Answers to your questions about LASIK surgery

Q. Will LASIK surgery hurt?

A. LASIK is considered to be a procedure with minimal to no discomfort. Your eye will be numbed with eye drops, and you will be awake and aware during the entire procedure. Some patients report what they describe as slight discomfort (like having something in your eye), during the initial healing period of two to three days.

Q. Does LASIK surgery require stitches or shots?

A. The procedure is not as invasive as you might imagine. After we have treated your eye, the flap will be replaced gently, and it will reattach quickly without stitches. There are also no shots required for the procedure.

Q. How does laser vision correction affect my eyes in the long term?

A. Numerous clinical studies have indicated that laser vision correction has not produced any long-term effects on the integrity of the eye. The leading experts in the field feel confident that there will be no long-term problems in the future for laser vision correction patients. Although LASIK is considered permanent, in some cases the procedure may need to be repeated in the future to enhance the final outcome.

Q. What are the risks involved in LASIK surgery?

A. As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks and potential complications. The risk of a serious vision threatening complication is much less than 1%. Temporary complications you might experience just after LASIK surgery include:
  • Discomfort - Very few people experience discomfort, which is normally described as a slight stinging feeling or the feeling that there is something in the eye. If necessary, over-the-counter pain relievers may be taken.
  • Sensitivity to light - It is important to wear sunglasses whenever outside to help with any sensitivity to light that might affect you for the first few weeks after the procedure.
  • Under- or over-correction - Unless it's severe, these situations do not usually affect the overall results. High amounts of under-correction are generally retreated with an enhancement procedure. Low amounts are corrected by wearing glasses for activities such as driving or reading. Over-corrected eyes are rare and most return to the original shape as the eye heals.
  • Infection - The risk of infection is very low-around 0.2%. The risk is greatest in the first 48 hours following the procedure, and an infection is generally treated with antibiotic drops. It is important that you carefully follow all post-operative instructions and see us for all post-operative visits.
  • Halos or glare - If you currently have problems driving at night or have halos and glare, it may be related to the size of your pupil. LASIK surgery may decrease or increase these symptoms. Most surgery-related halos and glare diminish with healing, but some patients continue to have symptoms.

Q. Can I do both eyes at once?

A. This is a decision that you and Dr. Andrews will make together. The current standard of care in the United States is that either one or both eyes can be treated in one sitting.

Q. Do I have to do anything special before or after the procedure?

A. Before the procedure, you will need to have a comprehensive eye evaluation. We will explain all of the instructions for before and after the procedure. If you wear contacts, you'll need to remove them prior to the pre-operative evaluation. After the procedure, you'll need to have someone drive you home. It is also very important to see Dr. Andrews or your primary eye doctor for all scheduled follow-up visits.

Q. Does LASIK lead to unrelated problems in the future?

A. Certain eye conditions that are related to aging-such as Presbyopia (the loss of flexibility in the lens of the eye)-will not be corrected by the procedure and will be experienced by everyone sooner or later. However, many patients concerned with Presbyopia are candidates for monovision, which relies on the correction of one eye for clear distance vision and under-correction or no correction of the other eye for improved reading vision. We will discuss this important issue in your evaluation.

At the Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado, we are proud to provide LASIK and other vision correction procedures to Northern Colorado residents including Longmont, Lafayette, Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins and Greeley.

Email or call us today at 303-682-3396 for a free vision correction consultation.
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