LASIK Eye Surgery
Being nearsighted, farsighted, or having astigmatism makes corrective lenses necessary to perform even the simplest tasks.
LASIK eye surgery corrects refractive errors to reduce or eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses.
Let's bring that into focus...
LASIK Eye Surgery Can Provide Invaluable Benefits
While it may take up to six months for vision to fully stabilize, most patients experience an improvement immediately after the procedure is completed.
After LASIK surgery, you no longer have to scramble to find your glasses in the morning, and you can stop having to remove and replace your contacts throughout the day.
LASIK by the Numbers
According to the American Refractive Surgery Council
Determining If LASIK Is Right for You
Be over 18LASIK is only considered safe for adults.
Have the Right Corneal ThicknessIf your corneas are too thin to accommodate a tissue flap, you may be better suited to PRK surgery or LASEK.
Be in Good General HealthSome autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis may disqualify you.
Have Stable VisionIf you needed a new glasses prescription in the last year, LASIK may not be a safe option for you at the moment.
Not Be Pregnant or BreastfeedingThe hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy and breastfeeding affect your vision. LASIK is not recommended until at least three months after stopping breastfeeding.
Not Have Overly Large PupilsThis trait can increase your risk of developing halos, glare, and night vision issues after LASIK.
But the Thought of Having a Laser Pointed at My Eye Makes Me Anxious...
Modern techniques give ophthalmologists the ability to perform LASIK and other refractive surgeries more safely than ever before. In fact, less than one percent of LASIK patients experience complications.
Your doctor will administer numbing eye drops and a sedative to ensure that you remain comfortable and calm during your LASIK surgery. Most patients describe only slight discomfort for a very brief period during the procedure.
The corneal flap is traditionally created using a blade called a microkeratome. However, this approach is quickly being replaced by the use of a femtosecond laser. Using a laser instead of a blade to create the flap minimizes the risk of infection and induced astigmatism. It also makes flap thickness more predictable.
Wavefront and Corneal Topography
LASIK traditionally involves shaping the cornea to create the same effect that the patient's corrective lenses provide. However, glasses and contacts prescriptions are like shoe sizes; you may ideally need a size 9.25 shoe, but your options are limited to a 9 or a 9.5. Wavefront and corneal topography are two different methods of measuring the corneal surface to detect the most minute irregularities and provide a more customized degree of correction. These techniques can also correct or prevent issues such as glare, halos, and compromised night vision.
The excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea. It vaporizes small amounts of tissue to create the contours necessary to restore focus. Excimer lasers can check the position of the eye more than 200 times per second to ensure that each pulse contacts the cornea in the correct location. Any movement of the eye will automatically stop the laser to ensure patient safety and predictable results.
A Short Outpatient Procedure
In total, you can expect to be in your doctor's office for about 90 minutes. Surgery itself takes about 10 minutes per eye, and the actual alterations to the cornea take less than one minute.
Most Patients Experience An Immediate Improvement
Your vision may be a bit blurry immediately after surgery, but most patients experience improved vision right away. Some patients can return to work the next day, but taking a couple of days off is usually recommended.
You will attend a follow-up visit with your doctor the day after surgery. He or she will assess your results and determine if you can safely drive without glasses or contacts. Some patients may need a few days for their vision to stabilize. In rare cases, it may take weeks.
According to Market Scope, LLC
Factors that Affect Cost
The use of advanced technology will increase the cost of treatment. For example, LASIK performed using traditional methods will cost less than a bladeless procedure incorporating wavefront technology or corneal topography.
Choosing the right doctor is critical to the success of your surgery. You can expect to pay more if your surgeon has more experience, but this added investment can often mean a higher likelihood of a successful outcome. Beware of practices advertising LASIK at prices too good to be true.
Another important factor is your location. Keep in mind that areas with a higher cost of living will generally have a higher cost for LASIK due to the overhead costs of operating a practice.
Costs are per eye, according to a report by Market Scope, LLC
Comparing National Averages
While LASIK has a higher up-front cost than contacts or glasses, it can actually be quite economical compared to other solutions. See for yourself...
Cost of LASIK and Comparable Solutions Over 10 Years
Start Calculating Your Estimated Cost
Based on national average costs, if you choose traditional LASIK for both eyes with no insurance discount, no down payment, and zero interest for 48 months, you can pay as little as $87 per month.
That's less than $3 per day - probably less than your morning coffee.
Bring the World into Focus
Corrective eyewear can allow you to focus, but this option involves many limitations and inconveniences. LASIK can provide a more permanent solution that simplifies many aspects of your life.
If you are tired of the hassle of glasses and contacts, LASIK is worth considering. Speak with a doctor to find out if LASIK or another refractive surgery procedure is right for you.