Educating Our Patients LASIK FAQs
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Right now, countless people are living happier lives without having to worry about contacts or glasses. Find out more about LASIK and how it could benefit you.
What is LASIK?
Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis is a surgical procedure in which a laser is used to reshape the cornea. Your Kremer eye surgeon will create a corneal flap, then use a cool excimer laser to reshape the underlying tissue. The flap will then be put back in place, allowing for a quick and relatively painless visual recovery for most patients.
Am I a candidate for LASIK surgery?
If you need glasses or contacts to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you may be a candidate for surgery. Even people who have had cataract surgery or corneal transplants may be candidates for LASIK.
Does LASIK surgery correct only nearsightedness?
Kremer surgeons can correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
What kind of results can I expect?
Typically, you will see an immediate improvement in your eyesight. LASIK’s objective is to produce vision of 20/40 or better without glasses or contacts. Your vision may be somewhat hazy for several days following the surgery. Most patients’ eyes stabilize within 4–6 weeks of the surgery.
Some patients may require a second procedure known as an enhancement. The need for an enhancement may be caused by several factors including high degrees of refractive error or the simple fact that each patient’s corneal cells will absorb the lasers energy slightly differently.
How can I evaluate a LASIK surgeon?
LASIK should be performed only by an ophthalmologist with a specialty in LASIK. You should ask about your surgeon’s medical training, board certification, years of experience, and number of LASIK surgeries performed. You should also verify that your surgeon uses the most advanced technology available, such as IntraLase and WAVEfront Custom LASIK. Learn more about Kremer Eye Center surgeons.
How does the WAVEfront custom LASIK procedure work?
WAVEfront custom LASIK works by passing bursts of light through the eye, measuring minute irregularities in your vision. The end result is a personalized 3D map of your eye as well as the exact pattern needed for vision correction. This map is then used to guide the laser and help reshape your cornea. The best way to determine your candidacy for WAVEfront custom LASIK is to come to one of our centers for a free screening.
What are the benefits of having the WAVEfront custom LASIK surgery?
WAVEfront technology takes LASIK to the next level of visual success by offering greater potential for perfect vision for some patients.
What is IntraLase bladeless LASIK technology?
IntraLase® is the first all-laser technique for making the corneal flap during step one of the LASIK procedure. Instead of using the traditional microkeratome blade, the surgeon uses an IntraLase infrared beam to precisely create a micro-thin flap on the cornea of exact diameter, depth, hinge location, and centration. The focused laser pulses divide tissue at the molecular level without transferring heat or impacting the surrounding area. The result is a highly personalized corneal flap.
The consistent accuracy of IntraLase technology can make LASIK an option for patients who previously were not candidates, such as those with thin corneas or high prescriptions.
Will I be awake during my LASIK surgery?
A mild sedative and anesthetic drops are administered before surgery. You will be fully conscious, yet relaxed, throughout the procedure.
What happens during the recovery period?
Your eyes will be covered with protective shields until the next day. These shields have pinholes that permit sight while protecting against foreign objects entering your eyes. Your eyes may feel scratchy or tear up for about two hours after surgery.
For the first week, you’ll wear flexible shields at night to make sure you don’t accidentally rub your eyes while you sleep. You’ll take eye drops for the first four days after surgery. One prescription is an antibiotic and the other controls inflammation.
Most patients are able to return to normal activities one or two days after LASIK—keep in mind, however, that every patient is different, so your recovery might be a little longer. Try to keep your recovery schedule as flexible as possible.
How soon will my eyes stabilize?
The majority of patients can resume most activities a day or two after the procedure. Your vision will continue to stabilize over the next 3 months and in some cases over a longer period. During this stabilization period, you can usually work, drive, and carry on with most daily activities.
Will I need glasses after the LASIK procedure?
Most people who are older than 40-45 will probably need reading glasses for close work, just as they would if they were wearing glasses or contact lenses. Others may require glasses for some activities such as driving at night. Some patients may still require glasses or contact lenses for regular activities depending on the severity of their pre-LASIK refractive error.
Does LASIK surgery cause night blindness?
Some patients have reported seeing halos around lights at night immediately following surgery. In 99% of patients, the halos either disappear or become small enough that they are not a problem within a few months.
Does LASIK surgery cause dry eyes?
Patients who had borderline or symptomatic dry eyes when wearing contact lenses may find that the condition continues after LASIK surgery. In most cases, dry eye can be treated with artificial tear eye drops or occlusion of the tear drainage ducts. At Kremer Eye Center, we perform pre-operative testing to determine the potential of dry eye after LASIK and proceed appropriately.
What do we know about long-term effects of LASIK?
Our founder, Dr. Frederic Kremer, performed the first LASIK surgery in North America in 1993. His patients have reported lasting improvement in their vision.
Although LASIK is a relatively new procedure, it is actually a refinement of a procedure performed since the 1950′s known as keratomileusis. During keratomileusis, tissue is removed from under the cornea’s surface by mechanical means instead of a laser. Patients who had the original procedure in the 1950s have reported no detrimental long-term effects.
Does insurance cover the procedure?
Some insurance companies cover the procedure, although most do not. Check with your insurance provider to see if they cover LASIK.
Kremer Eye Center offers affordable payment plans that bring the benefits of LASIK within reach of almost anyone. We also offer group benefits programs through companies, unions and associations.
Are there other options for people who are not good candidates for LASIK?
Our goal is to provide you the best vision possible. For this reason, we offer the most options in vision correction surgery in the tri-state area, including Visian ICL (lens implant), PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), epi-LASIK, and many more. Our doctors rigorously screen prospective patients and are appropriately conservative – in other words, if you are not a good candidate for LASIK, we will provide you with alternative treatment options.
What is the difference between LASIK and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)?
Both procedures use a laser to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. In the LASIK procedure, the corneal surface cells are lifted to one side and the laser is applied to the underlying corneal tissue. During the PRK procedure, the corneal surface cells are discarded, so healing takes longer and there is a more gradual improvement in vision. Kremer Eye Center performs both procedures and will recommend the right procedure for each patient.