What is LASIK?
LASIK is a surgical procedure in which a laser reshapes the cornea, the surface of the eye, to correct your vision.
How is the LASIK procedure performed?
To begin the LASIK procedure, a thin flap is created on the cornea, which remains attached on one side. Using an excimer laser, your doctor will then treat the exposed inner corneal tissue by directing cool, ultraviolet light to the area. This corrects the refractive errors and improves your ability to focus on objects. The final step is to gently lay the flap back in place, which proceeds to heal naturally, without the need for stitches.
Will I have LASIK performed on both eyes on the same day?
Nearly all patients have LASIK performed on both eyes during the same office visit. The success rate of LASIK surgery is exceptionally high and bilateral LASIK procedures are considered standard. If you desire LASIK performed on only one eye at a time, our surgeons can discuss the advantages and disadvantages with you during the consultation process.
Am I a good candidate for LASIK?
LASIK candidates are typically individuals with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism who want to reduce their dependency on prescription eyewear. Excellent results can be achieved for patients with a wide range of prescriptions. To be eligible for LASIK, you must be 18 years or older with stable vision for at least one year. You should also have generally good eye health as well as realistic expectations with your potential results. Conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma may impact a patient’s candidacy for this procedure, though other vision correction surgeries may offer similar benefits. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis may also not be good candidates for LASIK surgery. The best way to determine your candidacy for LASIK surgery is to schedule a consultation with an experienced eye surgeon.
How much does LASIK cost?
The cost of LASIK surgery widely varies from patient to patient. At Virginia Eye Consultants, we use state-of-the-art all-laser LASIK technology to maximize safety and precision. Not all LASIK surgeons use laser technology for LASIK, and not all laser vision correction technology is equal. Our experienced surgeons recommend spending some time researching a number of eye doctors before making a decision. Prospective patients can review the credentials of the surgeons as well as read patient testimonials to learn more about each practice and their doctors. Virginia Eye Consultants offers all of our prospective patients a complimentary screening and consultation so that we can determine if you are a candidate for LASIK. Eligible candidates for LASIK may qualify for a variety of financing options that can offer low interest rates and low monthly payments.
Is LASIK covered by insurance?
Generally, most insurance plans do not cover LASIK, but our LASIK coordinator at Virginia Eye Consultants can check your individual provider. In addition, LASIK surgery can often be paid for with a Medical Spending Account (MSA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Flex Plan (FP). These tax-free funds typically cannot be saved from year to year, and many of our patients have used these plans to pay for part or all of their LASIK procedure.
If you have questions about how to utilize your health care spending account, please contact a knowledgeable member of our staff today.
What can I expect during the LASIK consult?
When you arrive for your LASIK consultation, first you will be asked to fill out patient information forms. Next you will meet with one of our technicians for your initial measurements. Then you’ll meet with a surgeon to find out if you’re a good candidate and go over any questions or concerns you may have. The initial LASIK consultation takes between 2-3 hours because of the extensive testing that will be performed to determine if you’re a good candidate.
What tests do I need before the LASIK procedure?
Several tests are done at the LASIK consultation. These include topography/orbscan, refraction (check refractive error and best corrected vision), dilated eye exam, pachymetry (measuring the corneal thickness), measuring pupil size and cyclo-refraction (vision check after dilation).
Does the LASIK procedure hurt?
No, LASIK is a virtually painless procedure. You may feel mild discomfort for up to 24 hours, but this is typically minimal and should fade quickly. Like any surgery, LASIK holds potential risks, and these will be explained during your screening.
How quickly will my eyes recover?
You should notice improvement within one to two hours of having LASIK. The most dramatic change is typically noticed the morning after the procedure. Most patients can return to their normal activities within one day. Our doctors may recommend you avoid contact sports and swimming for 2-3 weeks though. When you come in for your appointment, you will be given further details on your recovery.
Does LASIK really work?
Yes! LASIK is a revolutionary procedure that is being performed all around the world. The majority of patients are able to completely eliminate their need to wear glasses or contact lenses.
Contact Virginia Eye Consultants
If you have further questions and would like to learn more about LASIK, please contact our office to set up an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists in Virginia Beach or another office location.