500 compensates for higher order optical aberrations and has a system that measures and treats based based on the individual topography of your eye.
This technology gives us better visual outcomes than older tools ever could.
Can I have Lasik surgery if I have astigmatism?
Absolutely! It is common for patients with astigmatism to believe that they are not good LASIK candidates. After all, older technologies did not accommodate these patients. The WaveLight EX500 Excimer laser system allows us to accurately correct your astigmatism, in addition to any other unusual optical aberrations.
There are a few exceptions but, at your consultation we will be able to verify if your astigmatism can be treated with the Lasik technique.
Am I a good candidate for the Lasik procedure?
We can try to outline the qualities of an ideal Lasik patient; however, the only way to truly know if you are a good Lasik candidate is to visit us for a free LASIK consultation/evaluation.
A consultation will entail:
- A complete eye exam
- Computerized mapping of the cornea
- Un-dilated and dilated measurements of your prescription
- Evaluation of the medical health of your eyes
- Personalized determination of your qualification as a good Lasik candidate
- Education by our staff and your surgeon on the advantages of current Lasik technology vs. older LASIK methods
With all that being said, here are some of the ideal characteristics of a Lasik candidate. Remember, just because you don’t fit each of these attributes does not mean that you shouldn’t visit us for a consultation. Every patient is different, and this list is only designed to give you a vague idea of whom an ideal patient would be.
- At least 21 years old
- Stable eyeglasses prescription for at least one year
- Far-sighted up to +3 diopters or nearsighted up to -10 diopters (with up to 5 diopters of astigmatism)
- No history of trauma to the eyes
- No history of crossed or lazy eye
- No infections of the eyes
- Has not used the following medications: Accutane, Imitrex, Amiodarone
- No uncontrolled diabetes or significant diabetic eye changes
- Not currently pregnant or breastfeeding
- No history of unstable eyeglasses prescription
- No eye diseases that cause unstable cornea.
- No underlying eye diseases (e.g. significant cataracts, glaucoma, or retina problems)
What does LASIK cost and what are the payment methods?
At Suson Eye Specialists of Milwaukee, the current rate per eye for the Lasik surgery is $2,200. While this rate may seem high when compared to what the high-volume chain clinics claim, it is quite comparable to other prestigious surgeons who use our superb level of technology.
Furthermore, unlike those other surgeons, there are absolutely no hidden costs associated with our pricing system.
In fact, we use a global fee that includes all preoperative examinations and testing, the surgery itself, the laser facility fees, and all postoperative examinations for an entire year. This rate also covers any potential surgical enhancements directly related to the Lasik procedure for up to a year.
Suson Eye Specialists offers financing options, and our monthly payments are actually very competitive when compared to those offered by the chain clinic LASIK facilities.
Well, are you ready for Lasik?
Hopefully, you have found this consumer guide helpful.
Still confused? That’s quite all right – We don’t expect you to master in six pages what took us years to learn!
For that reason, we invite you to take one of the following two steps:
These seminars allow our potential patients to not only become more familiar with the Lasik procedure, but to get to know our staff, surgeons, and facilities.
Here, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and discuss your LASIK surgery with a surgeon prior to the actual procedure.
One more answer
To answer a question we get asked rather frequently, yes – Dr. Suson and Dr. Suson-Hoggatt have both undergone a LASIK surgery!
When we were LASIK patients, we experienced the same nervousness and concerns that are to be expected of any laser eye surgery patient. This experience gave us the perspective needed to understand why it is so important to provide our patients with the most optimal methods and instruments available.
That’s why we provide our patients with the Alcon Refractive Suite Lasik method: It is the technique we would choose for our family and ourselves.
Frankly, we don’t care about sales or quotas – we only care about each individual patient’s overall quality of vision, and moreover, improved quality of life.
At our modern facilities in Milwaukee, we strive to provide exceptional service to each and every one of the individuals who walk through our doors. Even if your time with Suson Eye Specialists ends after your consultation, we hope you leave satisfied and better for the experience. That is just how we think medicine should work.
We cannot wait to see you at our next free Lasik seminar, or at your private consultation. Ultimately, we hope that we will be able to restore your vision, and restore your eyes to their optimal health and vitality.
On behalf of my sister, our staff, and myself, thank you for taking the time to read our free report.
“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as
expectation of something better tomorrow” – Orison Swett Marden, author.
Thanks again! We hope you find this report helpful.