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Conventional LASIK vs. iLASIK

Posted on by Maria Afonso in Bense, Bense Vision, Eye Health, Eyes, iLASIK, Newfoundland, Technology, Vision

Dr. Bense

Conventional LASIK vs. iLASIK

Vision correction has come so far from the first eye glasses introduced in the 13th century, we have evolved from specs to surgeries. The first Laser Vision correction surgeries started with PRK in early 1990’s, followed by the LASIK procedure late 1990’s and then iLASIK in the early-mid 2000’s. If you are interested in LASIK eye surgery and have come this far, you’ve likely been doing some research on Blade vs. Bladeless. What do these terms really mean? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Is it worth it? We want to clear the air and answer some of these common concerns.


Let’s start by telling you what happens during the LASIK procedure, this will help you understand the difference! During LASIK, the cornea (the outermost layer of the eye) is reshaped to correct vision including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. In order to get to the corneal tissue that needs to be reshaped, the LASIK surgeon must create a thin corneal flap. The flap is the very exterior layer, often described as thin as “saran wrap” or “skin on an onion”. The flap is then lifted for application of laser energy that reshapes the eye for vision correction. The flap stays connected to the eye, when the LASIK procedure is complete and the cornea has been reshaped, the surgeon “closes” the flap, which naturally starts to ahere right away.

What is Conventional or traditional LASIK?

In a conventional LASIK procedure, the surgeon will use a bladed instrument known as a microkeratome to cut a thin flap into the cornea. The hand-held blade comes in direct contact with the cornea in this type of procedure. The flap (door into the cornea) created by a microkeratome is not always precise and may be thinner toward the middle of the flap because of how the blade works. This has the potential to cause certain types of flap defects including buttonholes (where the flap is shaped like a button) and flaps that become detached from the eye or incomplete.

What does “Blade-Free” LASIK means?

In a 100% blade-free LASIK procedure (AKA bladeless or all-laser LASIK procedure), the surgeon will use the advanced technology of a laser to create the flap (door to the cornea). At Bense Vision, our iLASIK procedure exclusively uses the advanced IntraLase iFS™ femtosecond laser – the most advanced Laser Vision Correction used worldwide. This laser uses high-energy laser pulses to separate the corneal tissue. Using this advanced laser technology to create the corneal flap means a more consistent thickness throughout the flap and reduces the number of complications that can result from using the bladed microkertome instrument.

What are the advantages of blade-free flaps

It is a fact that iLASIK technology is 25 times more accurate that conventional LASIK. It is so custom, so precise, and so accurate that we are able to treat many more patients, those that would not have been candidates for “conventional” LASIK are more likely to be good candidates for iLASIK today. As well, using a laser to create the corneal flap during LASIK will lead to fewer flap complications, that we used to see when doing cornea bladed LASIK. This can translate to additional benefits in terms of long-term quality of vision following this iLASIK procedure. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of using a laser to create the corneal flap in a LASIK procedure. Some of the advantages compared with conventional LASIK include:

  • Less flap complications
  • Increased accuracy creating the corneal flap
  • Unprecedented control and precision during the procedure
  • Less patient anxiety without the “blade”
  • Reduced occurrence of halos and glare associated with blade
  • Better long-term vision quality
  • Treat more patients
  • Dry eyes more associated with blade

Is Blade-Free really worth It?

There are many advantages to blade-free LASIK, and there are certainly associated costs with this type of procedure. However, at Bense Vision we believe so strongly that the blade free iLASIK procedure, is the standard of care for today – we do not pass on that cost difference to our patients. It is our opinion that patients who receive the bladed LASIK for the same cost as Bense Vision’s iLASIK are simply overpaying. Did you know? The blade-free iLASIK procedure is the only approved laser vision correction procedure for use by NASA and US Military branches! Now that you understand the advantages compared with conventional LASIK, it’s up to you to determine if the benefits are important to you! When it comes to your vision, you decide what you want and deserve!

Don’t underestimate Surgeon Experience!

While blade-free iLASIK offers many benefits compared with conventional LASIK, the most important aspect is that the patient is in the hands of an expert surgeon. We are talking about tools, and tools are only as good as the surgeon who is using them. For example, a novice surgeon does not have the experience and skill as a seasoned surgeon who has been performing LASIK for many years. While both of these surgeons may use the same femtosecond laser, the seasoned surgeon would be more skilled at using the laser to provide patients with optimal vision outcomes. So don’t let the appeal of blade-free LASIK technology blind you to other important LASIK considerations, such as surgeon experience. We believe in the best, that is why we practice exclusively blade free for our LASIK patients – we are the only iLASIK certified provider in the province.

Experience Blade-Free LASIK from the Best!

At Bense vision you will receive 100% blade-free iLASIK technology in the hands of an experienced and skilled iLASIK surgeon who has performed almost 30,000 laser vision correction surgeries! Because we remain committed to using leading-edge technology and being Newfoundland’s most experienced and qualified iLASIK surgeon, we have helped 95% of our iLASIK patients see 20/20 or better following their procedure, with the majority seeing even better than that….20/15! At Bense Vision we are a “true centre of excellence” for LASIK eye surgery in the province.

To find out if you are a candidate, schedule a free evaluation with our doctors by calling 709.722.2020 or request an appointment via our contact page .

Life after LASIK

Posted on by Maria Afonso in Bense, Bense Vision, Eyes, iLASIK

You can begin enjoying the advantages of LASIK immediately after the procedure! The recovery process is so quick that, if your workplace has a low risk of eye injury, you can return to work one day after getting LASIK. Before you can enjoy your new eyes, it’s important to follow the doctor’s instructions and be aware of what you can and cannot do.

BV blog

Immediately After LASIK Surgery

After your surgery, it is important to do whatever you can to protect your eyes. Your doctor will provide you with sunglasses or eye shields, which you will have to wear while sleeping. You will also be given eye drops to prevent inflammation, infections and to keep your eyes moist during the healing process.
It is crucial that you have transportation arranged for after your surgery, as you will not be able to drive immediately after the procedure has been completed. Once you’re home, you may feel like scratching and rubbing your eyes, but it is very important that you do not touch your eyes during recovery time at all. After your procedure, your corneal flap is healing, and rubbing your eyes can halt the healing process by displacing the flap. You may also experience red, watery eyes during healing, but these are all normal, temporary symptoms and nothing to be worried about!

The Next Few Days After LASIK

Your doctor will likely want to do a check-up within the first 24 hours of your procedure to make sure your eyes are recovering well. This is when you will be advised as to when you can drive, and if it’s safe to return to work. After 3 days, you may be able to resume regular outdoor activities, if you are wearing protective eye gear and are being very careful.
You can also resume applying make-up at this time, as long as you stay away from your eyes. This means no mascara or eyeliner just yet, ladies! Additionally, when washing your face make-up off, don’t forget to stay away from the eyes, which can be done by using make up wipes instead of a full-face wash. This alternative will help prevent you from being tempted to rub your eyes during make up removal.

One Month After LASIK

In the weeks following your procedure, you may feel as though there is something in your eye at times, but this is just a normal side effect of LASIK. As long as you are not touching or picking your eyes, this symptom should go away in due time. At this time, you can now resume wearing make-up, and play your favourite sports without eyewear protection!

A Few Months After LASIK

You’re free! A few months after your procedure, you can finally enjoy your new eyes without any restrictions at all. Of course, we always recommend wearing sunglasses and eye protection for high trauma activities, such as outdoor sports, or exposure to the sun. Now go ahead, and savor a life without glasses and contacts!

Did you know that Bense Vision is the only laser clinic in Newfoundland to offer iLASIK™, the most advanced form of LASIK. Book a free consultation to see if you are eligible for laser vision correction today!

How to Delay the Progression of Cataracts

Posted on by Maria Afonso in Bense Vision, Cataracts, Eye Health, Eyes, Vision

Did you know that more than 2.5 million Canadians have cataracts? With a number like that, chances are you probably know someone who either has, or has had cataracts. Since June is Cataract Awareness Month, we’re here to shed some light on this prevalent eye disease. It’s important to know that symptoms of cataracts are progressive and can worsen over time. If not treated, cataracts can eventually lead to blindness. In fact, cataracts are responsible for 48% of world blindness. The good news is, cataract treatment is not only quick and painless, it also has an extremely high success rate!

older woman holding basket of fruits and vegetables

What are Cataracts?

Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s lens. Over time and with age, the proteins in the lens begin to build up and clump. The buildup of protein in the lens prevents light from passing through, making it harder to see. The severity of cataracts can range from barely affected vision to unable to see. Unfortunately, there is no proven way to avoid cataracts, and most people will eventually have a cataract in one or both eyes. If treatment is delayed, not only will symptoms worsen, but the actual size of the cataract can also grow. Cataract surgery is an effective treatment for restoring vision, and consists of replacing the cloudy lens with a new clear intraocular (IOL) lens.

Cataract Symptoms:

  • Blurry/hazy/cloudy vision
  • The need for frequent new prescriptions
  • Changes in the way you see colours
  • Poor night vision
  • An increased sensitivity to glare and light
  • Double vision in one eye


Cataracts can be detected during a comprehensive eye examination. However, it’s important to note that these symptoms may be a sign of another eye problem. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we advise you to see an optometrist.

Cataract Increased Risk Factors:

  • Smoking
  • The use of certain medications
  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Eye injury
  • A family history of cataracts
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight and radiation


Choosing a healthy lifestyle, such as quitting smoking, can decrease your risk factors for cataracts. Some other tips to reduce the risk of developing cataracts include:

  • Reducing your exposure to sunlight: Wearing UVA/UVB protective eyewear is important because UV radiation can speed up the formation of cataracts.
  • Following your treatment plans: Keep other diseases you may have, such as diabetes, under control
  • Eating a healthy diet: Vitamins C and E may protect against the development and progression of cataracts as well as nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which can be found in leafy greens such as spinach and kale. In addition, the antioxidants found in these green veggies help to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
  • Having regular eye exams: Since there is no pain or redness associated with cataracts, you may not even know you have a cataract until you have your eyes checked. It is best if cataracts are caught in the earlier stages. When it comes to cataracts and other eye problems, it’s better to be proactive than reactive.
  • Reduce alcohol intake: Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of cataracts.


Cataract Treatment at Bense Vision

Bense Vision is the best choice for vision correction in Atlantic Canada. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of cataracts, or if you would like more information on any of our procedures, don’t hesitate to contact us. During your one-on-on consultation with Dr. Bense, he will be able to recommend the treatment that will give you the best visual results. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Bense maintains a strong commitment to providing his patients with the utmost care. We look forward to hearing from you!



10 Reasons Why You Need LASIK in 2016

Posted on by Maria Afonso in Eyes, iLASIK, Vision

Have you always wanted LASIK but haven’t gotten around to booking your LASIK consultation? Well, now is the time to make the decision that will change your life forever!

LASIK is the safe and effective permanent vision correction procedure to treat common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Thousands of Canadians have turned to laser eye surgery to correct their vision and eliminate the need to rely on glasses and/or contact lenses.

woman on mountain

Here are 10 reasons why you need LASIK in the New Year:

  1. A new year calls for a new look. That is the look of freedom from never having to wear glasses or contact lenses again! Did you know the latest trend in eyewear is no eyewear at all? We can assure you that this look looks good on everyone and it can even improve your confidence!
  2. A new year is often associated with a time for change. Out with the old and in with the new, you can say bye-bye to your glasses and contact lenses for good with LASIK.
  3. A new year with even newer vision will allow you to see your new goals more clearly.
  4. LASIK is the ultimate gift to yourself this holiday season. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving because it lasts for a lifetime! After approximately 3 months, your eyes have fully adjusted to the surgery and your LASIK results are expected to be permanent.
  5. The cost of clear vision has never been more affordable with Bense Vision! Since we’re celebrating 20 years of service, we’re giving you the gift of 20% off your LASIK procedure. In addition, we have also made financing options easy. You can receive $0 down, 0% financing, so you don’t have to pay until 2016! We never want the cost of LASIK to get in the way of having the clearest vision. In the long run, your LASIK procedure will pay for itself. The amount you spend on contact lenses, solution and prescription glasses can add up quickly. The cost of LASIK may seem like a lot at first glance, but it is a one-time procedure, meaning it’s a one-time cost as well!
  6. Travel in the new year without worry and see the beauty of the world with crystal clear vision. You never have to worry about packing your contact lenses, case, solution, or glasses ever again.
  7. Speaking of contacts and glasses, with LASIK you will never have to deal with their hassle again! The required maintenance and care that comes along with glasses and contacts not only adds up in cost, but also your precious time spent dealing with them. By eliminating your dependency on contacts, you eliminate any risk of transferring bacteria, which can lead to unpleasant eye infections.
  8. If one of your New Years’ resolutions was to be more active, then you will be grateful for LASIK. You’ll never have to worry about your contact lenses falling out, or even worse, your glasses falling off and breaking. You’ll be able to read, drive and participate in activities such as swimming and sports with complete freedom.
  9. Quick, proven results and an even quicker recovery time from LASIK means you can kick off your new year with clear vision that is ready to take on the world.
  10. Last but not least, clear vision achieved with LASIK is priceless!

Now that you’ve heard our list of why LASIK is a must-have in the new year, what are you waiting for? Contact us today to schedule your free LASIK consultation! There’s no doubt that LASIK is the clear choice for permanent vision correction. Being able to see clearly is truly an amazing feeling that you have to experience for youself!

Get LASIK Today!

Bense Vision is the premier laser vision correction facility in Atlantic Canada. Cutting edge technology and experience has made us the most trusted and most established facility in Eastern Canada. During your LASIK consultation, Dr. Bense will determine if you are an ideal candidate for the procedure. For over 20 years, he has performed various types of vision correction procedures with an extremely high success rate!



Outdoor Eye Protection

Posted on by Maria Afonso in Eye Protection, Eyes

When it comes to outdoor eye protection, most people think sunglasses are only for the summer. They’re wrong! Don’t overlook the need to wear sunglasses in the winter, doing so is very important!

snowboarders and skiers wearing eyewear

Sunglasses are not only for direct sunlight. When the sun reflects off the snow indirectly, wearing them is important too. The reflection off the snow can be just as bright and damaging to the eye’s surface. It can cause the cornea of the eye to become inflamed (keratitis), which can make the eyes red and sensitive to light. In addition, excessive exposure to sunlight can lead to cataracts when you’re older which can eventually lead to blindness. Sunglasses that have a minimum UV 400 protection that block both harmful UVA and UVB rays are essential. Wearing sunglasses will also provide a shield of protection against gusty winds and flying debris. Wearing protective eyewear goggles is also important when spending long periods of time outdoors such as when you’re skiing or skating.

With these tips you can help to keep your eyes and vision protected during the cold winter months ahead!



Winter Eye Care

Posted on by Maria Afonso in Eyes

Do you suffer from dry eyes in the winter?

Dry eyes in the winterWe all know that as winter in Newfoundland settles in, temperatures begin to drop and winds gust. Winter not only takes a toll on our skin but extreme temperatures and brisk winds can be harsh on your eyes too. Two eye problems commonly associated with winter include dry and inflamed eyes that can lead to itchiness and discomfort.

Much of what you would do to keep your skin moist and protected during the winter months can carry over to your eyes. Taking care of your eye health and vision should be all year round but here are some tips that will keep your eyes extra protected this winter as ignoring dryness can cause damage to the cornea and can even lead to blurred vision.

Winter Eye Care – Fighting Dry Eyes


  1. While Newfoundland is known to have relatively humid winters, dryness is actually a result of warming up indoors. Indoor dryness is often the result of cranking the heat to deal with the cold temperatures. Adding a humidifier to the room you spend the most of your time in will take the dryness out of the air and replace it with moist air. If you’re a contact lens wearer, you’ve probably experienced dry eye as a result of wearing contacts, but the discomfort is often worse during the winter. A humidifier will make a significant difference and will help to keep your eyes lubricated and moist.
  2. Lubricating eye drops can provide temporary relief and can be purchased over the counter.
  3. Drinking lots of fluids especially water can also help to fight dry eye as mild dehydration can worsen dry eye problems. Eating for eye health by introducing omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other cold-water fish   into your diet can also help.
  4. Try to blink more (especially at work) where dry eye can be triggered by long hours spent in front of a glaring computer screen. Focusing on a task leads to a tendency to blink less but blinking is essential for natural eye lubrication and for washing out environmental debris.

Call us at 709-722-2020 to learn more about dry eyes and what you can do to curb your discomfort!

Dry Eyes

Posted on by Maria Afonso in Eyes

You’ve likely experienced the discomfort of dry eyes every now and again, but how do you know when it has turned into a more serious condition such as dry eye syndrome? Let’s discuss!

putting eye drops into eye

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is diagnosed when your eyes are unable to produce enough tears to stay lubricated. Tears are important for eye health because not only do they reduce the risk of eye infections, but they also help to flush out dust and debris to keep the surface of the eyes clear. It is a common disorder that effects an estimated 3.2 million women age 50 and over and 1.68 million men age 50 and over. It is usually triggered with age (especially during menopause for women), however certain medications, hormonal changes as well as environmental conditions such as air pollutants and indoor air temperature can also have an effect. In addition, anything that causes you to blink less such as reading or focusing on a computer screen for long periods of time can also lead to dry eyes. Blinking helps to keep eyes lubricated and moist. If you’re a long-term contact lens wearer, you’ve likely experienced the discomfort that dry eyes can bring about on more than one occasion. Contact lenses restrict the amount of oxygen that reaches the eyeballs, which in turn makes them feel dry. It is no surprise that dry eye is the most common complaint among contact lens wearers. Having dry eyes can make it hard to work on the computer, read and even drive.

Symptoms of Dry Eyes

  • A burning sensation and red eyes
  • Persistent dryness
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritation from wearing contact lenses
  • The feeling of a foreign substance in your eye(s)
  • Watery eyes
  • Scratchiness


The Treatment of Dry Eyes

If you think you may be suffering from any of the above symptoms, it is important to talk to your eye care professional because there are treatment options available. There is no cure-all solution for this condition, however there are many things that can provide temporary relief.

  • Lubricating eye drops or artificial tears prescribed by your eye doctor can help to alleviate some of the uncomfortable and irritating side effects associated with dry eye
  • If your dry eye is a result of wearing contact lenses, rewetting eye drops specifically made for contact lens use can also provide lubrication and temporary relief
  • Try changing up your environment if you think the problem may be caused by your surroundings. Adding an air purifier to the room you spend most of your time in can help to remove dust and debris that may be causing irritation. A humidifier can be used to release moisture back into the dry air created from air conditioning or heating systems.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids support your overall eye health and decrease the risk of macular degeneration as well as decrease the symptoms of dry eye. Try to incorporate omega 3-fatty acids from salmon and other oily fish such as cod and herring into your diet at least twice a week
  • Drinking more water can help to hydrate your body and your eyes as dehydration only worsens the effects of dry eyes
  • Punctal plugs (tear duct plugs) can be used to keep moisture in the eyes by blocking tears from draining
  • If your dry eyes are a result of you staring at a computer screen all day, it can be helpful to follow the golden 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds and blink repeatedly to help lubricate your eyes and restore moisture
  • LASIK can eliminate your need to rely on glasses and/or contact lenses to see clearly. With LASIK you can say bye-bye to dry eyes created by contact lenses


Bense Vision

At Bense Vision we care about your eye health. If you think you may be suffering from chronic dry eyes, we advise you to see your eye care professional who will determine if treatment is necessary. If you’re interested in LASIK, we encourage you to book a free LASIK consultation!


Testing Kid’s Eyesight Before School Starts

Posted on by Maria Afonso in Eyes

comprehensive eye exams

It’s time to start thinking about going back to school! Does your child have all their supplies? Pens, paper, binders, new backpacks, and crayons should not be the only items on your list! An eye exam for your child should also be included as a to do.

Learning and eyesight are linked for children. Most of the learning done in school is dependent on vision, in fact, 80% of it is dependent on vision. Seeing the chalkboard or the paper the children are writing on properly is imperative for learning.

Vision problems don’t always mean not being able to see far for children. There are more complicated vision problems that can impact the way children learn such as astigmatism or lazy eye. These vision problems often do not prevent a child from seeing the blackboard, but will impact the way they read, write, or even concentrate.

This video demonstrates how different vision problems can impact the way children learn along with the importance of getting your child’s eyes tested before school starts.


Protective Eyewear for Sports

Posted on by Maria Afonso in Eyes

If you’re an athlete at heart, eye protection is an extremely important consideration. You need to protect your eyes from potential injury.

Did you know? 90% of all eye injuries are preventable, according to the CNIB. The CNIB also warns that children under 12 are more susceptible to injury, as they are still developing their depth perception.

eye protection sports

So what sports put you at the highest risk for eye injury? According to the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, the top 3 offenders for eye injury are hockey, racquet sports, and baseball. That’s why face protection for these sports is highly recommended or even required. Face masks and goggles are recommended to keep your eyes safe while playing these sports.

Other sports that put your eyes at risk include shooting sports, fencing, cricket, basketball, and lacrosse. Fishing, football, volleyball, golf, and soccer also include a moderate risk for eye injury.

sports eye safety

Even sports that pose a low risk for eye injury, like bicycling, swimming, or skiing do not leave your eyes completely free from damage. Activities like bicycling and skiing should involve sunglasses to protect from UV rays or even strong glare that could impair your ability to see where you’re going. Swimming with goggles can also prevent irritation in the eyes from chlorinated water.

Make sure you are wearing the proper protection for the sport you are playing so you can keep having fun without putting your eyes at risk!

Eye Correction Surgery Types

Posted on by Maria Afonso in Eyes, Vision

While LASIK is certainly the most recognized type of eye correction surgery, there are a wide variety of options available. Most of these procedures work by reshaping the cornea, which is the clear front part of the eye. The cornea functions by focusing the light that travels through it, creating a more accurate impression on the retina at the back of the eye. Some surgeries also involve replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial one. Check out our comprehensive explanation of the various corrective surgery options below!

Eye correction surgery types


LASIK is used to correct vision in patients suffering from nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. During the procedure a flap is made in the outer layer as seen above, exposing the underlying tissue, which is then reshaped with the use of a laser. The flap is what separates LASIK procedures from other eye corrective surgeries. LASIK can be performed with or without computer imaging known as wavefront technology, which creates a detailed image of the cornea and acts as a guide for treatment.


Photoreactive keratectomy is a process used to correct mild to moderate nearsightedness, as well as farsightedness and astigmatism. As with LASIK a laser is used to reshape the cornea, however, this laser is used on the surface of the cornea and requires no cutting. The PRK procedure can also take advantage of computer imaging software.


Laser epithelial keratomileusis is a variant of PRK in which an epithelial flap is created by loosening the cells with an alcohol solution. A laser is then used to reshape the cornea, and the flap is closed and secured until it has healed. This procedure is used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism.


Refractive lens exchange, also known as clear lens extraction or refractive lens replacement, is similar to cataract surgery. With RLE a small incision is made at the edge of the cornea, through which the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with a silicone or plastic lens. This procedure is used to correct extreme farsightedness or nearsightedness, but may be inappropriate for those with corneal problems such as thin corneas or dry eyes. This procedure cannot be used to correct astigmatism, and it may be necessary to combine it with another procedure in order to achieve desired results.


Similar to PRK treatments, EpiLasik involves separating a very thin layer from the cornea before reshaping the underlying tissue. The layer may be removed or replaced, and then the area is protected by a soft contact lens while it heals.


With Intacs treatment two Intercorneal ring segments are inserted at the edge of the cornea through a small incision. These rings work to flatten the cornea thus changing the way light rays are focused on the retina. This procedure is used to treat keratoconus, a disorder that causes negative structural changes to the cornea.

Phakic Intraocular Lens Implants

Used for patients who are too near or farsighted for LASIK or PRK treatments, this procedure involves attaching an artificial lens to the iris behind the pupil, inserted through a small incision at the edge of the cornea. This procedure differs from RLE because the natural lens is left in place.

For more information on the types of procedures we offer, check out our procedures page, or contact us to book a consultation today!