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10 Questions To Ask About LASIK

Quality Austin LASIK Surgery: 10 Important Questions

At LASIK Eye Surgery of Austin, a specialty of the Eye Physicians of Austin, we’re happy to answer questions, even these probing ones by medical journalists and the American Academy of Ophthalmology — this national association of Eye M.D.s suggests asking thorough questions about any vision correction (refractive) surgery, including LASIK.

Question 1. How successful is LASIK Eye Surgery?

Here’s the summary of everything we’re about to say: It works well.

To prove that statement, we don’t rely on testimonials because it’s too easy to find at least a few people with a good experience. Instead, we give you facts and numbers that mean something.

We offer two types of LASIK: Blade-free (Intralase) LASIK and Blade-free Custom LASIK.

How successful is Blade-free LASIK? Newsweek says, “Results from a 200-person U.S. Navy study shows that military personnel who underwent Lasik with laser-guided (blade-free) corneal flaps had a quicker visual recovery, better contrast sensitivity and visual acuity —even at night— compared to those who underwent the more traditional handheld microkeratome approach.”

Blade-free Custom LASIK adds detailed “wavefront” mapping of the eye, which helps produce great results, such as these the federal government considered when approving the technology. At one year after LASIK with Custom LASIK:

  • 100% of the study’s participants could pass a driving test without glasses or contacts
  • 98% of the study’s participants could see 20/20 or better without glasses or contacts
  • 70% of the study’s participants could see 20/16 or better without glasses or contacts

Four times as many participants were very satisfied with their night vision after the procedure, compared to their night vision before with glasses or contacts (Even traditional LASIK, with no Blade-free or Custom technologies, produces good results. One researcher analyzed 15 years of major studies, including some done when LASIK first appeared. He found, overall, that 94% of patients had at least 20/20 vision. And 98 percent had 20/25 vision or better.)

Other studies show that the best success rates come from the more experienced LASIK surgeons (like those at Eye Physicians of Austin).

To help produce the best vision achievable for your unique eyes, our LASIK surgeons use advanced technologies and our years of experience with thousands of eyes. Those two advantages improve the possibilities you will obtain your personal best vision.

LASIK works well for most patients. But other surgical options may produce better results for you. At Eye Physicians of Austin, we can perform those procedures, too.

Question 2. What are my chances for attaining 20/20 vision?

Studies show the chance for 20/20 vision is very good (see Question 1). Your own chance depends a lot on the unique construction of your eyes.

Obtaining 20/20 vision is a good goal. But consider two facts: Many people with 20/40 vision feel they don’t need eyewear. And having 20/20 does not always mean seeing perfectly. For instance, if LASIK was done to improve distance vision, the person often needs glasses for reading by age 45 – 50. (Other vision correction surgery helps avoid reading glasses.)

To evaluate your own chances of achieving 20/20 vision or better, contact Eye Physicians of Austin for a laser eye surgery screening, free of charge.

Question 3. How many of your patients achieve the vision they want with the first procedure? How many of your patients return for additional procedures (enhancements)?

Any patient who wants to see like Superman will be disappointed. But we don’t make such unrealistic promises. We make realistic evaluations. At Eye Physicians of Austin, LASIK surgery does not occur until the patient understands his or her individual chances of success. So patients usually get the results they expect.

If vision still needs slight improvement after LASIK, a second surgery, called an enhancement, may further refine the result. We try to meet or beat the norm: The American Academy of Ophthalmology says approximately 5 percent of cases are under-corrected and return for enhancement; this is usually due to your personal body response to the surgery. If enhancement is needed, we do this at a very reduced rate compared to the original surgery.

Question 4. My job requires good vision. Should I have LASIK surgery?

For jobs in Austin, LASIK vision correction very likely should be no problem. But to be sure, ask your employer about regulations concerning any vision correction surgery.

Question 5. How much experience do you have doing LASIK, especially with the equipment you’ll use for my LASIK?

We don’t buy lasers or other equipment unless it has a good record of success and safety. Each LASIK surgeon has confirmed those records by using our equipment successfully doing LASIK eye surgery in Austin thousands of times.

At Eye Physicians of Austin, LASIK surgery became our main choice for vision-correction surgery as soon as the LASIK laser gained Federal approval in the late 1990s. And we’ve always been glad we perform LASIK, especially as the technology and the uses for it have advanced. For more information on some advanced techniques we use with LASIK, see About Wavefront Lasik, Blade-Free LASIK, Before LASIK and During LASIK.

Question 6. What laser will you be using? Has it been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for LASIK?

Many LASIK centers use just one laser on everyone. At Eye Physicians of Austin, the vision correction surgeons have two different FDA-approved excimer lasers, with more coming. So we can choose the best laser for you.

Question 7. What kind of care will I need after surgery? Who will provide this care? For how long?

Unlike treatment at some LASIK centers, your LASIK ophthalmologist will handle your care from start to finish. That includes evaluating your eyes before surgery, performing LASIK, and seeing you afterward at several check-ups. The first visit is the day after surgery. The last check-up usually is a year later. For more information, see Before LASIK, During LASIK and After LASIK.

Question 8. How much will postoperative care cost?

Your ophthalmologist provides all postoperative care free for one year after LASIK. (Occasionally, a patient wants vision sharper than LASIK produced; then an enhancement procedure often helps. It costs significantly less than LASIK.)

Question 9.How long will my postoperative care be free of charge?

See Question 8.

Question 10. Does LASIK have potential complications?

Studies have shown complications occurred in 0 to 5% of cases (not counting small side effects that sometimes occur and soon go away). See After LASIK for more information.

Your questions are important to us at Eye Physicians of Austin. That’s because LASIK surgery involves the patient knowing what to expect. If you want to talk with someone, call Eye Physicians of Austin. LASIK vision correction screening is free, too.