Frequently Asked LASIK Questions
- Am I a good candidate for LASIK?
This is a common LASIK question. LASIK is an excellent option for many people to improve their vision. The best way to determine if you qualify for LASIK is through an eye exam with your optometrist. In order to be considered, you must be at least 18, healthy and have good eye health with no diseases such as cataracts or glaucoma. Laser vision correction can treat a broad range of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
Talk to your eye doctor about your LASIK questions and to get more information about the different laser vision correction procedures and options available to you. Your TLC affiliated doctor and TLC laser surgeon will explain what results you can expect by measuring your prescription and thoroughly examining your eyes. You can learn more about patient qualifications for LASIK here.
- What is Custom LASIK?
- What will my LASIK recovery be like?
This is another frequent LASIK question. Many LASIK patients see well the day after their procedure and may resume most of their normal daily activities soon after. Some 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 in their vision within the first few days after their LASIK procedure.
- What are the risks?
As with any elective surgical procedure, there are risks associated with the laser vision correction procedure. Fortunately, the chances of having vision-reducing complications have been shown to be minimal. Millions of people have had excellent results from laser vision correction.
Some potential LASIK complications include conditions such as dry eyes, complications in making the corneal flap, night glare (halos), under- or over-correction and loss of best-corrected vision.
These risks will be discussed fully with you prior to the procedure, when you are asking all of your LASIK questions. Proper preoperative LASIK screening ensures that the surgeons only proceed with the procedure when it is medically advisable. You will also receive diligent post-operative care that helps identify and address any potential healing complications.
The best way to prevent LASIK complications is to choose a LASIK surgeon who is experienced and well respected in the community and in their field.
- What are the differences between Conventional LASIK and Custom LASIK?
Custom LASIK uses a tool called the wavefront analyzer to accurately measure the way light travels through your eyes. The resulting data is programmed into the laser, which then treats your eyes based on highly individualized measurements. Custom LASIK allows the surgeon to avoid increasing higher-order aberrations, which are tiny imperfections in the eye. These aberrations have significant effects on your quality of vision, and have not been addressed with contacts, glasses or conventional LASIK.
Conventional LASIK can still be a good choice for many patients, though most will prefer the higher level of customization, less risk of glare and halos, and better chance of achieving 20/20 vision that Custom LASIK can provide. Your doctor can answer these and other LASIK questions, help you understand your various options and decide which laser vision procedure is right for you.
- Is LASIK performed differently in a Custom LASIK procedure?
The actual LASIK procedure is performed in exactly the same way in both conventional LASIK and Custom LASIK. However, pre-operative testing for conventional LASIK and Custom LASIK differs greatly. The wavefront analyzer used with Custom LASIK brings a whole new level of knowledge and accuracy to the LASIK surgeon.
- I've heard a lot of great things about LASIK. What can LASIK do for me?
Laser vision correction has proven overwhelmingly successful in reducing dependency on glasses and contact lenses, though the degree of improvement varies among individuals. How well and how quickly your visual acuity (sharpness) improves depends on your healing and the severity of your prescription. Although TLC Laser Eye Centers cannot promise patients perfect vision, most LASIK recipients with mild to moderate prescriptions achieve 20/20 vision or are within one to two lines of 20/20 vision on an eye chart. This means they no longer need glasses or contacts to drive, play sports, watch movies and TV or participate in career fields requiring excellent vision such as police work and fire departments.
Clinical studies have shown that Custom LASIK can improve not only what you can see but how well you can see it. Many Custom LASIK patients have reported that they can see better than ever before. Custom LASIK addresses the unique imperfections in each person's vision, making it less likely that surgery will result in an increase in glare or halos.
Your pre-procedure LASIK consultation with your doctor is the perfect time to ask LASIK questions. S/he will help determine the range of your probable outcome based on your particular prescription, healing profile and expectations.
More than two million LASIK procedures have been performed at TLC Laser Eye Centers.The results and research gained from more than two million LASIK procedures performed at TLC Laser Eye Centers allows TLC Surgeons to continually fine-tune their techniques, more effectively forecast post-surgery results and counsel new laser vision patients.
Best of all, TLC stands behind its patients' distance vision results for life. The TLC Lifetime Commitment® program ensures no-charge enhancement procedures for life for qualified nearsighted patients should an enhancement ever be needed in the future. This commitment will be honored by any TLC Laser Eye Centers location in North America.
- How will I know what procedure I need to have?
Your eye doctor is your best resource for determining which procedure is best for you. Custom LASIK is recommended for most patients due to the superior visual results it produces. Schedule a free LASIK consultation with your TLC-affiliated optometrist to determine which procedure best fits your individual needs. This is also a good opportunity to get answers to any other LASIK questions you may have.
- What does LASIK cost?
The price of a LASIK procedure is highly sensitive to the type of technology recommended for your specific condition. Generally, Custom LASIK is more expensive than its conventional version because Custom LASIK is performed using some of the most advanced technology in the vision industry. The procedure combines the technology of the wavefront analyzer with the precision of a computerized laser and the skill of your respective surgeon. The fee you pay at TLC includes all of your pre- and post-operative care. Financing options and various insurance discounts may be available to you. For more information on LASIK pricing, call 1-877-TLC-2020.
- Who will my doctors be and what will they do?
There are two doctors involved in the overall LASIK procedure: your LASIK surgeon and your own TLC-affiliated eye doctor. Your surgeon performs the procedure at a TLC Laser Eye Center while your eye doctor provides pre- and post-operative care. (If you do not currently have an eye doctor, we can identify a TLC-affiliated eye doctor in your area.)
The doctors who work with TLC, including your own eye doctor, have been educated in all aspects of laser vision correction. Although TLC-affiliated surgeons are renowned for their training and expertise, the outcome of your laser procedure also depends upon the proper pre-operative and post-operative care that is delivered in conjunction with your surgery.
We recommend you consult with your own eye doctor because of his or her familiarity with your eyes, your history and your future care. If you don't have an eye doctor, we can help find one in your area. We work closely with your eye doctor to provide you with the best possible care and the best possible visual results. This team-based care is just one reason why more than a million people have trusted TLC for their LASIK surgery.
- What do I need to know about different laser technologies?
TLC Laser Eye Centers has access to the latest laser vision correction technologies, including eye trackers and scanning lasers. All TLC Laser Eye Centers in the United States and Canada use only FDA-approved lasers to gently reshape the cornea during LASIK. These excimer lasers use cool, computer-controlled beams of ultraviolet light.
The best LASIK technology for your individual case is determined during your personal TLC LASIK consultation and is dependent on such things as your prescription, thickness of your cornea, size of your pupil and ocular anatomy.
- Will the LASIK procedure hurt?
Most laser vision correction patients find LASIK surgery to be slightly uncomfortable but not painful. One good way to learn more about how it might feel is to talk to someone who has had LASIK, such as a friend, relative or a staff member at the doctor's office. For most LASIK patients, the feeling of anxiety and the fear of the unknown is actually worse than the LASIK procedure itself. Anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye just before LASIK surgery begins, and you may also be given a mild sedative to help you relax. After your LASIK surgery, your eye may feel a foreign body sensation or irritation for a few hours, but most patients are quite comfortable after taking a short nap. You will be given drops for your eyes to counteract any dryness you may experience in the days following the surgery.
Visit our TLC LASIK blog to find the answers to other frequently asked LASIK questions.