How do I know if I'm a candidate for Laser Vision Correction?
This is the most asked LASIK question. We recommend you come in for
a free evaluation with our refractive counselor. Our refractive counselor and staff will discuss your particular situation and help determine if you are a good candidate for laser vision correction. At Berkeley Eye Center, our goal is to provide you the vision procedure that is right for you!
What is the difference between RK and LASIK Laser Vision Correction?
RK and LASIK Laser Vision Correction are procedures to correct refractive
error by reshaping the cornea to allow light rays to properly focus
on the retina. RK requires the use of a diamond blade to create radial
incisions on the surface of the cornea. With LASIK, Dr. Berkeley,
Dr. Caplan, Dr. McQueen, Dr. Doe and Dr. Sun, reshape the cornea using cool waves of
ultraviolet light that gently sculpt away nearsightedness, farsightedness
and astigmatism with microscopic precision using the VISX Star Excimer
What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?
PRK was the first Excimer laser procedure approved for use in the
United States. With PRK, the surface of the cornea (epithelium) is
scraped or ablated along with the corneal tissue underneath. This
sculpting removes microscopic layers of the cornea to correct refractive
error. In contrast, LASIK reshapes the inner layers of the cornea
to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. A special
instrument called the microkeratome gently folds back and lifts a
thin layer of the cornea . The laser then precisely reshapes the inner
surface of the cornea to enable light rays to focus more directly
on the retina so images are in better focus. LASIK is the most widely
used refractive procedure performed in the United States. Because
the corneal surface is left virtually intact, most patients report
a very high comfort level following the procedure and almost instantaneous
improvements in visual acuity.
Are all patients who wear glasses and contacts candidates for
Most patients who wear glasses are good candidates for LASIK. Patients with virtually every degree of nearsightedness are enjoying
good outcomes with LASIK. We are able to treat mild to moderate degrees
of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. For more extreme nearsightedness and farsightedness,
lens implants may be an option. Our counselor will discuss this procedure with you during your free evaluation.
How long have your doctors been performing refractive surgery?
Dr. Berkeley, Dr. Caplan, Dr. McQueen, Dr. Doe, Dr. McCauley and Dr. Sun, are among the top refractive
surgeons in the country and are especially recognized as leaders in
the Houston and Corpus Christi areas. Refractive procedures
have been available at Berkeley Eye Center since 1980. Combined, our
surgeons have performed nearly 50,000 LASIK procedures for patients
from across the country.
As recognized leaders in refractive surgery, our surgeons are involved in laser technology research and continue
to be clinical investigators for advanced Laser Vision Correction
What kind of laser do you use?
Investing in the most advanced technology is part of Berkeley Eye
Center's commitment to provide our patients with the highest level
of patient care. That's why we were among the first to purchase the
new VISX STAR S4 ActiveTrak Excimer Laser System that incorporates
an active eye tracking system, in addition to many other benefits. Berkeley Eye Center also provides the "All LASER LASIK, iLASIK " experience, using the combination of the Excimer laser with the Blade-Free Intralase laser. Click
here to learn more about our laser. (*See Risks and Contraindictions Here)
How long will the procedure actually take?
You will be at Berkeley Eye Center's Surgery Center approximately
two hours. The time in the surgery suite with the doctor is 15 to
20 minutes. The actual laser treatment time is approximately one minute
Is the laser painful?
The procedure itself is not painful since medication is administered
to make you feel comfortable. Post operatively, most patients experience
little or no discomfort. After the procedure, your eyes may feel scratchy,
gritty, or watery. These are temporary symptoms and are not a problem
for most patients.
What kind of vision can I expect the day after surgery?
Many patients notice improved vision immediately after the procedure.
Most patients are functional without their corrective lenses at the
one day post operative exam. Patients continue to see a gradual increase
in their visual acuity during the first five to seven days after the
Do you have financing plans?
There are various financing plans available, and we'll work with you
to develop a flexible payment plan to meet your requirements. Our
counselors will be happy to go over the details with you when you
come in for your free evaluation, or click
here to view our easy financing page.
Does insurance cover refractive surgery?
Most insurance companies consider refractive surgery an elective surgery
and it is not usually a covered benefit. However, it is certainly
worth checking with your insurance company and we encourage you to
Can both eyes be done at the same time?
Because of the advanced technology associated with Laser Vision Correction,
both eyes are most often treated at the same time. It is possible
that the second eye may be done anywhere from one day to a few days
to months after the first eye. This can be discussed with your eye
Do the results last?
Refractive surgery, or Laser Vision Correction, is considered to be
a permanent procedure. However, refractive surgery will not prevent
any age related conditions such as presbyopia or cataracts, and they
would be treated in their normal matter.
How much work will I miss?
Most patients return to their normal activities the day after the
procedure. The refractive counselor can give you more details on what
you can expect when you come in for an evaluation.
What are the risks of refractive surgery?
One of the most important LASIK questions. Again, the counselor can
discuss with you the benefits, risks, and side-effects of the surgery,
and what you may be able to expect from the procedure. For additional information about risks associated with refractive surgery, click on the FDA link at the top of this page.
To schedule an appointment, please call our office at or schedule online.
The FS and iFS Laser systems are ophthalmic surgical lasers indicated for use in patients undergoing surgery or treatment requiring the initial lamellar resection of the cornea. Contraindications may include corneal edema, glaucoma, and keratoconus. Risks and complications may include corneal pain, flap tearing, and epithelial ingrowth. Consult with your eye care professional for a complete listing of contraindications and risks. US Federal law restricts this device to sale, distribution, and use by or on the order of a physician or other licensed eye care practitioner.
Most patients are very pleased with the results of their refractive surgery. However, like any other medical procedure, there are risks involved. That's why it is important for you to understand the limitations and possible complications of refractive surgery.
Before undergoing a refractive procedure, you should carefully weigh the risks and benefits based on your own personal value system, and try to avoid being influenced by friends that have had the procedure or doctors encouraging you to do so.
- Some patients lose vision. Some patients lose lines of vision on the vision chart that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery as a result of treatment.
- Some patients develop debilitating visual symptoms. Some patients develop glare, halos, and/or double vision that can seriously affect nighttime vision. Even with good vision on the vision chart, some patients do not see as well in situations of low contrast, such as at night or in fog, after treatment as compared to before treatment.
- You may be under treated or over treated. Only a certain percent of patients achieve 20/20 vision without glasses or contacts. You may require additional treatment, but additional treatment may not be possible. You may still need glasses or contact lenses after surgery. This may be true even if you only required a very weak prescription before surgery. If you used reading glasses before surgery, you may still need reading glasses after surgery.
- Some patients may develop severe dry eye syndrome. As a result of surgery, your eye may not be able to produce enough tears to keep the eye moist and comfortable. Dry eye not only causes discomfort, but can reduce visual quality due to intermittent blurring and other visual symptoms. This condition may be permanent. Intensive drop therapy and use of plugs or other procedures may be required.
- Results are generally not as good in patients with very large refractive errors of any type. You should discuss your expectations with your doctor and realize that you may still require glasses or contacts after the surgery.
- For some farsighted patients, results may diminish with age. If you are farsighted, the level of improved vision you experience after surgery may decrease with age. This can occur if your manifest refraction (a vision exam with lenses before dilating drops) is very different from your cycloplegic refraction (a vision exam with lenses after dilating drops).
Long-term data are not available. LASIK is a relatively new technology. The first laser was approved for LASIK eye surgery in 1998. Therefore, the long-term safety and effectiveness of LASIK surgery is not known.
As with any surgical procedure there are risks associated with CustomVue TM treatments. It is important to discuss these risks with your doctor before you make the decision to have the surgery. If the results of the surgery are not satisfactory, you may need to have additional laser treatment in the same eye. Your doctor may perform CustomVue LASIK for both eyes. However, sometimes it is better to have this procedure done on only one eye. Talk with your doctor about whether it would be better to treat one or both of your eyes.
Some risks are related to the creation of the corneal flap. Corneal flap complications include but are not limited to: cutting an incomplete,
irregular flap or free flap; misalignment of the flap; and perforation of the cornea. Corneal flap complications range in severity from those that simply require the treatment to be postponed for several months, to those which create corneal irregularities resulting in permanently blurred vision.
You may need reading glasses after laser surgery even if you did not wear them before. Your vision may not be perfect, and you may need to wear glasses or contact lenses for some activities even after laser vision correction.
If you have any of the following situations or conditions you should not have LASIK because the risk is greater than the benefit:
- You are pregnant or nursing, because these conditions may cause temporary and unpredictable changes in your cornea and a LASIK treatment may improperly change the shape of your cornea.
- You have collagen vascular disease (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis), autoimmune disease (e.g., lupus), or immunodeficiency disease (e.g., AIDS), because these conditions affect the body's ability to heal.
- You show signs of keratoconus or any other condition that causes a thinning of your cornea. This condition can lead to serious corneal problems during and after LASIK surgery. It may result in need for additional surgery and may result in poor vision after LASIK.
- You are taking medications with ocular side effects, e.g., isotretinoin (Accutane®*) for acne treatment or amiodarone hydrochloride (Cordarone®t)for normalizing heart rhythm, because they may affect the accuracy of the LASIK treatment or the way your cornea heals after LASIK. This may result in poor vision after LASIK.
- Your corneas are thin. If your corneas are too thin to allow your doctor to cut a proper flap in the LASIK procedure, you can't have LASIK because it is necessary to have a flap.