LASIK eye surgery is one of the safest and most effective ways to correct certain refractive vision problems. However, many patients we talk to are reluctant to have LASIK surgery due to concerns they have about the procedure.
For example, many people are nervous because they’ve heard that the patient is required to be awake during the LASIK surgery; others are worried about potential side effects and the costs associated with the treatment.
Why Can’t You Wake Me When It’s Over?
For a lot of patients, the thought of being conscious during any surgical procedure seems like more than they can handle. A common concern about being awake during the procedure is that a patient might somehow cause the procedure to go awry as a result of blinking, sneezing, coughing, or moving at a critical moment during the procedure.
You don’t have to worry about blinking — a specially designed instrument is used to hold your eye open. The scanning technology used during the procedure is so advanced that it tracks even the tiniest movement of your eye, and will automatically readjust to compensate for any involuntary movements the patient may make, making it virtually impossible to deviate from the treatment plan.
A LASIK surgical procedure is virtually painless and usually only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. The actual laser treatment time is only about 1 MINUTE per eye, and the laser device never comes into direct physical contact with the eye. Putting a patient to sleep for such a short and non-traumatic treatment would only result in unnecessary risks and added costs.
Your LASIK surgeon will also provide you with a mild sedative medication before the procedure, to help you feel more relaxed and at ease.
Some patients experience mild discomfort, such as pressure to the eye, vibration or dimmed vision, during the procedure. An oral or topical medication will be administered to relieve this discomfort.
It’ll Cost Me an Arm and a Leg to Get My Eyes Fixed
Another big concern about LASIK is the cost. Unfortunately, most insurance companies consider LASIK refractive surgery to be an elective procedure, and therefore don’t cover the costs. Check your plan carefully. While it may not cover the cost of the procedure, you may qualify for a discount.
Berkeley Eye Center offers our patients various financing options and payment plans to help cover the costs of the procedure. Many patients find that over time, the money they save on glasses and contacts more than makes up for the costs of the procedure.
Will It Hurt Afterwards?
Patients can undergo the LASIK procedure on Friday and return to work on Monday. Some even return to work the very next day! Many patients notice improved vision immediately after the procedure, and continue to see a gradual increase in their visual acuity during the first 5 to 7 days after the procedure.
It’s common for patients to experience mild discomfort, such as sensitivity to light, dry eyes, and itchiness in the hours and days following the procedure. This is part of the normal healing process, and we provide all patients with artificial tear drops to help relieve any discomfort and itchiness.
For the best results, it’s important for patients to take medication as directed, get lots of rest and avoid dry, dusty, smoky environments that could cause them to experience dry eye and other eye irritations.
While it happens only rarely, patients who experience significant pain or other severe complications after a LASIK procedure are recommended to see an ophthalmologist immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions About LASIK
Many people who suffer from vision problems can benefit from laser eye surgery, but there are some health conditions that disqualify someone from getting LASIK. One such condition is keratoconus, a degenerative disease that causes the cornea of the eye to thin out and become cone-shaped. Dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is another condition that may disqualify a patient. Those with weakened immune systems, diabetes, or glaucoma also may not be candidates for laser eye surgery.
A patient must be at least 18 years old before having LASIK and have fully developed eyes and stable vision. There isn’t necessarily a specific upper age limit for LASIK. It depends more on the patient’s current eye health, what vision they desire, and whether the surgeon thinks LASIK will be the best option for them at their particular stage in life.
LASIK patients can expect to be at Berkeley Eye Center’s Surgery Center for about two hours. They will be in the surgery suite with the doctor for about 15 to 20 minutes, but the actual laser treatment time is only about one minute per eye.
The Most Trusted Houston LASIK Eye Specialists
Every patient should carefully weigh the risks versus benefits of a procedure when considering LASIK or any surgical treatment. It’s important to discuss the matter with your trusted eye doctor and your loved ones to help you make the decision that’s best for you.
Berkeley Eye Center has been performing LASIK and other refractive procedures since 1980. Since that time, we’ve successfully performed nearly 50,000 LASIK procedures for patients from across the country. Our team of LASIK eye surgeons are among the top refractive surgeons in the country.
Berkeley Eye Center has been protecting the eyesight of Houstonians for over 60 years. Our tradition of ‘Eye Care Excellence’ was founded on award-winning customer service, experienced surgeons you can trust and being an eye care provider you can count on for all of your eye care needs.
If you’ve been considering a LASIK eye procedure, we recommend that you contact Berkeley Eye Center to schedule an examination with one of our leading eye doctors to determine if the LASIK procedure is right for you. We have locations all over Houston, Corpus Christi and surrounding communities like Katy, Kingwood, Pearland, Pasadena and Sugar Land so there’s sure to be a Berkeley Eye Center convenient for you.