LASIK

LASIK Quiz   |   LASIK Report Card   |   What to Expect When You Have LASIK

LASIK Quiz

True or False?

1. LASIK is a risk-free procedure.

FALSE! LASIK is subject to risks associated with other types of procedures. It's essential that you understand as much as possible about the potential risks of any surgical procedure so that you can make an informed decision. The chance of having a serious vision threatening complication is much less than 1%. To our knowledge there have been no cases of blindness following LASIK anywhere in the world.

2. LASIK patients never need any type of lenses after the procedure and always achieve perfect 20/20 vision.

FALSE! As with any medical procedure, there is no guarantee that you will have perfect vision or that you will not need distance or reading glasses again. However, almost everyone experiences improved vision, and most see well enough to pass a driver's test without corrective lenses.

3. Nothing can be done to treat "glare and halos" that persist after several months.

FALSE! There are many different treatments that an experienced doctor can prescribe for patients. However, the proper treatment requires a proper diagnosis of the cause. There are many potential causes of night vision disturbances. Patients experiencing debilitating night vision problems should mention it to their doctor. Although uncommon, our doctors and staff have been thoroughly trained to deal with complications that could arise from LASIK.

4. If my vision is poor after LASIK, it is safe to repeatedly get enhancements until I get a perfect result.

FALSE! Enhancements or "touch-ups" are possible if the vision is limited by residual refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism). However, having more than one enhancement can indicate unrealistic expectations from the patient and poor clinical judgment from the surgeon. Even after repeated enhancements, the eye is still likely to require some prescription to get the very best vision possible. Patients who keep getting enhancements to try to attain an unrealistic result are only increasing their likelihood of a vision reducing complication. Surgeons willing to perform enhancements under these circumstances are not providing good care.

5. 20/20 vision means perfect vision..

FALSE! Some patients with 20/20 vision following LASIK are very unhappy. Unfortunately, much of the advertising emphasizes getting 20/20 vision after LASIK. Patients should be more concerned about getting improved functional vision. During your LASIK evaluation your patient counselor will discuss your unique sight needs and determine how to get you the optimum results.

6. LASIK is not a medical procedure.

FALSE! Advertising often suggests LASIK is like getting your hair cut in order to maximize response. Some clinics have located within shopping malls to "de-medicize" LASIK to attract patients. Despite these portrayals, LASIK is a surgical procedure requiring professional medical judgment. Patients should take their scheduled appointments and doctors' recommendations seriously.

7. The brand of excimer laser is more important than the doctor providing pre- and post-operative care.

FALSE! Although we feel it is important to provide patients with a laser that minimizes room for error, your refractive surgeon has ultimate control over your results. The best possible result depends heavily on the doctor performing the pre- and postoperative care. LASIK is performed by doctors - not by machines. The laser cannot determine your candidacy for the procedure, evaluate whether your expectations are in line with the likely outcome, nor determine the attempted correction. The doctor is crucial in these regards, as well as assessing your response to the treatment, ensuring the eye is healing properly, and educating you through the entire process. As a rule of thumb, if you select a good eye care team for your LASIK, you will receive the instrumentation they feel is best including the laser, surgical instruments, eye drops, and other "materials". Despite this, manufacturers will always try to persuade you that their laser is the best.

8. The quality of LASIK is the same no matter where you go.

FALSE! Advertisements from discount laser centers suggest that LASIK is the same no matter where you go. However, LASIK is not a product with consistency from one place to another. It is a professional service with variable quality. When comparing the different LASIK centers, you should ask, "What do you do to ensure the best possible outcome?" The worst question to ask first is, "What do you charge for LASIK?" Remember that LASIK is a medical procedure. Like heart and brain surgery, this is not the place to look for a bargain. Look for service, quality, commitment, high ethical standards, caring, and expertise.

9. A good result after LASIK will save me money from needing routine eye exams in the future.

FALSE! Patients that have had LASIK vision correction still need routine eye exams including dilation each year. These exams are important for ensuring proper eye health even if the vision is good or unchanged.

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LASIK Report Card

When choosing a LASIK surgeon, please utilize the Report Card below to make sure that you are receiving the highest quality care possible.

Other Center VS. Professional Eye  
    × Complete eye exam including dilation
    × A refractive surgery team dedicated to achieving the best results possible
    × Consultation with surgeon to answer any and all questions
    × Fellowship trained refractive surgeon - a surgeon with state-of-the-art training in the most up-to-date techniques in refractive surgery
    × Orbscan-II computerized corneal topography that analyzes the front and back corneal surface corneal thickness measurement
    × Schirmer's test that looks for dry eyes
    × Pupil measurement in a dark and light room to lessen risk of glare at night
    × 3-D tracking technology available to follow your eye movements in all three dimensions if you cannot hold your eye still
    × Hansatome microkeratome - this LASIK flap maker has the safest and most proven track record
    ×  New blade and sterilized LASIK flap lifting instruments with every case
    × Long term follow-up care with surgeon and friendly, competent staff

Click here to print this report card


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What to Expect When You Have LASIK

In just a few short years, LASIK, or laser in situ keratomileusis, has become one of the most popular and well-known vision correcting procedures. LASIK is an excellent choice for patients who are myopic (nearsighted), hyperopic (farsighted), or who have astigmatism (irregular curvature of the cornea, causing blurriness).

LASIK surgery works by creating a thin flap on the cornea, then gently lifting the flap and applying a laser light to reshape the cornea, enabling you to once again have clear, sharp vision. This surgery has become popular because it is safe, quick, relatively painless, and has already helped millions of people.

The experienced eye surgeons at Professional Eye Associates believe that LASIK is a very good option for near and farsighted healthy adults. LASIK is not for people with cataracts and some other conditions. If you are under 40 and undergo LASIK, you may still need to wear reading glasses around the age of 45.

Before Surgery

If you are interested in LASIK surgery, the first step is to schedule a LASIK evaluation at Professional Eye Associates. A LASIK evaluation is easy to set up. Just e-mail or call 706-226-2020 to speak with one of our Patient Counselors.

The evaluation will help us make a preliminary determination whether you are a candidate for LASIK or another vision correction procedure, and if so, which procedure would be most appropriate for you.

In general, to be a candidate for laser vision correction you should:

  • be at least 18 years of age or older
  • have stable vision for at least a year prior to the procedure
  • be free of certain diseases of the cornea and retina
  • be in good general health
  • not be pregnant or less than 3 months post-partum

Aside from these general requirements, we recommend you have a number of visual tests to determine whether you are a candidate. At Professional Eye Associates, we will perform these tests in our office and the cost of the tests is $95.00. If you schedule your LASIK surgery within three months of the LASIK evaluation, the $95.00 will be deducted from your total surgery fee.

It is important for you to realize that even if it is determined that you are not a candidate today, it does not mean that you will not be a candidate as new technology becomes available. However, laser vision correction is not for everyone, and some patients (for example, those with certain diseases of the eye involving the cornea or retina), will never be candidates. The best way for you to find out if you are a viable candidate for LASIK is having a LASIK evaluation at Professional Eye Associates.

The secondary objective of the evaluation is to educate you regarding all aspects of laser vision correction, including risks, benefits, options and expected results.

All of us at Professional Eye Associates want you to learn everything you can about your options so you can make an informed decision. The consultation process will help you to understand what you can reasonably expect from the procedure.

Day of Surgery

On the day of your procedure, you should arrive at our laser center as rested and relaxed as possible. You should allow approximately two hours for the entire process. You will first go through a complete preparation process including the administration of mild eye drops to numb your eyes. You may choose to have a mild sedative prior to your procedure. Then, you will enter the laser suite for treatment, which will last only a few minutes on each eye.

The most natural response prior to your procedure is a mixture of both eager anticipation and nervousness. Most LASIK patients describe similar feelings before their procedure, so be reassured this is extremely normal.

Our LASIK surgeons, Dr. William Blackman, Dr. Tim O'Boyle and Dr. Brian Kim have had extensive training on all aspects of laser vision correction, and will work with you to achieve your personal best vision.

Post-Operation

Once your procedure is complete you will be able to go home almost immediately to rest. Additional drops will be placed in your eyes and medication may be given to you to use over the next few days. Following the LASIK procedure, an eye shield(s) will be placed over your eye(s). The eye shield is typically worn for 24 hours and then, at bedtime, for several days.

Most patients notice dramatic visual results within the first 24 hours following the procedure and are able to resume all of their regular activities the next day.

It is important for you to understand that follow-up care is as important to your results as the actual procedure. Make sure that you see your Professional Eye Associates doctor for all of your regularly scheduled post-op appointments and then on an annual basis to monitor the health of your eyes.

While laser vision correction has proven to be overwhelmingly successful in reducing dependence on glasses and contact lenses, the degree of improvement may vary from individual to individual. Our doctors may perform a free enhancement within the first year after your procedure if you and your doctor agree that an enhancement could be beneficial.

An overwhelming majority of our patients tell us about the dramatic impact the procedure has had on their lives, enabling them to enjoy everyday activities in a way they could not before LASIK.

If you're in the Dalton, Calhoun or Ellijay areas and would like to know more about LASIK, please call or email us any time to schedule an initial consultation. You'll see our facility and amenities, meet our staff, and you can meet one of our doctors to discuss issues and questions. If you'd like to proceed, you can schedule another appointment. We look forward to seeing you!

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