LASIK Frequently Asked Questions

Lasik Questions Looking for answers to your most pressing questions about LASIK? Look no further… we have all the answers you are looking for.

What does LASIK stand for?
LASIK is short for "laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis." Now what does that mean? LASIK is a type of refractive surgery that an ophthalmologist performs to improve one's vision. Typically LASIK surgery involves reshaping of the cornea of the eye to improve vision and correct common vision problems.

Is LASIK safe?
Most patients experience few if any complications resulting from their surgery. As with any surgery however, there are risks. Some of the more common complications associated with LASIK surgery include:

  • Over or under correction.
  • Dry eyes or irritation following surgery.
  • Partial or full loss of vision.
Fortunately these symptoms and risks can be minimized through proper screening processes. Make sure you talk with your eye care professional about the risks of surgery to determine whether lasik is a good choice for you. Not everyone is an ideal candidate for lasik.

Is LASIK surgery expensive?
Most procedures cost between $1500 and $2000 for each eye. This is for traditional LASIK surgery. Newer procedures including IntraLase or bladeless lasik may cost up to $2500 for each eye.

Most LASIK eye doctors offer patient's payment plans or financing to help reduce the burden associated with paying for LASIK surgery. If you think about how much you may spend on contact lenses or eyeglasses over a lifetime, you may actually save money in the long-term by having LASIK surgery. Many patients also report that the improvement in their quality of life is worth the risks associated with surgery.

Can I get my insurance company to cover the costs of LASIK?
Typically most insurance companies do not cover LASIK surgery. Many consider LASIK surgery cosmetic surgery, even though it is anything but. Outside the U.S.A., LASIK is sometimes covered, including in many European countries. You may however, be able to deduct the costs associated with surgery from your taxes, so check in and find out if you can. This may help offset the cost of surgery. Can anyone have LASIK? Not all patients are ideally suited for LASIK surgery. That is why it is important you visit a qualified surgeon and have a full eye exam before you undergo any type of LASIK procedure. Patients that may experience complications include patients with any type of eye disease, patients with a thin cornea or patients with cone shaped corneas. Despite these complications, sometimes different forms of LASIK may be offered to patients. Be sure you talk with your doctor about possible treatment options, and weigh the risks versus the benefits of any procedure before agreeing to surgery.

Will LASIK cause short or long-term pain?
There is relatively little pain associated with the LASIK procedure. Most patients experience little if any discomfort during the procedure. Prior to operating on a patient, the surgeon provides the patient with some calming medication and anesthetic in the form of an eye drop. Following surgery typically discomfort is minimal, and relieved with OTC (over the counter) medicines like ibuprofen or Tylenol.

What other types of LASIK can I explore?
Thanks to modern technology there are many different types of LASIK surgery. There is the bladeless or IntraLase procedure for example, that creates a corneal flap using a femtosecond laser rather than a microkeratome blade. Other procedures include LASEK, where the surgeon flattens the cornea after partially removing the epithelial layers of the cornea. PRK is another common procedure performed by refractive surgeons, where the outer cells of the eye are completely removed and the cornea then reshaped. This surgery is sometimes an alternative to traditional LASIK for patients with thin corneas.

Still have questions about LASIK surgery? We have answers. Just visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's LASIK Eye Surgery page. Just go to: LASIK - FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

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after lasik can I still go on with my life as I usually do or do I need to stay at home for a while?