This is the most frequently asked LASIK question. We recommend you come in for a free evaluation with our refractive counselor, Wendy. During your free consultation, she will discuss your particular situation and help determine if you are a good candidate for laser vision correction. At Montgomery LASIK & Eyecare Center, our goal is to determine the vision procedure that is right for you!
PRK was the first Excimer laser procedure approved for use in the United States. With PRK, the surface of the cornea (epithelium) is scraped or ablated along with the corneal tissue underneath. This sculpting removes microscopic layers of the cornea to correct refractive error. In contrast, LASIK reshapes the inner layers of the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. At Montgomery LASIK & Eyecare Center, we use the LDV Femto-second laser, the surgeon creates a thin flap on the surface of the cornea and then proceeds to gently fold back and lift a thin layer of the cornea . The laser then precisely reshapes the inner surface of the cornea to enable light rays to focus more directly on the retina so images are in better focus. LASIK is the most widely used refractive procedure performed in the United States. Because the corneal surface is left virtually intact, most patients report a very high comfort level following the procedure and almost instantaneous improvements in visual acuity.
The procedure itself is not painful since oral and topical anesthetic medication is administered to make you feel comfortable. Post operatively, most patients experience little or no discomfort. After the procedure, your eyes may feel scratchy, gritty, or watery. These are temporary symptoms and are not a problem for most patients. You will be given eye drops to help alleviate any of these symptoms you may experience.
Many patients notice improved vision immediately after the procedure. Most patients are functional without their corrective lenses at the one day post operative exam. Patients continue to see a gradual increase in their visual acuity during the first five to seven days after the procedure.
Most insurance companies consider refractive surgery an elective surgery, therefore it is not usually a covered benefit. However, it is certainly worth checking with your insurance company and we encourage you to call them. If you have vision insurance, you may qualify for a discount through your vision plan.
Because of the advanced technology associated with Laser Vision Correction, both eyes are most often treated at the same time. It is possible that the second eye may be done anywhere from one day to a few days to months after the first eye. This can be discussed with your eye doctor.
Refractive surgery, or Laser Vision Correction, is considered to be a permanent procedure. However, refractive surgery will not prevent any age related conditions such as presbyopia or cataracts, and they would be treated in their normal matter.
Most patients return to their normal activities the day after the procedure. The refractive counselor can give you more details on what you can expect when you come in for an evaluation.
This is one of the most important LASIK questions. The refractive counselor can discuss with you the benefits, risks, and side-effects of the surgery, and what you may be able to expect from the procedure. For additional information about risks associated with refractive surgery, click on this FDA link.