Q. What is Laser Vision Correction?
Laser Vision Correction is a surgical procedure that alters the shape of the
cornea in order to eliminate or reduce the need for contact lenses or glasses. The two most common Laser Vision Correction procedures are PRK (Photorefractive Keratotomy) and LASIK (Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis).
Q. What is LASIK?
LASIK is laser vision correction performed under a protective corneal flap that helps to speed recovery of the corneal surface and to decrease discomfort.
Q. Am I a good candidate for Laser Vision Correction?
While Laser Vision Correction has been highly successful for most people, it is not for everyone. There are many factors that determine whether or not your eyes meet Dr.Keverline’s conservative criteria. Improper patient screening and insufficient measurements are the primary reasons for poor surgical results. We perform careful and thorough diagnostics during a complimentary evaluation.
Q. Who should not have LASIK?
- You have an unstable prescription - one that has changed in the last year
- You have been diagnosed with Keratoconus
- You have been diagnosed with a collagen vascular disease like Lupus
- You are pregnant or nursing
- You are taking Accutane or Amiodarone
- You have a history of Herpes eye disease
Q. What to expect on the day of the procedure?
Procedures will take place at the Southside Eye Care surgical suite. The outpatient procedure is performed with patients wearing their own clothes. Upon arrival, patients may have their measurements repeated as a routine precaution. The eye(s) are thoroughly cleaned and topical eye drops are used to completely anesthetize the eye. Dr. Keverline treats the eye with the laser for an average of 15-60 seconds (based on the degree of correction necessary). The entire procedure takes 15-30 minutes. Patients should plan on being at Southside Eye Care for an hour and half. Patients will need a driver to take them home from the surgery and to our office the following morning for a post operative check.
Q. Is Laser Vision Correction Safe?
Yes. Millions of successful refractive surgery cases have been performed worldwide. As with any surgical procedure complications may occur; however, this procedure has been found to be exceedingly safe and predictable.
Q. Is this a good time to have Laser Vision Correction?
Laser Vision Correction techniques have evolved to a level where further innovations for our treatment range will only be incremental. Treatment options for more severely nearsighted and farsighted patients will continue to evolve. The decision of when to have a refractive procedure is highly personal. We encourage patients to set up a complimentary evaluation in order to determine the best option for you.
Q. What is Southside Eye Care’s Experience?
Many ophthalmologists are trained and certified in LASIK in several days. Dr. Keverline’s training is unique in that he studied refractive surgery for years in residency. He is a board certified ophthalmologist and has extensive experience with a variety of lasers. Our staff of certified ophthalmic assistants and technicians has also been throughly trained in Laser Vision Correction.
Q. What are the risks?
It is essential for you to understand as much as possible about the potential risks that may follow your laser procedure, so that you can assess them and make an informed decision. Laser Vision Correction is a surgical procedure, and there are no guarantees. The current Laser Vision Correction techniques have been proven to be safe and effective. In general, serious complications are rare, occurring in less than 1 in 1,000 cases. If these complications are identified early, an experienced physician can treat them.
It is critical to have a thorough, pre-operative evaluation before deciding to proceed. If Dr. Keverline identifies a high risk of developing vision threatening complications, he will opt not to proceed with surgery.
Some patients do experience mild side effects after the procedure. For most patients, these symptoms decrease during the healing process. Common side effects can include under/overcorrecting vision, glare, halos, dry eyes, distortion or loss of sharpness. These are most often manageable.
Q. Will I have “perfect” vision after the procedure so that I will never need glasses?
Experience has shown us that Laser Vision Correction has been overwhelmingly successful in reducing nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The vast majority of patients achieve 20/40 vision or better which means that they can legally drive, play sports, and join the police or fire department without glasses for distance. The need for reading glasses usually begins at age 40, and is caused by the natural hardening of the lens in the eye. This hardening process called presbyopia results in an inability to focus on up close objects, and reading glasses become necessary. Laser Vision Correction can not restore youthful softness to the natural lens of the eye.
Q. What does the comprehensive Laser Vision Correction fee include?
The fee for Laser Vision Correction at Southside Eye Care is all inclusive. The fee covers the complimentary evaluation, all pre-operative measurement including corneal mapping, the entire LASIK procedure (this includes surgeon fees, laser licensing and royalty fees, and facility fees), and all follow-up care. Follow-up care includes all post-operative examinations and any necessary enhancement procedures within one year. If eligible, our patients can pay for their procedure using a variety of payment methods including cash, check, major credit cards, or financing through Care Credit.
Q. Has anyone ever gone blind because of LASIK?
In the many millions of LASIK cases performed worldwide, we know of no recorded incidence of anyone losing their eyesight due to this procedure.
Q. What about nighttime side effects?
You have probably seen news stories about people having difficulty driving at night after refractive surgery. Nighttime side effects may include halos, starbursts, and glare around lights and blurry vision. Some of these can be caused by overcorrection, undercorrection, or residual astigmatism. These effects usually diminish as the eye heals in the first three to six months. Sometimes additional touch-up (enhancement) procedures will be recommended.
Another possible cause of nighttime side effects is pupil size. At night, the pupil expands to let in more light. Light coming through the peripheral cornea may be out of focus if the pupil opens beyond the laser treatment area. This is why some patients are not good candidates for LASIK if they have very large pupils. However, our advanced laser technology has expanded treatment zones and patients that were previously not candidates for LASIK because of large pupils, can now be treated. PRK and LASEK may also be better procedures for patients with wide pupils.
Q. Does LASIK cause dry eye?
Following a LASIK procedure, every patient has temporary dry eye, which can be treated most often with artificial tears. This dry eye sensation usually clears up in eight to 12 weeks except in rare cases, where it may take longer.
Patients with pre-existing dry eye may not be good candidates for LASIK, but may be candidates for PRK or LASEK. If you have dry eye, you should discuss it with your doctor at your pre-op examination. Tests can often diagnose dry eye but it is still somewhat difficult to predict who will experience significant dry eye following LASIK. A thorough evaluation of your current medications, medical history and work environment should all be taken into account.
Q. What keeps the flap in position?
Following your procedure, the flap stays in position without the need for stitches. Initially, there is a vacuum effect created by the cells lining the inner surface of the cornea. As the eye heals over the first few days, the epithelium (the outer surface of the cornea) seals the edges of the flap.
Q. Will it hurt?
There is no pain during any of the laser vision procedures since anesthetic eye drops numb your eyes, although some patients may experience mild discomfort or a pressure sensation during their procedure. After LASIK, you might experience mild irritation for a few days. An over-the-counter pain reliever or use of artificial tears will generally take care of any discomfort. PRK and LASEK patients experience more post-operative discomfort for three to five days while the epithelium heals.
Q. Will both eyes be corrected on the same day?
For most procedures, both eyes will be corrected on the same day.
Q. How long does the procedure take?
Since both eyes are usually treated during the same appointment, you will be in the surgery room for approximately 20 minutes. Once in the laser room your eyes will be cleaned and prepared for surgery. The surgery itself usually only takes five minutes or so per eye.
Q. Do I need to take time off work?
Following LASIK, most patients return to work the day after their procedure. With PRK or LASEK, the recovery time may be a little longer.
Do I have to go without my contacts before having laser vision correction?
If you are wearing hard or gas permeable contacts, it's important that you remove them at least three weeks prior to your exam. Soft lenses should be out for at least one week before your exam. Soft toric lenses may need to be out longer. Your doctor will advise you how long you need to be out of your contacts prior to your exam and prior to your surgery.
Q. How old do I have to be for laser vision correction?
You need to be over 18 years of age, and your glasses or contact lens prescription should not have changed in the last year. If your eye is still changing from year to year, you should not have the procedure until the cornea is stable.
Q. Can I have laser vision correction while I am pregnant or trying to conceive?
Pregnancy can affect your vision, therefore if you are pregnant or trying to conceive, you should not have laser vision correction. You should wait several months after your pregnancy before having laser vision correction.
Q. How long will the results of the surgery last?
Laser vision correction is considered to be permanent. However, your eyes can still change as you age. This may rarely cause a need for glasses, contacts, or additional vision correction procedures in the future. As people reach their early forties, they develop presbyopia and begin to need reading glasses. If you're over 35, you may want to consider monovision. Monovision corrects your dominant eye for distance and your non-dominant eye for near. Distance correction tends to be very stable for most adults until physical changes such as cataracts develop later in life.
Q. If I choose to have monovision, does that mean I'll never need reading glasses?
Not necessarily. The effects of presbyopia continue to worsen as you get older, whether or not you have monovision. At some point in time, reading glasses or another vision correction procedure may become necessary. The benefit to having monovision is that there won't be a complete dependence on glasses for close vision. Many who have monovision are able to see well enough both at distance and near to do things at any age without corrective lenses.
Thank you for your interest in Laser Vision Correction with Southside Eye Care. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us at (757) 484-0101.