Lasik Eye Surgery in Salt Lake City Utah by Hoopes Vision

Since the 1990s, laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, or LASIK, has helped millions of people to see the world more clearly, free from glasses and contact lenses. In the years since its introduction, constant technological advances have made an already safe and effective procedure even safer, more effective, and more predictable. These same advances have also made LASIK available to more people, to the point that many patients who might have been turned away as unsuitable candidates for laser vision correction years ago are now able to enjoy the freedom from corrective lenses that LASIK can bring.

I established Hoopes Vision here in the Salt Lake City area in 2000, after helping build a successful and pioneering LASIK and cataract surgery practice in Kansas City. Being a native Utahan myself, it was a sort of homecoming for me. When I started this practice, it was with one goal in mind: to provide patients with an eye care experience that would exceed their expectations in every possible way.

To achieve this goal, Hoopes Vision’s commitment has always been to offer the newest, safest, and most effective technology, in the hands of expert surgeons, in an environment of warm, personal customer care. Everything we do here, from our early adoption of every new advance in vision correction technology, to the complimentary fresh-baked cookies, is focused on providing you, the patient, with a great surgical result and a pleasant experience.

As you spend time on our website, I hope you will see not only the new technologies that we have pioneered and championed, but why those advances are important to you as a patient. Ophthalmology, and surgical vision correction in particular, is a field where technology is constantly progressing, bringing safer procedures and better results. We can’t – and won’t – rest on what we have accomplished so far.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a VIP consultation to explore your vision correction options. I hope the information presented here is helpful to you in learning about vision correction surgery and how it can improve not only your vision but your overall quality of life.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our site!


Phillip C. Hoopes, MD, MBA
CEO and Chief of Surgery

Since the mid-1990s, laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK and PRK have helped millions of people to see the world more clearly, free from glasses and contact lenses. These procedures, also called laser refractive surgeries, use a heatless, computer-guided laser, called an excimer laser, to reshape the clear tissue at the front of the eye, called the cornea. Modern laser refractive surgery is a safe, comfortable, predictable procedure that can treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia.

The laser refractive surgery specialists at Hoopes Vision have the combined experience of over 60,000 LASIK and PRK procedures to draw on. Our ongoing commitment is to provide Salt Lake City, Provo, and Ogden-area patients with only the newest, safest vision correction technology. Since our founding in the Salt Lake City area in 2000, Hoopes Vision has acquired five different excimer lasers for vision correction and three different lasers for bladeless flap creation, more than any other laser center in Utah.

LASIK is an amazing procedure that has helped millions of people around the world see better, free from glasses and contact lenses. Since its introduction in the United States in the mid-1990s, LASIK has become one of the most common and popular elective surgeries in the country. As the number of people seeking laser vision correction has grown, the number of doctors offering the procedure has proliferated as well, to the point that there are now thousands of LASIK centers in the USA. A prospective LASIK patient looking to make the best decision about where to have this life-changing surgery is likely to see a wide range of providers available in his or her area.

Some providers may be housed in large buildings while others are smaller. Some may bear the doctor’s name, while others bear the name of a regional or national chain. Some may provide a wide variety of eye care services, while others specialize in surgery only. Some may advertise extremely low prices (even if those prices are not actually available to most patients) while others are priced higher. Some patients might ask, “Is there any significant difference between all these LASIK providers? If so, what’s the difference and how can I know which is the best option for me?” The decision of where to have LASIK is an important one – a life-changing one – and there is often only one chance to “get it right.”

Is it an older laser, performing a conventional treatment? Is it a wavefront guided laser like the VISX Star S4,™ performing a wavefront-guided treatment? Or is it one of the newest generation of wavefront-optimized and guided lasers, such as the WaveLight® Refractive Suite, designed to maintain the natural shape of the cornea while correcting vision? Do they have or use more than one laser?

All lasers are not created equal and laser vision correction is a field where enormous strides have been made in technology. Hoopes Vision, for example, has acquired seven different excimer lasers in our 15 years in Utah, each representing an advance in safety and effectiveness over previous models. Our current lasers produce much better night vision than the older lasers, are 10x faster, safer, and have much lower touch up or enhancement rates.

Even the most advanced laser in the world is only as effective as the surgeon using it, so technology and experience go hand in hand, ensuring a great outcome for your surgery. An experienced surgeon develops smooth and efficient surgical technique that can be consistent with better patient results. In the unlikely event of any kind of complication, an experienced doctor is more likely to have seen similar issues in the past, and know how to correct or avoid them. A surgeon that has performed tens of thousands of procedures using the newest technology is going to be more familiar with its strengths and limitations, allowing him to know who is a great candidate for laser vision correction and perhaps more importantly, who is not. At Hoopes Vision, we have Utah’s most experienced LASIK surgeon and our surgeons have performed over 60,000 LASIK/PRK procedures.

The 2003 introduction of the IntraLase™ femtosecond laser revolutionized LASIK by replacing the microkeratome, a hand-held oscillating razor blade used in flap creation, with a safe, fast, computer-guided laser. More than a decade later, most LASIK surgeons agree that blade-free LASIK is safer and gives better results to patients; there are still some providers in Utah offering bladed procedures in an effort to cut costs. This is our 12th year using the IntraLase femtosecond laser to create flaps, 5 years longer than any other Salt Lake practice. We currently have 2 of these femtosecond flap making lasers. Does your surgeon insist on using only the newer, safer blade-free technology, or does he or she offer blade-free LASIK only as an upcharge? Sadly, a number of centers still only use the outdated bladed microkeratome to cut expenses.

Everyone’s eyes are unique, and results from LASIK will be unique and different. Nonetheless, a highly skilled, highly experienced surgeon may be willing to make some assurances to patients based on their confidence with past results.

At Hoopes Vision, our See Clearly and Money Back Guarantee was the first of its kind in Utah. It is an assurance of great vision not only now, but in the years and decades to come.

While safety and results should be the primary concerns for anyone seeking freedom from glasses and contact lenses, there’s no denying that LASIK and other vision correction procedures can represent a substantial investment. The price of LASIK is an indication of many factors: » The cost of operating the lasers: newer, more advanced lasers have a higher cost per use. » The cost of the diagnostic equipment used to determine a patient’s candidacy for LASIK, and the best treatment plan for each patient’s unique eyes » The value a surgeon places on his or her own skills and experience Advertised prices around the country vary significantly from $250/eye – $3500/eye with the average being around $2000/eye. Obviously the cost will be higher for the newer and better lasers and for the laser to make the corneal flap instead of the metal blade microkeratome. Surgeon experience and confidence with his skills is important also. Does anyone really receive the cheap $250/eye? Hardly ever. This is a marketing ploy and deception to attract patients (sometimes called bait and switch) and the patient’s prescription has to be extremely mild and with no astigmatism (most patients will have some astigmatism). Prices at these places don’t include much but can still end up close to what most respected surgeons charge. Life is full of important choices and decisions. However, this is one of those situations where you really do get what you pay for! Would you go to the cheapest surgeon to have heart or brain surgery?

It is customary for the price of LASIK to include post-operative care, but how much is included?  Is it a full year, or only three or six months?  If the surgeon is willing to guarantee your results, is that guarantee included in the price of surgery, or is it a separate expense?  Are all of their LASIK procedures blade-free, or is the newer safer technology available only as an upcharge?  Will they offer or perform a wavefront-guided or wavefront-optimized approach, giving better night vision with lower touch up rates?

Candidacy for LASIK or other laser corrective surgeries is determined by a number of factors including the type and degree

of refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia), thickness and shape of the corneal tissue, and presence or absence of a number of ophthalmic and general health conditions. Many of the eye tests and measurements necessary to determine LASIK candidacy are beyond the scope of a routine eye exam, and all of them require interpretation by a doctor specialized in LASIK surgery. Because of this, LASIK surgery providers generally provide the initial screening tests and consultation free of charge. Some discount centers only use one older corneal scanning/mapping device which many consider outdated. We use four different mapping devices. Each one adds additional valuable information.

Hoopes Vision is proud to offer the safest, most effective laser vision correction procedures available: wavefront-optimized blade-free LASIK and wavefront-optimized PRK.

The first major advance after the introduction of LASIK was the development of femtosecond lasers for flap creation. These lasers replaced the microkeratome, a spinning stainless steel razor blade used in traditional LASIK, with a fast, safe, computer-guided laser. Hoopes Vision was the first practice in Salt Lake City to offer this remarkable improvement. Today, virtually all LASIK surgeons agree that blade-free LASIK is safer and more effective than the old microkeratome method.

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The second major advance in laser vision correction technology was the introduction of wavefront-guided and wavefront-optimized procedures, often known collectively as “custom” treatments. Wavefront-guided LASIK and PRK improved upon the original procedure by using detailed maps of the patient’s corneas, known as wavefront maps, to develop a custom treatment for each patient’s eyes. Wavefront-optimized treatment went one step further, actually helping to preserve the natural aspheric shape of the cornea after treatment. This was a major advance: wavefront-optimized laser systems such as the Wavelight Allegretto and Zeiss MEL-80 were the first to be certified by the FDA to improve nighttime halo and glare, which were some of the more common side effects of traditional procedures.

Hoopes Vision was the first practice in Utah to offer wavefront-optimized treatments, and remains by far the most experienced provider of wavefront-optimized treatments in the state.

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Since 2005, Hoopes Vision has offered wavefront-optimized PRK as an excellent alternative for patients who are not ideal candidates for LASIK due to extreme prescriptions, thin or irregularly shaped corneas, or a combination of those factors. Thousands of patients who might otherwise have not been able to receive vision correction surgery now enjoy freedom from glasses and contacts, thanks to custom PRK from Hoopes Vision.

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Since our founding in Utah in 2000, our commitment at Hoopes Vision has always been to offer patients the newest, safest, and most effective laser vision correction procedures available. That commitment has led to a continual process of updating our technology. Hoopes Vision has owned and operated six different treatment lasers and three different femtosecond lasers for flap creation, each representing an improvement in safety and performance over its predecessors.

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If you are considering LASIK eye surgery you probably have many questions about the facts regarding the benefits and results of the procedure. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions help you understand how this life changing surgery can help improve your vision correction needs.

There is usually no pain or discomfort associated with LASIK. The eye is anesthetized with numbing drops at the start of the procedure. Pressure can be felt, but it is not uncomfortable. For the first 12 to 24 hours afterwards, the eye can feel scratchy.

LASIK eye surgery is famous for the many benefits it affords. Notably, the surgery usually takes less than 10 minutes, and is performed on an outpatient basis. Patients can expect to remain at the laser center for about two hours on the day of the procedure.

Yes. Most surgeons operate on both eyes at the same sitting. The results are so predictable and the procedure so safe that most people undergoing LASIK surgery prefer to have both eyes corrected on the same day.

Generally speaking, to be a good candidate for LASIK you should:

  • Be at least 18 years of age or older.
  • Have a stable prescription for at least one year prior to your procedure.
  • Be free of any diseases of the cornea and retina.
  • Be in good health.
  • Have reasonable and realistic expectations.

In addition, the most ideal candidates for LASIK are well-educated about the facts. As the leading experts in Utah, our staff and surgeons are dedicated to providing accurate and honest answers in our ongoing effort to spread LASIK education.

  • Anyone whose prescription is actively changing more than one diopter per year.
  • Pregnant or nursing mothers with unstable refractions.
  • Anyone who feels that he or she must absolutely gain 20/20 vision without glasses or contact lenses (No surgeon can guarantee 20/20 vision without correction. Think of it, instead, as achieving a vastly decreased dependency on glasses and contact lenses.).
  • Anyone unwilling to accept the possible risks and complications of LASIK surgery results.
  • Anyone with an uncontrolled or untreated eye disease. Certain corneal dystrophies or a history or herpetic keratitis (a herpes infection in the eye) may be relative contraindications, as are certain arthritic syndromes and other autoimmune disorders.
  • Anyone on certain medications (including Accutane®, etc.).

Each of our ultra-modern LASIK excimer lasers has built-in tracking devices able to adjust the placement of the laser if and when your eye makes an involuntary movement. Some of these devices can track movement up to 4,000 times per second. If your eye were to move too far out of range, the laser simply stops until it can get back on target. The LASIK surgery can then continue, usually with the same excellent results afterwards.

  • Am I receiving a thorough examination?
  • Is the doctor taking the time to explain the test results to me, along with what they mean?
  • Are my surgical options being explained to me, along with their risks and benefits?
  • Are my own questions being answered?
  • Do they seem more interested in convincing me to have surgery, or helping me to make an educated decision about my own vision correction?
  • Am I being “up-sold?” Am I being offered add-ons and upgrades at additional cost? Staff at discount laser centers are often paid commission for selling these upgrades. At Hoopes Vision, the staff is not commissioned and there is nothing to up-sell: every single patient gets the best possible treatment for their vision.
Most discount centers in the past have gone broke and are out of business. What happens to the follow up and guarantees then? While no surgery is completely free of risk, even one as established and proven as LASIK, patients and prospective patients can help assure themselves a great result by knowing the right questions to ask in choosing a laser surgery provider.

Our confidence in LASIK and PRK is based on the first-hand evidence we see in our clinic every day, in the form of the overwhelming proportion of patients who are now enjoying great vision without glasses or contacts. That confidence is reflected in our free lifetime See Clearly and Money Back Guarantee, which assures patients a great result or their money back. Here are some statistics showing the great outcomes patients are experiencing at Hoopes Vision.

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In 2000, Dr. Hoopes published LASIK: A Guide for Patients and Their Families, intended to provide prospective patients with expert knowledge on the then-relatively new field of laser vision correction. Continually updated since then, the guide is now in its seventh edition, and updated to include the newest lasers, techniques, and developments.

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The only way to know your best option for vision correction is to schedule a complimentary VIP consultation. At this free visit, you will receive all the testing necessary to determine whether you’re a good candidate for LASIK, would be a better candidate for one of our other vision correction procedures, or if another option is the best for you.

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Our team of laser eye surgeons is the most experienced in Utah, with the combined experience of well over 60,000 LASIK and PRK procedures. Since we were the first in the area to introduce both blade-free LASIK and custom wavefront-optimized treatments, it also means that our surgeons are by far the most experienced in the use of these newer technologies.

An experienced surgeon develops smooth, consistent surgical technique that can only lead to improved results. The accumulated expertise of tens of thousands of cases leads to close familiarity with the technology: our surgeons know the strengths and limitations of the lasers and can determine with great confidence who is a good candidate for LASIK or PRK and, perhaps more importantly, who is not.

Meet the Doctors

Our flagship location in Draper opened in January 2013. Conveniently located between Salt Lake City and Provo, it is spacious, modern, and beautiful. It features easy access from I-15 as well as State Street. The expansive clinic area is laid out in such a way as to optimize patient flow, leading to a more comfortable, pleasant patient experience and reduced wait times.

Most importantly, our facility was designed from the beginning with surgical vision correction in mind. The laser surgery suite features a state-of-the-art climate control system designed to allow the lasers to function at their best.

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People seeking the freedom that comes with LASIK or other vision correction surgeries usually choose a provider based on reputation and proven results, with price being a secondary consideration. Nonetheless, LASIK represents a significant investment, and at Hoopes Vision we do everything we can to make our unparalleled technology and experience as affordable as possible. Patients who come to Hoopes Vision are surprised at our competitive pricing and convenient no-interest payment plans.


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From world-class athletes, to famous media personalities, to the people you see at work and school every day, tens of thousands of happy patients have found freedom from corrective lenses through surgical vision correction at Hoopes Vision.

Category: Astigmatism

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