LASIK Frequently Asked Questions
- What is LASIK?
- Is vision correction right for me?
- LASIK Eye Surgery Cost and Financing Information
- Am I a candidate for LASIK eye surgery?
- The LASIK procedure
- LASIK risks and benefits
- LASIK results
- LASIK Technology
- Choosing a LASIK surgeon
- How long is the recovery from LASIK?
- Will I really have no need for glasses or contacts?
- How long does the LASIK surgery take?
- What are some of the risks of LASIK?
- How long will my results last?
- My work says I am not allowed to get LASIK. Why is this?
- I am nearsighted. Is LASIK right for me?
- What is Bladeless LASIK?
- What kinds of questions should I ask the surgeon before the surgery?
- How do I avoid a bad LASIK surgeon?
- Can LASIK work for me if I have astigmatism?
- I am pregnant. Can I get LASIK?
- What should I do to prepare for my upcoming LASIK surgery?
- I know someone who got LASIK and had very dry eyes afterwards. Is this common, and will it happen to me?
- I was told I have “high order aberration.” What does this mean?
- I have abnormally dry eyes. Can I still be a candidate for LASIK?
- I’m scheduled to have cataracts surgery, but will this disqualify me from getting LASIK in the future?
- What are your prices?
- Do I have to go to another facility to have my LASIK, lens, or eyelid surgery?
- What insurance plans do you accept?
- How can I schedule a consultation?
LASIK is a medical procedure that is usually used for people needing to correct refractive errors. People who experience blurry vision are the ones who have refractive errors thus impeding the ability of the eye to focus. LASIK is the best treatment option for these individuals. LASIK is s surgical procedure for people needing treatment for nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. LASIK also decreases the patient's dependability on eyeglasses and contact lenses.
LASIK originally came from the words laser, which is used to reform the cornea without invading nearby cell layers to produce clear vision; situ, a Latin term which means "in the natural or common place;" Kerato, a Greek word for cornea, and the word mileusis, that means "to form."
(Adopted from Dr. Soroudi's Book: Advanced Refractive Surgery)
As an ophthalmologist specializing in refractive surgery, I am always amazed to see how little people know when it comes to their options regarding laser vision correction. It is equally as remarkable for me to see how so many people have just been truly mislead about refractive surgery and have very unnecessary fears and disproportionately unrealistic concerns and expectations.
The source of the misinformation is usually optometrists who actively discourage their patients for obvious business reasons, other doctors who have no clue what refractive surgery is all about, people who "have a friend who has a friend who had LASIK and went blind," and last but not least, from other, usually older, ophthalmologists who have very little training in the field of refractive surgery.
This is a sub-specialty to which eye surgeons in residency, and even some post-doctoral fellows in corneal surgery, have minimal amount of exposure, and as such, their opinions about refractive surgery may not be based on experience and / or first-hand knowledge.
This combination of lack of information and misinformation is the most common cause of why so many people delay their decision to try to do something to be independent of their glasses, reading glasses, or contact lenses until they "just can't take it anymore!" Or until they get a corneal infection (ulcer) from wearing their contacts so much that they no longer have a choice but to have surgery.
You see, glasses are just not an option for the millions of people who almost always "abuse" their contact lenses. They are truly "legally blind" without their contacts yet they don't even have a pair of glasses to their name, so they wear their contacts until they literally have to "yank" them out of their eyes just to replace them with a new one. Some use their contacts till the last day, and call their optometrist to give them an "emergency" pair of contacts until they can get a new box (I myself used to be in this category when I was in medical school).
Some exercise and swim in their contacts, go to the Jacuzzi, steam room, and they sleep in their contacts for months at a time. They call their "eye doctors" (often optometrists) every year and get a renewal prescription (often) over the phone without a proper eye examination and life goes on until one of two scenarios takes place: They either get an ulcer, or they've permanently damaged their corneas, or developed an allergic reaction or outright keratoconjunctivitis. If you are one of such people, sooner or later you will get a corneal ulcer and you just might permanently damage your eyes.
I get so frustrated to hear these same people telling me, on a daily basis, how they "have been told" they can get an eye infection or go blind if they have LASIK surgery yet they have been abusing their eyes with contact lenses for decades. I used to be amazed to hear how many of these same people are brain surgeons, plastic surgeons, vascular surgeons, dentists, radiologists, photographers, videographers, movie editors, and artists who all have two important things in common: 1) They depend on their perfect vision to survive, and 2) They're all my own close friends and colleagues! There is so much that can be done to not only help these types of people see perfectly without any need for glasses or contact lenses, but to also prevent them from needing a corneal transplant.
The reason I decided to write my book is to help relieve some of the unnecessary fears that are just rampant among people wearing thick glasses, reading glasses, and strong contact lenses and to provide individuals who have been considering refractive surgery all the pros and cons about their options so that they can make a wise, educated decision.
I am always the first person to say I would have to see something in order to believe it, but as someone who has himself undergone LASIK surgery, I will not hesitate to tell you to believe it first, and you will literally "see" how refractive surgery can change your life so drastically.
You would usually know the expenses involved when having LASIK procedures during the free pre-op session. Though the expenses would depend on his or her condition, each and every patient who will undergo the procedure will know the financial matters involved before the actual procedure.
People who are interested in LASIK procedures can call their perspective insurance companies to know if they are included. Though there are times that insurances do not include certain medical procedures such as LASIK, an array of options is available to aid you. One way is flex spending. Flex spending is a pre-tax account throughout your company that sets aside money before the government tolls it for a range of purposes. This includes medical procedures the insurance does not cover.
There are certain factors that must be considered for one to know if he / she is eligible for LASIK eye surgery. These, however, are the doctor's job to determine. These are some conditions that would indicate that you are not qualified for a LASIK surgery:
- Patients who experienced a change of refraction for at least a year
- Patients who do not have realistic expectations in regards to results of LASIK eye surgery
- Patients who experienced an eye infection in the past year
- Patients who had an eye Injury in the past year
Generally, a large number of people can benefit LASIK eye surgery if they have myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism.
LASIK is one of the most well-known procedures commonly performed for refractive surgery. LASIK is well popularized because it has great advantages compared to other visual correction methods. LASIK applies a relatively lack of pain after the procedure and improved vision is commonly achieved by the following day.
Once the patient is approved to have the LASIK procedure, he or she is hereby required to follow the general course of action in the days and weeks prior to LASIK vision correction.
LASIK uses an instrument commonly known as a micokeratome. It is used to create a thin, circular flap inside the cornea, but the new and modern way of doing that is by the use of a laser. The surgeon then folds the hinged flap behind and out of the way then extracts a few corneal tissues underneath by the use of an Excimer laser. The laser uses an ultraviolet light beam to appropriately remove each bit of tissue originating from the cornea to reform it.
If the cornea is reformed the proper way, it works out better when it comes to focusing the light into the eye and into the retina; it provides clearer vision than before.
All surgeries do have benefits and risks. When having a particular procedure like LASIK, it would be very wise to know all of its details for you to be well informed about the risks and benefits involved.
The benefits of LASIK are:
- Improved visual acuity
- Freedom from corrective eyewear
- Clear vision all the time
- Speedy results
- Avoidance of future expenses for eye problems
The risks of LASIK are:
- Light sensitivity
- Glared or halo vision
- Double or mono vision
- Dry eyes
- Irregular Astigmatism
- Decrease of visual clarity
LASIK is becoming one of the most well-known eye medical procedures in many places. A lot of people prefer to have LASIK for many reasons, one of which is that it bears more good than harm. The statistics of LASIK surgeries and information involved provided by the FDA indicates that complications rarely occur to patients undergoing LASIK. Out of 10 patients, 1 may have a chance of experiencing complications from the surgery. LASIK is chosen by people for its exceptional results based on individuals who already underwent the procedure having 20/20 vision or even better.
People who want to undergo a LASIK procedure need not to worry about the harm it may bring. With the advancement of LASIK technology, LASIK eye surgery now provides patients with the most beneficial, safest, and the most accurate form of treatment available. This is possible because of the development of the Excimer laser, thus making the surgery more precise than ever and with remarkable accuracy. Also, with the development of new generation microkeratomes, precise accuracy is assured and also provides surgeons safety during the formulation of the corneal flap. With the everyday advancement of today's technology, chances of eliminating complications when having surgeries are slowly fading away.
When deciding to have LASIK surgery, it is of the utmost importance to choose the right surgeon for the job. Not only the surgeon, but it is also helpful to know the reputation of the whole team who will perform the procedure. This is vital because you are the person undergoing the operation. Though complications of the surgery are not very likely to occur, they are never eradicated. Know the surgeon, know your result.
After having the LASIK surgery, most people can ultimately return to work the day after the procedure. This is not true for all people because there are a lot of factors that may hinder recovery, thus requiring extra days. Some of these factors are depression, fatigue, anxiety, etc. People can return to work a day after the procedure only if it does not require heavy activity on the eyes; professions involving such heavy eye activities are dentists, doctors, drivers, etc.
If the procedure goes well without the occurrence of surgical complications, then wearing the glasses or contacts would be of no use. Though it is recommended for people over the age of 40 to wear reading glasses, without the surgery, they would less likely see anything when they read. People having difficulty reading at the age of 40 above are called presbyopia. People who underwent LASIK surgery do however need a prescription from the physician if it is a necessity for them to drive at night.
The whole procedure, when you are actually in the operating room, takes a maximum of about 15 minutes for both eyes. This includes formulating the flap and the whole laser procedure. Though some finish a few minutes earlier, some operations don't really exceed more than 15 minutes as long as no complications are present.
Compared to all of the surgeries, whether it is minor or major, L ASIK also has its share of complications and risks. Although the chances of having complications when having the procedure, the possibility for the risks to happen is always there.
Here are some of the risks of LASIK:
- Light sensitivity
- Glared or Halo vision
- Double or mono vision
- Dry eyes
- Irregular Astigmatism
- Decrease of visual clarity
LASIK procedures, when done without any trouble, can last a lifetime. You give a permanent goodbye to having the burden of wearing glasses and contacts if your LASIK procedure is successful. You don't need to worry about your vision problems because LASIK surgeries are performed to solve your problems and make it last a lifetime.
Even though the success rate of LASIK operations is sky-rocketing, there are certain types of jobs that do not let their employees get surgeries such as LASIK easily. No matter the reason, it is within the company's own rules on why they would implement a prevention of surgery for employees. It is advisable for employees in such cases to follow the company protocol. If you truly feel that it is a necessity for you to have the operation, it would be wise for you to consult an eye expert, show the result to your boss, and then maybe they would make an exception.
Nearsightedness is one of the indications for a person to have LASIK surgery. Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a common eye or vision problem for people aged 40 and above. Having the LASIK operation would be the perfect solution for this dilemma. Individuals who have undergone LASIK procedures to diminish these issues have met great success rates.
With the advancement of today's technology, certain medical operations have once again gone beyond the limits.
Bladeless LASIK is a high-energy laser that is commonly defined as Intralake used to retract the cornea. The procedure substitutes the blade that was previously needed to generate a corneal flap. The laser still must go through the corneal exterior, but it is guided by modern specialized technologies. This leaves less room for errors.
- How long have you been practicing?
This will help determine the surgeon's years of experience in a particular surgery.
- Where did you go to medical school?
This will ensure you that the surgeon is well trained for such a procedure.
- How many LASIK procedures have you performed in total?
This will determine his or her mastery in LASIK procedures.
- How many LASIK procedures have you performed this year?
This will determine his or her frequency of practice.
- Are you board certified, and if so, may I see your credentials?
This will ensure that the surgeon is indeed a professional.
- Who else will be in the room during the procedure?
This will help you know who will be involved in the procedure and verify if they are capable of such an operation.
- What kind of pre-surgical care do you provide?
This will help assure you that the surgeons are well prepared before the procedure starts.
- What will our post-surgical relationship be like?
This will assure you that whatever the outcome of the procedure, they will still be there to assist you until satisfaction is met.
- What sets your practice apart from the others I'm looking into?
This will assure the specialty of the surgeon in other aspects of the profession.
- How up to date is your equipment?
This will ensure you that the equipment being used in the procedure is in good working condition.
The best way to avoid one is to get a referral from people who are satisfied patients of a certain LASIK surgeon. Once you meet up with the LASIK surgeon, have a proper screening or an interview and ask questions about the procedures and their background. To verify the information you receive from them, perform research online.
Be sure to avoid surgery if you have a prior medical condition and a physician has advised against having this procedure. Lastly, LASIK is an elective procedure designed to make your life better – not a lifesaving surgery where risks may be warranted.
Can LASIK work for me if I have astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a medical condition that affects millions of people. If you have astigmatism, your eyes may have difficulty focusing on sharp images, causing blurry vision.
Individuals with astigmatism are usually candidates for LASIK eye surgery. LASIK eye surgery improves vision by smoothing out inconsistencies on the eye that affect your vision. In short, LASIK can greatly improve your vision if you have astigmatism.
LASIK eye surgery cannot help patients with astigmatism under certain unique circumstances. Coinciding medical problems may put you at risk, or your astigmatism may be too severe for LASIK. Every case is different, so it is best to trust the judgment of a qualified surgeon.
Given the delicate nature of you and your baby's health, you are not allowed to undergo such a procedure unless it is necessary. Though the procedure is effective and reliable, taking such a risk is not necessary. Likewise in the case of breastfeeding mothers because your physical status is considered altered at this time, thus it is recommended that you wait until you are no longer breastfeeding.
Here the things that you must do to prepare before the operation:
- Stop wearing contacts 5-20 days before your surgery or consult your surgeon for the recommended time suitable for you.
- Have your corneas examined with a pachymeter to determine the exact thickness. This thickness is going to play a part in how much work the laser is going to have to do.
- Some surgeons choose to prescribe an antibiotic prior to the surgery to avoid the risk of infection after the procedure.
- It is important to let your surgeon know if you have any pharmaceutical allergies.
I know someone who got LASIK and had very dry eyes afterwards. Is this common, and will it happen to me?
It is a common side effect of the LASIK procedure that 1 of 3 patients can experience. To remedy this, the application of over-the-counter eye drops is recommended, and prescription artificial tears are the most common treatments. Punctual occlusion is another form of remediating dry eyes, and accomplished by placing a plug in the natural drain of the eye.
A not-so-common-term in LASIK definition is the "high order aberration." Higher order aberration is defined as a vision injury that normally cannot be diagnosed with your basic and common eye exam. Seeing as the traditional eye exam test is solely for acuteness of vision, there are plenty of sight issues that can only be distinguished with more methodical vision sampling. This visualization impairment comprises:
- Star bursts
- Double vision
There is a possibility for you to have LASIK surgery, but the decision depends solely on the surgeon. Having dry eyes is a common ophthalmologic problem. This visual problem is common for people age 50 and above, and also in women. These factors are also considered to determine if you are qualified for the procedure or not.
If you truly want to have LASIK but have dry eyes, it is advisable for you to consult a doctor. They will decide, with thorough assessment, whether you can have the operation or not.
I'm scheduled to have cataracts surgery, but will this disqualify me from getting LASIK in the future?
Cataracts can truly be of great hassle for an individual if he / she has the certain condition. It impedes our line of sight. Treating it would be the very first thing we should do. Luckily, fixing one issue doesn't disqualify you from having another procedure if it is needed. In fact many surgeons understand this point and are on the same page.
If you've had any eye surgeries before, this doesn't hinder you to have LASIK surgery. Consult your doctor and they will tell you everything you need to know, such as if you are able to undergo the LASIK procedure or not, and how the LASIK surgery can affect your last eye surgery, if you had any.
If you've ever "shopped around" for refractive surgery (e.g. LASIK) or cosmetic eyelid surgery (e.g., upper or lower eyelid blepharoplasty), then you already know that there is a great deal of variability in prices. For example, LASIK prices range from $499 to about $3,600 per eye; implantable contact lens placement ranges from $5,000 to $8,000 per eye, and cosmetic eyelid surgery can cost you up to $10,000.
Of course, these prices depend on the surgeon's skills, experience, technology, quality of service, and the facility. In general, the low prices (especially when it comes to LASIK surgery) are usually advertised to "trick" people to just come in. Once there, they disclose that those prices are for very low prescriptions without astigmatism treatment and older technologies, and if you don't fit those criteria or if you request better (more accurate) technology, then you end up paying a lot more.
There are multiple eye laser centers in town that advertise their "doctors have done over 100,000 surgeries." One thing they do not mention is that they have multiple doctors working for them, and depending on the location you go to (and the day you're there), you may or may not get the doctor with whom you consulted. Further, many of these "high-volume" LASIK centers employ multiple optometrists and techs to do most of the work, and the only time you actually meet your surgeon is when you're laying down on the laser bed; never before, and certainly never after (unless you have a complication).
Comparing our surgeon's level of expertise, surgical skills, experience, range and quality of services provided, availability to patients (before and after surgery), as well as our office setting, technology, and concierge service with most of our colleagues, which include some of the most highly regarded surgeons in the great Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, our prices are among the most competitive in town. We don't deal with tricks, gimmicks, games, or "insider" deals with your optometrist (also known as co-management), and no other surgeons are doing your procedure.
Of course, prices vary depending on what you need, so we strongly urge you to come in and consult with our doctor to determine what procedure would best serve your needs. To make our already low prices even more affordable, we happily offer multiple payment options for individuals who would like to finance their procedures. We work closely with both CareCredit and Chase Health Advantage, and realizing difficult financial times, we also offer multiple discounts.
We also honor Flexible Spending Accounts ("FSA") and Health Savings Accounts ("HSA") which may be offered by your employer and are exempt from federal, state, and Social Security taxes. Most companies allow you to spend the money any time during the year, even when it has not fully accumulated in your account. You should speak with your benefits manager or HR department to understand all details regarding these benefits.
Dr. Soroudi is one of the only eye surgeons in the greater Los Angeles area who possesses his own in-house certified eye specialty surgical suite fully equipped to perform Advanced LASIK, cataract, corneal, and eyelid plastic surgical procedures. This obviates the need for our patients to go to another facility or hospital to undergo surgery, and it represents our utmost dedication to patient accommodation.
Unlike most ophthalmologists in town who advertise eye surgical services (even LASIK), Dr. Soroudi owns his own VISX S4 Flying Spot Custom Excimer Laser with Iris Registration Technology, as well as the newest Alcon INFINITI robot with OZil Technology which makes even the "toughest" cataract surgery a breeze. Dr. Soroudi also possesses the technology in-house to implant intacs & intacs SK rings, perform eyelid plastic surgery with laser, and treat retinal disease & glaucoma with the newest Zeiss YAG / Argon Combilaser.
Dr. Soroudi accepts all PPO insurance plans, VSP, and Medicare. He does not accept any HMO plans as he firmly believes that this system of care, although probably adequate for general health maintenance, is a big detriment to timely, efficient, and high-end surgical intervention, and as a surgical specialist, he strives to provide the best care and use the best technology available (e.g., the most expensive lenses and implants) for his patients. Unfortunately, HMO plans usually do not approve or reimburse for such services, and he refuses to provide anything but the best for his patients regardless of their insurance policy. Dr. Soroudi does operate on patients with HMOs on a case-by-case basis, however, and this depends on their particular needs and prior authorization. Please consult with our office staff regarding your insurance coverage.