What is LASIK?
LASIK is the abbreviated form for Laser Assisted in-situ Keratomileusis, commonly known as laser eye surgery. It is a type of surgery for correcting various vision disorders such as myopia, hypermetropia, astigmatism etc. using laser or microkeratome. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LASIK)
What are the types of LASIK Eye Surgery?
There are mainly 2 types of LASIK surgeries:
- Traditional LASIK is effective for treating lower order eye problems and relies on less detailed measurements of the patient’s eye condition.
- Custom LASIK is used to treat lower as well as higher aberrations such as halos, glares etc and involves wave front technology to create a comprehensive map of the patient’s eye to guide the surgeon.
Who is suitable for LASIK?
You should be more than 18 years of age so that you have had stable refraction status for at least one year prior to the surgery. Moreover, you should not be suffering from any other ailment or under any medication that could affect the surgery. Your cornea should not be too thin, steep or flat for a successful surgery. Pregnancy and lactation are also contraindicated to surgery.
What is a LASIK consultation?
LASIK consultation or evaluation involves a thorough and complete examination of your eyes along with a computerized assessment of your cornea by an experienced ophthalmologist to evaluate whether you are a suitable LASIK candidate or not.
How does laser eye surgery work?
The Flap Creation Method with the Intralase®
During LASIK surgery, the eye surgeon reshapes the affected cornea by creating a protective corneal flap with the Intralase. The flap is then pulled back to expose the inner corneal tissue. The excimer laser ablates or reshapes the corneal layer as per your prescription. The corneal flap is gently repositioned after the desired procedure and is allowed to heal naturally. Protective shields are applied on the eyes to prevent accidental rubbing or injury.
No Flap No Cut Method in Epi – LASIK
The surface skin cells of the corneal is scraped to create a thin layer of epithelium (“skin of cornea”) to expose the cornea tissue. The excimer laser corrects vision by sculpting the front surface of your cornea, removing tissue and reshaping the cornea.
A bandaged contact lens is worn for about 3-4 days to serve as artificial cornea flap while the epithelium regenerates. The epithelium is removed after 3-4 days.
Does laser eye surgery work?
Although there is no guarantee for perfect vision, but an improvement in the vision has been noticed almost immediately after the surgery. And gradually, the patients have been able to drive, read, play sports or watch TV without glasses. Almost 98% of patients have been able to see 20/20 or better after about one year of procedure.
Does Laser Eye Surgery Hurt?
The use of anesthetic eye drops does not let you feel the pain though slight discomfort could be experienced by some.
Is laser Eye Surgery Safe?
Yes, it is perfectly safe with over 10 million surgeries performed worldwide. An experienced surgeon takes usually about 10 minutes on each eye to provide almost immediate improvement. However, proper pre-surgery and post-surgery evaluation and examination may require you to spare a few hours of the day.
Though it is a safe procedure but certain minor LASIK complications like dry eye, itching eyes, increased light sensitivity or fluctuating vision may occur after surgery. Severe complications like optic nerve damage, corneal haze, corneal ulcers etc. are extremely rare and can be successfully treated to avoid any long term implications.
What are the LASIK Side Effects?
Certain potential side effects like blurred vision, irritation eyes, redness eyes, tearing sensation in eyes, problems with night visions etc. may occur but these are just temporary effects and gradually, wean off in a few days or months. Rare side effects like glares, halos, starbursts etc. may take slightly longer time to disappear.
What are the LASIK Eye Surgery Risks?
As all medical procedures involve a certain amount of risk, so does the LASIK surgery. However, the risks regarding complications of this surgery are minimal and can be easily treated, if encountered. In case the patient is apprehensive and not ready to take slightest of chance, the surgery should not be done.
How long does LASIK Eye Surgery Last?
The usual distance vision correction like myopia, hypermetropia or astigmatism is generally, permanent after the LASIK surgery. Once the cornea has been repaired or reshaped, it tends to stay stable permanently. Certain cases of regression within first three months may require an enhancement procedure or a few age related vision changes may be experienced by some in due course of time but that is irrespective of the fact whether you have undergone LASIK surgery or not.
What is a LASIK Enhancement?
LASIK enhancement is a follow-up procedure done after the LASIK surgery in case it fails to bring out the desired results. Though the possibility of such occurrence is very less, a small percentage of people may have blurry vision even after three months of LASIK surgery or if your post-LASIK vision evaluation does not reveal satisfactory improvement or in case of a complication, a LASIK enhancement may be required.
Does insurance cover LASIK?
Majority of health insurances do not cover LASIK surgery as it is an elective procedure and is considered cosmetic and not medically necessary. Certain insurance companies provide partial coverage if certain criteria are met. It is always advisable to consult your personal insurance provider for better information.
How many Post Operation Reviews are required and what is the approximate total Cost?
Mainly, three post-operative reviews are essential that is, next day after surgery, then 2 weeks and finally, 3 months after surgery. And as far as the cost of the surgery is concerned, it varies considerably from region to region. However, on an average, the LASIK surgery costs somewhere around $4000 for both the eyes.
What are the available LASIK financing options?
Many finance companies are offering various finance plans to cover your cost of the LASIK surgery. With easy, monthly payments typically ranging from $120 to $420, these companies make LASIK affordable for you by a quick, simple process.
What is the LASIK Experience like?
LASIK is one of the easiest, safest and most comfortable treatments for your visual disturbances that provide you with the best possible result in the shortest possible time. With minimal or no risk for complications, it is an effective method to have the desired vision for life.