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What is LASIK surgery?

A LASIK surgery procedure is designed to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contacts. An excimer laser gently reshapes the cornea with computer-controlled precision to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. To be considered a candidate, you must be at least 18 years old, have healthy eyes and a stable eye prescription for the last twelve months.

Is LASIK a safe procedure?

Since being FDA approved in 1995, laser vision correction surgery complications are very rare today. Although LASIK surgeons can provide you with the potential outcome of your surgery, no surgeon can guarantee a specific visual acuity. In making the decision to undergo LASIK surgery, be sure to have a list of questions to ask about the procedure. Those with certain medical conditions and women who are pregnant or nursing (within the last 3 months) may not be potential candidates.

Is the LASIK procedure painful?

Many patients are surprised to not feel any pain with their LASIK surgery. Prior to surgery you may be given a mild sedative to help you relax. Anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye before LASIK eye surgery begins and during the laser correction you may feel a light pressure sensation. After your procedure, your eye may feel a bit irritated for a few hours and most patients are quite comfortable after taking a short nap. You will be prescribed drops for your eyes to provide comfort and healing in the days following your surgery.

How soon after LASIK surgery can I resume normal activities?

There are minimal restrictions in the first weeks following LASIK. Many patients are able to resume normal activities the following day. Vision results from LASIK can vary, but most patients are able to see clearly 24-48 hours after surgery. Further vision improvement may continue over several months. Your doctor will recommend avoiding certain activities, like swimming or contact sports for several weeks.

How does PRK compare to LASIK?

PRK and LASIK surgery have comparable results and your doctor can discuss which is most appropriate for your condition during your evaluation. A major difference is LASIK surgery creates a hinged flap on the cornea. LASIK patients report minimal irritation and their vision stabilizes more quickly than PRK. PRK involves treating the surface of the cornea. PRK recovery takes a few days with hazy vision and some discomfort. It is often recommended when the patient’s cornea is too thin for LASIK.

How long will vision correction last?

Your distance vision is fairly permanent following laser vision correction. The goal of laser vision correction is to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses and contact lenses. The need for reading glasses is a normal age related change and laser vision correction does not change this.

What will happen during my LASIK evaluation?

Plan to be at doctor’s office for approximately 1-2 hours for the exam and special testing used to measure and evaluate your eyes. If you wear contact lenses prior to your scheduled evaluation, you may be asked to refrain from wearing contact lenses for a specified period of time. Your eyes may be dilated in preparation of a detailed eye exam that will evaluate refractive error, pupil size and corneal evaluations. There will be a thorough discussion of LASIK eye surgery and whether you may be a potential candidate.

What are the side effects and risks with LASIK or PRK surgery?

Temporary side effects following laser vision correction can include dryness of eyes, sensitivity to light or halos at night. Glares or halos at night usually resolve within a few weeks. Night vision disturbances associated with imperfections in the eye prior to LASIK are now able to be reduced with the Custom Wavefront technology. During the healing process, dry eyes can be treated by using artificial tears. As with other elective procedures, individual results may vary.

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