I HAVE ASTIGMATISM. AM I STILL A CANDIDATE FOR LASIK?
LASIK (and PRK) can effectively treat near-sightedness, farsightedness and high astigmatism. LASIK is able to treat more than 95% of all refractive errors.
I AM NOT A GOOD LASIK CANDIDATE. DO I HAVE ANY OTHER OPTIONS?
The surgeons at USC Laser Vision provide the full spectrum of refractive surgical options including PRK, phakic lenses and refractive lens exchange. We provide extensive screenings to determine the best procedure for you.
IS LASIK DANGEROUS?
While there are possible complications with any surgery, the risk of poor outcomes is signiﬁcantly low with LASIK for good candidates. In fact, many recent studies have found the risks of LASIK are less than those for extended contact lens wear, especially the risk of infection.
IS LASIK PAINFUL?
LASIK is generally a pain-free procedure. The process can seem intimidating before treatment begins. Before surgery, numbing drops are placed in the eyes to prevent discomfort. There are a few moments of pressure during surgery. The procedure usually takes a few minutes. After surgery, the eyes may burn, itch or feel like there is something in them for several hours. Eye drops and a mild pain reliever usually provide relief.
There is no pain during the LASIK procedure because the eye is numbed with drops before the procedure. You will feel slight pressure on the eye but it is not uncomfortable. If there is any discomfort after LASIK, it is usually minimal and can be treated with your usual over-the-counter pain medication. Wetting drops may be used to alleviate dryness or itching.
WHY DOES LASIK SEEM SO EXPENSIVE?
For most patients who wear glasses and contact lenses, the cost of LASIK is signiﬁcantly less expensive over a short period of time when compared with the cost of glasses, contacts, solutions, and trips to the doctor to get your prescription checked. Many people ﬁnd that LASIK and similar procedures qualify for their medical spending accounts, which further reduces the ﬁnal cost.
IS IT REALLY IMPORTANT WHICH DOCTOR PERFORMS MY LASIK SURGERY?
Experience counts. When considering a surgeon, look for the proper credentials, including state licensing, board certiﬁcation and subspecialty training in refractive surgery. Ask questions such as “How many procedures have you done?” and “What is your complication rate?”. Also make sure the doctor is comfortable and experienced with several types of eye surgery so all options are considered to provide the best outcome.
LASIK is a serious medical procedure and you want to choose a physician who is well-trained with exceptional experience. I am certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and have years of experience performing microsurgery of the eye. I completed sub-specialty training in refractive surgery and corneal transplantation and am certified in the use of excimer laser and other refractive surgery Techniques.
WILL I SEE 20/20 AFTER HAVING THE LASIK PROCEDURE?
The chances of seeing 20/20 depend on many factors: your uncorrected prescription prior to surgery, your healing process and your physician’s knowledge and skill, just to name a few. You will need to be evaluated by your eye doctor to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK. Results vary from patient to patient; however, most patients experience improved vision after the procedure. Some patients attain vision that is better than 20/20 after LASIK, while some have a reduced need for glasses or contact lenses for many activities.
HOW LONG DOES THE CORRECTION LAST?
LASIK surgery is designed to be permanent. If your prescription were to change dramatically over time, which is very rare, retreatment may be possible. Also, vision diminishes as you reach middle age—known as presbyopia—and you may require reading glasses for crisp up-close vision. Other diseases affecting vision such as glaucoma, macular degeneration or cataracts can still occur.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROCEDURE?
Like any medical procedure, LASIK does have potential risks and side-effects. The major risk is infection. Following your procedure, you are given antibiotic eye drops to use and will have follow-up visits to check your healing. Some patients see halos and glares, especially during the night. This usually diminishes over time. I give patients detailed information regarding risks and complications prior to the procedure. I also discuss health conditions that might increase the risks associated with LASIK or possibly recommend against having the procedure.
DOES HEALTH INSURANCE COVER LASIK SURGERY?
In most cases, health insurance companies consider LASIK to be cosmetic and medically unnecessary surgery so they don’t cover the procedure, but you need to check your specific company for coverage details. Your employer may offer a flexible spending account, which can be applied toward LASIK or other procedures. It is best not to choose an eye surgeon to have LASIK based on cost alone.