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I've Decided to Get LASIK.Now What?

closed eye

The first step is admitting you have a problem. A vision problem.

So you’ve made the decision to get LASIK surgery. Right on!

Now what?

Step 1: Find a Surgeon

The first thing you need to do is to talk with a doctor that can provide LASIK — called an ophthalmologist — to find out if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Many provide free consultations for LASIK, so even if you’re just first considering it and want to get all those initial questions off your chest, it’s a great place to start.

Now not every ophthalmologist can perform LASIK. To find one that can or seek a second opinion, you can find one in your area here.

Step 2: Ask the Right Questions

You’ve probably got a million of ‘em. How long does it take? Can I get LASIK if I have astigmatism?

Contrary to popular belief it is a doctor, not the internet, that is best equipped to answer your questions about LASIK. Nobody is going to have quality answers specific to your eyes besides a qualified doctor.

Once you’ve found your ophthalmologist, he or she will want to talk through your concerns and expectations. There’s a lot of misinformation (“LASIK will let me see around corners”) out there that needs to be addressed before the procedure. You can also talk to your doctor about the technology involved to get a better understanding of how LASIK is conducted.

Step 3: Plan Ahead

This is also a good time to talk about life after LASIK. Your doctor’s head is full of information on healing, recovery and post-surgery eye care. He or she can also tell you about what your vision might be like after LASIK. Imagine waking up and seeing what time it is on your alarm clock, or being able to take a swim without worrying about your contacts.

Your surgeon can tell you how soon you can expect to get back to your active lifestyle after LASIK. Most people are able to get back to their daily routine with clearer vision in a few short days.

That being the case, there are still some arrangements that need to be made in the immediate term. Generally speaking, your first follow-up visit will be the day after your procedure, and even if your vision seems clear at that point, have someone drive you to that appointment.

If you have any additional questions about LASIK, this is one great resource, or if you’re ready to speak to a doctor, you can find one near you here.

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Indication: LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a laser surgery procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea to reduce or eliminate nearsightedness, farsightedness, or mixed visual irregularities due to an abnormal curve in the cornea (astigmatism). Only an eye care professional trained in laser vision correction can determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. The iFS® laser is a surgical laser that can be used to create flaps for use in LASIK surgery.

Contraindications: You should not have LASIK if you have collagen vascular (such as rheumatoid arthritis), autoimmune, or an immunodeficiency disease because they affect the body's ability to heal. You should not have this procedure if you are pregnant or nursing, show signs of corneal thinning, or take medications with eye-related side effects, such as Isotretinoin (Accutane®) for acne treatment or Amiodarone hydrochloride (Cordarone®) for normalizing heart rhythm.

Warnings: LASIK is not recommended if you have diabetes, a history of herpes simplex or herpes zoster keratitis, significant dry eye, or severe allergies.

Precautions: Your doctor will examine your eyes to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. Talk to your doctor about any eye-related conditions, injuries, or surgeries you have had, as well as any changes to your vision in the past year. These may result in poor vision after LASIK. Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking. After surgery, you may find it more difficult to see in conditions such as dim light, rain, snow, fog, or glare from bright lights at night. LASIK is for patients 21 years of age and over.

Side effects: Possible side effects include dryness, which may be severe; loss of vision or the possible need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery; and visual disturbances such as halos (hazy rings around lights), glare, starbursts, double images, and other visual irregularities that may be debilitating. Possible complications resulting from LASIK flap creation include swelling, inflammation or pain in your eye, infection, or flap-related complications. Mild to severe light sensitivity occurred in 1% of patients between 2 and 6 weeks after surgery. Some patients (0.03%) noticed a temporary spoke-like band of light in their peripheral vision.

Please consult with your eye care professional regarding the potential risks and benefits of this procedure. Results may vary for each individual patient.

The iLASIK® platform utilizes the STAR S4 IR® Excimer Laser System, WaveScan WaveFront® System, as well as the iFS® Advanced Femtosecond Laser during the LASIK procedure.

Caution: U.S. Federal Law restricts these devices to use by practitioners who have been trained in their calibration and operation, and who have experience in the surgical treatment and management of refractive errors.

For U.S. Consumers Only