LASIK Frequently Asked Questions Below are some commonly asked questions regarding the LASIK procedure. If your question is not listed here, please do not hesitate to contact Krista Felton at 304-598-4494. What are the benefits of LASIK? Laser vision correction has been shown to reduce dependence on glasses and contacts. Over 95% of our patients undergoing laser vision correction achieve 20/40 vision or better. This will enable you to pass a driver's license exam without glasses. How do I know if I am a candidate for laser vision correction? LASIK is used to correct many vision problems including nearsightedness, astigmatism and farsightedness. While it is a very safe and effective procedure, not everyone is a candidate. Certain eye and medical conditions can make a patient unsuitable for LASIK surgery. If you have questions, call our patient counselor at 304-598-4494. Please have your eyeglass or contact lens prescription available so we can tell you if you are potential candidate for laser refractive surgery. How long is the procedure? You will be at the Eye Institute approximately 1 ½ hours. The time in the surgery suite with the surgeon is 15-20 minutes. The actual laser treatment time is approximately one minute per eye. Is LASIK really painless? For many patients, LASIK is indeed painless. Anesthetic drops numb the eye prior to the procedure. Some patients may experience temporary symptoms such as scratchy or watery eyes after the procedure, but this usually disappears within 24 hours. Keeping the eyes closed and using the medication drops as instructed can help minimize any discomfort. What if I blink during the procedure? Your eye will be held open with a holder supporting your lid so that you cannot blink. The holder is placed on your eye right before the treatment and removed right after. Why must I stop wearing my contacts before my preoperative exam? Contact lenses can change the shape of the cornea similar to how a watchband can make a skin imprint on your wrist. If you have your eyes examined too soon after taking out your contact lenses, some of the eye tests could give inaccurate results. You should discontinue wearing soft contact lenses two weeks prior to the pre-operative measurements and surgery. Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lens wearers should discontinue wearing lenses four weeks prior to pre-operative measurements. Our doctors will advise you if they suspect your corneas have not returned to their natural shape after removing your contact lenses. Do the results last? LASIK is considered to be a permanent procedure; however, refractive surgery will not prevent any age-related conditions such as presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) or cataracts. In a small number of cases, eyes do change over time and develop a new prescription. If this happens, you may be able to be re-treated. Does insurance cover laser eye surgery? Most insurance companies consider laser eye surgery an elective surgery and it is not usually a covered benefit. However, it is certainly worth checking with your insurance company and we encourage you to call them. How much work will I miss? Most patients return to their normal activities the day after the procedure. The doctor can give your more details on what you can expect when you come in for an evaluation. What are the risks of LASIK? Your safety is our highest priority. While LASIK has a very high success rate, like any surgery there is risk associated with it. Some patients experience dryness in the eyes, which is usually relieved with eye drops and can disappear over time. In a very small number of people, vision can worsen rather than improve. Your surgeon will go over the potential risks with refractive surgery and measures taken to avoid them. Be sure to have all your questions are answered before having surgery. Can both eyes be done at the same time? Because of the advanced technology associated with LASIK both eyes are most often done at the same time.