Doctor Manoj Motwani, M.D.

Perfecting Vision with Laser Eye Surgery

Dr. Manoj Motwani, M.D.

For many, the thought of having perfect vision is an almost magically appealing idea. In fact, it was the famous writer Arthur C. Clarke who penned the words, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Technological advancements over the past few years have made laser vision correction even safer, more accurate, faster, and made the idea even more appealing and “magical” than ever before.

With technology so advanced, it can be hard to decide which procedure and doctor are right for you. Laser vision correction is what I do, and although I am obviously biased, I can still try to impart my knowledge in as unbiased a way as possible. I have had my own very nearsighted eyes lasered and it’s the most liberating thing I have ever done.

Anytime anything is done to someone’s eyes, the elephant in the room is the concern of going blind. Patients often try to avoid discussing their largest concern, but I tell them directly that people won’t go blind from laser vision correction. In fact, if the original procedure is done well by an experienced surgeon, the risk rate drops to very low levels, often lower than the risk rate of wearing contacts. Very significant new technology in the form of topographic guided laser vision correction is coming in 2015 that will be able to fix even more.

The vast majority of ages are candidates. Most people’s eyes actually stop changing after puberty, so laser vision correction can be done as early as 18 years of age, while the only limiting factor for older people is significant cataracts (requiring cataract surgery instead) or some other eye disease. Laser vision correction can even be done after cataract surgery. Laser vision correction in most patients is permanent if done correctly and accurately. Many patients who have had prior correction may think their vision is fading after 10 years, but usually it was never done accurately in the first place. Over the course of my 15 years of practice, the long-term return rate for enhancement is only a few percent.

Technology has also made it possible for a wider array of people to be candidates for laser vision correction. For example, hyperopic, or farsighted, corrections have always been more difficult to treat, but new lasers such as the Alcon Wavelight have made treatment of even high hyperopia much easier and in my practice almost routine. The use of more natural shaped, or “aspheric,” corrections have also made the correction of highly nearsighted people (such as myself) much simpler.

Even one of the most dreaded parts of aging- the need for reading glasses- can be treated with new laser surgery technology. For years, we have been working on ways to help reading vision with laser vision correction using a very accurate, balanced, modified monovision (my own eyes are treated that way so I can read without reading glasses). With the greater accuracy and stability of the latest lasers, vision can be even better than with monovision contact lenses, something I hear regularly from my patients. It works so well that I have had many physicians and surgeons, police officers, firefighters, and weekend athletes correct their eyes for reading and distance.

Technology has really changed what we can do. The latest lasers will track an eye for movement at a rate of 1000 times a second, do most corrections in under 10 seconds, and result in a higher number of eyes that achieve better than 20/20 vision. A laser such as the Wavelight can even check the amount of corneal tissue during the procedure, further enhancing safety.

The other half of the equation is the surgeon, and picking the right one can be a difficult task. You can have the best technology in the world, but if pre-op measurements aren’t done correctly, or if the wrong procedure is chosen, you may not have a positive outcome. Sometimes trusting your instincts because a doctor understands your situation and explains it extremely well to you is more important than Yelp reviews or hearsay. I firmly believe that a doctor who really knows what they are doing will show it and have confidence in what they can do for you.

Choosing this profession for me was about my own thick glasses. Frankly, I can’t think of anything that I could do that makes people happier than being a refractive surgeon. I think that says it all. 

To learn more about Dr. Motwani and Motwani Lasik Institute, call (858) 554-0008 or visit