Lasik Eye Surgery Consultation
Laser Vision Correction is the process of reshaping the cornea to correct:
These conditions affect how well you see by not allowing light to focus properly on your retina, making images blurry.
During the operation a flap is created on the cornea. Then using a laser the cornea is reshaped to allow light entering your pupil to focus correctly on your retina. This is a short procedure that takes approximately 3-5 minutes for each eye. There is little discomfort associated with Laser Vision Correction surgery, and most see results that same day.
What is EPI-Laser Vision Correction?
EPI-LASIK (Epithelial Laser In-Situ Keratomilesusis) is an advanced type of corneal ablation. EPI-Lasik is similar to LASEK in that it is used for patients who have thin corneas and might otherwise not be good candidates for regular Lasik. In EPI-Lasik, no alcohol solution is used. Instead, a specially designed microkeratome instrument, similar to what is used to create the regular Lasik flap, is used to gently separate the epithelium from the underlying Bowman’s Membrane. Once the Epithelium layer has been removed, the laser is then applied and reshapes the cornea to correct your prescription. A bandage contact lens is applied. This lens is to help you with the healing process and your comfort.
After about 3-4 days, the doctor may remove the contact lens. Your vision will probably NOT be perfect immediately. Every patient heals at a different pace. It can take up to 6 months to reach your final result. It is very important to follow your surgeon’s instructions exactly, because the quality of the final vision you achieve is affected by how well your corneas heal.
The first step is setting up your consultation appointment. This is an eye evaluation to determine if you are a suitable candidate for the Laser Vision Correction procedure. If you are a contact lens wearer, you will need to be out of your contact lenses for a period of time prior to this evaluation. After the consultation, assuming you are candidate, you are free to schedule your Laser Vision Correction surgery.
Our staff will describe all options with where your surgery will take place. We will want to see you the day after surgery for a post-op visit. You will also need to be seen for a 4-day, 1-month, and 3-month post op visit.
After your surgery you will be instructed to go home and rest for the remainder of the day. After some rest, you will be able to see much more clearly. Postoperatively you will be using drops and will need to wear UV protective sunglasses for 6-months when outdoors in daylight to prevent regression.
While Laser Vision Correction is designed to lessen one’s dependency on corrective eyewear, it does not eliminate the need for them altogether. Items like reading glasses for presbyopia (a natural condition all patients experience in their 40s) or sunglasses will be needed following Laser Vision Correction. Make sure you discuss this and your expectations with your doctor at your consultation before deciding to have Laser Vision Correction surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is laser vision correction?
Laser vision correction is a precise method of gently reshaping the cornea. This procedure has been preformed on millions of people around the world.
What are the most advanced laser vision correction procedures called?
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) and Lasik (Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis)
Am I a candidate?
This requires a comprehensive eye examination by our doctors to know, for certain, if you are a candidate. The best candidates are between 18 and 62 years old and are tired of glasses or contacts for distance vision. Your eyes must be otherwise healthy and you should be in good general health. To find out whether you are a candidate for Laser Vision Correction, call us to set up a consultation appointment.
If you are a contact lens wearer, you will need to be out of your contact lenses for a period of time prior to this evaluation.
*Soft Contact Lenses – (These are removed daily) – 2 weeks minimum
*Toric Contact Lenses – (These correct your astigmatism) – 4 weeks minimum
*Soft Extended Wear Contacts – (These are left in while sleeping) – 4 weeks minimum
*Gas Permeable/Hard Contacts – 4 weeks minimum – A good rule of thumb is one month per decade of wear.
After the consultation, assuming you are candidate, you are free to schedule your Laser Vision Correction surgery.
Is it safe?
There have been more than two million laser vision corrections done worldwide. After nearly a decade of research, complications seriously affecting vision are reported at a rate less than one percent. The FDA studied Lasik (Laser Vision Correction & PRK) for more than 8 years before final approval here in the United States. Each person heals and responds differently. This is why it is so important to choose an experienced Laser Vision Correction doctor, one that has a proven track record with a low complication rate.
Is the effect of Laser Vision Correction permanent?
Yes, the effects of Laser Vision Correction appear to be permanent. This does not mean, however, that your eyes will never change again. Changes in the internal structures of the eye may present the need for glasses again to see your best later in life.
What is the cost of Laser Vision Correction surgery?
The price of conventional Laser Vision Correction varies depending on where your surgery is performed. We work with numerous qualified surgeons throughout the metro area and western Minnesota that offer competitive pricing.
What if I wear bifocals?
While Laser Vision Correction does not deter the natural aging process of the eye (which causes presbyopia), a procedure called monovision can be performed.
Monovision is a method of distance vision correction to compensate for presbyopia. In monovision, the distance vision of the dominant eye is corrected as normal, while the distance vision of the non-dominant eye is slightly under-corrected in order to assist near vision for tasks such as reading. For those requiring the best distance and/or unaided night vision possible, monovision is less desirable.
As a guideline, patients from their late 30’s to 50 years old should strongly consider slight monovision, while patients over 50 years old should strongly consider full monovision.
Will my insurance cover Laser Vision Correction?
In most instances, insurance companies consider Laser Vision Correction “elective,” and do not cover the procedure. You should check with your benefits provider to see if they cover Laser Vision Correction, or allow Laser Vision Correction to be paid for with pre-tax income under a flexible benefits plan.
Can I have both eyes treated on the same day?
Most patients do elect to have both eyes treated on the same day. The advantages include convenience, less total time away from work and balance in vision. Consult with your physician before you decide.
Does the procedure hurt?
Laser vision correction procedures are usually painless. The use of topical anesthesia eye drops numbs the eye. Occasionally, some patients experience slight discomfort a few hours after the procedure. Post-operative discomfort may include slight stinging, excessive tearing and a foreign body sensation. Typically, over-the-counter pain relievers ease this discomfort. A post-operative nap is also recommended to ease discomfort.
What if I accidentally blink during the procedure?
It is not possible for patients to blink during a procedure. An instrument is used to gently hold the eyelids open. Because eye drops have already numbed the eye, the reflex that gives patients the desire to blink is lost, so keeping the eye open is painless.
What are the side effects of Laser Vision Correction?
For a few weeks, until the eye completely heals, most patients may experience increased glare and halos around bright lights. Patients may also experience some blurriness within the first days after the procedure. Since laser vision correction was first performed in the late eighties, there have been no proven long-term negative effects on the eye’s strength.
How long does the whole Laser Vision Correction procedure take?
The laser operates, on average, less than a minute per eye. Time in the laser room is usually less than 15 minutes and total time at your surgeon’s clinic is generally about two hours.
How long will it take for me to achieve stable vision?
Each patient’s healing response is different. While most patients will achieve stable vision overnight, others may take a few days or, in rare cases, a few weeks. However, most patients report that they return to their normal activity schedule within a day or two.
How soon can I resume normal activities?
Most patients are able to drive and resume normal activities on the next day after surgery. Patients should not wear eye makeup, swim, get water in their eyes, or expose themselves to dusty or dirty environments for at least a week after surgery. In addition, patients should not rub their eyes for at least a month after surgery.