How do I know if I'm a candidate for Laser Vision Correction?

This is the most asked LASIK question. We recommend you come in for a free evaluation with our refractive counselor. When you bring your glasses or prescription, we'll determine which refractive procedure will offer you the greatest benefit.

What is the difference between RK and LASIK Laser Vision Correction?

RK and LASIK Laser Vision Correction are procedures to correct refractive error by reshaping the cornea to allow light rays to properly focus on the retina. RK requires the use of a diamond blade to create radial incisions on the surface of the cornea. With LASIK, our surgeons reshape the cornea using cool waves of ultraviolet light that gently sculpt away nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism with microscopic precision using the VISX Star Excimer Laser.

What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?

PRK was the first Excimer laser procedure approved for use in the United States. With PRK, the surface of the cornea (epithelium) is scraped or ablated along with the corneal tissue underneath. This sculpting removes microscopic layers of the cornea to correct refractive error. In contrast, LASIK reshapes the inner layers of the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. A special instrument called the microkeratome gently folds back and lifts a thin layer of the cornea . The laser then precisely reshapes the inner surface of the cornea to enable light rays to focus more directly on the retina so images are in better focus. LASIK is the most widely used refractive procedure performed in the United States. Because the corneal surface is left virtually intact, most patients report a very high comfort level following the procedure and almost instantaneous improvements in visual acuity.

Are all patients who wear glasses and contacts candidates for LASIK?

Patients with virtually every degree of nearsightedness are enjoying good outcomes with LASIK. We are able to treat mild to moderate degrees of farsightedness and astigmatism. For more extreme farsightedness, implantable contact lenses may be an option. Our counselor will be happy to discuss this procedure with you during your evaluation.

What kind of laser do you use?

Investing in the most advanced technology is part of Eye Medical Centers' commitment to provide our patients with the highest level of patient care. That's why we purchased the new VISX STAR S4 ActiveTrak Excimer Laser System that incorporates an active eye tracking system, in addition to many other benefits.

How long will the procedure actually take?

You will be at Eye Medical Center for approximately two hours. The time in the surgery suite with the doctor is 15 to 20 minutes. The actual laser treatment time is approximately one minute per eye.

Is the laser painful?

The procedure itself is not painful since medication is administered to make you feel comfortable. Post operatively, most patients experience little or no discomfort. After the procedure, your eyes may feel scratchy, gritty, or watery. These are temporary symptoms and are not a problem for most patients.

What kind of vision can I expect the day after surgery?

Many patients notice improved vision immediately after the procedure. Most patients are functional without their corrective lenses at the one day post operative exam. Patients continue to see a gradual increase in their visual acuity during the first five to seven days after the procedure.

Do you have financing plans?

There are various financing plans available and we'll work with you to develop a flexible payment plan to meet your requirements. Our counselors will be happy to go over the details with you when you come in for your evaluation.

Does insurance cover refractive surgery?

Most insurance companies consider refractive surgery an elective surgery and it is not usually a covered benefit. However, it is certainly worth checking with your insurance company and we encourage you to call them.

Can both eyes be done at the same time?

Because of the advanced technology associated with Laser Vision Correction, both eyes are most often treated at the same time. It is possible that the second eye may be done anywhere from one day to a few days to months after the first eye. This can be discussed with your eye doctor.

Do the results last?

Refractive surgery, or Laser Vision Correction, is considered to be a permanent procedure. However, refractive surgery will not prevent any age related conditions such as presbyopia or cataracts, and they would be treated in their normal matter.

How much work will I miss?

Most patients return to their normal activities the day after the procedure. The refractive counselor can give you more details on what you can expect when you come in for an evaluation.

What are the risks of refractive surgery?

One of the most important LASIK questions. Again, the counselor can discuss with you the benefits, risks, and side-effects of the surgery, and what you may be able to expect from the procedure. However, steps are taken to reduce the possibility of risks.