About LASIK Eye Surgery and Laser Vision Correction
Laser Vision Correction including LASIK eye surgery has been growing in popularity since its FDA approval in the mid 1990’s. Millions of people have selected this surgical procedure with the possibility of eliminating glasses and contact lenses from their lives. LASIK eye surgery provides several advantages over glasses or contacts because it corrects the visual problem as opposed to simply treating the symptoms. For the most part, the clinical data suggests that an overwhelming amount of people who have chosen LASIK eye surgery have had positive results. At the AAO in 2006, the American Academy of Ophthalmology released a 10-year effectiveness study that concluded LASIK eye surgery was both safe and effective. Many celebrities and sports stars have even sung the wonders and value of this amazing eye surgery.
In recent years, new technological advances have made LASIK eye surgery safer and more accurate. Later in this chapter we will discuss the new technologies that have improved LASIK and laser vision correction. Despite all of the positive outcomes, considering LASIK eye surgery is a matter to be taken seriously. Not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. Selecting the right surgeon and determining appropriate candidacy really becomes a critical issue in how well you will see after surgery. Please see some of the criteria listed below when starting your quest to select an appropriate LASIK surgeon.
The first step in undergoing LASIK is the pre-operative evaluation. This process involves a series of diagnostic tests that determine the overall health of your eyes. Your cornea thickness is a critical component to your LASIK candidacy. If you do not have the proper amount of cornea thickness the procedure is not recommended. If you are a candidate for LASIK eye surgery we also suggest having a discussion with the actual surgeon who will be performing the surgery. In our practice, Dr. Sullivan will be able to help you determine how successful the surgery could be. Expectations for LASIK surgery will be vital to your happiness so make sure you participate in your discussion with Dr. Sullivan. Dr. Sullivan personally performs the pre-operative and post-operative exams.
LASIK Candidacy Requirements
- The patient must be over the age of 18
- The patient must have necessary amount of corneal thickness
- The patient must have had a stable glasses or contact lens prescription
- The patient’s prescription must be within the treatable parameters
- The patient must discuss expectations with the staff or surgeon
- The patient must not have an extreme case of dry eye syndrome. For more information regarding dry eye syndrome CLICK HERE
- The patient must have had a consultation regarding the benefits and possible risks of the surgery
LASIK, formally known as (Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a refractive surgery procedure designed to reshape the cornea or outer surface of the eye. By reshaping the cornea LASIK surgeons can actually correct the refractive error of a patient. The common refractive errors that LASIK can treat effectively include myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. LASIK eye surgery first involves creating a thin corneal flap with a laser. Once the flap has been created it is carefully laid back and the inner part of the cornea is prepared for Excimer laser treatment. The Excimer laser is then utilized and applied to the cornea removing the calculated amount of corneal tissue. The amount of corneal tissue removed is directly related to your specific visual needs. After the laser has been applied the thin flap is then repositioned in its normal position and several drops are administered.
As patients begin to sit up from the surgical chair they typically notice immediate visual improvement. At first vision appears cloudy due to the drops administered but over the next day you will typically notice drastic improvements in your overall visual outcome. The LASIK eye surgery procedure lasts no more than 10 minutes. Because LASIK treats the inner part of the cornea, the healing process occurs more rapidly. Patients typically resume normal activities within a few days. No stitches are required; however, protective goggles can be used at night to prevent the rubbing or bumping of your eyes. The first 72 hours after the procedure are critical to this healing process. Patients are asked to return home, get plenty of rest on the first night and use the eye drops to aid in the healing process.
After your LASIK eye surgery you will need to have your eyes examined on a regular basis. The first of these visits are on the first day post-op and at one month. Dr. Sullivan may adjust this schedule based on a patient’s individual needs. Dr Sullivan will examine your vision and check the healing process and bonding of the corneal flap made in surgery. Some LASIK centers may have hidden fees regarding post-operative care. Please make sure to ask about the cost of continued post-operative care. If you feel you have been improperly informed by a LASIK center with false advertising or hidden fees please let our trade associations know about the matter or contact the Eye Surgery Education Council or ASCRS (American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery).
The Cost of LASIK Eye Surgery
Compared to wearing glasses and contact lenses for over 5-10 years LASIK can be a great value. The initial costs can often be burdensome to our patients. Because we are dedicated to providing excellent affordable vision financing arrangements are available. Our LASIK coordinator will be happy to discuss these financing options and what this will cost on a monthly basis. Enrollment is often very easy.
We have a variety of payment options designed to make this decision more of a reality for all of our prospective patients.
1) CareCredit – LASIK eye surgery financing
Care Credit has very easy to use healthcare financing. You can contact care credit with one of our LASIK coordinators or you can call them directly at 800.859.9975.
2) Capitol One Healthcare Finance
- No Down Payment
- No Prepayment Penalty
- Low Fixed Rates
Credit Cards Accepted
- American Express