How long will my procedure take?
Lasik and PRK are both outpatient procedures that take approximately 5-15 minutes per eye to complete.
Will the procedure hurt?
Most patients find the procedure to be slightly uncomfortable. One good way to learn more about how it might feel is to talk to someone who has had the procedure, such as a friend or relative, or a staff member at The Laser Center of Central Pennsylvania. For most patients, the feeling of anxiety and fear of the unknown is worse than the actual procedure. Anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye just before surgery begins and you may be given a mild sedative. After your procedure, your eye may feel irritation for a few hours, but most patients are quite comfortable after taking a short nap.
How do I prepare for my procedure?
On the day of your procedure, you should arrive at the center as rested and relaxed as possible. It’s natural to feel a mixture of eager anticipation and nervousness before your procedure. The day of your procedure, you should avoid alcohol and medications that cause drowsiness. Otherwise, there are no restrictions on eating, drinking or medication restrictions can be reviewed by our staff. Wear comfortable clothing, but do not use creams, lotions, makeup, perfume, hair spray or earrings.
Contact lenses change the shape of your cornea; since LASIK treats your cornea, it’s important to allow time for your cornea to return to its normal curvature by not wearing contact lenses prior to your preoperative exam and your procedure. Your doctor will instruct you on how long to discontinue using your contact lenses.
Be sure to bring someone to drive you home, or make other arrangements for transportation. You should allow approximately two hours for the entire process.
What will my recovery be like?
Most LASIK patients usually see quite well the day following their procedure and may be able to resume most of their normal daily activities, but patients with higher prescriptions may recover more slowly. Although the speed of visual recovery depends on personal healing patterns, most patients notice dramatic visual results within the first few days following their procedure.
What are the risks?
Like any surgical procedure, vision correction surgery is associated with potential risks and complications however; the chance of having a vision reducing complication has been documented in a number of clinical studies to be minimal.
Some potential complications include conditions such as dryness, complications in making the surgical flap, night glare, under or over-correction, and loss of best-corrected vision. At The Laser Center of Central Pennsylvania, these and other risks of the surgery are discussed fully with the patient prior to the procedure. Proper preoperative screening ensures that we proceed with the procedure only when it is medically advisable. As well, diligent post-operative care helps to identify and address any potential healing complications.
What is the difference between Conventional LASIK and Custom LASIK?
Custom LASIK uses a tool called the Wavefront Analyzer to accurately measure the way light travels through your eye. The resulting map of your eye is then programmed into the laser, and the laser treats your eye based upon that personalized 3D map. Custom LASIK helps to treat “higher order” aberrations, which are tiny imperfections in the eye that can have a significant impact on one’s quality of vision. In fact, higher order aberrations have been linked to visual glare and halos. Higher order aberrations have not been previously treatable with contacts, glasses or Conventional LASIK. Conventional LASIK is still a very good choice for many patients, though most will prefer the higher level of customization that custom LASIK can provide. Ultimately, you need to discuss the options with your doctor.
Is the actual LASIK part performed the same way? Or is Custom LASIK a completely different procedure?
The actual LASIK procedure is performed in exactly the same way for both. The Wavefront Analyzer used with Custom LASIK brings a whole new level of knowledge and accuracy to the surgeon.
Is LASIK covered by my insurance?
Vision benefits vary from one health insurance plan to the next. Some plans may have an arrangement with The Laser Center of Central Pennsylvania that could substantially reduce your cost for laser vision correction. Our staff will be happy to work with you personally to determine how your plan may help you and how much you can save.
When can I return to work?
When you can return to work after LASIK will depend on several factors such as the type of refractive surgery, and the type of work you do. Although many refractive surgery patients are back to work the next day, others may have difficulty for several days. Your work environment also needs consideration. Since every person is different and every situation is unique, it will be necessary to discuss with your doctor or surgery consultant the probable recovery period and when you can plan to return to work.