What is LASIK? Used to correct refractive errors, LASIK eye surgery is a treatment that reshapes the cornea in order to produce clear vision. The LASIK refractive eye surgery procedure can treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism, and reduce patients’ dependency on contact lenses and glasses. Because refractive errors impede the focusing ability of the eye, patients who suffer from these conditions experience blurred vision. LASIK eye surgery provides these individuals with an effective treatment option, where a predetermined amount of corneal tissue is removed. This reshaping of the cornea improves the eye’s focusing power and enhances patients’ visual acuity. LASIK Eye Surgery Cost and Financing Information The cost of LASIK eye surgery often appears intimidating to patients considering vision correction treatment. LASIK cost varies based on the patient’s degree of refractive error and the area of the country the procedure is performed. What many patients don’t know, however, is that there are numerous LASIK financing options available that can help decrease or disperse the fee. Am I a Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery? A good candidate for LASIK eye surgery must meet several general requisites. LASIK patients should be at least 18 years old, demonstrate no change in refraction for at least one year, and have realistic expectations regarding the results of LASIK eye surgery. Patients who have experienced an eye infection or injury in the past year should not undergo LASIK. If you are interested in LASIK, an eye surgeon or ophthalmologist can determine if you are a candidate for the procedure. During a comprehensive eye exam, your ophthalmologist will check your eyes and medical history. The LASIK Procedure To determine whether or not a patient is a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery, the ophthalmologist will conduct a pre- LASIK eye examination. Once completed, patients should follow certain guidelines in the days and weeks preceding LASIK vision correction. The traditional LASIK vision correction procedure begins with the creation of a hinged corneal flap. After the eye is anesthetized with topical eye drops, the LASIK eye surgeon creates the flap on the outer surface of the eye to expose the underlying cornea. The flap can be created with a microkeratome (a hand-held device) or with the IntraLase laser, which allows the surgeon to create the flap using a computer-guided laser. The cornea is then reshaped using an excimer laser and the flap is replaced. Learn more about the LASIK eye surgery procedure. After LASIK eye surgery many patients experience immediate improved vision, although it can take up to six months for vision to stabilize. Patients can expect a short LASIK surgery recovery period but there is usually little to no discomfort following the procedure. Follow-up exams ensure proper healing. LASIK Risks and Benefits Most patients are extremely pleased with their LASIK results. LASIK eye surgery benefits include improved visual activity, freedom from corrective eyewear, and possibly new career opportunities. Patients who achieve a successful LASIK outcome can eliminate their need for glasses or contact lenses, and enjoy the freedom of clear vision at all times. Patients can play sports, swim, spend a day at the beach, and participate in various activities without the restrictions that glasses and contacts bring. LASIK eye surgery is a safe and effective treatment that has continued to gain popularity among patients. A small number of patients one to five percent experience LASIK eye surgery complications. LASIK risks include sensitivity to light, haloed or glared vision, irregular astigmatism, dry eyes, loss of visual clarity, and sensitivity. Fortunately, advances in LASIK technology have dramatically reduced complications and many problems can be easily corrected with additional treatment. Statistics LASIK Results LASIK eye surgery has become the most popular vision surgery in the country. More than one million Americans undergo LASIK each year. LASIK surgery statistics and information from the FDA indicate that complications occur in just 1 to 5 percent of patients. In most cases, LASIK treatment provides patients with exceptional results, with many patients experiencing 20/20 vision or better following LASIK eye surgery. LASIK Technology If you are interested in LASIK vision correction but are nervous about undergoing a surgical treatment, read about the latest developments in LASIK technology. Advances in LASIK eye surgery now provide patients with the safest and most accurate form of treatment ever available. The development of the excimer laser made LASIK eye surgery possible. Excimer lasers are incredibly precise, only penetrating a microscopic amount of tissue at a time for remarkable accuracy. New-generation microkeratomes provide increased accuracy and safety for LASIK eye surgeons during the creation of the corneal flap. A microkeratome, or hand-held blade, allows the surgeon access to the cornea so irregularities can be corrected.