What is LASIK?
Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis is a surgical procedure in which a laser is used to reshape the cornea. Your Kremer eye surgeon will create a flap on the surface of your cornea, then use a cool 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. Surgery may be available for those who are under age 18. If you are under 18 or are interested in the surgery for someone under 18 contact us today.
Does LASIK surgery correct only nearsightedness?
Our Surgeons can correct farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism, as well as nearsightedness (myopia).
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 contacts. 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 simply the fact that each patient's corneal cells will absorb the lasers energy slightly differently.
How can I evaluate an eye surgeon?
LASIK should be performed only by an ophthalmologist — an M.D. with a specialty in LASIK. You should ask about your surgeon's medical training, board-certification, years of experience and number of LASIK surgeries performed. Remember, most people have two eyes treated, so a surgeon who has performed 1,000 surgeries has operated on 500 people.
Will I be awake during my 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 have pinholes that permit sight while protecting against foreign objects entering your eyes. Your eyes may feel scratchy and may tear up for about two hours after surgery. For the first week, you'll wear the flexible shields at night to make sure you don't accidentally rub your eyes while you sleep. You'll take eye drops for the first four days after surgery. One prescription is an antibiotic, and the other controls inflammation. Many patients are able to return to normal activities one or two days after LASIK, but every patient is different, so be prepared for a longer recovery, and keep your schedule flexible. You can probably start driving by the second day; some patients are able to drive after 24 hours. You will have an initial postoperative visit with your surgeon after surgery. You will also schedule postoperative visits with your regular eye doctor one week, one month, three months, six months and 12 months after your LASIK surgery.
How soon will my eyes stabilize?
Most patients can resume most activities within 1-2 days of the procedure. The eyes tend to further stabilize over the next 4 to 6 weeks and in some cases over a longer period. During this extended period usually you can work, drive, and carry on with most daily activities.
Will I need glasses after the 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 contact lenses. (They would wear bifocals if they wear regular glasses.) Others may require glasses for some activities such as driving at night. Some patients may still require glasses or contact lenses.
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. In a survey completed in 1997 and audited by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Kremer Laser Eye Surgery Centers determined that this condition was reported in about 1% of patients.
Does LASIK surgery cause dry eyes?
Patients who had borderline or symptomatic dry eyes when wearing contact lenses may find that the condition continues after LASIK surgery, but it can be treated with artificial tears eye drops and, in some cases, 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.
What is the difference between LASIK and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)?
Both procedures use the excimer laser, but in the LASIK procedure, the corneal surface cells are hinged to one side, and the excimer laser is applied under the surface of the eye. In the PRK procedure, the corneal surface cells are discarded, so healing takes longer, and there is a more gradual improvement in vision.