Will you patch my eyes afterward?
You will only need a clear shield that you can see through in the first 24 hours. I prefer that you wear the same shield at night for about a week or so. LASEK patients will have a contact lens in their eye for about a week. This lens has no power, it is just a bandage to reduce discomfort.
Can I blink during the procedure?
There is no problem gently blinking during LASIK. We do place a small device to keep the lids apart do you cannot close your eye even if you blink. It is better though not to squeeze your eyes as this tends to make it more difficult for the procedure to go as fast as you want it.
What is the difference between traditional (or conventional) vs. custom treatment?
Traditional treatment involves taking your eyeglasses prescription and plugging it into the laser. If 5 people have a -3.00 prescription, the same information will be fed to the laser not taking into account other visual aberrations in their eye. Custom treatment (such as iLASIK/Wavefront or Zyoptix) draws its data from an aberrometer measurement. This information is very different from one person to another even if they have the same prescription. It is, therefore “customized. Many studies have shown that custom treatments will lead to a better chance of 20/20 vision and less negative symptoms at night such as halos around light. Our own results are consistent with these findings.
What is the difference between LASIK with the blade and blade-free LASIK?
There isn’t much of a difference. The ultimate result is the same. In my hands, LASEK allows a more comfortable and faster healing postoperative period. Many studies have shown that all 3 procedures are essentially the same and fall under the category of “surface ablation”.
Should I do both eyes together or one at a time?
Most people elect to do both eyes on the same day. It is theoretically safer to do them one week apart but the risk of the procedure with the current technology is so low that most people prefer a simultaneous treatment.
I was told I need an anti-scarring medication called Mitomycin during LASEK/PRK, is it safe to use?
We have been using mitomycin in many of my LASEK patients for the last 12 years without a single problem. There have been no reports in the medical literature about any side effect when used during laser vision correction. Years back, some glaucoma specialists used mitomycin as an eye drop which led to serious problems on the white part of the eye (sclera). Laser eye surgeons do not use it on that part of the eye and only apply it for about 30 seconds during the surgery. Used in this manner, there have been no issues at all.
Is it painful?
Laser vision correction is mostly pain-free but this does not mean you will not feel anything. The most common sensations are pressure around the eye and a cold sensation when fluid is used to clean the eye. During LASIK, your vision will go away for about 30 seconds or so. I usually ask patients ahead of time whether they would like to be told about what is going on. Many prefer not to know anything! After LASIK, you may feel some stinging and foreign body sensation for a few hours. It is very comfortable the next morning. For LASEK (and PRK – epi-LASIK), you may experience some discomfort for a few days after the procedure. About 2 out of 10 patients will experience frank pain. This is why we give all LASEK patients oral pain killers to keep them comfortable in the first few days.
Can you correct Astigmatism?
Yes, all lasers today are able to correct astigmatism. When the lasers were first approved in the 1990’s, astigmatism could not be corrected. This has changed few years later and now most people with astigmatism can have their eyes corrected. If the astigmatism is too high or asymmetric, you may not be a good candidate. This is typically checked at the time of your preoperative evaluation.
Which is safer, LASIK or LASEK (PRK- EpiLASIK)?
When LASIK was performed with a blade, we used to say that LASEK is safer. With the advent of blade-free lasik, we feel that both procedures have the same safety profile. We typically recommend LASIK if somebody is a good candidate for it.
How long does the procedure take?
LASIK takes me about 12 minutes to perform in both eyes. Usually, your stay at the laser center that day will be about 2-3 hours. It is better to inquire with your doctor as this can vary from place to place.
What if I don’t look at the light during the procedure?
Relax! We have great technology today that allows the lasers to track your eye even if you move it around. The laser will automatically shut off if you look too much away and restart when you look at the center again.
What is the percentage of LASIK vs LASEK procedures performed?
This can vary by surgeon. I do about 75% LASIK and 25% LASEK (same as PRK or epi-LASIK). Most LASEK patients are those who were not LASIK candidates. For patients who do not qualify for either, I either recommend no treatment or another modality such as an implantable contact lens or clear lens extraction
Which is the best laser in the market?
We get asked this question quite often. As you may imagine, each laser company wants to claim to have the best product and each doctor feels that they made the best choice when they purchased a very expensive piece of equipment. In reality, the FDA has approved all lasers in the US after a very stringent process. None of them is “bad”. All lasers will do a very good and equal job on 95% of patients. For the remaining 5%, some lasers may be slightly better than others. On occasion, we may take one of my patients to another facility if we feel that their laser is more appropriate for them. This is not very common though. With the above information in mind, we do personally have a preference for lasers that will minimize human errors when it comes to the input of prescription information. This was the main reason that drove our decision about our current laser platform.
What is the difference between LASIK and LASEK (or PRK - EpiLASIK)?
There is no difference in the ultimate outcome. LASIK is the procedure that will recover the fastest. Most people are able to drive in themselves the next morning