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Johnson Laser eye

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LASIK Vision Correction In wilmington and surrounding areas

LASIK is the most well-known type of vision correction surgery, and since its approval by the FDA in 1999, has helped tens of millions of patients worldwide see clearly without the hassle of glasses and contact lenses. LASIK involves reshaping the cornea, which is the transparent front part of the eye, to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

In the first step of LASIK, Dr. Johnson creates a very thin flap on the surface of the cornea with a femtosecond laser. A “femtosecond” is one quadrillionth of a second, which means, basically, that it’s insanely fast… so fast that it doesn’t generate heat. Blazing speed with no heat makes it one of the most precise “virtual scalpels” in all of medicine and engineering.

Next, Dr. Johnson gently lifts the flap to expose the area to be treated with the next laser, which is called the excimer laser.

The excimer laser is also a cool laser, but instead of “cutting,” this laser comfortably vaporizes tissue in an extremely precise, computer-controlled pattern. This is the part where your vision is actually corrected – your cornea is subtly reshaped by the excimer laser in order to get incoming light to come into perfect focus on your retina. When the excimer laser is finished, your own cornea is now doing the focusing that your glasses and contacts were doing previously.

Finally, Dr. Johnson replaces the flap, which automatically seals down and quickly heals on its own. Soon you’ll be on your way home with your brand-new eyes!

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Dr. Johnson understands that your eyes are as unique as you are, which is why we offer Contoura for the right candidates. Contoura topography-guided laser eye surgery is an advanced treatment which corrects for over 22,000 individual micro-prescriptions within each of your eyes. The results of this ultra-customized procedure speak for themselves. While results are not guaranteed, many patients see BETTER than 20/20 without glasses or contacts after Contoura LASIK, with up to a third of patients reaching 20/12 vision or better – like a fighter pilot. Dr. Johnson will assess your candidacy for this treatment during a LASIK consultation.

LASIK can be a life-changing procedure that frees you from the inconvenience of glasses and contact lenses. Learn more about whether this treatment is right for you by contacting our office for a consultation with Dr. Johnson.


What happens during the initial consult?

The LASIK consult is an easy, zero-pressure way to find out if you are a good candidate for vision correction surgery. We use the world’s most advanced diagnostic technology to get an incredibly detailed map of your eyes from front to back. These tests are painless – mostly just a series of quick flashes of bright light. We will then dilate both eyes with eye drops (after which time your vision might be a little blurry for a few hours, especially up close). Finally, Dr. Johnson will personally examine your eyes and discuss your vision correction options with you in detail.

What if I am not a good candidate for LASIK? Are there other options?

Even though LASIK is an outstanding option for a majority of our patients, not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK surgery. For example, if your corneas are on the thinner side, or if you are extremely nearsighted, your eyes may be better suited to other options. At Johnson Laser Eye we also perform several other advanced procedures for vision correction, with the same objective of reducing or eliminating your need for glasses and contacts. For example, some people do better with ASA (Advanced Surface Ablation) and others may benefit from RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange) or ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens). Dr. Johnson will review all of the options with you and then make a specific recommendation about which procedure would best suit your unique situation.

Will I feel pressured into having surgery?

Absolutely not. We are here to serve YOU, not the other way around. We get very excited when we are able to help patients achieve visual freedom, but ultimately the choice to have surgery or not is yours alone. Our main goal is to assist you in this journey and to lay out your options very clearly so that you can feel confident in whatever you choose.

Tell me more about LASIK pricing.

Modern refractive surgery is truly a medical miracle, with the highest level of patient satisfaction in all of health care. Our infrastructure at Johnson Laser Eye is backed by decades of research, innovation, engineering, and precision manufacturing. We also offer the highest level of personal service, alternative options, and customization in the industry. Even for such a valuable offering, for most patients LASIK is actually less expensive than wearing glasses and contacts when considered over the course of 10, 20, or 30 years. Imagine the savings you’ll achieve in not having to purchase contact lenses every year, or a new pair of glasses every year or two. Add in contact lens solutions, prescription sunglasses, etc. and it adds up quickly. An investment in LASIK, it turns out, generally saves money in the long run and makes really good sense financially. Most of our patients feel that it’s one of the best things they’ve ever done for themselves.

I am definitely not rich. Can I afford it? Is there a payment plan?

We offer a variety of easy payment plans to make LASIK and other vision correction procedures very affordable for most budgets. Our LASIK coordinator will review these options in detail on the day of your consultation. And as mentioned above, when weighing the financial aspects of LASIK, be sure to consider the large stream of future savings in what you would have spent on glasses and contacts over the next 10, 20, or 30 years.

What happens on surgery day? What is the surgery itself like?

The Big Day has finally come – mark today in your journal as the day you achieve visual freedom! It’s normal to be a little nervous, but we’ll make sure you are very comfortable before, during, and after your procedure. You’ll get checked in at the reception desk and taken care of by the same Johnson Laser Eye team you already know from your consultation visit. We’ll give you a little chill-out medicine (like Valium) to relax, which means you’ll need a family member or friend to drive you home. After confirming the procedure to be performed, you’ll be taken back into the LASIK suite. No need to change clothes – we’ll just give you a hair cap and shoe covers. Then you’ll lie down on a comfortable bed and your eyes will be cleaned. (No makeup on LASIK day!). If you’re having LASIK, the first step is the creation of an extremely thin flap on your cornea (less than half the thickness of a fingernail!) This is done with something called a femtosecond laser. During this portion, you’ll feel some pressure (NOT pain) and your vision might go dark for a few seconds. All normal. We do this on both eyes, and then the bed swings over to the excimer laser, which is the laser that actually reshapes the cornea and corrects your nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism. Dr. Johnson gently lifts the flap and then the laser goes to work. This laser portion takes approximately 10-30 seconds, and you really won’t feel anything at all during this part of the procedure. The flap is replaced, the same thing happens to the other eye, and then you’re done! New vision, new you!

Does it hurt?

No, none of the procedures we perform are painful. During the femtosecond laser portion of LASIK, there is a feeling of pressure for about 20-30 seconds, but no one has ever told us it’s painful. If you are having ASA (Advanced Surface Ablation), the surgery itself isn’t painful at all, but you can expect some discomfort for 3-5 days after surgery. During the LASIK recovery period, you should not experience any pain. Your eyes may feel a little irritated and scratchy for a couple days, but most patients find the symptoms to be mild enough that they are back to work the next day.

I’m terrified I’m going to accidentally move my eye! How important is my role in holding still and not blinking in terms of getting good results?

Don’t worry – there’s no way you can mess it up! The laser is very, very smart. Small eye movements are normal for everyone, so the laser constantly tracks the position of your eye in order to put each and every laser spot in precisely the correct location. And even if there were a really big eye movement for some reason, the laser knows that too and absolutely will not fire any time things are not perfectly lined up.

What happens after surgery?

Right after surgery, Dr. Johnson will check your eyes one last time under a slit lamp (the microscope we use in the exam rooms), and if everything looks OK, then you are free to go home. We encourage you to take a nap for a couple hours when you get home. This is just to let everything settle with relaxed, closed eyes. Don’t worry too much if you can’t sleep – just take it easy this first day. The morning after surgery, you’ll come back to Johnson Laser Eye for a quick 1-day post-op visit. You can go back to work the day after surgery and resume most normal activities. Just avoid anything really heavy-duty for the first week. You’ll use an antibiotic eye drop for a week after surgery, and an anti-inflammatory eye drop for about a month. You’ll have a few more checkup visits in the weeks and months to follow, either at Johnson Laser Eye, or with your regular eye doctor.

How soon does vision improve?

Your vision might be a little hazy or filmy for the first day or two, but it improves quickly. Most patients see well enough to comfortably drive without glasses the day after surgery. It’s normal to have some fluctuation in your vision for the first couple of months. A little blurriness here and there is normal, but this continues to improve over the first few months.

Does LASIK wear off?

The changes made to your cornea by LASIK are permanent, so it really doesn’t “wear off.” It’s possible that you could have some subtle, natural changes in your vision over time (it’s called A-G-E!) but our hope and expectation is that you will enjoy many years – or decades! – of outstanding vision after LASIK.

Later in life, other eye problems (such as cataracts) can start to develop, and these conditions can cause your vision to change. LASIK doesn’t have any effect – good or bad – on the future development of conditions common in older age such as cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. In other words, if you eventually develop one of these conditions, it’s not because of LASIK, nor will LASIK prevent them from happening.

Also, please note that LASIK does not prevent the natural loss of the ability to focus up close, which starts to occur when we reach our 40s. There are ways to treat this or mitigate this condition (called presbyopia), which Dr. Johnson will review with you at your consultation.

Will I need to have LASIK more than once?

About 1 patient out 100 will still have some degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism after fully healing from LASIK. In this case, we can typically perform an enhancement procedure. This involves a quick trip back to the LASIK suite where the original flap is lifted, and then a touch-up is performed with the excimer laser. If a touch-up is needed, we will usually know within the first 3 months after the initial surgery. Zero-cost touch-ups for a full year are included in the price of LASIK.

What are the risks?

LASIK is one of the most predictable and safest procedures in all of medicine. Tens of millions of successful LASIK surgeries have been performed worldwide and the vast majority of patients do great. That said, no surgery is risk-free, and although rare, unexpected things can still happen.

  • Dry eye is common after LASIK – for most patients this is treated with artificial tears and typically resolves over 3-6 months. Rarely, dry eye can be more severe or persist for a longer duration.
  • Infection can complicate any surgery, including LASIK, which is why we always use an antibiotic eye drop afterwards.
  • Sometimes there is still some residual nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism after the eye finishes healing. In this case we can typically do an enhancement or “touch-up” laser procedure.
  • Some patients who had early-generation LASIK had trouble with glare and halos at night, and while still possible, night vision side effects are very infrequent with modern technology. (In fact, nowadays many patients have better night vision after LASIK than they did with their glasses or contacts).
  • There are other possible risks, including inflammation or corneal warping conditions. Our rigorous screening process helps to identify in advance those patients most at risk, in which case we would recommend not having LASIK. (Though we still might be able to safely perform another type of vision correction surgery. Good to have options!)
  • We’ve listed here the primary things we like patients to consider regarding risk, but please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all possible risks.

What are the chances there will be some kind of disaster?

Very, very, very low. We would be foolish to say something could NEVER happen – it’s the human body after all – but we CAN say that a devastating outcome is exceedingly unlikely.

What are the chances that I will be satisfied with the outcome?

Contoura Vision, utilized at Johnson Laser Eye, has a satisfaction rate of over 98%.

Have I selected the right laser center? The right doctor?

Well, we certainly think so! At Johnson Laser Eye, we use the world’s most advanced technology, while treating all of our patients with the highest level of kindness and respect. Dr. Johnson has developed a reputation over nearly 2 decades in local practice as the Wilmington ophthalmologist other doctors trust with the eyes of their patients and their own families. We consider it an honor and a privilege for you to consider Johnson Laser Eye for your vision correction surgery.

Will I be left high and dry after surgery?

Certainly not. We are always here for you, for as long as you need us. You can call Dr. Johnson 5 or even 10 years after your surgery, and he will always be happy to help.

Will all of my questions be answered?

Yes! Ask all of them, and then ask them all again if needed. We love what we do and are always happy to talk about laser eye surgery!

Will they think my questions are dumb?

No, there truly are no silly questions. If you’re thinking it, chances are someone else is too. Ask away! We want you to be fully informed and confident in your eye care decisions.

Is there anything else I should know?

Laser vision correction is truly life-changing, and we welcome the opportunity to assist you in exploring the possibilities. We would love to meet you and learn about your eyes, your lifestyle, and your goals, and in doing so, to earn your trust in this journey.

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Clear vision starts here

Reviews Section


“Dr. Johnson is the best eye doctor I have ever been to. He is skilled and knowledgeable, as is his staff. He is the right combination of professional and personable. It is a beautiful office with the latest state of the art equipment. I recommend him highly.”

“Dr. Johnson is up to date on new technology, has a great support staff, both at the front desk and in testing/treatment rooms. A comfortable and clean office and if your appt is for 9am, you are in the treatment room at 9am. Highly recommended.”

“Dr. Gregory Johnson is very knowledgeable, personable and empathetic. The entire team is always ready to help and support. We are appreciated to have such a knowledgeable team to support healthy eyes. Thank you Dr. Johnson and your entire team!”

“This practice could not be more professional or helpful. The quality of care is extraordinary.”

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8115 Market Street, Suite 312
Wilmington, NC 28411-8427

Office Hours

Monday - Thurs 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 12pm
Saturday/Sunday - Closed