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Apr 9, 2002

Haydens Get LASIK Eye Surgery Today

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>American Honda's Nicky Hayden and Erion Honda's Roger Lee Hayden are getting LASIK eye surgery today at the Eye Center of Orange County in Laguna Hills, California. Both Haydens are getting the surgery to correct nearsightedness (Myopia) and to hopefully eliminate the need to wear contact lenses while racing. <BR><BR>"I'm as blind as a bat," said Roger Lee Hayden via cell phone as he was receiving the first eye drops Tuesday afternoon. "Nicky's not that bad, though."<BR><BR>Nicky Hayden said that he had a contact lens come out with a few laps left in the Daytona 200 (which he won) in March, and Roger Lee Hayden said that he lost two contacts while riding in a recent test at Laguna Seca Raceway. The Hayden's older brother, Tommy, had the surgery performed some time ago and convinced his younger brothers to get the procedure done.<BR><BR>According to the TLC Laser Eye Center website, LASIK (Laser-In-Situ Keratomileusis) surgery is the most common form of eye surgery performed in America today. In a pre-operative examination, a patient's eyes are mapped in extreme detail in order for the surgeon to calibrate the excimer laser appropriately. After receiving numbing eye drops, a patient's eye lids are secured open. Then a microkeratome machine, similar to a very high-tech and precise planer, slices a flap open in the epithelium layer of the cornea. The opening is created so that the excimer laser can make the needed cut to the inner layer of the patient's cornea. The entire area is cleaned before the flap is returned precisely to its original position and held in place by the eye's natural suction. The entire procedure lasts about five minutes. <BR><BR>Results of the procedure vary from patient to patient, depending on the state of vision before the surgery, but the majority of LASIK patients improve to 20/20 vision and the vast majority improve to at least 20/40 vision, the minimum value required to operate a motor vehicle without corrective lens in most states. The resulting improvement in vision is said to be long-term. Although some post-operative rules must be adhered to and a follow-up examination is common, many LASIK patients go back to work within days and normal activities within a week. Nicky Hayden plans to attend and ride at the scheduled AMA team test next week at Road Atlanta. Roger Lee Hayden said that he didn't think his Erion Honda team planned to attend that test.