Q: Am I a candidate for LASIK?
A: This is the first and most common question from those considering LASIK. Some people are not candidates for LASIK for a few reasons, such as the severity or their refractive error or existing eye conditions. We cannot tell you if you are truly a candidate without first coming in for a consultation. The doctor will ask you about your eye health, family history, and consider your refractive error and condition of your cornea.
Q: How long does the procedure actually take?
A: This depends on each person. LASIK surgery at Westlake Eye in Austin generally takes around 15 to 20 minutes, but expect to be at the surgery center for a few hours.
Q: Will the laser hurt?
A: During the procedure, you will have been given an anesthetic and will not be able to feel the laser. After the procedure, you may feel some discomfort in the form of watery, itchy or gritty eyes. This will subside.
Q: How long do results last?
A: LASIK is considered a permanent procedure, however, does not stop the aging of the eye. Age-related eye conditions such as cataracts and presbyopia are still a possibility and can be treated on their own in the typical fashion.
Q: What are the risks?
A: While LASIK at Westlake Eye in Austin is regarded one of the safest surgical procedures today, it does come with some risks. Experienced LASIK surgeons experience a less than 1% complication rate. These complications are always confined to the quality of vision, and not the loss of vision. Some risks include:
- Decreased night vision
- Under or over-treatment
- Severe dry eye syndrome
- Outcomes not as good in patients with severe refractive error
- Some far-sighted patients may see diminished results with age
Q: What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?
A: Both PRK and LASIK are forms of vision correction. How are they different? LASIK surgery reshapes the inner layers of the cornea, after creating a thin flap in the cornea. During the PRK procedure, the surface of the cornea is scraped or ablated, sculpting the cornea by removing microscopic layers.
Q: What should I do before and after the procedure?
A: A comprehensive eye examination will be done at Westlake Eye in Austin or Kyle, TX before the LASIK procedure to ensure that you are a good candidate. One of our Austin, TX ophthalmologists will explain to you what will need to do to prepare. If you are wearing contacts, you will need to remove them prior to your preoperative evaluation. Remove hard or gas permeable lenses 3-6 weeks in advance, and soft lenses 7 days in advance. Following the procedure at Westlake Eye in Austin, you will need someone to drive you home. You have a follow-up appointment the next day, and then designated intervals for the first year.