Welcome to our “Complete Patient Guide to LASIK”.
If you’re considering LASIK, this comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about the procedure. We’ll discuss topics such as:
- What is LASIK?
- Who’s a Good Candidate For LASIK?
- Risks & Benefits
- What To Expect Before, During, and After Your Procedure
- What to Look For In a Surgeon
Let’s get started…
What is LASIK?
LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a popular refractive surgery procedure that can correct common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It utilizes advanced laser technology to reshape the cornea, allowing light to focus correctly onto the retina, resulting in improved vision.
LASIK has been around for over 30 years. Like all technology, diagnostic and laser treatment technology for LASIK has advanced tremendously. LASIK is safer and more precise than ever before.
Millions of patients have had LASIK worldwide. Let’s review everything you need to know about it.
Am I a Candidate for LASIK?
Modern LASIK is one of the safest, most effective, most precise & consistent procedures in all of medicine – if you are a good candidate!
Decades of research combined with modern diagnostic technology have made it easier for doctors to determine who is a good candidate and who is not.
Determining your candidacy for LASIK involves several factors. It is crucial to consult with an experienced eye care professional who will evaluate your individual case. Here are the key considerations:
Age and Prescription:
LASIK is typically performed on individuals who are at least 18 years old and have a stable eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
LASIK can treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
For nearsighted patients with a thick enough cornea, and other safe parameters, LASIK can be used to treat over 10 diopters of myopia. However, many patients do not have corneas that are thick enough to safely treat prescriptions that high.
The higher your prescription, the more your cornea must be thinned. Therefore, your prescription must be considered in the context of your corneal measurements.
Your vision prescription should have remained relatively stable for at least a year before considering LASIK. Fluctuations in your prescription may affect the accuracy of the surgical outcome.
Your cornea plays a vital role in LASIK. It should be healthy and have sufficient thickness for the procedure. Your eye care professional will assess the corneal health and thickness during the initial consultation.
General Eye Health:
A comprehensive eye examination will be conducted to evaluate your overall eye health. Conditions such as cataracts, severe dry eye syndrome, or other eye diseases might impact your eligibility for LASIK.
Pregnancy and Nursing:
If you are currently pregnant or nursing, it is advisable to postpone LASIK. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding can affect the stability of your vision, making it difficult to determine accurate treatment plans.
The LASIK Procedure: What to Expect
Understanding the LASIK procedure and what to expect during and after the surgery can help alleviate any concerns or anxieties you may have.
You can be rest assured that you’re in good company though – It has been estimated that 30 million people have been successfully treated with laser eye surgery.
Additionally, modern LASIK uses lasers only which are completely painless. The procedure is more gentle and comfortable than ever before.
Here is a breakdown of the LASIK process:
Before the surgery, you will undergo a comprehensive eye examination, including measurements of your cornea, prescription, and general eye health. This evaluation helps determine the appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs.
During LASIK, a thin flap is created on the cornea using a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. The flap is then gently lifted, and an excimer laser is used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. The flap is carefully repositioned, and it adheres naturally without the need for sutures.
Immediate Recovery and Post-Operative Care:
Following LASIK, you may experience some mild discomfort or irritation in your eyes, which usually subsides within a few days. Your eye care professional will provide detailed instructions for post-operative care, including the use of prescribed eye drops, artificial tear eye drops, and avoiding certain activities during the healing process.
Benefits and Risks of LASIK
LASIK offers several benefits, including:
The primary goal of LASIK is to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses, resulting in improved vision for most patients.
LASIK success rates are extremely high for good candidates.
Freedom from Contacts & Glasses:
LASIK’s success means that patients become from from glasses and contacts.
Contact lenses are one of the most common causes for cornea infections and permanent vision loss in 18-45 year olds. Contact lens infections can be blinding. The risk of contact lens infections and permanent vision loss has been reported to be much higher than LASIK or any laser vision correction procedure.
Being free from contacts means being free from the risk of contact-lens related infections.
Quick Results and Fast Recovery:
Many patients experience improved vision within a day or two after LASIK, with minimal downtime required for recovery.
Most patients are able to drive comfortably and safely the very next day after the procedure, and return to work or school.
LASIK provides long-lasting vision correction for many individuals, allowing them to enjoy clear vision for years to come.
However, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks and complications associated with LASIK, such as infection, surgical temporary ocular discomfort syndrome (STODS) and overcorrections/ undercorrections. Your eye care professional will discuss these risks with you during the consultation.
Choosing a Surgeon and Preparation Tips
Selecting a qualified and experienced LASIK surgeon is crucial for a successful outcome. Consider the following tips when choosing a surgeon:
Do They Only Perform LASIK?
While LASIK is amazing – It’s not the best procedure for everyone. Therefore, we strongly recommend choosing a surgeon who performs all of the 3 major areas of refractive surgery:
1.) Laser Vision Correction (e.g. LASIK, PRK, and/or SMILE)
2.) Evo ICL
3.) Custom Lens Replacement
While many patients are great LASIK candidates, you don’t want to miss out on Evo ICL or Custom Lens Replacement if they are the best procedure for you.
Browse Our Database
Our database was curated to include surgeons who have experience in practices that perform all 3 areas of refractive surgery. After browsing our Directory, if you find a surgeon near you, you can contact them through their Profile.
What if you don’t find a surgeon in your area on our Directory?… Contact Us!
We’re happy to help you find the right surgeon in your area for your consultation.
What if you have other questions?… Contact Us! We’re happy to help!
Medical insurance typically does not cover LASIK or any other vision correction procedure. Discuss the cost of LASIK with the surgeon and their staff.
Inquire about payment options, Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s), and any potential financing plans available.
LASIK can be a life-changing procedure, providing clear vision and reducing dependence on glasses or contact lenses for many individuals. By understanding the candidacy requirements, the procedure itself, and the associated benefits and risks, you can make an informed decision about LASIK.
Consult with a qualified eye care professional who can guide you through the process and help determine if LASIK is the right choice for you. Remember, your eye health and well-being are paramount, so prioritize thorough evaluation and open communication with your surgeon.
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