Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose the best LASIK surgeon?
The skill and experience of your LASIK surgeon should matter greatly to you, and the only way to know for sure how good your surgeon is, is to ask. Most surgeons will quote FDA Clinical trial statistics, which are not the same as the results achieved by that surgeon, with a specific laser, in that specific LASIK center. The factor that most affects your LASIK outcome is how well a specific surgeon tracks the result(s) he intended on a particular patient, comparing it to the result achieved. These calculations lead to a sophisticated algorithm that helps adjust the laser power based on humidity, temperature and surgeon technique. At Eye-Q, Dr. Walker tracks and analyzes every LASIK procedure, making these minute adjustments to optimize your result. Not only does this provide a highly predictable outcome, it allows him to share with you, before you move forward, how well he has done with others at your exact same prescription. Specific data in writing, not generalities, will help you make the best surgeon choice.
Which LASIK technology provides the best outcome?
LASIK technology has been continuously developed and refined for over 20 years. Today, the excimer lasers used to sculpt your prescription directly onto your cornea, and the flap-making technologies that allow LASIK to be a virtually painless procedure, have been perfected. While it is true there are different models of lasers, and various ways to perform each step of LASIK, the key to remember is that there are no “bad” LASIK technologies in use. What should matter most to you is that the surgeon has a range of technologies available to perform LASIK, so you’re not pigeon-holed into a one-size-fits-all mold. And most importantly, make sure the surgeon shares his/her exact results with you (not generalized FDA results), so you feel comfortable that the technology in use, combined with surgeon skill, will deliver the result you seek.
Is 20/20 vision guaranteed after LASIK?
LASIK is a highly accurate procedure, with over 28 million procedures performed worldwide. So while the LASIK procedure is highly accurate, what prevents a guarantee of 20/20 vision is your individual healing. The human cornea is living tissue, and if your healing response is a little more or a little less than expected, there is a slight chance you’ll need a touch-up procedure, called an enhancement. In most cases, we will know if you need an enhancement within a couple of months of your original procedure, not years later.
Is LASIK safe?
LASIK is remarkably safe. Dr. Walker and his team have a thorough pre-operative evaluation protocol, a rigorous surgical planning process, and multiple levels of safety built-in during the laser procedure itself. While there is no doubt you might experience a few moments of anxiety right before your procedure, the response we hear most often when we’ve finished is, “Is that it? Why didn’t I do this sooner?” It is impossible for almost 30 million procedures to have been done worldwide without a proven safety profile, and highly predictable results.
What are the risks or side effects of LASIK?
The primary side effect you may experience after LASIK is temporary dry eye. Because the corneal nerves are disrupted when making the flap, it takes a few months for these to heal and function normally again. So, it is generally necessary for you to use lubricating eye drops for a few months afterward. Occasionally, this dryness may lead you to see more glare at night, or experience a little cloudy or foggy vision while working on the computer for an extended period each day. But there is nothing wrong with the LASIK, and these side effects usually resolve after a few weeks. If you have other questions about risks or side effects, we’ll cover each specific question with you during your consultation and informed consent process.
How long does the procedure take?
LASIK is an out-patient procedure, done right here in our Fresno LASIK Center. You’ll be in our office on surgery day for about 90 minutes. You’ll be in the laser suite for about 15 minutes.
How long will I be off work?
Most patients are off work only the day of the procedure. We ask you to go home afterward and relax, ideally taking a long nap. The next day, you are generally seeing well enough to drive yourself into the office for your post-op visit. Some work environments, if especially dusty, windy or underwater, will require a longer time off. Ask us if you have specific concerns about your profession.
How long should I be out of contacts before LASIK?
Many people who wear contact lenses have been wearing them for years, for prolonged periods, and sometimes even sleep in them. As a result, it’s difficult to determine exactly what condition your corneas are in until we see you for your consultation. Generally, with soft daily wear contacts, you’ll only need to be out of them for one week prior to surgery. With hard contact lenses, the rule of thumb is one month for every year of wear, but this varies from patient to patient. We’ll tell you exactly when we see you for your consultation.
How long does LASIK last?
LASIK is a permanent modification to the cornea’s shape that will last a lifetime. However, your eyes continue to age and the lens inside your eye will go through two significant changes. First, the lens will become less flexible and sometime around age 45 you’ll experience presbyopia (difficulty reading up close). Second, the lens will become cloudy over time, probably in your sixties or seventies, and you’ll experience vision problems due to cataracts. These conditions will occur, regardless of whether you have LASIK or not. We encourage people considering LASIK to do it early, in your mid-20s, so you get the maximum benefit from years of glasses-free vision.
Will insurance ever cover LASIK?
Generally, insurance consider LASIK an elective procedure and does not cover it. However, we do offer an attractive 0% financing plan. Ask our LASIK counselors for more information at your consultation.