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LASIK Surgery: Frequently Asked Questions

1.) What is LASIK surgery?

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a surgical procedure using a laser beam to reshape a person's cornea. This process improves how the cornea focuses images onto the retina.

Be aware of what to expect in LASIK Surgery.

2.) Is LASIK safe?

As with any surgery, there are risks involved in LASIK. Studies show that minor complications are between 3% and 5%. More serious complications are involved in less than 1% of all cases. The excimer laser used in LASIK surgery was first approved by the FDA in 1995.

3.) Does LASIK hurt?

There's no pain during the procedure and little to no pain for many patients after the procedure. There may be itching or the feeling of sand in the eye, but for most people, this goes away in a day or two.

4.) How long will LASIK surgery take?

The entire process should take no more than 15 minutes per eye. Expect a short break after the first eye, and then the surgeon will start on the second eye.

5.) What do I need to do to be a candidate for LASIK surgery?

Here are a few of the parameters for LASIK candidacy:

6.) How much does LASIK surgery cost?

LASIK costs fluctuate depending on many factors, including how many surgeons are in your area. Expect a cost between $1,000 and $2,000 per eye. Beware of low-priced, hard-sell advertising promising very inexpensive surgery, these usually include many hidden costs that will push the overall bill much higher.

7.) What complications should I expect for LASIK surgery?

With any surgical procedure there are complications. Most complications with LASIK surgery are minor. Some include:

8.) When can I resume my normal routine (driving, working, exercising)?

Some parts of a normal life will come back faster than others.

Here are a few examples (this is on average, each case may be different)

You should be aware of your expectations before resuming all activities.

9.) Can I have more than one eye done at a time?

The LASIK surgeon will do one eye at a time, but because the procedure is relatively quick and almost pain-free both eyes can be done during one sitting. Expect a small wait between eyes(usually no more than 10 minutes).

10.) How many visits after the procedure?

Patients should expect up to six visits after surgery. The first is likely to be one day after the procedure. The rest will follow in scheduled intervals usually one week, one month, three months and six months. These visits are to mark your eyes progress and should be routine. If a change for the worse occurs between appointments, don't wait – inform your doctor immediately.

11.) Is LASIK surgery permanent?

No. It is very possible your eyes will regress a little over time. This is natural and, generally, not a major problem. Also, most people's eyes will develop presbyopia after the age of 40. Presbyopia is caused by the aging of the eye's crystalline lens as it loses flexibility. Due to this, many patients may need reading glasses for fine print. People with presbyopia can look into alternative procedures to LASIK like Monovision.

12.) Will I end up with 20/20 vision?

Each person is different and if you have higher order aberrations, it may be less likely for you to reach 20/20 vision. On average, 65% of patients will reach 20/20 while 90% will reach 20/40 vision. Having 20/40 vision is usually good enough in most states to drive without glasses.

13.) What are the long-term consequences of LASK surgery?

As with any surgery there are potential risks and complications. And LASIK is a relatively new procedure (Under 15 years) meaning there is no long-term testing data available. That said, no data exists suggesting any long-term debilitating consequences for LASIK patients at this time.

14.) How long before I can have my enhancement surgery?

While each case is different, patients can generally expect to wait between three and six months before another procedure is attempted. This should be discussed in full with your surgeon before the original procedure as part of the vetting process.

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