LASIK eye surgery, or laser in situ keratomileusis, is a popular procedure used to correct vision problems such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. But there are important questions to ask before LASIK both to yourself as well as your LASIK surgeon before you have this procedure done.
Questions To Ask Before LASIK To Yourself
Millions of people have undergone this surgery to reduce their dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Lasik, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is a popular refractive eye surgery used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It works changing the shape of your eye. It specifically alters the shape of your cornea to achieve better vision. The cornea is the clear front part of the eye, which helps to focus light on the retina more accurately.
However, before deciding to go through with LASIK, it’s essential to gather information and ask the right questions to ensure you are making an informed decision about your vision care.
What Is Your Personal Expectation From Having LASIK?
Before undergoing Lasik surgery, the first step is to understand the procedure and have realistic expectations. One common misconception is that Lasik can permanently fix all vision issues, but patients should be aware that they could still develop presbyopia, which requires reading glasses as they age.
In addition, even if you are years away from presbyopia (usually happens around age 40), there is a possibility that your LASIK may need a touch up after a couple years. For some patients, the change may be so minor that they don’t need anything additional to have clear vision. But, for some patients, the change may be noticeable enough to need a touch up.
Are You Able To Lay Flat And Stay Still?
Laser vision correction surgery is usually done as an outpatient. Patients are usually awake for this medical procedure. It requires patients to stay very still so that the surgeon can properly do their job.
If you are someone who is very nervous and you can’t stay still during the surgery, you may not be a great candidate. In some cases, your eye surgeon may be able to prescribe you some oral medicine to help you relax before the procedure.
The good news is that the surgery is very quick. Oftentimes, both eyes can be done in under 25 minutes. Hopefully, for most people who are motivated to have this life-changing procedure, they will be able to stay still for at least that long.
Do You Have Dry Eye
In some patients, LASIK laser eye surgery can cause dry eye or make existing dry eye worse. If your dry eye is already something that significantly bothers you, the best choice is to talk to your ophthalmic surgeon. Your eye surgeon can recommend alternative refractive surgeries that may be less drying than LASIK.
Do You Have Time For Surgical Preparation & Post Operative Treatment Plan
Before surgery you will likely need to be out of your contact lenses for a couple weeks. If you are hoping to attend an event and wear your contact lenses for it, you may want to consider a different time to have the surgery done.
Postoperative care is important for LASIK surgeries as well. You will be given specific instructions and may be prescribed eye drops to help with healing and prevent infection. Regular follow-up appointments are necessary to monitor the healing process and ensure the best possible outcome.
Questions To Ask Before LASIK To Your LASIK Surgeon
In addition to asking yourself the right questions before LASIK, you will also want to ask the surgeon questions as well. During your LASIK consultation, you will want to ask the eye doctor certain questions to ensure that you can make an informed decision before having the procedure done. Here are some of the key questions to ask before having this surgical procedure.
Before deciding on LASIK, it’s essential to evaluate your overall eye health. Some pre-existing conditions can hinder the surgery’s success or even increase the chances of complications. If you do have any of the health conditions that would make LASIK risky your eye doctor will let you know that you are not a good candidate for the surgery. However, it is also important to ask the surgeon about any other eye health issues they see on their exam that could make the surgery more risky.
Am I A Good Candidate For LASIK?
During the pre-operative consultation, your surgeon will assess your overall eye health, determine your prescription, and examine the thickness of your cornea. The thickness of the cornea is critical because a minimum amount of corneal tissue must remain after the procedure to ensure proper healing and reduce the risk of complications.
Take a look at the years of experience your surgeon has. It is also wise to get at least two options from a different LASIK doctor to ensure that the opinions align. If one surgeon is telling you that you are a good candidate, but another doctor is telling you that you are not, this is not a good sign. You want the opinions to be complementary to each other.
Will My Dry Eye Get Worse? Are There Alternatives To LASIK?
Lasik patients may suffer from dry eye after having this procedure. Dry eye after refractive surgery is not uncommon. If you already experience dry eye, it is a good idea to ask your eye surgeon what impact laser vision correction may have on your pre-existing eye conditions. You can also ask about LASIK alternatives that may be better suited for your eye specifically.
What Is The Healing Process After LASIK?
After LASIK surgery, it’s essential for patients to have a clear understanding of the healing process. The initial healing period typically lasts for a few days to a week. You will have to make time for follow-up visits and the most important thing is following the instructions of your surgeon.
During this time, patients may experience mild discomfort, dry eyes, and sensitivity to light. It’s crucial to follow the surgeon’s postoperative care instructions, which may include using eye drops, wearing protective eyewear, and avoiding activities that can strain the eyes, such as swimming or contact sports. Over several weeks, visual acuity should gradually improve until it stabilizes.
When contemplating LASIK, take into account your lifestyle and career. Some professions have specific regulations regarding refractive eye surgeries, and undergoing LASIK could impact your eligibility for certain jobs.
Additionally, if your daily activities include extreme physical contact or exposure to water and dust, you might be at a higher risk of complications post-surgery. Because a flap is created during the surgery, it is important to talk to your doctor about resuming any activities that you may do that could be a risk to your eye. An example of this would be someone who is a boxer and has a high risk of trauma to their eye. They may need to refrain from boxing or even consider giving it up after having this elective surgery.
Lastly, consider the financial implications of LASIK. Be aware that this is an elective procedure. Thus, insurance companies will not cover this procedure. This means you’ll need to cover the costs of the surgery yourself.
Compare prices among reputable eye care providers, but keep in mind that the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Also, see if the office you plan to use has financing options. If you have a health insurance plan that has an FSA account or an HSA account you may be able to use that towards laser vision correction.
Experience And Credentials Of Eye Surgeon
Ask your eye specialist about their experience performing LASIK surgery, including the number of procedures they have performed and their success rate. Inquire about their credentials, such as board certification, and any professional affiliations they may have.
It’s essential to choose a surgeon with a strong track record, as the experience of the surgeon can significantly impact the outcome of the surgery. Many places offer a free consultation for the procedure so you may even be able to multiple opinions before making your decision.
Ask About Short Term Effects & Cost For Touch Ups
After LASIK surgery, patients may experience some short-term effects. These can include mild pain, dryness, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. However, these effects usually subside within a few days to a week. It’s important for patients to follow their doctor’s instructions during the recovery period to ensure the best possible outcomes and minimize any pain or discomfort.
The primary goal of LASIK surgery is to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. In many cases, patients experience significantly improved vision, with most achieving 20/20 or better. Additionally, some patients may need to undergo additional LASIK procedures or adjustments in the future to maintain optimal vision.
In your list of questions for the doctor, you can ask if they offer a free touch up within a year of the surgery. This means that if your vision goes down from 20/20 within a year, the surgeon will do an additional procedure to correct the blurry vision free of charge.
About About Risk Factors
Although LASIK is considered a safe and effective procedure, there are potential risks involved. Some individuals may be more prone to complications due to factors such as high myopia, pre-existing medical conditions, or previous eye surgeries. If you already have dry eye or certain autoimmune diseases, this could affect you as well.
Certain risks associated with LASIK include temporary or permanent visual impairment, such as halos, starbursts, or double vision. According to a study on functional, psychological, and satisfaction outcomes of LASIK for high myopia, 96% of patients felt their uncorrected visual acuity was as good as anticipated post-surgery. While the majority of patients experience positive results, it’s essential to have a thorough consultation with a qualified surgeon to discuss potential risks and outcomes based on individual circumstances.
Never Hesitate To Ask Additional Questions
It is very important to make sure that your questions are answered before you have a surgical procedure done. In addition to asking about LASIK you should also ask your surgeon about alternatives to LASIK to see if their is a better option for you. Even if you are a good LASIK candidate there are new advances in eye surgery all the time.
Perfect vision can also be achieved by surgeries like PRK as well as SMILE eye surgery. While risk-free procedures do not exist, there may be another surgery that is better suited for you over the LASIK procedure. Getting a second opinion is always a good idea as well.
Questions To Ask Before LASIK
There are many questions to ask yourself as well as your surgeon before having vision correction procedures like LASIK. You should ask yourself if you are able to stay still for the procedure. You should also consider your personal expectations of the surgery as well as what you may need to do before and after the surgery to ensure optimal results. There are also important questions to ask your LASIK surgeon. These questions should be about whether or not you are a good candidate for surgery, the potential worsening of dry eye, recovery times, the cost of the surgery, the potential need for touch-ups, and any associated risks. Patients should also ask their doctor about alternative surgeries like PRK and SMILE.