LASIK FAQ

How does LASIK work?

LASIK combines conventional surgery with laser surgery. The procedure has its origins in the early 1990's and has evolved over the years into an effective method to correct more refractive errors.

The first step in the procedure involves the creation of a thin flap of corneal tissue using a specialized device. This flap is then lifted to expose the corneal bed. The excimer laser reshapes the curvature of the exposed corneal tissue, and then the flap is repositioned to cover the newly curved corneal tissue. This flap adheres without stitches and minimizes discomfort by covering any exposed area.

Does the type laser make a difference?

Yes. Stokes Vision Correction Center (SVCC) utilizes the latest in variable spot scanning laser technology with Iris registration. The Visx laser system utilized at SVCC also incorporates an advanced tracking system to monitor eye movement and provide precisely centered treatments.

How do I know if I am a candidate?

A free screening will help determine if you are indeed a candidate for LASIK. Eye diseases such as herpes simplex or on-going systemic auto-immune diseases may disqualify you from surgery. Women who are pregnant must wait until after they have delivered and stopped nursing before having the procedure. While LASIK is very effective, it is not the automatic answer for everyone. In some cases advanced surface ablation may be a preferred procedure. Once an evaluation is performed, your ophthalmologist will discuss which procedure might be more appropriate for you.

I have astigmatism. Can you still do the procedure on me?

Yes. In addition to nearsightedness and farsightedness, LASIK can be used to correct astigmatism.

How much time do I need to take off from work?

We recommend that you take at least one full day for the procedure. On the day of your procedure, plan on being at Stokes Vision Correction Center for approximately 2 hours. This allows time for you to review and complete all necessary paperwork. The initial cleaning and anesthetizing of your eye(s) will be done when you enter the laser suite. You will be in the laser room for about 15-20 minutes. After the procedure, your surgeon will see you once again to examine your eyes, then you will be allowed to leave.

What is required of me following my procedure?

You will need to see your surgeon the day after your procedure. Additional follow-up exams are typically performed at 2 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. These exam schedules may vary depending on individual recovery and specific procedure. Patients are advised to rest for about 2/3 hours following surgery to aid in the recovery process. Your eyes may be itchy and/or watery. Sleep will help calm this feeling and speed up healing. Most patients are able to return to work within 24 hours. There is a two week period in which you should avoid rubbing your eyes and avoid very dusty or dirty environments. You should avoid contaminated water, swimming, and hot tubs for 2 weeks. Eye make-up should not be worn 3 days prior to surgery and 5 days after surgery. Of course, you may always contact us at any time if there are problems or concerns.

Will I ever have to wear glasses again?

While there is not surgical procedure that can guarantee that glasses will not be necessary afterward, most patients do not require glasses following surgery. Those who do generally use them only in certain circumstances such as driving at night or in the rain WaveScan® Technology can greatly reduce this possibility for those who are candidates. Reading glasses may be necessary with patients in their early 40's and older is both eyes are corrected for distance vision.

Is the LASIK procedure painful?

Patients experience virtually no discomfort during the LASIK procedure. The procedure is performed using only topical anesthesia (eye drops).

Will my night vision be affected?

In the initial weeks following your procedure, it is possible to have some night glare due to the healing process. This is usually temporary. Your ophthalmologist will discuss any factors that could affect your night vision when you are evaluated. You may even be a candidate for WaveScan® Technology which can greatly reduce the possibility of nighttime visual disturbances.

What if I blink during the procedure?

A small retaining device is used to prevent this from happening. You will not be able to blink.

Can I have both eyes treated at the same time?

Yes. Most patients choose to have both eyes treated at the same time; however, the decision will be left up to you unless your surgeon feels there is a need to treat only one eye at the time. If that is the case, he will fully discuss it with you prior to your surgery.

How long will I need to use eye drops?

An antibiotic and a steroid drop will be prescribed after your surgery that you will use 4 times a day for seven days. Artificial tears will be needed for the first few months after surgery.

What are the possible side effects?

Some patients may experience one or more of the following side effects of the procedure.

  • As with any refractive procedure, it is possible for patients to notice halos, ghost images, shadows, or distorted vision for the first few months after surgery. In rare circumstances, some optical imperfections may persist. WaveScan® Technology is available to help reduce these potential imperfections.
  • It is possible to experience reduction in clarity of vision in low light after surgery. As a result, some patients may feel the need to wear corrective lenses at night to achieve optimum vision.
  • Your eye may feel dry after surgery and you may need to use artificial tears for a period of time

NOTE: A more complete list of potential complications is available for your review. Please ask your doctor for a copy.

What is the first step?

Call now to schedule an appointment for a free screening or an evaluation if you are ready to enjoy a new found freedom. The counselors at Stokes Vision Correction Center can explain all of the refractive procedures available today to determine if you are a candidate as well as discuss an affordable payment plan. Ask for a LASIK counselor at 843-664-2127.