What is LASIK eye surgery?
Over the past few decades, no elective procedure has had a more significant impact for the people of San Antonio than refractive eye surgery, also known as laser eye surgery.
LASIK is the acronym for laser in-situ keratomileusis, meaning the surgical reshaping of the cornea to correct refractive errors.
Essentially, this laser vision correction surgery gently reshapes the inner cornea with a cool ultraviolet excimer laser to correct the common refractive errors of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Before laser refractive surgery, wearing glasses and contact lenses was the only way for these patients to see clearly.
The main job of our eyes is to focus light precisely on our retina, which in turn sends that image to our brain. How well you see depends on the particular shape of your cornea.
If your cornea is too flat or too long, it will fall in front of or beyond the retina, and vision is not clear. If you have an irregularly shaped or uneven cornea, then everything is blurry, as with astigmatism.
The LASIK treatment changes the shape of a patient’s cornea so the focal point of the light correctly passes onto the retina’s surface (the nerve layer at the back of the eye that transmits visual images to the brain).
Is LASIK Safe?
LASIK technology has dramatically improved since the FDA first approved it in 1999. New lasers are more precise, and screening for good candidates has become more rigorous. As such, according to the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, LASIK receives a 96% satisfaction rating, with success defined by the quality of vision and patient satisfaction post-procedure.
One of the most common questions our doctors receive from patients is if they can go blind from LASIK? To date, there have not been any reported cases of blindness due to LASIK. The surgery itself does not cause blindness.
However, proper follow-up care is essential for a complication-free result. As with any surgical procedure, failure to follow the correct post-care protocol assigned by your surgeon can result in potential complications. Patients will receive prescribed medications and detailed instructions on what to expect as the healing process is evaluated regularly.
Is LASIK painful?
Because we make every effort to make sure the eye is numb, patients tell us that they feel only slight discomfort but no pain during the procedure. After the procedure, most people report a slightly irritated eye for a few hours, similar to an eyelash getting in your eye.
Recent advancements in LASIK technology have also enabled substantial increases in the speed and ease of visual recovery and decreased pain or discomfort experienced during the procedure.
The hinged flap technique is one such method. Instead of scraping away the epithelium (the outermost layer of the cornea), LASIK involves creating a flap of corneal tissue folded to the side. An excimer laser is used to reshape the stromal tissue, the layer below the epithelium. Following treatment, the flap is repositioned, and the two cellular surfaces quickly heal.
How long does a LASIK procedure take?
The actual procedure lasts under 10 minutes per eye. Most patients can go back to work the very next day. Resting for at least one day after surgery with minimal activity is recommended post-surgery.
What is the recovery time for LASIK?
In general, the recovery period for LASIK is from 6 to 12 hours; however, it varies from patient to patient and depends on several factors. Most patients can enjoy their corrected vision after 24 hours, but others take two to five days to recover.
How long does LASIK last?
The physical changes made to the cornea during laser eye surgery never go away. The procedure permanently reshapes the tissue in the front of your eye.
That said, having laser vision correction surgery does not prevent your eyes from ever developing other age-related deterioration issues such as cataracts or glaucoma in the future.
In rare cases, patients may need a LASIK enhancement follow-up procedure if their vision changes significantly over time or the original surgery did not achieve the desired results. With modern LASIK, the enhancement rate is 1-2 percent in the first twelve months and then increases about one percent per year after that.
How much does LASIK cost in San Antonio?
The average cost is between $2000 – $6000 for LASIK eye surgery. The price depends on a variety of factors, including the unique laser eye surgery procedure required for the patient, the technology used, and the experience of the refractive surgeon.
At South Texas Eye Institute, there are no hidden costs or fees. If you have laser eye surgery performed by our team – the evaluation, procedure, and a year of post-operative care are all included in the final price.
Is Laser Eye Surgery Covered by Health Insurance?
Very few insurance policies cover laser vision correction. However, we would be happy to check with your provider when you come in for a consultation. We have patient financing plans with approved credit through CareCredit and Wells Fargo. Call (210) 692-1388 or email us by filling out the contact form on the right-hand side to learn more about your quick and confidential application process.
Can I do LASIK one eye at a time?
In the majority of all cases, the procedure is done on both eyes at the same appointment. But you may elect to have one eye done at a time.
Who is a good candidate for LASIK?
LASIK vision correction is not necessarily for everyone. Certain factors disqualify an individual from being a candidate for LASIK surgery, such as certain eye conditions or being under 18.
The best way to determine your candidacy is with a proper screening and thorough evaluation from an experienced refractive surgeon in San Antonio, TX.
Is LASIK eye surgery worth it?
While LASIK is not an appropriate procedure for everyone, over 700,000 people continue to get the procedure in the U.S. each year. LASIK provides an opportunity to improve vision, remove the need for glasses, and save substantial amounts of money over a lifetime.
There are many factors to factor when considering laser eye surgery, such as age, lifestyle, and cost. LASIK is an elective procedure and should be treated with careful consideration and in-depth consultations with a refractive surgeon.
If you are ready to enjoy life without contact lenses and glasses, contact San Antonio’s leading LASIK provider and schedule an appointent today.