A lot of people see LASIK refractive surgery as a cosmetic procedure. However, it is a surgery and it does a permanent change to the shape of your cornea (front, clear part of your eye).
If you are considering LASIK you may have a number of questions that you want to ask your eye doctor. This is a list of most commonly frequently asked questions here for you!
Is it safe? LASIK is proven to be very safe and effective. Many safeguards are in place to reduce the risk of error. Multiple tests are done before LASIK to make sure that the eye is healthy and the procedure will be safe. With the advanced diagnostic technology in ophthalmology, the risk of minor complication such as dry eyes and nighttime glare is around 3 percent to 5 percent, while the risk of serious incidents such as lost vision is thought to be less than 1 percent. There are no known cases of blindness from LASIK or PRK.
Does laser vision correction hurt? The procedure itself is not painful. Your surgeon will place an anesthetic eye drops in your eye first. Your eye will be held open by a special instrument to prevent you from blinking. That is not painful, but may be uncomfortable just because we don’t want anyone to pull our eyelids open. Afterward, you may fee mild discomfort for a day or so after surgery. Most of our patient do not complain of any pain next day after the procedure.
How long does LASIK take? The laser treatment itself usually takes less than a minute. It actually depends on your pre-op refraction and on the level of astigmatism, if present. If we take into consideration the time to position the patient, make sure that everything is correct and the laser is well programmed, removing the flap and cleaning up the surface of the eye, we can say that, the entire procedure takes approximately 15 minutes for both eyes.
When may I resume driving? You may begin driving as soon as you see well enough, excluding the day of surgery.
When can I wear make up? You may resume wearing makeup about one week after your surgery.
How many checkups will I need after LASIK? Normally, after LASIK you will need to return for a check up the next day, then one week or one month later and then three months later.
What if time passes and my vision is getting worse? A small number of patients see well after surgery then experience regression, a gradual worsening of vision. If this happens, consult with your eye care practitioner to determine the cause and to see if re treatment is appropriate. Ask your doctor if enhancement is included in your package and for how long after the procedure itself?
What if I blink or move during the procedure? This is a concern for a lot of patient, however, we make sure that this is not a problem. Your eye will be held open with a holder supporting your lid so that you can’t blink. During your pre-op examination, the special advanced machine that does a scan to make sure your cornea is of a regular shape, takes a pictures of your pupil and iris (colored part of the eye). These pictures go directly to the laser machine to program the laser. While you are on the laser bed in the operating room, the software recognizes your iris and “freezes” the laser around your pupil. In case of minor eye movements, the laser is able to follows the eye. That is called “eye tracking system”. In addition to that, in case of more major movement the laser aborts and will resume as soon as the eye is centered again.
I’ve heard that the laser causes night vision problems…is this true? Again, this is a potential complication that could occur after LASIK. However, it is a rare one thanks to the thorough pre-op assessment with the help on nowadays advanced equipment. The key to reduce this complication is to choose the adequate diameter of the treatment approximate to your pupil size under dim light. We measure the size of the pupil to the centimeter precisely by a computer generated software.
Can I wear my contacts before my surgery? Contact lenses can alter the shape of your cornea, that is why you will be asked to remove your contacts prior to your pre-operative exam. If you wear soft lenses, they should be removed a minimum of 4 days before your exam. Same before your LASIK procedure, you need to take off your contacts 4 days before LASIK for better results.
These are just come commonly asked questions that we get asked on a daily basis. Post in the comments below if you have any other questions related to Lasik eye correction and we will answer them for you!