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People who are considering LASIK eye surgery are often unsure about the facts regarding the benefits and results of the procedure. Our surgeons, who serve Utah's Provo, Ogden, and Salt Lake City areas and even beyond, however, are dedicated to clearing up any uncertainties our prospective patients may have by addressing their concerns and answering their questions. Contact Hoopes Vision to schedule a free, no-pressure consultation with one of our highly trained surgeons.
The LASIK procedure can be frightening for prospective patients who still have many questions about LASIK. We've provided the answers to the most commonly asked questions about LASIK.
There is usually no pain or discomfort associated with LASIK or laser vision correction surgery. The eye is anesthetized with numbing drops at the start of the procedure. Pressure can be felt, but it is not uncomfortable. For the first 12 to 24 hours afterwards, the eye can feel scratchy.
LASIK eye surgery is famous for the many benefits it affords. Notably, the surgery usually takes less than 10 minutes at our facility near Provo, and is performed on an outpatient basis. Patients can expect to remain at the laser center for about two hours on the day of the procedure.
Yes. Most surgeons operate on both eyes at the same sitting. The results are so predictable and the procedure so safe that most people undergoing LASIK surgery prefer to have both eyes corrected on the same day. It also restores your balanced vision as quickly as possible, which is especially helpful if you are unable to wear a contact lens in the unoperated eye.
Generally speaking, to be a good candidate for LASIK you should:
In addition, the most ideal candidates for LASIK are well-educated about the facts. As the leading experts in Utah, our staff and surgeons are dedicated to providing accurate and honest answers in our ongoing effort to spread LASIK education.
Each of our ultra-modern LASIK excimer lasers has built-in tracking devices able to adjust the placement of the laser if and when your eye makes an involuntary movement. Some of these devices can track movement up to 4,000 times per second. If your eye were to move too far out of range, the laser simply stops until it can get back on target. The LASIK surgery can then continue, usually with the same excellent results afterwards.
The only type of anesthesia used is anesthetic eye drops. These are very effective in making this a truly painless surgery. The doctor and nurses will usually give you a small dose of some medication, such as Valium®, to take by mouth to help you stay calm.
Both procedures use the excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The difference is that, with PRK, the laser is used on the surface of the eye, while in LASIK the laser work is performed on a surface underneath a thin, protective corneal flap. The long-term results of both procedures are similar. Visual recovery with LASIK is usually faster, with less discomfort. If you are interested in undergoing LASIK or PRK, learn the facts from the leading surgeons in Utah by contacting Hoopes Vision today.
In 1995, the FDA approved the use of the excimer laser for the treatment of myopia using PRK. Then, in the fall of 1999, LASIK was approved by the FDA after much analysis of the facts, results, and case studies. In recent years, LASIK has gained popularity in many practices and has become the procedure of choice for permanent refractive correction worldwide.
Many patients seeking refractive surgery do so because they have dry eyes and are unable to wear contact lenses anymore. It is important that your dry eyes be treated before you undergo LASIK. This process usually involves the use of tear supplements and punctum plugs (tiny silicone plugs placed in the tear drainage openings of your eyelids) that delay the drainage of your own tears so that your eyes will stay moist.
After the procedure, your operated eye may feel temporarily drier because the corneal nerves are severed during LASIK surgery, causing the eye to produce fewer tears. This condition is usually temporary and typically lasts three to six months. Dry eye symptoms can be particularly noticeable if you use the computer frequently, read for long periods of time, or drive extended distances. These types of activities exacerbate dry eyes because they cause you to stare and not blink as often. It is important to use ample lubrication, especially during the first few months after surgery.
Many prospective patients are not as concerned about the actual procedure as they are about the effects LASIK will have on them following the surgery.
Most patients see clearly within 24 hours of surgery and are able to drive after their first-day postoperative exam. Many return to work and resume normal activities within a few days of LASIK. The results of the surgery will take several weeks to stabilize completely. Patients from Ogden and surrounding areas in Utah, including Salt Lake City and Sandy, can contact Hoopes Vision to inquire further about recovery time.
We suggest that the patient go home immediately after the surgery and relax for a few hours, if possible. We ask the patient to avoid reading or up-close work for the remainder of the day. You will also be asked to place drops in your eye about every four hours. Many patients return to work the next day after their postoperative exams. You should not drive until you are seeing well, which you usually will by the next day. We will give you protective, clear shields to place over your eyes at night during the first week to keep you from inadvertently rubbing them.
Your likelihood of avoiding the need for eyewear depends on how severe your prescription or correction is. Our most recent results show that nearly 90 percent of our nearsighted patients see 20/20 or better, and nearly 99 percent will be 20/40 (good enough to pass a driving test) or better. However, post-LASIK results will vary and as the surgery is really designed to improve and reduce your current refractive error and not necessarily to make your vision perfect. You may still need to wear glasses and, as you get older, you will most likely require reading glasses to see up close (like everyone else who is not nearsighted!). For realistic expectations for your unique vision, please schedule a free, no-obligation LASIK screening.
To date, there have not been any reported cases of blindness stemming from LASIK, and there are no facts that show that any serious, vision-threatening problems were encountered in the FDA studies for the surgery’s approval. There have been cases of damaged or reduced vision after PRK and LASIK that were related to infections, haze and scarring, botched flap formation, or improper positioning. Many of these problems were improved at a later date. As with any type of surgery, anything can happen. At our particular practice, we have had no serious sight-threatening problems so far.
At Hoopes Vision, we perform our LASIK treatments with the utmost confidence. We believe that the safety and effectiveness of our technologies, combined with the extensive experience of our dedicated surgeons, offer our patients the best chance to achieve optimal vision.
Our confidence allows us to offer the See Clearly Guarantee and Assurance Program, Utah's only free, full money-back guarantee. If you don't obtain at least 20/25 vision within the 12-month LASIK postoperative period, we will refund the full procedure cost. Additionally, if your vision ever falls below 20/40, Hoopes Vision will provide enhancements or touch-ups at no extra cost.
To learn more about the terms and restrictions of our See Clearly Guarantee and Assurance Program, or to learn more LASIK facts by speaking with some of the most trusted surgeons in Utah, please contact Hoopes Vision today to schedule a consultation.
Results may vary from surgeon to surgeon and from center to center. Therefore, it is important to ask your surgeon about his or her experience and results. Results also vary depending on your initial refractive error. With higher amounts of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, results are less predictable and retreatments are more common.
When people first research LASIK, one of the most astonishing facts they come across regards how long the correction lasts. Once your eye has stabilized (which is about three months with LASIK and six months with PRK), your correction is permanent. Any additional need for glasses after that will usually be the result of normal aging processes that befall everyone and not due to any instability of the refractive procedure’s outcome.
In the event that you are undercorrected or overcorrected, it is usually possible for us to perform an additional treatment. First, though, your eye must stabilize. Typically, retreatment with LASIK takes place three months or so after the original procedure. With PRK, this step may occur after about six months to one year. In PRK, the front surface of the cornea is treated again, and the recovery time is a week to a month. With LASIK, the corneal flap may not need to be recreated. Using specialized instruments, the surgeon can gently lift the pre-existing flap and perform additional laser work. Recovery time is similar to the original procedure. There is usually no charge for enhancement surgery if it is performed in the first year after the original surgery. There are many criteria that determine if a patient can have enhancements, including the amount of residual prescription and the amount of tissue remaining. Ideally, the LASIK or PRK retreatment will provide results that allow the patient to enjoy optimal vision.
If you were able to wear contact lenses comfortably before LASIK, it is unlikely that you will have problems afterward.
This development is very unlikely. LASIK is a form of lamellar refractive surgery. The original lamellar refractive surgery (myopic keratomileusis) has been performed since 1949. Patients who have undergone these related but less accurate and more invasive procedures 50 years ago have not developed any unusual problems.
Yes. The surgical technique used will not change. However, your lens implant will be designed using a different formula.
No. Unfortunately, among the many LASIK eye surgery benefits, the prevention of cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, or any other eye disease is not included. Ophthalmologists term LASIK as “disease neutral:” it does not cause disease, it does not prevent disease, and it does not prevent diseases encountered in the future from being treated.
A note on retinal detachment: severely nearsighted people are at a greater risk for retinal detachment. Generally, the more nearsighted one is, the greater the risk. It is important to understand that after LASIK the eye is still anatomically myopic (structurally too long) and subject to the same retinal detachment risk as before the procedure.
With LASIK, you can usually drive within one to three days. Most departments of motor vehicles grant unrestricted driving privileges to individuals who possess 20/40 or better vision. Well over 90 percent of our patients who undergo LASIK eye surgery have this level of vision or better by the first day after their procedures.
After undergoing LASIK eye surgery, one of the most significant benefits that you will experience is, in most cases, the ability to return to work the next day. If you work in a dusty or dirty environment, you may need to wait longer before returning to work. While most patients can function normally at work one day after their LASIK procedures, we recommend that you not schedule any unbreakable appointments or meetings on that day. That way, if your recovery is delayed slightly, you will still be able to accommodate the delay without any undue stress.