Common Questions About LASIK
Does LASIK hurt?
Prior to surgery, Valium is given to relax you. Numbing eye drops are placed into your eyes to block the feeling of pain. Most patients will note a pressure sensation during the first step of the process. Medicated eye drops and preservative-free tears and ointments will help soothe any discomfort you experience as your eyes heal.
How long does LASIK take?
The full LASIK procedure takes 5-7 minutes/eye, from the time you enter the LASIK suite until you are escorted into the recovery area. However, the laser treatment where we reshape your cornea takes less than a minute! Some patients can even see more clearly immediately after the procedure.
What are the risks of LASIK?
Although LASIK has a less than 1% serious complication rate among experienced LASIK doctors, it is still a surgical procedure and therefore carries some element of risk. Complications of LASIK can include:
- Starbursts, glare, or haloes in low light environments
- Dry eyes
- Overcorrection or undercorrection
- Corneal flap complications
- Blurred vision
The U.S. military has approved laser eye surgery for our troops, so this lends further credibility to the safety and effectiveness of LASIK.
Several studies have shown that having LASIK surgery may actually be safer than wearing contact lenses. In fact, one study concluded that daily contact lens wearers have about a 1 in 100 chance of developing a serious lens-related eye infection over 30 years of use, and a one in 2,000 chance of suffering significant vision loss as a result.* In the United States, there are an estimated 1 million doctors visits every year for eye infections (keratitis) due to improper contact lens care such:
- Sleeping in contacts
- Reusing contact lens solution
- Swimming in contacts
- Using dirty hands when applying/removing lenses
- Using tap water, chlorinated water, or saliva to clean lenses
- Failing to replace contacts regularly
Eye infections can ultimately lead to serious, long-term vision damage, and even vision loss. Unless you are very diligent about the care of your contact lenses, you may have an increased risk of complications from wearing contacts.
* Source: Mathers, W.D. Archives of Ophthalmology, October 2006; vol 124: pp 1510-1511. William Mathers, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Oregon Health & Science University Casey Eye Institute, Portland, OR. https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/news/20061010/lasik-surgery-safer-than-contacts#1
How long will I need to be off work?
You will need to be off work for 2 days off work for LASIK: one day for the procedure and one day to rest afterward. People are usually amazed to learn how quick LASIK recovery is. In fact, the healing process begins immediately after surgery. Most patients can return to normal, non-strenuous activities the very next day, although there may be some vision fluctuations as your eyes continue to heal and your vision stabilizes. It is important to keep your follow-up visits so Dr. Patel can monitor your progress.
Will I ever need glasses after LASIK?
While most patients can achieve 20/20 vision or better after LASIK with Dr. Patel, it is important to realize that your vision is constantly changing. One eye condition that most people develop after age 40 is presbyopia. This is a gradual stiffening of the eye lenses that makes it difficult to focus on things up close like reading material. Over-the-counter reading glasses may be necessary, even if you have had successful LASIK. There are also different surgical methods to correct presbyopia. If you are experiencing this condition and are frustrated with reading glasses, contact us to learn about your treatment options.
What are the requirements for LASIK?
There are several conditions that must be met to be considered for LASIK:
- 18 years or older
- Stable vision prescription for at least one year
- Free of eye disease or other interfering vision conditions
- Proper corneal thickness
- Good overall health
- Realistic expectations
- Full understanding of the potential risks
The only way to know if you meet these requirements is by having a comprehensive LASIK consultation with us. It’s free and will let you know if vision correction surgery is a safe option for you.
Will the cost of LASIK go down?
It is not likely that the cost of LASIK will go down in the future. In fact, as technology changes, the costs may actually rise over time. While the price of LASIK is a definite concern for many people, you don’t want to shop for the lowest price if it means sacrificing quality. When you are researching LASIK centers, be sure to weigh the cost against:
- The surgeon’s training, experience, and results
- The type of technology being used
- Whether or not the low advertised price will apply to your vision prescription
- Additional hidden fees that will apply
- Inclusion or exclusion of follow-up care with your surgeon vs. another doctor
You only have one set of eyes, so make sure you put your vision care into a doctor and center you trust – Dr. Reena Patel at Wichita Vision Institute.
Can I have LASIK on both eyes at the same time?
Yes. This is called a bilateral LASIK procedure. You can choose to have the surgery on both eyes or just one eye at a time.
When can I wear makeup after LASIK?
Patients should wait 1 week after LASIK surgery before wearing eye makeup again.
If you have more questions about LASIK, contact us to schedule a free LASIK consultation.