LASIK (laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is the most commonly performed and well known vision correction surgery. Using an excimer laser, the doctor re-shapes the cornea (the front external surface of the eye) so that images are focused to the correct spot on the retina (the light receptor of the eye). The success rate with this procedure is excellent, with most patients achieving 20/20 vision or better upon completion.
The LASIK procedure itself involves little or no discomfort (or pain) both during the procedure and through the recovery process. Also, eyesight improvement is almost immediate, and maximum vision is typically achieved within a few days.
Reasons to consider LASIK:
Astigmatism (irregularly shaped cornea).
Desire to decrease or eliminate dependence on glasses or contacts.
During the procedure, the doctor first administers a local anesthetic via eye drops, so the patient will feel no pain during the surgery. A speculum (gentle eyelid holder) is then placed over the eye to prevent the patient from blinking. Next, the surgeon cuts an extremely thin flap from the outer layer of the cornea, using a femtosecond laser. The flap is folded to the side, and the excimer laser, programmed with the individual map of the patient’s eye, removes excess tissue with quick pulses of concentrated light. This process usually takes less than a minute. Once this is done, the doctor folds the flap back into place and surgery is complete.
In the past, a microkeratome (a small blade) was used to create the flap. Advances in femtosecond laser technology now make it possible to create a precise flap with a bladeless approach. This technology was approved by the FDA in 2007 and is the current state-of-the-art standard of care. Therefore, our surgeons will only offer you the most sophisticated laser technologies with the bladeless and all-laser approach.
The patient may go home shortly after the procedure; however, someone else must drive or alternate transportation must be arranged. Patients will be asked to get lots of rest, avoid any strenuous activities, and avoid rubbing the eye area for the first week after surgery. There are follow up appointments with the doctor 24 to 48 hours after the procedure and periodically over the following weeks and months. Vision should dramatically improve in the first few days following surgery. The patient often may return to work in a day or two.
If your insurance company offers coverage for the procedure you are having done, our insurance staff will assist you in filing your claim. Most insurance companies do not cover Laser Vision correction. People who have a high deductible health plan (HDHP) can use a Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for elective services like LASIK and other laser eye surgeries. Also, for some people, LASIK eye surgery can be a tax deductible medical expense.
LASIK is an excellent investment in your personal well being. For this reason, we believe that financial considerations should not be an obstacle and we provide financing through CareCredit. CareCredit is a special credit card specifically for health care costs and offers no introductory rates, prepayment penalties, or application fees. They offer No Interest Payment Plans if your account is paid in full within 6, 12, 18, or 24 months. Apply now at CareCredit to see if you are eligible!
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