Custom ASA (Flap Free)

Custom ASA (Flap Free Laser)

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From Van and Bonnie

Patient Testimonials

(Flap-Free Laser Vision Correction)

Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA) is a sophisticated form of laser vision correction. It has additional safety features over LASIK making it an ideal alternative for many patients. ASA utilizes state-of-the-art CustomVue Wavefront Technology (available only at Associated Ophthalmologists, P.C) combined with safety, accuracy and precision of highly sophisticated excimer lasers to treat a much wider range of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. ASA has been proven to be an extremely successful procedure with the vast majority of patients achieving excellent visual results of 20/20 or better.



For ASA, we use the most advanced lasers and CustomVue Wavefront technology used in LASIK eye surgery, but we take laser vision correction to the next level by eliminating the need for a corneal flap.

The primary difference between ASA and LASIK is that the surface of the cornea is treated in ASA while the inner tissue of the cornea is treated in LASIK underneath a corneal flap (see figures above).

Both have similar success rates and patients achieve excellent visual improvement with either procedure but ASA offers an additional level of safety not possible with LASIK.

In spite of the popularity of LASIK, refractive surgeons have come to realize that everyone is not a good candidate for LASIK. LASIK requires a cornea of sufficient thickness to allow the surgeon to make a surgical flap and remove the precise amount of inner tissue. Patients with thin corneas or surface abnormalities could potentially encounter complications and more visual side effects with LASIK. Some patients also have pre-existing problems such as tear dysfunction and problems with the protective surface cells of the cornea (epithelium). Because of these and other factors, an increasing number of patients seeking LASIK are discovering that they may actually be better candidates for ASA.

Both LASIK and ASA require the skill, knowledge and experience of an accomplished refractive surgeon. However, the potential complications of ASA are considered to be less severe than the potential complications of LASIK. The margin of safety with ASA may be greater than that with LASIK as the need for a microkeratome is eliminated, so there are no flap complications. You do not need to worry about flap dislocation or wrinkle, because there is no flap. The nerve endings that control tear secretion are less affected, so there is less of a problem with dry eye after surgery. The visual results of both procedures are the same at one month. We tell our patients that the main difference is that with Lasik they can drive in 1-2 days and with ASA in 5-7 days.

In summary, there are four clear advantages of Advanced Surface Ablation over LASIK.

1. The first one is that it is a safer procedure since there is no flap creation and thus less thinning of the cornea.

2. Second, there are no flap related complications.

3. Third, CustomVue wavefront technology may be more accurately applied to the cornea in ASA than with LASIK.

4. And lastly, there are fewer problems with dry eyes after ASA.


The decision to have laser vision correction is an important one that only you can make. It is important that you have realistic expectations and that your decision is based on facts, not hopes and misconceptions. The goal of any refractive procedure is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. We will provide you with additional information about the procedure, possible side effects and complications, postoperative healing course and possible alternatives that will allow you to make an informed decision. Be sure to have all your questions answered before you have the procedure.

Finding out about the health of your eyes is your first step towards visual freedom. If your refractive error falls within the corrective range of laser vision correction, more extensive tests will be necessary. This information will help to determine if laser vision correction is in your best interest and, if so, which procedure would best suit your individual needs.

When it comes to your eyes, there should be no compromise.
Please call 515-244-3937 to schedule a complimentary screening or fill out our Contact Information form.