Frequently asked Questions
Q: How long does the surgery last?
A: The laser treatment is designed to be a permanent correction. However in rare cases a person’s vision may fluctuate or change for different reasons. A person’s prescription may change enough that a touch up procedure or “enhancement” would be beneficial. Dr. Rashid performs enhancements for about 1% of the eyes treated, usually in the first year after surgery.
Q: Will I need to use reading glasses afterwards?
A: If you are at least 40 years of age and have presbyopia and you all ready use readers or have bifocals you may need readers after surgery. If you decide to have a mono-vision treatment you may be able to avoid reading glasses some or all of the time.
Q: What is the recovery like?
A: With LASIK the majority of patients are feeling fine and seeing well enough to drive the next day. Even though your “new” eyes will heal rapidly, you will be urged to be careful and gentle with them for the weeks and months following your procedure. You may need to wear protective eyewear for any sports or work that may put you at risk of getting hit in the eye or getting any foreign matter or debris in them. You should also take care not to rub your eyes. With PRK it takes a few days to see clearly and there is usually some discomfort in the healing process. After either PRK or LASIK a person can legally drive when their uncorrected vision is 20/40 or better. You should avoid swimming and hot tubs for about two weeks and even though it is safe to fly right away, you want to be in town after surgery 7-10 days so that you can see Dr. Rashid for your post op visits. Also women will need to avoid using eye makeup for about 1 week after surgery.
Q: Are there any risks or side effects?
A: LASIK surgery, as all surgical procedures, has the possible risk of complications. Fortunately the likelihood of visual loss with LASIK is very small. Serious vision threatening complications are very rare. The more common problems associated with LASIK are usually temporary and more minor in nature and often resolve with time, drops or further surgical treatment. These side effects might be but are not limited to dry eyes, fluctuations in vision, glare or halo at night. Most side effects are temporary. You will have an opportunity to talk to Dr. Rashid about your eyes and the risks before surgery and also you will see a video and be given an informed consent before the procedure. FDA: When is LASIK not for me?
Q: What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?
A: PRK is when the laser is used on the outer surface and top layers of the cornea to reshape and correct the curvature. LASIK is when a flap of tissue is created with the top layers of cornea and then the laser is used to reshape the inner layers of corneal tissue after which the flap is put back in place over the cornea. The same excimer laser system is used with both procedures. Dr. Rashid does not use a bladed device in either procedure. See procedures.
Q: How long does the surgery take and does it hurt?
A: This outpatient procedure is performed quickly and painlessly, the lasers job is done in a matter of seconds and you will not feel the laser beam on the eye. You may feel a mild pressure on the eye during the Intralase portion of the procedure for several seconds. Drops are used to numb or anesthetize the eye before surgery and a Valium is given for relaxation during the procedure. Most of the time you spend in the office will be with the preoperative exam, it will take at least two hours and on the day of surgery there will be more testing and preparation before surgery
Q: How do I know if I am a candidate? (see Eligibility)
A: The only way to know for sure if this procedure would be right for you is to have a thorough exam with your surgeon. There are some guidelines listed in our Eligibility section above.
Q: Are there other types of refractive procedures available if I don’t qualify for LASIK?
A: Yes, there are several types of lens implants available. (see Procedures above)
Q: How do I chose a surgeon and determine what laser system is best for me?
A: As with any surgery, you should always be well informed and chose carefully. It is recommended that you have an experienced surgeon with a good reputation and one that has the latest equipment. Also it is beneficial to go directly to the surgeon for a preoperative evaluation and exam to ensure that you have met with him personally and have had a chance to discuss with him all the details. Your surgeon should be able to explain to you the advantages of using one laser technology over another. It is beneficial if your surgeon has more than one technology available, allowing him to make the best choice for your eyes.