What is refractive surgery?

The images you see are the result of your cornea and retina working together. Your cornea, acting as the eye’s window, receives the light that enters your eye and focuses it on the retina (the back of the eye). This bending and focusing of light is known as refraction. Often the shape of the cornea and the eye are not perfect and can prevent you from seeing clearly. These imperfections in the focusing power of the eye are called refractive errors.

There are three primary types of refractive errors: myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, causes difficulty with seeing distant objects clearly. Persons with hyperopia, or farsightedness, see distant objects clearly while up-close images appear blurred. Astigmatism is a distortion of the image on the retina caused by irregularities in the cornea. Another condition, presbyopia, often appears around the ages of 40-50 and causes the need for reading glasses.

Refractive surgery is a description given for the different types of surgeries that are performed to correct refractive errors – myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia. Refractive errors are present in over 50% of the adult population and are generally correctable with eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, many patients would prefer to avoid the expense and inconvenience of glasses and contacts, and refractive surgery may allow them to do this.

Midwest Eye Care refractive surgeons
Peter Whitted, MD, JD, Jeffery Hottman, MD, and Michael Feilmeier, MD, perform refractive surgery at Midwest Eye Care.  All three doctors have an extensive corneal subspecialty practice.  Because they routinely treat patients with severe corneal disease, they understand the need to approach refractive surgery in a conservative manner.

In 2010, our surgeons advised approximately 40% of interested patients that they were not suitable candidates for LASIK or another type of refractive surgery.  Unlike many refractive surgeons who see patients a few times and then discharge them, our practice often takes care of patients and their families for decades.  Because we’d like to keep you as a patient, we provide recommendations that are in your best long-term interests.

Drs. Whitted, Hottman and Feilmeier are three excellent options when you’re researching refractive surgery.  Dr. Hottman was a research investigator for the first generation of excimer lasers in the early 1990’s.  Dr. Whitted has been elected by his peers for inclusion on the Best Doctors in America list for 1996 – 2012, the only local LASIK surgeon to receive this honor.  Dr. Feilmeier trained at two of the most prestigious ophthalmology programs in the United States, and has traveled internationally to teach eye surgical techniques to surgeons in developing nations.

For more information on our three refractive surgeons, please click on their image or name below:
Peter Whitted, MD, JD     Jeffery Hottman, MD

 Peter Whitted, MD, JD                 Jeffery Hottman, MD


Michael Feilmeier, MD

 Michael Feilmeier, MD