LASIK FAQ

What is Laser Vision Correction?
Laser vision correction is a surgical procedure that alters the shape of the cornea in an attempt to reduce or eliminate the need for contact lenses or glasses.

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How does Laser Vision Correction improve vision?
Laser vision correction uses cool pulses of ultraviolet light to remove a very small amount of tissue from the cornea on the front of the eye. This corrects the abnormal curve of the cornea and allows light to properly focus on the retina. The desired result is functional distance vision.

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Am I a good candidate for Laser Vision Correction?
Candidates for laser vision correction must meet the following criteria:

  • 21 years of age with a stable prescription for glasses or contact lenses for a year prior to treatment
  • Be without certain diseases of the eye
  • Have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure
  • Understand that complications, while rare, may result

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Is this a good time to have Laser Vision Correction?  Will something better come along in the near future?
Laser vision correction techniques have gone through an evolutionary process and have reached a level where further innovations for The Eye Center treatment range will only be incremental. Treatment options for more severely nearsighted and farsighted patients will continue to evolve. The decision of when to have a refractive procedure is highly personal. Some of the considerations will be dependent on the individual’s age, visual needs, and lifestyle. In order to determine the best option for your eyes, please set up an examination and we will address your specific needs.

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What is all-laser LASIK?
LASIK stands for “Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis.”  It is a laser vision correction procedure that attempts to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by reshaping the curvature of the cornea.  The Eye Center procedure involves creating a very precise, thin flap of the corneal tissue utilizing a laser system creating a tiny layer of bubbles just below the corneal surface.  The flap is then lifted, and the laser’s cool beam of ultraviolet light removes a small amount of tissue, usually less than the thickness of a human hair.  After the precise amount of tissue is removed, the flap is replaced.  The actual laser treatment takes 15 to 60 seconds, based on the degree of correction necessary.  Patients may obtain further information on the lasers The Eye Center utilizes at www.backinfocus.com.

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What is the difference between PRK and LASIK? 

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) and LASIK use basically the same second step of the procedure, using a laser to reshape the cornea.  The difference in PRK is that the top layer of corneal cells are removed prior to treatment.  Because of this PRK can take a longer healing time than LASIK.  The physicians at The Eye Center will be able to determine which procedure is correct for you.

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What will happen on procedure day?
Your outpatient procedure will take place at The Eye Center of Southern Indiana and will be performed without your having to change into surgical attire. Upon arrival you will receive an oral sedative to alleviate any anxiety. Your eye will be thoroughly cleansed, and topical eye drops will be used to numb the eye prior to your entrance into the laser suite. The procedure takes three minutes per eye. After the procedure patients rest in the post-operative room for twenty to thirty minutes. Please plan on being at The Eye Center for about two to three hours. You will need a driver to take you home.

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What is The Eye Center’s experience?
The Eye Center has been performing refractive surgery since 1992. Our physicians have performed thousands of surgical procedures and have been involved in all stages of the refractive surgery evolution. As laser vision correction techniques have changed, our doctors have completed continuing education requirements and continue to remain on top of advancements. The Eye Center tracks all LASIK results on an elaborate software system. Extensive data analysis shows that our surgeons’ surgical results have proven to be excellent.

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What type of technology does The Eye Center use for LASIK?
The Eye Center is committed to using high-level ophthalmic technology for all of our patients, including our LASIK patients.  Our EPIC computerized refracting system has greatly improved the measurement of the refractive errors of the eye.  Digital imaging systems (Pentacam corneal topography) provide our physicians with detailed analysis of the shape, curvature, and thickness of the cornea.  The Wavescan system also allows imperfections in the eye to be mapped out allowing for a more customized treatment.

The surgical software The Eye Center utilizes allows the laser to actively track a patient’s eye, adjusting itself 60 times a second.  Many of our patients find that laser tracking increases their confidence in the procedure and reduces anxiety on procedure day.

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Is LASIK safe?

The Eye Center of Southern Indiana is confident that LASIK is safe.  Millions of successful refractive surgery cases have been performed worldwide; however, as with any surgical procedure, complications may occur.

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What are the risks?
It is essential for you to understand as much as possible about the potential risks that may follow your laser procedure so that you can assess them and make the best decision possible. Laser vision correction is a surgical procedure. As with any surgical procedures there are no guarantees. The current laser vision correction techniques have been proven to be safe and effective. In general, serious complications are rare, occurring in less than one in one thousand cases.

It is critical to have a thorough pre-operative evaluation before deciding to proceed with LASIK or PRK. The Eye Center physicians are extremely conservative in choosing LASIK and PRK candidates. Many undesirable outcomes are avoided by proper patient selection. During the pre-operative exam, should the physician identify a patient who may be at a higher risk of developing complications, The Eye Center will disclose this to the patient.

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Will I need reading glasses

The need for reading glasses usually begins at age 40 to 45 and is caused by the natural hardening of the lens of the eye. This hardening process, presbyopia, results in an inability to focus on close objects, and reading glasses become necessary. Laser vision correction cannot restore youthful softness to the natural lens of the eye. LASIK and PRK correct the abnormal focus of the eyes, attempting to make the eyes normal for a patient’s age. Many patients choose to wear inexpensive readers or elect for blended vision (one eye for near work and one eye for distance work).  Your physician can cover all the options available.

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Will I have perfect vision after the procedure so that I will never need glasses?
The goal of laser vision correction is to reduce nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.  While most patients’ vision improves following the procedure, the degree of improvement may vary from individual to individual.

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What does The Eye Center’s comprehensive LASIK fees include?
The fee for LASIK at The Eye Center is inclusive. The fee covers the complimentary consultation, all pre-operative evaluations, corneal mapping, the entire LASIK procedure (this includes all applicable surgeon fees, all-laser LASIK, PRK fees, laser licensing and royalty fees, and facility fees), and all follow-up care related to the procedure for one year. This also includes any necessary enhancement procedures within the first year. Our patients may pay for the procedure using a variety of payment methods including cash, personal check, major credit cards (now including American Express), or payment through one of our interest-free monthly payment plans via Care Credit.

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May I see my family optometrist for pre and post-operative care?
Yes. We encourage you to talk to your family optometrist about LASIK. If your optometrist feels you are a good candidate for the procedure, he/she will encourage you to have a complimentary consultation at The Eye Center. Once you decide to have LASIK, your family optometrist will complete your LASIK pre-operative examination and forward it to the doctors at The Eye Center. On procedure day or prior to you procedure day, you will arrive at The Eye Center for additional measurements and a meeting with the doctors who will review your surgical plan with you and answer any questions you may have. Our LASIK surgeons work very closely with family optometrists in “comanaging” patient care. The Eye Center is proud to have a strong network of community optometrists who choose to refer patients to The Eye Center for surgical care. This network has been in the making since The Eye Center’s founding in 1980 and is integral to the high quality of care we offer patients in Southern Indiana.

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