4 Questions to Ask During Your LASIK Consultation
Preparing for your LASIK consultation ahead of time will guarantee you get more out of it. I recommend asking your surgeon the following questions to get the most out of your consultation.
Is LASIK permanent?
The answer is yes. The laser permanently reshapes your cornea, and it should remain in that shape the remainder of your healthy life. The myth that your vision will worsen over time due to using your eyes (for reading or using computers) is not true. Since we are creating a new customized shape for your cornea, then applying that shape via the laser, the effect on the cornea is permanent and cannot be changed by using your eyes or the passage of time.
Is LASIK safe?
Again, the answer is yes. However, it is imperative that you select a reputable surgeon with years of LASIK experience. The most significant risk of the procedure is a slight chance of infection. In a recent FDA study comparing the long term safety of contact lens wear to LASIK, we see clear evidence that there are many more risks with long term contact lens wear. All aspects of Laser Vision Correction (LVC) are under complete control, as opposed to contact lens wear, which has very few safety controls.
Are my eyes “routine?”
By this we mean, is your prescription in the mainstream of what your surgeon treats all of the time, or is it an unusual one that is not frequently seen? Obviously, the more experienced your surgeon, the more likely even the highest prescription has been seen and treated many times. Typically, if a surgeon tells you your eyes are too severe to do LVC, that is a good sign that they are conservative. It still is a good idea to get a second opinion with an experienced surgeon, because often times it is just that the first surgeon did not have all of the advanced equipment needed to do the more severe prescriptions. In addition, it is important to remember that if your prescription is too severe to do LVC, an experienced surgeon will offer other procedures to improve your vision safely.
What equipment is used and how often is it updated and maintained?
The most advanced technology available today is a combination of a femtosecond laser, which is a bladeless, all laser device used to create the corneal flap, combined with a customized excimer laser which is capable of treating the unique variations that are specific to your eye. This combination will deliver the best outcome and help avoid postoperative symptoms such as glare or halos. As for laser upgrades and maintenance, these devices should be on a regular maintenance schedule (monthly to quarterly) and both software and hardware upgrade information should be available through your surgeon’s office staff. The frequency of laser calibration is another question to consider. This should be done before every eye of every patient.
There are many more questions to ask your LASIK surgeon, but this is a good place to start.