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franklin county times

Laser eye surgery becoming more common

By Staff
SEEING THINGS DIFFERENTLY n Amy Ford after laser eye surgery by Dr. Don Marascalco last month. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star.
By Sharon White/The Meridian Star
March 18, 2001
In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Amy Ford went from a lifetime of wearing bottle-thick glasses and cumbersome contact lens to having perfect vision.
Ford is one of more than three million people worldwide who has had the now popular procedure known as LASIK Laser Vision Correction.
LASIK a laser incision treatment developed in the early 1980s by VISX Inc. changes the shape of the cornea, allowing specialists to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism with a 99.7 percent accuracy rate.
Since performing their first operation at The Eye Clinic of Meridian in May 2000, Drs. Don Marascalco and Lawrence Mason reported similar results with more than 400 surgeries to date.
Of their first 140 patients treated in Meridian, Marascalco said 120 came away with 20/25 or better vision. And all 140 patients including those who could not see the eye chart on the wall when they entered the clinic had 20/40 or better vision afterwards.
The non-invasive treatment takes about 30 second per eye. It requires only a mild sedative and anesthetic.
Ford said favorable answers are awaiting the skeptical, yet curious and serious potential patient.
Although Ford's new-found freedom was everything she had hoped, it was a journey that had to begin with small and calculated steps.
One of the first steps in determining whether LASIK is appropriate for a patient is their attending an educational seminar held once a month at Eye Clinic of Meridian. There, potential patients are allowed to view a procedure as it is being performed, and then given the opportunity to ask questions and hear testimonials from those who have undergone the surgery.
That is why he adamantly gives his testimony during the LASIK seminars at The Eye Clinic of Meridian.
Despite the "testimonials," the decision to allow someone to reshape their eye tissue with a laser beam did not come without a good case of the jitters for Ford and Roberts.
That is normal, according to the experts.
Sharon White is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at swhite@themeridianstar.com.