|What is LASIK?
LASIK stands for LASER
IN-SITU KERATOMILEUSIS. It is a new form of laser surgery that is
capable of correcting a wide range of nearsightedness. The procedure
uses a computer-controlled excimer laser to reshape the cornea to
correct your vision. The laser reshaping is done under a protective
flap of tissue to promote a very rapid recovery of vision and minimize
discomfort. For details, please see Techniques and Results.
What is the name of the procedure?
LASER IN-SITU KER-A-TOE-MILL-YOU-SIS
Kerato is the Greek word for cornea and mileusis means "to shape."
How long has LASIK been
The first keratomileusis
procedure was done on humans in 1963. The procedure has evolved and
improved since then. The excimer laser has been used for over 30 years
and has received FDA approval for photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) in
1995. PRK is a
procedure in which the laser is used to sculpt the surface of the eye.
Eye surgeons have been creating a protective flap of tissue for over
30 years. These two techniques were first combined in 1991 to create a
new form of refractive surgery -- LASIK. Most of the experience with
LASIK has been obtained outside of the United States, where regulatory
oversight is not as stringent.
Who is LASIK useful for?
LASIK can be performed for
a wide range of nearsightedness, from -1 to -15 diopters. This
encompasses most degrees of nearsightedness.
How does LASIK correct
Astigmatism can be
corrected by using a laser with software that is capable of ablating
an oval pattern on the cornea.
How can I get more information
about refractive surgery?
For more information
about LASIK at the Eye Clinic, please email Pam
firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (731)
How do I know if I am a
candidate for LASIK?
In order to determine whether you are eligible for laser surgery,
you must have a consultation and comprehensive pre-operative exam.
Please contact us if you have questions or wish to schedule an
What is done at a pre-op exam?
A complete eye examination
and specialized computer measurement of the shape of your cornea is
performed. The ophthalmologist reviews this information in light of
your visual needs for work and leisure and provides you with options
and recommendations for refractive surgery. In order for your cornea
to return to its natural shape by the time of this examination, you
must leave your soft contact lenses out for 7 days and
gas-permeable (hard) lenses out for 3 weeks prior to your
consultation and then again for the same period prior to surgery.
How long does the procedure
You will be in the surgery
room approximately 15 minutes to complete the procedure on both eyes.
Expect to be at our surgery center approximately an hour to an hour
and a half.
Does it hurt?
Anesthetic drops usually
allow the operation to be performed without pain. Afterwards, the eye
is a bit scratchy, but patients typically do not require any pain
medications and are often able return to work the day following the
What are the restrictions
You must wear a protective
shield the first two nights following surgery. You should not swim or
get into a hot tub for one to two weeks after surgery, although
bathing and showering is fine. All other activities -- including
exercise -- may be resumed on the first day following surgery.
When can I go back to work?
The day after the
procedure, if your vision permits.
Can the procedure be performed
on both eyes at once?
Yes. Only around 1% of
cases nationally opt to have one eye done at a time.
How long is follow-up needed?
Follow-up checks are
required at approximately 1 day, 2 weeks, and 3, 6, and 12 months.
These examinations are included in the charge for the procedure.
What are my chances of not
wearing glasses after the procedure?
This will depend on a
number of factors, including your refractive error, your visual needs,
and even your personality. It is important to understand that LASIK
does not eliminate the need for reading glasses as one grows older.
When will my vision stabilize?
After LASIK, vision
usually stabilizes very quickly. Our results indicate that there is
little or no change after the two week post-operative examination,
however it is possible for your vision to fluctuate for up to three
months after your surgery.
What is the percentage of
patients that need enhancements?
The national enhancement
rate is around 10%, and the Eye Clinic falls into that number range as
well. Enhancements are performed after the three month examination.
The likelihood of needing an enhancement is dependent on the degree of
refractive error. More highly myopic eyes are more likely to need an
enhancement. Enhancement procedures will be performed at no additional
charge if performed within 12 months of the initial surgery.
What side effects are typical?
Your vision will fluctuate
during the few days following the surgery. You may notice some glare
around lights at night. Your vision at night will probably not be as
sharp as it is during bright day conditions following all types of
refractive surgery, and many people find that a thin pair of glasses
for driving at night is helpful.
Temporary Irritants (relieved with eye
Under Correction (corrected with enhancement)
Over Correction (corrected
Infection (eliminated with antibiotics)
Displaced Flap (prevented with eye shields)
are the risks of surgery?
Like any surgical
procedure, LASIK carries some risk of complications. Risks include an
infection which could damage your cornea and result in loss of vision,
although this is extremely unlikely. As part of your evaluation for
the procedure, we will give you an informed consent document which
details potential risks and complications of surgery. (see risks and
If necessary, can I wear
contact lenses after LASIK?
LASIK does not modify the
cornea in a way that would prevent contact lens wear. However, many
patients elect to have refractive surgery because they were unable to
wear contact lenses. In this case, you can expect to have problems
after the surgery just as you did before it.
Are the effects of LASIK
date, the data since 1991 regarding LASIK shows that LASIK is a
What is the difference between
LASIK and PRK?
Both procedures use the
excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct nearsightedness. The
difference is that, in PRK, the laser is used on the surface of the
cornea and, in LASIK, the laser is performed under a protective flap
of tissue. Our surgeons believe that the use of the laser under a
protective flap produces faster visual recovery, less pain and less
scarring. In PRK, the laser is used on the surface of the eye, and it
takes several weeks for the surface to heal and become smooth,
allowing good vision. Steroid drops are necessary (usually for about
two months) to help regulate healing, and it is not as easy to repeat
PRK, because of scarring and lack of predictability. For these
reasons, LASIK has become the refractive surgical procedure of choice.
What are the costs of the
LASIK costs $2,150 per
This is a “global fee” which means
that the one cost is all inclusive. The costs include the pre-op
exam, surgery, post-operative kit containing protective goggles and
sunglasses, follow up care for 1 year, and any enhancement treatments
if necessary during the first year. It does not, however,
include the cost of temporary glasses or prescription pain medicines
or eye drops.
We have multiple payment plans
available. The Refractive Surgery Director can review the options with
you. Please click here to learn
more about the cost for LASIK and financing options.
What is the (visual) guarantee?
As with any surgical
procedure, no guarantees can be made. Your results will depend on your
initial refractive error, your own individual healing characteristics
and other factors.