WHAT IS LASIK?
Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is a surgical procedure in which a laser is used to reshape the cornea. Your surgeon will create a corneal flap, and use an excimer laser to reshape the underlying tissue. The flap will then be put back in place, allowing for a quick and relatively painless visual recovery for most patients.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR LASIK SURGERY?
If you need glasses or contacts to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you may be a candidate for surgery. Even people who have had cataract surgery or corneal transplants may be candidates for LASIK.
WHAT KIND OF RESULTS CAN I EXPECT?
Typically, you will see an immediate improvement in your eyesight. LASIK’s objective is to produce vision of 20/40 or better without glasses or contact lenses. Your vision may be somewhat hazy for several days following the surgery. Most patients’ eyes stabilize within 4–6 weeks of the surgery.
Some patients may require a second procedure known as an enhancement. The need for an enhancement may be caused by several factors including high degrees of refractive error or the simple fact that each patient’s corneal cells will absorb the laser’s energy slightly differently.
WILL I BE AWAKE DURING MY LASIK SURGERY?
A mild sedative and anesthetic drops are administered before surgery. You will be fully conscious, yet relaxed, throughout the procedure.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE RECOVERY PERIOD?
Your eyes will be covered with protective shields until the next day. These shields are clear to permit sight while protecting against foreign objects entering your eyes. Your eyes may feel scratchy or tear up for about two hours after surgery.
For the first week, you’ll wear flexible shields at night to make sure you don’t accidentally rub your eyes while you sleep. You’ll administer prescription eye drops for several days after surgery. One prescription is an antibiotic and the other controls inflammation.
Most patients can return to normal activities one or two days after LASIK—keep in mind, however, that every patient is different, so your recovery might be a little longer. Try to keep your recovery schedule as flexible as possible.
HOW SOON WILL MY EYES STABILIZE?
The majority of patients can resume most activities a day or two after the procedure. Your vision will continue to stabilize over the next 3 months, and in some cases, over a longer period. During this stabilization period, you can usually work, drive, and carry on with most daily activities.
WILL I NEED GLASSES AFTER THE LASIK PROCEDURE?
Most people who are older than 40-45 will probably need reading glasses for close work, just as they would if they were wearing glasses or contact lenses. Others may require glasses for some activities such as driving at night. Some patients may still require glasses or contact lenses for regular activities, depending on the severity of their pre-LASIK refractive error.
WHAT IS 100% BLADE-FREE TECHNOLOGY?
Fry Eye Associates uses the Intralase laser to create the corneal flap. Some surgeons make this flap manually using a blade called a microkeratome.
DOES LASIK SURGERY CAUSE NIGHT BLINDNESS?
Some patients have reported seeing halos around lights at night immediately following surgery. In 99% of patients, the halos either disappear or become small enough that they are not a problem within a few months.
DOES LASIK SURGERY CAUSE DRY EYES?
Patients who had borderline or symptomatic dry eyes when wearing contact lenses prior to LASIK surgery may find that the condition continues after surgery. In most cases, dry eye can be treated with artificial tear eye drops or occlusion of the tear drainage ducts.
DOES INSURANCE COVER THE PROCEDURE?
Some insurance companies cover the procedure, although most do not. Check with your insurance provider to see if they cover LASIK. Fry Eye Associates offers affordable payment plans that bring the benefits of LASIK within reach of almost anyone. You can also use HSA and FSA dollars.
ARE THERE OTHER OPTIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT GOOD CANDIDATES FOR LASIK?
At Fry Eye Associates, our goal is to provide you the best vision possible. Our doctors rigorously screen prospective patients, and if you are not a good candidate for LASIK, we will provide you with alternative treatment options.
IS LASIK PAINFUL?
Most laser vision correction patients find LASIK surgery to be slightly uncomfortable but not painful. Anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye just before LASIK surgery begins, and you will also be given a mild sedative to help you relax. After your LASIK surgery, your eyes may feel some irritation for a few hours, but most patients are quite comfortable after taking a short nap. You will be given instructions to purchase over-the-counter artificial tear eye drops for your eyes to counteract any dryness you may experience in the days following the surgery.
HOW LONG WILL THE LASIK PROCEDURE TAKE?
The LASIK laser vision correction procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes. The actual laser time is approximately 1 minute.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF LASIK?
Some potential complications include conditions such as dryness, night glare, under- or over-correction, and loss of best-corrected vision. The risks of surgery should be discussed fully with the doctor prior to the procedure. Additionally, proper post-operative care helps to identify and address any potential healing complications.
What is the difference between LASIK and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)?
Both procedures use a laser to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. In the LASIK procedure, the corneal surface cells are lifted to one side and the laser is applied to the underlying corneal tissue. During the PRK procedure, the corneal surface cells are discarded, so healing takes longer and there is a more gradual improvement in vision. Fry Eye Associates performs both procedures and will recommend the right procedure for each patient.