Many of the patients we see for LASIK consultations at our offices around Charleston, SC, are prepared with a list of questions about the surgery. Often, each patient has the same concerns, so we try to address them early on and leave time for more questions and discussions after their surgery. With this in mind, I’ve met with Dr. Hood and compiled a list of the most common questions we hear about LASIK surgery from our patients.
1. Will I need reading glasses?
Most patients who have undergone a blade-free custom LASIK treatment with Dr. Solomon no longer need glasses for their daily activities. It’s important to understand that LASIK does not address changes in vision that may occur after the surgery. For example, patients between the ages of 40 and 50 years of age who did not elect for monovision LASIK may need reading glasses at some point, due to natural aging processes of the eye. However, the surgery can treat an existing need for glasses.
2. Does it hurt?
Most patients feel little to no pain or discomfort during the treatment. Before surgery, you’ll receive numbing eye drops and some medication, which may help you relax. No other anesthesia is needed. After surgery, you may feel some grittiness or scratchiness which will subside within a few hours after surgery. To manage this sensation, we ask patients return home and take a nap immediately after their treatment, and use Tylenol or ibuprofen to manage further discomfort the day of surgery. While patients may feel these slight discomforts, one patient said the most uncomfortable part of his treatment was peeling the protective tape off his eyebrows after it was over.
3. How long will I be out of work?
Many patients take the day of their surgery off from work, but return to normal activities, like working, driving, and walking the next day without a problem. You should avoid exercise for 72 hours following surgery, and swimming and contact sports, including tennis and racquetball should be avoided for at least 2 weeks. After that, we recommend wearing protective eyewear.
I’ll ask that you come in for a follow-up treatment the morning after surgery, just to be sure things are healing well. It’s important to note that eye makeup cannot be worn for 2 weeks following LASIK, and it’s recommended that you purchase new mascara to help prevent infection or irritation.
4. How do I find a good doctor?
My best advice to patients is simply to ask around. Asking trusted friends and family members who have received the treatment about their surgeon, experience, and who they feel would be the most reputable choice is a great place to start. Next, schedule a consultation with that surgeon. If you don’t feel completely safe and comfortable with that surgeon, schedule another consultation elsewhere to help you remain confident in your decision.
5. Is now the best time to have LASIK, or is there something better coming along soon?
Now is an excellent time to undergo the procedure. While technology surrounding laser eye surgery is always improving, there are no other procedures with outcomes as sustained and outstanding as LASIK.
6. Are the results any better today than when the procedure was first available to the public?
The results today are better than ever before. The incidence of side effects has only decreased, and overall quality of vision is better than when the technology was first introduced. Millions and millions of dollars have been spent on research and development of the procedure over the last 2 decades. I encourage you to visit this blog post to learn about one of the latest developments in the industry.
Additionally, we’re better at screening patients today than we have been in the past. If we believe a different treatment option, such as Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA/PRK), will provide the patient with better results than LASIK, we can address this option early on.
If you still have questions about LASIK surgery, read this blog post for a detailed overview of the process and an outline of what to expect on the day of surgery.