Porter Ophthalmology - Laser Vision Correction Patient Guide

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No need to put your life on hold for a lengthy recovery.


Work, play, live without the constraints of glasses or contacts.

Porter Ophthalmology offers LASIK, LALEX (SMILE), and PRK laser vision correction procedures. Since performing the first LASIK procedure in North Carolina in the 1990’s, we have performed over 12,000 laser vision correction procedures in our state-of-the art surgery facility.

In addition to LASIK, LALEX (SMILE), and PRK, we offer a full range of vision correction surgery including EVO, lens replacement, and cataract surgery. This gives us options for nearly everyone ages 18-99! Call 919.876.4064 or click here today schedule your free consultation with Isaac Porter, MD and Bradley Sifrig, MD at Porter Ophthalmology to see how day can change your life for the better.

today to with MD how one better.


Laser vision correction is a procedure that improves vision by using a laser to permanently change the shape of the cornea (the clear part of the front of the eyes). Our patients have a full suite of proven options including LASIK, LALEX (SMILE), PRK, EVO, and lens replacement. We use the most advanced technology in refractive surgery. Options are discussed with our team and a recommendation is made based upon your individual needs.

LASIK and PRK procedures are performed with the Wavelight EX500 laser, which uses a cool ultraviolet light beam to precisely reshape the cornea.

LALEX (SMILE) laser eye surgery with the Zeiss VisuMax laser. This laser system employs high-performance femtosecond laser technology and is characterized by its outstanding precision, unsurpassed speed, and gentle treatment technique. The laser outlines a personalized 3D-shaped layer in the cornea that is removed to change the shape of the cornea.

Both nearsighted and farsighted people can benefit from laser vision correction. In nearsightedness, the goal is to flatten the cornea; with farsightedness, a steeper cornea is desired. The lasers can also correct astigmatism by smoothing an irregular cornea into a more normal shape.

“The surgery was the single best investment I’ve made in myself and my quality of life. ”


Laser vision correction is an ambulatory procedure; you walk into the surgery center, have the procedure and walk out again. Your eyes are anesthetized with special drops. Our doctors will have you lie down and will make sure your eye is positioned directly under the laser. One eye is operated on at a time.

Dr. Porter and Dr. Sifrig use a computer and precise measurements of your eye to adjust the laser for your particular prescription. First, the cornea is treated with the gentle VisuMax laser. The next step varies between LASIK and LALEX (SMILE). With LASIK, you will be asked to look at a target light from the Wavelight EX500 laser for a short time while the laser sends pulses of light to your cornea that painlessly change the shape of the cornea. The laser tracks your eye while the procedure is performed, and laser treatment time is usually less than 30 seconds. With LALEX (SMILE), the tissue is removed through a tiny opening to change the shape of the cornea. The entire procedure typically takes less than 10 minutes per eye.


As with any kind of eye surgery, it’s important that you follow your doctor’s instructions. Immediately following surgery you can go home. Someone must drive you home the day of surgery. You may have a scratchy sensation. Our doctors will examine your eye the day after surgery to make sure they are healing properly. You will use antibiotic and steroid drops for about a week.

Most people achieve 20/20 or better vision with laser vision correction. Even if you see 20/20 or better on an eye chart after laser eye surgery, you will still need reading glasses around the age of 45. This is because the eye’s natural lens becomes less flexible with age (a condition called presbyopia), reducing your near vision. Your distance vision will remain crisp, but seeing up close will be more difficult. Fortunately, when this occurs, we have other great surgical options to get you out of reading glasses as well.

Learn about LASIK, LALEX (SMILE), and PRK from Dr. Porter



LASIK the most common refractive surgery procedure. Our office has performed thousands of LASIK procedures over the years for countless satisfied patients.

LALEX (SMILE) represents the latest in laser vision correction and Porter Ophthalmology is proud to be the first and only clinic in the Triangle to offer this advanced procedure.

Both LASIK and LALEX (SMILE) are grouped under the umbrella “laser vision correction” and both provide similarly positive visual outcomes.


LASIK has a slightly quicker recovery of vision and can treat the widest range of vision problems.LASIK originated in the mid1990s and its success has helped laser vision correction become very popular.


LALEX (SMILE) is a very gentle form of laser vision correction and has the lowest risk of dry eyes after surgery. There is less discomfort after surgery with LALEX (SMILE) and patients can resume normal activities quicker. It has been performed since 2010 and more than 5 million cases have been done worldwide.

Both procedures can provide excellent vision and most patients return to work the next day. Dr. Porter and Dr. Sifrig will recommend the best procedure to meet your visual needs at the free consultation.



Step 1: Flap creation

Rapid femtosecond laser pulses are used to create a flap under the surface of the eye.

Step 3: Corneal reshaping

The excimer laser reshapes corneal tissue within seconds. This reshaping corrects your vision.

Step 2: Flap is folded back

The prepared flap is folded back like the page of a book, exposing the inner corneal tissue to be treated.

Step 4: Flap is repositioned

Finally, the flap is returned to its original position, protecting the eye much like a natural bandage.


Step 1: Lens creation

A thin 3-D shaped lens layer and a small opening are created by the laser just beneath the surface of the eye.

Step 2: Lens removal

The contact lens shaped layer is removed through the small opening.

“Thanks to you and your wonderful for correcting my vision You’re the best!

Step 3: Vision correction

Removing the thin layer, changes the shape of the cornea, correcting your vision.


During clinical trials, participants achieved the following outcomes:

• Clinical study results have shown higher satisfaction with night vision one year after laser vision correction compared to night vision before with glasses or contact lenses.

• 92% of all LASIK patients could see 20/20 or better without glasses or contact lenses one year after treatment.

• 95% of all LALEX (SMILE) laser vision correction patients could see 20/20 or better without glasses or contact lenses six months after surgery.




You are invited for a FREE consultation to determine if you qualify for laser vision correction. Please bring your glasses with you to this visit so that we can check your prescription. If the prescription in your glasses is not current but you have an updated prescription, please bring that with you. At this visit you will meet our doctors, learn if you are a candidate for laser vision correction, and we will answer any questions that you may have.


You will be at our office for about an hour the day of surgery. You will complete all the necessary paperwork and then be offered a mild sedative.

Once everything is prepared, we will proceed with your operation. Please do not wear any perfume, cologne, hairspray, aftershave, or makeup.

You must have someone available to drive you home after the procedure.


This visit will take over two hours. We will perform multiple tests to check your prescription, the surface curvature of your eyes, and will also dilate both eyes. This will help us make the final plan for surgery and determine the overall health of your eyes. Upon checkout, we will confirm your date for surgery. On the day of the preop examination, please be prepared to finalize any financial matters.


We will see you the day following your operation. After that visit, there will be appointments with us or your primary eye doctor throughout the following year. Please feel free to call or return to see us anytime if you have questions or concerns. All of your follow-up visits for the first year are included at no charge.

“I cannot say enough positive things about Porter Ophthalmology. From the moment I called to schedule my consult to when I walked out this morning from my post op appointment, the staff were amazing. Dr. Porter and his doctor in training were thorough, pleasant, and made me completely comfortable throughout the entire experience. Also, my vision is better than it was while I was wearing my glasses just yesterday! This is the best thing I could have done for myself and I am so, so pleased with the practice I chose! Someone operating on my eyes was nerve-racking for me. I recommend Porter ophthalmology 1000 times over! I also enjoyed being able to have a cup of coffee or cute little Coca-Cola bottle and snack while I waited. That said, I was very pleased with the wait time. The staff provided me with how long each appointment would take, and they were consistent and accurate. Thank you, Dr. Porter and your team!”

“Porter Ophthalmology completely changed my life! I am almost a week post-surgery and I have never been so comfortable in my eyes. Dr. Porter is extremely explanatory and patient and talked me through my entire LASIK procedure during the procedure. The staff is attentive and professional. The office is clean and modern with the newest technology, so I knew I was in good hands. I cannot recommend this office enough! Thank you all so much for giving me perfect vision!”

“I recently underwent LASIK surgery at Porter Ophthalmology, and I have to say, Dr. Sifrig and Dr. Porter are some of the best doctors I’ve ever had the pleasure of interacting with. Throughout the entire process, the doctors and the rest of the staff took incredible care of me. I was particularly grateful for the words of encouragement from the doctors during the actual surgery, as it really helped calm my nerves. At first, I was unsure about whether or not to go through with the surgery. But after speaking to Dr. Sifrig during my initial consultation, he was able to alleviate my concerns and put my mind at ease. Looking back, I’m so glad I made the decision to have the surgery after all. Thanks to them, I have clear vision again.”

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