LASIK laser eye surgery is a safe and effective vision correction procedure. It’s been performed by doctors for decades and has been proven to help patients with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
At Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, we offer LASIK to patients who are ready for a life without glasses.
Drs. Maverick and Lehmann meet with every patient before their procedure to formulate a plan that best suits the patient’s needs. At many LASIK centers, the patient doesn’t “meet” their lasik surgeon until the day of the procedure, and that is when they are already under the laser! At Focal Point Vision, we want you to be relaxed and comfortable with your surgeon and your procedure before your surgery day.
Our surgeons are fellowship-trained in refractive surgery. This means that they did an extra year after residency specifically dedicated to LASIK, PRK, and corneal surgery. In accordance with our mission statement, we act in the best interest of the patient and believe that a measured, prudent approach is best when undertaking refractive surgery.
Contact Nadja Mobley at our San Antonio LASIK center to set up your complimentary consultation. Our doctors will meet with you and determine if you are a candidate for LASIK. LASIK is a powerful tool for improving sight, but it’s not right for every patient. This screening process protects the patient’s health, and determines if LASIK is the appropriate procedure for them.
What is LASIK?
LASIK is an acronym for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis.
That sounds complicated, what does it mean?
LASIK involves the use of two lasers to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism (these are collectively referred to as one’s “refractive error”). The first laser makes a thin flap on the surface of the cornea, and then the flap is lifted so that a second laser can reshape the cornea. The flap is then lowered, and the cornea heals without stitches.
Who is the ideal candidate for LASIK?
The ideal patient would be someone in their 20s or 30s who is healthy and has a stable prescription in their glasses or contacts. “Stable” generally means that the prescription hasn’t changed by more than 0.50 year-to-year.
What if I am younger than 20?
Generally speaking, LASIK patients should be at least 18 years old. People’s prescription can change in early adulthood, and we would have to document stability as mentioned above.
What about LASIK for older people?
While LASIK is possible for older patients, they should be aware that the development of cataracts and the need for reading glasses (which becomes much more likely above the age of 45). These issues can make their LASIK result relatively short-lived.
What factors would make someone a poor candidate for LASIK?
Patients with higher levels of nearsightedness (more than -10 diopters), farsightedness (more than +4 diopters), and astigmatism (more than 5 diopters) are not good candidates for LASIK. Some patient’s corneas are too thin to safely create a corneal flap, and such patients are not good candidates.
Pregnant or nursing mothers should not have LASIK because their refractive errors can change, and, patients with conditions that impair wound healing (severe diabetes, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus).
What about dry eye and LASIK?
Dry eye is a relatively common condition, and many patients have problems staying comfortable in their soft contact lenses because of dryness. This type of dryness would not likely keep someone from having LASIK. However, if a patient has such dry eye that they cannot wear contacts and have to use prescription dry eye medication, then they may not be good candidates for LASIK.
What is keratoconus and how does it relate to LASIK?
Keratoconus is an inherited condition that leads to a thin, abnormal cornea and very high astigmatism. Keratoconus is worsened by eye rubbing, and these patients are absolutely not good candidates for LASIK.
What other eye diseases would prevent somebody from being a good LASIK candidate?
Other eye diseases that would make someone a poor LASIK candidate include glaucoma, herpes infection of the eye, double vision, and misalignment of the eyes (strabismus). Patients taking medications that may inhibit corneal healing (Accutane, Amiodarone, Imitrex) should not have LASIK, and those with only one functional eye should avoid surgery.
What happens on the day of surgery?
The patient arrives to the laser center, reviews the plan with the staff, and receives a valium to help with relaxation. The surgeon rechecks the measurements and answers any questions.
In the laser suite, anesthetic drops are placed to numb the eyes and the patient is positioned in a reclined chair beneath the lasers. A small, soft suction ring is used to hold the eye open and perfectly still while the first laser painlessly creates the corneal flap. The patient is then positioned under the second laser, where the surgeon lifts the flap, and the patient focuses on a point of light as the second laser reshapes the cornea, usually taking less than a minute. The corneal flap is lowered, drops are instilled, and the patient returns home with goggles.
Is there pain during or after the surgery?
Topical anesthetic is extremely effective for preventing any pain during the procedure. Patients feel only pressure when the soft suction ring is in place. After surgery, patients may have some tearing, sensitivity to light and mild irritation that resolve in 1-2 hours.
What is the follow-up?
Generally, patients are seen the day after surgery, one week after surgery, and one month after surgery. Antibiotic and steroid eye drops are used for a week, and artificial tears are used for 4 to 6 weeks.
How quickly will my vision improve after surgery?
Most patients have excellent uncorrected vision the day after surgery. Common symptoms such as glare and halos around lights are related to flap healing and generally resolve 2-4 weeks after surgery.
How quickly can I return to normal activity after LASIK?
Most patients return to their normal activities including swimming and using eye make-up like mascara and eyeliner 2 weeks after surgery.