LASIK Surgery FAQs
- What is LASIK?
- What are the risks of having LASIK surgery?
- What are the potential complications of LASIK surgery?
- What type of exam should I have prior to LASIK?
- What should be expected the day of surgery?
- What results should I expect from my LASIK surgery?
- What is Wavefront Optimized LASIK?
- What is the Blade-Free Intralase Method?
- Should I consider a LASIK touch up?
- What are the payment options for LASIK?
- How should I select a good LASIK surgeon?
What is LASIK?
LASIK (Laser-Assisted-In-Situ Keratomileusis) is currently one of the most frequently performed elective procedures in the United States. It is a highly effective outpatient procedure used to correct most ranges of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. LASIK is an outpatient surgical procedure that uses a cool laser beam to gently reshape the surface of the cornea. This causes little or no discomfort and improves vision. The beam gently pulses to remove a microscopic amount of tissue, allowing images to be more sharply focused on the retina. At Katzen Eye Group, our focus is on helping you achieve your very best vision. Offering state-of-the-art technology and unparalleled patient care.
If you are seeking a Baltimore LASIK eye surgery specialist, we have vision correction staff that can address and answer any of your questions. Additionally you can request a free lasik consultation and one of our LASIK coordinators will be happy to call you back.
What are the risks of having LASIK surgery?
Although LASIK is, overall, a very safe procedure, it does have associated risks as do all surgical procedures. Complications and risks associated with LASIK are rare, but must be taken into consideration when you are deciding whether to have this procedure.
- Dry eyes
- Double vision
- "Halos" around bright objects, especially at night
- Haze in the vision
- Damage to the cornea
Click here to go to the FDA's site to see a video that summarizes some risks of LASIK surgery and other important information.
What are the potential complications of LASIK surgery?
Many of these side effects can be corrected with an enhancement surgery after the initial LASIK surgery, which will "fine tune" the original work. Damage to the cornea or the epithelial layer of the eyeball can also be corrected with some additional, fairly simple surgical work that allows the eye tissue to heal properly.
Occasionally, LASIK surgery can lead to overcorrection or undercorrection, meaning that the change in shape of the cornea to correct the vision was too extreme or not extreme enough. In some cases, astigmatism can result from LASIK surgery. The eyes might also return partially toward their original configuration, reversing some of the changes accomplished with LASIK surgery. Enhancement can help correct any of these conditions, as well.
Very rarely, severe complications can develop after LASIK surgery. These include severe inflammation or infection, or problems related to the healing process that can cause blurred or impaired vision. Any unusual symptoms experienced after LASIK surgery should be reported to your doctor immediately.
After your LASIK surgery, you will receive instructions for after care that will help reduce the likelihood of any post-operative problems or complications. Precautions include not touching the eye as it is healing and using any eye drops or other medications prescribed by your doctor.
If you have any concerns about risks or complications of LASIK surgery, please contact Katzen Eye Group in Baltimore, Lutherville and Towson, Maryland for additional information.
What type of exam should I have prior to LASIK?
Prior to the procedure, patients will receive a comprehensive FREE evaluation*. The comprehensive evaluation includes:
- Fully dilated medical examination of your eyes
- Vision analysis before and after dilation
- Measurement of the curvature and topography of the cornea
- Measurement of the thickness of the cornea
- Pupil evaluation
* The LASIK evaluation is not a substitute for a comprehensive annual eye exam.
What should be expected the day of surgery?
Once your treatment plan has been determined, you will be given a surgery date. Typically, Katzen Eye Group performs LASIK procedures on Fridays, allowing the patient to fully recuperate over the weekend. You will be asked to arrive 20-30 minutes prior to your surgery to allow time to review your consent form and to go over any questions you may have. Numbing eye drops will be used to alleviate any discomfort during the procedure. Then an eyelid holder will be used to help keep you from blinking.
Next, the surgeon will create a protective flap in the cornea. The laser will then be applied to the newly exposed cornea. During the laser procedure you might feel a light pressure but no discomfort. This part of the treatment can last anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds.
At the conclusion of the laser treatment, the flap will be positioned back in place and will bond naturally with the eye. Following a 20- to 30-minute post operative period, each patient will be examined prior to leaving the surgery center. Your one-day and one-week appointments will also be confirmed at this time
What results should I expect from my LASIK surgery?
Most LASIK patients will notice a dramatic change in vision within the first 24 hours after the procedure. This will gradually improve over the next several weeks, depending on your prescription. Generally, normal daily activities can be resumed within one to three days after the procedure.
It is important to follow the directions of your physician after the surgery and attend all of the post-procedure appointments.
After the initial healing period of 3 to 6 months LASIK results have proven constant. If you are over the age of 40 to 45 when you have the LASIK procedure, your visual acuity should remain consistent for the rest of your life, assuming that you don’t develop cataracts or other age-related eye diseases.
If you are under the age of 40 when your LASIK procedure is performed, you must realize that your near-sightedness will change due to age, and you’ll likely need some type of optical correction, such as reading glasses, bifocals, or contacts, in lieu of further surgical treatment.
What is Wavefront Optimized LASIK?
Allegretto Wave (Wavefront Optimized LASIK)
The Allegretto Wave® customizes every LASIK treatment to meet the needs of each individual patient.
The Wavefront Optimized treatment considers the unique curvature of each cornea. The system takes into account the spherical distortions that can induce glares and night vision conditions.
Allegretto Wave uses the innovative Wavefront Optimized technology to automatically compensate for the curvature of the cornea. Lasers in the past, simply focused on correcting the front of the cornea. The results ended up being that the flattened area ended with a edge that caused unwanted side effects like glares, halos and poor night vision.
The Allegretto Wave system changes all of that by sending extra pulses to the peripheral edges of the cornea. The extra pulses allow the cornea to maintain the normal aspherical shape. The Allegretto Wave produces a smooth, effective optical zone that produces high quality vision.
In 2003, the FDA granted the Allegretto Wave® the widest approval range ever initially given to a new laser for both myopic and hyperopic vision correction. Since then, the results have been astoundingly positive.
- At one year after treatment, more than 93% of patients said they saw at least as well as or better than they had with glasses or contacts before treatment.
- More than 98% of patients achieved 20/40 vision one year after treatment; 20/40 is the level of visual acuity required to pass most driving tests.
- Nearly 76% of near-sighted patients achieved 20/16 vision after one year of treatment.
- Both near- and far-sighted patients reported an improvement in their reaction to bright lights and night driving glare after Allegretto Wave® treatments. In addition, near-sighted patients reported an improvement in sensitivity to light.
- Predictable results are the norm for the Allegretto Wave® . More than 90% of patients achieve refraction within 1 diopter of their target correction.
Is Allegretto Wave® Right for Me?
The Allegretto Wave® expands the boundaries of candidacy for LASIK. In order to truly determine your candidacy to Allegretto Wave you must meet with a doctor. After a thorough evaluation with one of our doctors at Katzen Eye Group you will know if:
- You are under 21. In this case, your growth phase may not have been fully completed, meaning that your eyes can still change.
- You are pregnant or nursing. Pregnancy causes changes to your hormonal system. This can also cause your vision to change. It is therefore better to wait until your child is born and you have finished nursing.
- You have poorly-controlled glaucoma or blood pressure.
- You have keratoconus, a corneal irregularity.
- You have inflammation of the eye (uveitis, blepharitis or iritis)
- Your eyes have been infected by herpes simplex.
- You have suffered previous severe injuries on the eye.
- You have corneal scars or infections.
- You are taking certain medications.
- You suffer from other diseases of the eye such as AMD, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, or others
What is the Blade-Free Intralase Method?
During the iLASIK procedure, a flap of corneal tissue is created. This allows the surgeon to perform the laser vision correction treatment on the inner layer of the cornea. iLASIK uses the blade-free Intralase method to create that flap. Patients who were previously not candidates for the standard LASIK procedure may now be eligible with iLASIK.
Should I consider a LASIK touch up?
Follow-up LASIK treatments may be advisable if your normal and natural vision has changed since your original procedure. You can postpone LASIK touch ups by utilizing glasses or contacts, but after life without visual aids, you may not wish to go that route again. Follow-up procedures are rarely as extensive as the original LASIK surgery, so consider a touch up LASIK procedure if:
- Your vision has changed in one or more eyes
- You prefer foregoing glasses for reading
- You have enough corneal thickness remaining (your ophthalmologist will make this determination)
Has your vision degraded in one or both of your eyes after LASIK surgery? Our ophthalmologists at Katzen Eye Group in Baltimore and Lutherville, Maryland can examine your eyes to see if major eye changes warrant a LASIK enhancement. Please contact us or fill out the online appointment request to see one of our doctors.
What are the payment options for LASIK?
LASIK is safe and affordable. To make it convenient for you, Katzen Eye Group offers different payment options through CareCredit, including no interest and extended payment plans. Additionally, many patients can choose to pay with funds from their Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). While most insurance companies do not cover LASIK surgery, many offer 20% discounts for their policy holders. The following list* provides insurance companies that offer laser vision correction discounts that participate with Katzen Eye Group.
|Alliance PPO- with MAMSI||
|Blue Vision||National Vision Administrators (NVA)|
CareFirst Blue Cross
Spectera Vision- through UHC
Vision Benefits of America (VBA)
|MAMSI||Vision Service Plan (VSP)|
Please note that insurance discounts cannot be combined with any other promotion or discount.
*List is subject to change. Please check with your insurance company to find out about their latest laser vision correction policies.
How should I select a good LASIK surgeon?
Scouring your daily newspaper for ads might be the best way to shop for a new car, but using that method to select a LASIK doctor would be unwise. Choosing a LASIK surgeon requires much more thought and scrutiny. Asking the right questions and obtaining testimonials from those who have previously had the surgery will be critical to your quest. Use the following checklist to evaluate doctors for your LASIK surgery:
- Laser vision correction should be a major part of the doctor's practice
- The surgeon should be involved in all aspects of your care
- Risks and complications should be discussed and all questions answered to your satisfaction
- The surgeon should have a solid reputation for successful corrective eye surgery outcomes and extensive experience in the field of laser corrective surgery
- Comprehensive Eye Care
- Katzen Cataract Care
- Retina Services
- LASIK Surgery
- Pediatric Ophthalmology
- Adult Strabismus
- Low Vision
- Katzen Optical
- Corneal Refractive Therapy
- Dry Eye Syndrome