LASIK Eye Surgery
Laser Vision Correction
Used to correct refractive errors, LASIK eye surgery is a treatment that reshapes the cornea in order to produce clear vision. The LASIK refractive eye surgery procedure can treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism, and reduce patients’ dependency on contact lenses and corrective lenses. Because refractive errors impede the focusing ability of the eye, patients who suffer from these conditions experience blurred vision. LASIK eye surgery provides these individuals with an effective treatment option.
“The procedure took about six minutes, and as soon as it was done, I was able to tell the time on the wall clock!”
To determine whether or not a patient is a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery, the ophthalmologist will conduct a pre-LASIK eye examination. Once completed, patients should follow certain guidelines in the days and weeks preceding LASIK vision correction.
The traditional LASIK vision correction procedure is quick and effective, and is a proven treatment. It begins with the creation of a hinged corneal flap; for the patient’s comfort, the eyes will first be anesthetized with topical eye drops. The flap can be created with either a surgical blade known as a microkeratome or with an IntraLase® laser, which affords greater precision and involves less chance for complications. The cornea is then reshaped using an excimer laser so that light can be properly focused onto the retina. Once the corneal tissue has been reshaped, the corneal flap will be closed and left to heal on its own.
After the LASIK eye surgery procedure is complete, many patients experience immediate improved vision, although it can take up to six months for vision to stabilize. Patients can expect a short LASIK surgery recovery period but there is usually little to no discomfort following the procedure. Follow-up exams ensure proper healing.
The LASIK procedure is designed around each patient’s individual needs. To ensure the best results possible, doctors employ advanced imaging and laser vision correction technology during the LASIK procedure, and in many cases, custom LASIK procedures can be tailored around a patient’s needs should it be necessary to deliver improved vision.
Are you a LASIK candidate? A good candidate for LASIK eye surgery must meet several general pre-requisites:
- LASIK patients should be at least 18 years old
- Demonstrate no change in refraction for at least one year
- Have realistic expectations regarding the results of LASIK eye surgery
- Patients who have experienced an eye infection or injury in the past year should not undergo LASIK
- Some conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma, cannot be treated through laser vision correction
If you are interested in LASIK, an eye surgeon or ophthalmologist can determine if you are a candidate for the procedure. During a comprehensive eye exam, your ophthalmologist will check your eyes and review your medical history. For more LASIK eye surgery information, use DocShop’s online directory to find an experienced ophthalmologist in your area.
Most patients are extremely pleased with their LASIK results. LASIK eye surgery benefits include improved visual activity, freedom from corrective eyewear, and possibly new career opportunities. Patients who achieve a successful LASIK outcome can eliminate their need for glasses or contact lenses, and enjoy the freedom of clear vision at all times. Patients can play sports, swim, spend a day at the beach, and participate in various activities without the restrictions that glasses and contacts bring. LASIK eye surgery is a safe and effective treatment that has continued to gain popularity among patients.
A small number of patients - one to five percent - experience LASIK eye surgery complications. LASIK risks include sensitivity to light, haloed or glared vision, irregular astigmatism, dry eyes, loss of visual clarity, and sensitivity. Fortunately, advances in LASIK technology have dramatically reduced complications and many problems can be easily corrected with additional treatment.
LASIK eye surgery has become the most popular vision surgery in the country. More than one million Americans undergo LASIK each year. LASIK surgery statistics gathered by the FDA indicate that complications occur in just 1 to 5 percent of patients. In most cases, LASIK treatment provides patients with exceptional results, with many patients experiencing 20/20 vision or better following LASIK eye surgery. When comparing LASIK to other eye care treatments, the advantages become evident.
The cost of LASIK eye surgery continues to drop as the surgery is further refined, more patients are seeking treatment, and technology continues to advance. LASIK cost can vary based on the patient's degree of refractive error and the area of the country the procedure is performed. On average, LASIK surgery can cost in the neighborhood of $1,000 - $2,000 per eye. What many patients don't know, however, is that there are numerous LASIK financing options available that can help decrease or disperse the fee.
Choosing a LASIK Surgeon
Selecting a qualified LASIK surgeon is perhaps the most important step to ensuring positive results. When choosing a LASIK eye surgeon, your decision should not be based solely on the cost of surgery or office location. Selecting an experienced, reputable, and qualified physician is an important factor in your outcome. Patients should choose their LASIK eye surgeon based on thorough research and individual concerns.
The LASIK eye surgery information provided through DocShop is intended to offer prospective patients an overview of laser eye surgery treatment. It is recommended that you contact a qualified LASIK eye surgeon for more details. Find a LASIK surgeon near you using DocShop's online directory.