LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis)

After 12 years of LASIK surgery being performed in the United States it has become one of the most popular and effective elective procedures done today. Millions of people have undergone this procedure since its FDA approval in 1995 and 98% of all LASIK patients have achieved legal driving vision or better without the assistance of glasses or contact lenses.

LASIK is an excellent option for individuals with nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. If you have been struggling with the hassles of contact lenses or glasses and wish for visual freedom, LASIK is worth further investigation. LASIK is surgery and should only be performed by a qualified professional surgeon. Our LASIK surgeons are committed to excellence in ophthalmology and only wish to provide our patients with the best patient care and the real facts about LASIK eye surgery. This is why we provide factual information from legitimate sources.

LASIK Eye Surgery – The Procedure

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis.  It is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of your cornea.  Once your candidacy for LASIK has been determined and you are eligible for surgery you will be scheduled for surgery.  You will be given an informed consent sheet to review and sign based on the same information that you were given during your pre-operative consultation.

Before surgery, your eyes will be sterilized with eyelid scrubs and you will have a speculum positioned on top of your eye to prevent you from moving your eye lids. A thin flap of corneal tissue will then be moved back with a device known as a microkeratome. The flap is laid back while still attached to the cornea. The excimer laser treatment will then be applied to the inner layer of the cornea where the flap has been made. The excimer laser will be used to actually reshape the cornea. The amount  of tissue to be removed is calculated based on the pre-operative determination of the power of your eye.

After the excimer laser treatment is completed the flap will be repositioned over the treated area for quick recovery. The surgeon will then use drops to assist with the healing process. The healing process on the surface layer begins almost immediately. Since only the edge around the corneal flap needs to heal, visual recovery is rapid and patients report little or no postoperative pain. Within days, collagen bonds form within the cornea around the edge of the flap developing a permanent seal.


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The VISX Star Excimer Laser was initially approved March 27, 1996 under FDA PMA P930016 for limited indications for myopic correction of photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). Our surgeons use the STAR S4 IR from VISX which has been a leader in the development of lasers for laser vision correction since the beginning of PRK and LASIK eye surgery.Click here for more detailed information about the VISX STAR S4 IR Laser.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does LASIK cost?
A: The cost of LASIK changes from practice to practice, although most legitimate medical practices have a similar price. The FDA does not regulate the pricing with LASIK eye surgery so there many options. There are many discount LASIK centers guilty of bait and switch LASIK marketing. Beware of this type of marketing to get you in the door. Our counselors are happy to discuss LASIK pricing with you anytime. Additionally our practice has set up various financing plans to help you with the cost of LASIK to make it affordable.


Q: Where is the procedure performed?
A: At Solutions In Sight Laser & Surgery suite, located within Fisher-Swale Nicholson Eye Center.


Q: Is LASIK safe?
A: There are no reported cases of anyone going blind from LASIK. Most people achieve 20/40 vision or better and millions of people have undergone this procedure but LASIK is still surgery and there are risks. The American Academy of Ophthalmology advertising guidelines do not permit the advertising of LASIK eye surgery as safe.


Q: How do I know if I am a LASIK candidate?
A: The only way to determine your LASIK candidacy is for you to come in for a free refractive screening followed by a thorough pre-operative eye evaluation. You will be educated on the benefits and risks of LASIK eye surgery and a series of tests will be performed to make sure the surgery can be performed on your eyes. Everyone’s eyes are different so this pre-LASIK evaluation is absolutely necessary.  The advancements in recent technology are helping to widen the realm of possibilities for vision correction. Consult us directly to find out more about new possibilities for vision correction other than LASIK surgery.


Q: How does wavefront LASIK compare to conventional LASIK?
A: Wavefront LASIK is also commonly referred to as Custom LASIK or customized LASIK. Wavefront adds an automatic measurement of more subtle distortions (called higher order aberrations) This measurement is used to create a more precise laser treatment “In a few studies comparing wavefront-guided LASIK to conventional LASIK, a slightly larger percentage of subjects treated with wavefront LASIK achieved 20/20 vision without glasses or contact lenses compared to subjects treated with conventional LASIK”. (FDA information 2006)  Perhaps more importantly, wavefront LASIK results in an improved quality of vision for many patients.


Q: How long will I be off work and are there any restrictions?
A: This depends on your type of occupation and your personal healing and comfort level. Most patients return to work within one to three days. The eye must be protected from injury and infection. For example, swimming and contact sports are best avoided for a few weeks.


Q: Does insurance cover LASIK?
A: Most insurance companies consider this procedure elective. However, we encourage you to verify with your individual carrier.


Q: How long does the procedure take?
A: The laser treatment itself takes approximately 60 seconds or less depending on the amount of correction you need. Expect to be at the center for about 1 1/2 hour for the entire procedure.


Q: Will I be put to sleep?
A: No. You will receive several drops of topical anesthesia to numb the eye. In addition to the drops, you will also be given an oral medication to help you relax.


Q: Does it hurt?
A: The surgery itself is pain free. You may have a scratchy, sandy feeling, or it may feel like a dirty contact lens is in the eye for a day or two following surgery.  Eyedrops can be prescribed for this discomfort.


Q: Will I need to wear glasses or contacts after the surgery?
A: The vast majority of our patients achieve visual acuity of 20/40 or better without glasses, which is good enough to pass a drivers license exam.


Q: How long has Laser Vision Correction been around?
A: Laser Vision Correction, utilizing the excimer laser, was approved for use in the United States in March, 1996, but has been performed around the world since 1988. Several million people have had Laser Vision Correction to correct their nearsightedness.


Click here for a list of FDA approved lasers