My Questions about the Lasik Procedure
The first and most important question asked about Lasik is, not surprisingly, "Is Lasik safe?" The answer is that it is normally quite a safe procedure, with success rates above 95 percent for good, experienced Lasik surgeons, and 90 percent average over all physicians that perform the Lasik procedure. This statistic about Lasik success assumes that the patient is a good candidate for Lasik surgery. The requirements have some specific details and should be gone over with the physician that will perform the Lasik procedure.
It is a very good idea to ask the Lasik physician which patients he has declined to perform the Lasik procedure on, to make sure that the particular physician has and operates with good standards. Any Lasik practitioner that tries to imply that everyone that comes in to his office is a good candidate for Lasik vision correction should be viewed with some skepticism. In any case, it is wise to interview several different physicians that perform the Lasik procedure before deciding on one.
A second frequently asked question about Lasik is "What are the possible complications from Lasik surgery?" Common side effects are starbursts or halos when looking at a light, sensitivity to light and difficulty with glare and night vision, and some sensation that a foreign body is in the eye. Most of these effects will pass within a few days after the Lasik procedure. Between 1 and 3 percent of patients will have a lasting side effect such as halos or some vision fluctuation.
It is a very good idea to discuss your particular situation with the Lasik physician to determine if you might be prone to any complications. There are also variants of the standard Lasik procedure, one of which uses additional waveforms to map out an individual eye, or techniques that only use lasers rather than a scalpel and a laser.
One question we all hesitate to ask is "Will the Lasik procedure be painful?" Since our eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of our bodies, it is comforting to know that having Lasik vision correction is usually nearly painless. There is often some mild discomfort after the procedure, but this is effectively controlled with medication.
"Will I have 20/20 vision once the Lasik correction is done?" Though many patients do get nearly perfect vision, not all patients have their vision totally corrected. You can definitely expect to have improved vision and minimized dependency on any glasses or contacts.
"What is the cost and how do I pay?" A typical Lasik surgeon charges between $500 and $2500 per eye, depending on the patient and the surgeon. However, a Lasik physician should be selected on experience level and track record, not on the lowest price. Insurance rarely covers the cost of Lasik, but many Lasik centers have a type of financing program offered to their clients.
Find several Lasik physicians in your area using the Internet feature DocShop and make a point to interview several on your list. Consider Lasik as one way to significantly improve the quality of your life.
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