Many patients notice a dramatic improvement in their vision within the first 24 hours after the surgery was performed. The majority of LASIK patients are able to pass a drivers' test and perform most of their daily activities without the need for their glasses or contacts.
The LASIK is an outpatient procedure taking approximately 15 minutes per eye and is usually performed in the doctors' surgical suite. Patients may return to their normal activities within a couple days.
How does LASIK work?
The microkeratome incorporates an instrument that lifts a very thin amount of the cornea, called a corneal flap. Once the flap has been lifted, the area of the inner cornea is treated with a "cool beam" light from the excimer laser.
The excimer's ultraviolet light treats thin layers of tissue from the cornea. The corneal flap is placed back where it adheres within seconds and requires no stitches.
As a result, your cornea (instead of your glasses or contacts) will focus light rays correctly on your retina. Improving the focusing power of the cornea will decrease your eye's dependence on glasses or contacts.
To find out if LASIK surgery is right for you, call Dr. Scott P. Feldman, O.D. to schedule an appointment at 408-294-1842.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is LASIK?
During LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis), an instrument called a microkeratome is used to gently lift and fold back a thin flap of tissue across the outer layer of the eye to expose the cornea. The eximer laser is then used to reshape the cornea. This laser is extremely accurate and can remove a quarter of a micron of tissue at a time. (A human hair is approximately 50 microns thick.) After the laser is used, the flap is folded back into position and reseals itself; no sutures are needed. The procedure itself takes about 20 minutes.
Is laser vision correction covered by insurance?
Most insurance companies consider laser vision correction elective in nature and do not cover the procedure, but we recommend you check with your individual insurance company. However, there are some discount programs available that we participate with. In comparison, consider the repeat costs of purchasing new eyeglass frames and lenses and disposable contacts year after year! Our practice accepts cash, Discover, MasterCard, Visa and have attractive financing plans available.
Am I eligible for laser vision correction?
This depends on your age, your prescription and the general health of your eyes. Your prescription must have been stable for the past 12 months. We suggest you be 21 years of age or older. Although most laser vision correction patients are under 60, even seniors may be eligible.
Do I need an examination first?
Prior to treatment, you will have a laser vision consultation and a thorough eye exam. A detailed computer image is taken of your eye that will detail the curvature, shape, overall smoothness and regularity of the cornea.
Does the surgery hurt?
No, the actual procedure does not hurt. Anesthetic drops are administered before the surgery begins. Some patients may experience discomfort during the first 12 to 36 hours after the procedure. Some patients describe the feeling as a lash in the eye or something under a contact lens. Medications are available if you are concerned about this possibility. An oral sedative is given 30 minutes prior to the procedure to help you relax.
Are there any restrictions after the procedure?
The first four hours after surgery we encourage you to keep both eyes closed as much as possible. Swimming, hot tubs, sauna or Jacuzzi are prohibited for two weeks. No makeup for 48 hours or eye makeup for 4 days. When your vision clears, you may drive and you may return to work in one or two days.
What are the side effects?
As with any treatment or surgery there are risks, even though they are rare. Pain is uncommon. You may experience halos, glare, light sensitivity, blurred vision, double vision, difficulty with night vision and/or a foreign body sensation. Other risks include infection, over responding, under responding, irregular astigmatism, epithelial ingrowth, corneal abrasion, reduction of best corrected vision, dry eyes or induced astigmatism.
Does laser vision correction really work?
Yes. Laser vision correction is being done all around the world. Over 90% of people who have had one of these procedures obtain normal vision, and many others are happy to lessen their dependence on glasses and contact lenses.
What is an enhancement?
An enhancement is a repeat of the surgical procedure, which is occasionally done when the eye has under-responded. The necessity for an enhancement procedure is determined when the patient's post-operative vision has stabilized. The length of time necessary for vision to stabilize depends upon the procedure and the patient's individual healing time.
Will laser vision correction prohibit me from having future eye surgery?
Refractive surgery will not interfere with any future eye surgery you may need, such as cataract or glaucoma surgery.
What do I do next?
Your next step is to learn about your laser vision correction needs. You can provide us with your prescription (even over the phone) and we can let you know if you are a candidate for one of our refractive surgery procedures. If you are a good candidate then we would be happy to schedule a full evaluation with one of our doctors to better assess your visual needs. We are committed to helping you make the informed decision. Please call us at 408-294-1842.
With the LADARVision tracking system's patented flying small-spot ablation patterns and the Gaussian beam, corneal shaping can be done in gradual and precise increments. While other laser systems may need to be upgraded or even replaced to accommodate future developments, LADARVision already has the technology necessary for customized ablations. In addition, LADARVision is approved for LASIK treatment of myopia (nearsightedness), myopia with astigmatism (blurred vision), hyperopia (farsightedness), hyperopia with astigmatism and mixed astigmatism.