Lasik surgery – would it work for you?
The reason lasik surgery is so popular is that the procedure
is relatively simple, the patient’s vision improves
straight away (next day the latest) and there are no pain
after the surgery.
During the surgery a surgeon creates a thin circular flap
in the cornea using laser or microkeratome. Then, folding
flap out of the way, he or she removes corneal tissue and
reshapes the cornea. Reshaped cornea works better to focus
light rays on the retina, which means improved vision for
Not everybody achieves 20/20 vision after the lasik surgery,
actually only about 50% of all lasik patients are so lucky.
However, in about 90% of cases a 20/40 vision is achieved,
which is a good result as well.
What problems can be fixed by a lasik eye surgery?
If you wear corrective glasses or contact lenses, your
vision can be corrected with lasik surgery in most cases.
Non-perfect vision is caused by a “refractive error”.
Refractive error means, that when light rays enter through
your cornea they focus ether in front or behind the retina,
instead of focusing directly on it.
There are four major types of the refractive error:
(shortsightedness) when the cornea is too steep and light
rays focus in front of the retina. This causes blurring
of distant objects.
(farsightedness) – the opposite case, when the cornea
is not steep enough, so the light focuses behind the retina
– condition appearing in most people after 40, when
your eye is unable to focus on near objects
– when the cornea has an irregular shape, as a result
light rays are scattered and you see all objects blurred
Myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism can be corrected
with lasik surgery.
When lasik can’t be used
Even though most people with imperfect vision
are candidates for lasik, there are conditions when lasik
eye surgery shouldn't’t be performed:
If you are pregnant
or breast feeding
If you have diabetes
and autoimmune disease (such as AIDS, multiple sclerosis
lupus, arthritis, rheumatoid, or myasthenia gravis)
If you have eye
conditions such as glaucoma or keratoconus
If your prescription
changed in the last two years. Lasik can only be performed
on a stabilized eye
If you are younger
than 18, for the same reason as above
There can also be other conditions that may
prevent you from having lasik surgery. You have to talk the
surgeon about any health problems you have and medications
you take during the first consultation.
How much does lasik eye surgery cost?
The cost of lasik is always stated per eye and
varies dramatically from region to region and from clinic
to clinic. Reputation of the lasik surgeon also affects the
price. Don’t get too excited with the ads saying, from
$300 per eye. This is really only a starter price.
Typically, tests before and after the surgery
contribute more to the price than the lasik vision correction
itself. Proper testing is very important because it reduces
the risks of complications after the surgery. So when talking
to the surgeon it is important to ask if all the tests are
included in the price.
Recently lasik prices has been raising. The
reason is that best surgeons use new technology called IntraLase.
Intralase is a procedure when the doctor creates the lasik
flap with a laser instead of using a microkeratome. This is
much safer for the patient.
According to LasikPlus, the average price per
procedure in the second quarter of 2005 was $1,344.
How to choose the best lasik surgeon
There are many lasik clinics advertising online
and to make an educated choice you will have to investigate
several of them.
It is important to select a doctor who keeps
up with the recent technology. For this reason it is recommended
to ask the surgeon if he or she is associated with an academic
medical center (teaching hospital, for example)
When selecting the clinic, you will have an
initial consultation with the lasik surgeon. This is the time
to ask him or her several questions:
For how long do
they perform lasik surgeries? (best if they have at least
3 years experience)
How many surgeries
of exact same type as you require did he or she perform?
Are all the testing
included in the stated price?
How many patients
achieve 20/20 vision after surgery (50% is a good result)
Had the surgeon
ever have malpractice insurance coverage denied or a license
to perform surgery restricted or suspended?
After you get answers to all the above questions,
it would be a good idea to get consultation in another clinic
and talk to a different surgeon. You can make a safer decision
if you can compare several options.
Is lasik better than using corrective contact
This is a matter of personal preference. Of
course, having your eyes fixed permanently is convenient.
You don't have to put your contacts in every morning and you
always have a perfect vision even in the middle of the night.
On the other hand, lasik can be dangerous and have complications.
So many people prefer to stay with their contact lenses, because
they know that the lenses are safe.