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Dec 1

2014

Questions You Must Ask To A LASIK Surgeon

LASIK is an abbreviation for Laser In Situ Kertomileusis. In a simple term, it is a process of correcting the shape of the cornea using a laser beam for correcting vision disorders like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, etc. This process has gained immense popularity after its inception in the mid-nineties. There are millions of people worldwide who have got benefited from it. Since it is a complex procedure, proficiency of the surgeon plays an important role. There are various doctors and clinics available claiming the ultra-modern treatment for vision correction, but the patient should seek for the best one in the available lot. Though it is a quick and reliable surgery, high-level technical competency and confidence are important for complete benefit.

There are various issues and concerns in people’s minds when they approach a surgeon for LASIK procedure. Some people are frank and open enough to ask about it. However, some people feel hesitated about asking questions regarding the surgical procedure and its outcomes. Experts suggest that one should not feel shy about it because it is a delicate procedure.  Though it is an incredibly easy and effective procedure that has helped millions of people worldwide, there are inherent risks like any other surgery. There are so many people who have got relief from vision ailments since its inception in the mid of the last decade. Since the procedure gives only one chance to get it right, patients must ask the basic questions about this life-changing procedure.

What Laser procedure will be used for vision correction?

When patients discuss LASIK procedure with the surgeon, it is important that they know which procedure the doctor thinks appropriate? Will it be a conventional, old-fashioned Laser treatment or state-of-the-art computerized one?  Surgeons have a wide variety of options like:

  • VISX star treatment using wavefront-guiding technique

  • Wavelight Allegretto Eye-Q technique

  • Zeiss MEL-80 technique

Certainly, all procedures are not the same. Some are more sophisticated and easy to use whereas some maintain the natural shape of the cornea during vision correction.  There has been tremendous research and development in Laser technique. Every new method is superior and better than the previous one.  For example, Wavefront technology removed the problems of night glare or night halo which was quite prominent in the earlier versions. These issues have been tackled in the modern techniques.

How many procedures the clinic/surgeon has performed?

LASIK is a highly techno-savvy procedure where experience and technical knowhow play a critical role. When a surgeon uses sophisticated tools, and he has a vast experience of performing similar surgeries in the past; great results are almost sure. Hence, there is no harm in asking about these two aspects before undergoing surgery.  In the remote possibility of coming across an unseen complication, an experienced doctor can tackle it in a better way than a novice surgeon.  When a doctor performs multiple procedures using modern technique, then he is quite familiar with the limitations and strength of it. Surgeons assess about the eligibility of a patient before selecting LASIK surgery.

Is it a blade-free surgery?

Before the introduction of Intralase Femtosecond Laser surgery, it was not a blade-free surgical operation. However, the above-mentioned process makes it blade-free. With the help of a computer-guided laser stream, surgeons were able to perform LASIK surgery for vision correction. The flap creation process became safer and superior. Almost all surgeons prefer blade-free procedures, but there are a few who rely on an old-fashioned method because it is relatively cheaper. Since it is a core technical point, patients may not be aware of it. Hence, experts suggest that this point needs to be discussed before agreeing on the procedure to avoid ambiguity.

Am I eligible for LASIK procedure?

A number of factors determine whether a person is eligible for LASIK or not? When surgeons come to the conclusion of using it as a corrective procedure for vision problems, they carry out a series of tests.  General health condition, ophthalmic situation of the patient, shape and thickness of corneal tissues, refractive vision disabilities like farsightedness or nearsightedness, myopia, presbyopia, astigmatism, are the major factors that need attention. People should understand that these tests are beyond routine eye examination, and even the doctor needs expertise of interpreting the test results.  Patients must make themselves convinced about:

  • Are they satisfied with the examination procedure? Is it thorough?

  • Is the surgeon spending considerable time on explaining the tests, their importance, and relevance to the treatment?

  • Does the surgeon explain the risks and benefits of the procedure?

  • Is he friendly, supportive, and docile?

  • Is he more interested in doing surgery or explains about the basic vision problem, various corrective procedures, and theory behind it.

It is a fact that no doctor guarantees about 100% error-free surgery. However, with the help of sound technical expertise and an experience of doing variety of surgeries he can definitely reduce the risk percentage. When patients ask relevant questions to the doctor, it is his or her duty to satisfy every single query to build the confidence.

Can LASIK surgery cause miracles?

Well, statistics says yes! In most of the cases, patients get 20/20 vision after the surgical process. Some patients may need contact lenses or glasses, but the power reduces significantly. Some patients need to use reading glasses.

Rarely, there may be complications like dry eyes, infection, night glare or halo around bright source of light. These problems are irritating, but not unbearable.  Patients take variable time to recover from the post-operative effects because there are many factors responsible for it. General health, lifestyle, and nutritional diet are the prominent ones. Rest is another important aspect. Some patients ignore doctor’s instructions and put strain on the eyes before they get recover from the post-operative trauma. In the case of complications, people have to take extra precaution and should not resume working unless doctor allows doing so. In minor surgeries, doctors allow normal routine after two days also. It depends on the severity of the surgery and speed of recovery.