Below are a list of frequently asked questions we receive, along with the answers. Click on a question below for an answer to a specific question, or scroll down to view the complete list of questions and answers.
What is LASIK?
LASIK, or laser in situ keratomileusis, is the state-of-the-art procedure to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The surgeon creates a flap in the cornea, folds the flap back and then uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea before returning the flap to its original position.
What is PRK?
Some patients who are not good candidates for LASIK may have excellent results with another procedure known as PRK. PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is a procedure to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Rather than creating a flap in the cornea, in PRK the surgeon uses the excimer laser to reshape the surface of the cornea. A bandage contact lens is put over the eye to allow the cornea to heal.
Does it hurt?
For most patients, the LASIK procedure is painless because anesthetic eye drops are used to numb the eye. As the eye heals, patients may experience a scratching sensation, similar to the feeling if there is something in your eye, for two to three days after the procedure.
Does it require stitches or shots?
No. At the time of the procedure, drops are used to numb the eye and then you will be asked to focus on a red blinking light during the laser procedure. At the end of the LASIK procedure, a natural bond forms between the flap and the cornea; this holds the flap in place without the need for stitches.
Is laser vision correction safe?
Laser vision correction is a surgical procedure that deals with only the top few layers of the cornea. Although the risk of a problem is very low, there is a small chance a complication may occur. Your surgeon will discuss these potential risks with you and will honestly help you determine if LASIK is advisable.
How much time off work will I need?
Most people can return to work within two days. Although your vision may continue to improve over time, average initial healing times for the procedures are as follows:
Am I a good candidate for laser vision correction?
Most people who suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are candidates for laser vision correction. Unfortunately not everyone is. The best way to find out if you're a good candidate is to set up a free screening with the surgeon, who can best determine if laser vision correction is right for you.
Can I do both eyes at once?
Yes. The decision to have both eyes treated consecutively on the same day, or with one or more days between eyes, is a decision for you and your surgeon to decide. Both options have proved to be safe and effective.
How well will I see after surgery?
After LASIK, most patients (98 percent) can see well enough to pass a driver's license test without any correction. We cannot, however, promise you will never have to wear glasses again. While almost everyone has significant improvements in their best-uncorrected vision (what you can see without any glasses or contacts), some people may still need to wear a much milder prescription for reading or night driving after surgery.
Do I need to stop wearing contacts before my evaluation?
You have a choice:
If you refrain from wearing contact lenses -- 10 days for soft lenses and 20 days for hard/gas permeable lenses -- prior to your evaluation, your cornea will relax to its natural shape. At your examination your surgeon will be able to perform all the necessary measurements to carefully plan your treatment. You will then be ready to proceed with LASIK after you've completed your evaluation.
If you prefer to continue wearing contact lenses, you can wear them up until the day of your evaluation. Your surgeon will perform a thorough evaluation to determine if you can proceed with LASIK. If LASIK is recommended, you can then refrain from wearing contact lenses - for a minimum of 10 days for soft lenses and 20 days for hard/gas permeable lenses -- prior to the date of your procedure. This will allow your cornea to relax to its natural shape so that your surgeon can perform final measurements on the day of your procedure.
How much does it cost?
The price depends on the procedure chosen. The fee includes the price for the procedure and all follow-up care.
Please call University Laser Vision Center at 410-328-5933 for more information or to schedule your free consultation.
This page was last updated: April 23, 2013