LASIK Questions You Were Afraid to Ask

There are many websites that provide frequently asked questions and answers about LASIK. In this week’s blog we decided to go a step further and provide some of the tough questions we get from patients considering LASIK. These may be questions you haven’t even thought to ask – so we did the work for you!

Remember that each answer can change depending on the individual surgeons results so be sure to do your due diligence and go directly to the source when choosing a LASIK surgeon. The answers provided are specific to our practice.

Is LASIK surgery safe? What are the risks?

Vision correction surgery such as LASIK and PRK involve little to no pain during the procedure and minimal pain during recovery. The laser is precise and can detect minor eye movements, so there is no risk if your eyes move during surgery. While no medical procedure can be declared 100 percent risk free, developments in technology have greatly reduced the incidence of negative outcomes due to LASIK surgery. Risks can range from undercorrection, overcorrection, halos or glare, to complications like infection or abrasion. Fortunately, most of these can be treated safely. When you come in for your evaluation, we will discuss any possible risks with you in-depth and will develop a custom treatment plan to minimize risks.

What is your enhancement rate?

Enhancements or LASIK touch-ups can happen and the rate varies by patient. This is because each patient (and eye) heals differently and each patient begins with a different prescription prior to having LASIK. People with higher prescriptions have a higher chance of needing an enhancement than those with lower to moderate prescriptions. At Raleigh Eye Center, we have an overall enhancement rate of 3%.

Am I a good candidate for LASIK?

The only way to determine whether LASIK can benefit you is to schedule a preoperative examination, also known as a consultation. During the exam, your eyes will be extensively evaluated in order to rule out any potential problems that may prevent you from safely undergoing surgery. Many patients with conditions which preclude them from LASIK may still qualify for other surgeries like PRK.

Is a lifetime commitment important when choosing a LASIK provider?

A lifetime commitment is often defined as a commitment from the surgeon or LASIK facility to the patient to retreat their eyes if needed at no additional charge. There are typically numerous stipulations that must be met prior to receiving a free enhancement. Some of these include: not missing any post-operative eye appointments – including annual exams, having enough cornea to allow for an enhancement, having enough of a residual prescription to warrant an enhancement as deemed by the surgeon or facility. It is also important to consider whether or not the surgeon or facility will be around when and if an enhancement is needed. What will happen to the lifetime commitment then?

The fact of the matter is that not everyone is going to need or can have an enhancement and if they do, it typically happens within the first two years of surgery. Lifetime commitments often add to the cost of the procedure so it is important to determine what works best for you and provides you with the most peace of mind. As previously stated, we have an average enhancement rate of 3%. At Raleigh Eye Center we offer free enhancements the first two years following surgery. Should an enhancement be needed after this period, we will provide it at a significantly reduced one-time rate.

How long does it take to recover from LASIK surgery?

LASIK is an outpatient procedure that can take 10-20 minutes for both eyes. Patients may have a bit of soreness immediately after surgery, so we recommend 2-4 hours of rest and sleep post-procedure. This allows the eyes to heal, and it can also reduce the discomfort significantly. Most LASIK patients have a quick recovery time. Some have reported vision correction immediately after surgery. PRK patients typically require a longer recovery time – three to four days on average. You may experience lingering difficulty with glare, night driving, or reading in dim light, but most vision issues are corrected within six months of surgery.

Will LASIK give me 20/20 vision? Will it be permanent?

While many patients have reported 20/20 vision after LASIK surgery, the amount of correction you will notice can vary. Most vision problems, such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism, are fully corrected through LASIK surgery. Presbyopia, a natural loss of focus in the eyes lens, begins to develop between ages 40 and 45 regardless of vision surgery, so you may develop a need for reading glasses as time goes by. It is important to understand your vision goals before seriously considering LASIK. Attaining clear vision without the aid of glasses or contacts may be more realistic than perfect 20/20 vision. That said, we will be able to give you an idea of what you can expect your vision to be post-operatively during your consultation.

What happens after the surgery?

Following LASIK, you can experience improved, yet blurry vision the day of the procedure. Your vision will continue to improve each day with the best vision typically experienced one week following the procedure. At Raleigh Eye Center, we will continue to follow you to ensure optimal LASIK results. Since we are not just a LASIK center, we can provide continued vision care for life!

Why should I choose Raleigh Eye Center?

Raleigh Eye Center has been a trusted provider of vision care for over 30 years. We aren’t going anywhere. Providing not only laser vision correction, Raleigh Eye Center’s physicians can care for all your visual needs – for life! In addition, Dr. James Kiley is a local, LASIK surgeon who has performed over seven thousand laser vision correction procedures and has dedicated himself to providing each patient with a positive experience both before LASIK and after.

At Raleigh Eye Center, we understand that your eyes are a lifetime investment. We are committed to your care, and we want to ensure that you travel down the path to better vision as safely and as comfortably as possible. While we cannot guarantee a road that is free of bumps and turns, we promise to make that journey with you together.