Refractive Eye Surgery FAQs
We exist to provide patients with better vision,
a clearer view of the world around them.
When it comes to helping our patients feel comfortable and prepared for the procedure they qualify for, we wholeheartedly believe that sometimes even the best questions are left unasked. That’s why we’ve recorded some of our most frequently asked questions, complete with responses from our experienced team, to help ease anxiety and even provide further clarification and information regarding our people, procedures, and results.
If you can’t find your question below, let us know.
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What procedures does Elite LASIK & Cataract offer?
Elite LASIK & Cataract Is proud to offer our patients:
- LASIK – A procedure intended to replace the need for vision correction for patients who are good candidates.
- PRK – A sister procedure to LASIK with the same goal as the LASIK procedure, but is at times better suited for patients who may not be a candidate for LASIK.
- SMILE – One of the most advanced LASIK alternatives. Minimally invasive and a great option for patients who who aren’t a good candidate for LASIK or PRK.
- Refractive Lens Exchange – Very similar to a cataract procedure and is geared toward patients who do not yet have cataracts and do not qualify for other forms of vision correction procedures.
Am I a candidate for SMILE?
Most adults with stable vision prescriptions meet the requirements for SMILE laser eye surgery. Since SMILE is so gentle on the eye, many patients qualify for it who wouldn’t qualify for other eye surgeries.
Am I a candidate for PRK?
If you wear glasses or contacts but otherwise have healthy eyes, the majority – over 90% – of patients interested in PRK are candidates.
At Elite LASIK & Cataract, however, we have specific technologies that are used to make sure the cornea qualifies and is safe for procedure. These are technologies that not readily available in most primary care eye doctor offices. In addition, Elite LASIK & Cataract is dedicated to following the patient qualification standards set out by the American Academy of Ophthalmology for the PRK procedure.
Am I a candidate for RLE?
The Refractive Lens Exchange corrects both distance and reading in a more permanent fashion that other refractive correction options.
How experienced is Elite LASIK & Cataract?
The Elite LASIK & Cataract staff has over 40 years of LASIK specific experience and our surgeons are board certified corneal specialists with over 20,000 combined successful procedures.
How do you reduce eye strain?
The best way to reduce eye strain is to take frequent breaks from electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers. When you look at a screen for too long, your eyes can become tired and dry.
Who is a good candidate for LASIK?
Anyone who has healthy eyes and is using regular vision correction is typically a good candidate for LASIK. The evaluation process is incredibly important in determining a patient’s candidacy for the procedure, as our office is equipped with specialized diagnostic equipment not commonly found at a regular eye doctor’s office. This equipment gives us the ability to thoroughly examine the cornea and determine whether or not a LASIK procedure is in the best interest of the patient.
How does LASIK work?
LASIK works by reshaping the cornea (front surface of the eye). A circular flap is created on the surface of the eye with a specialized laser. The surgeon then lifts the flap, reshapes the cornea with a second laser, and replaces the corneal flap to achieve optimal vision.
Learn more about LASIK
How does PRK work?
PRK works by reshaping the cornea (front surface of the eye). The top layer of cells on the eye are dissolved with an alcohol solution, then the surgeon reshapes the cornea with a laser, and places a bandage contact lens (which will be removed in a week) on the cornea.
Learn more about PRK
How does RLE work?
Refractive Lens Exchange works by replacing the lens located in the eye, very similar to a cataract procedure. The surgeon is able to replace the original lens with a multifocal if the patient is interested in achieving both distance and near vision.
Learn more about Refractive Lens Exchange
How does SMILE work?
During SMILE, we use an extremely precise laser to create a tiny disc of tissue in the cornea. This disc is then removed through a tiny micro-incision to painlessly reshape the eye and correct the problems causing your vision issues. SMILE is FDA Approved to correct mild to severe nearsightedness (plus some astigmatism if necessary)
Learn more about SMILE
What is the cost?
Learn more about the cost and available financing for our procedures.
Can I still have the procedure done if I cannot touch my eye or wear contacts?
You are not alone! Many of our patients have difficulty touching their eyes or wearing contact. That’s why this is such a great solution for you! If you are unable to touch your eyes, that is a good thing! After the procedure, we require that you do not touch your eyes for at least five days. There are several medication drops that you will administer during your brief recovery however our doctors have several great tips for instilling those drops without the necessity of touching your eyes. During the procedure, there are several numbing eye drops that are used to greatly reduce the sensation of having your eyes touched; therefore the sensations you would normally expect are lessened significantly.
Does it correct my astigmatism?
Yes! Astigmatism is when the eye is shaped more like a football than a basketball. The advanced technology that we use to correct your vision is able to reshape the corneal surface so the astigmatism is corrected.
What makes me not a candidate?
There are several factors that can influence the possibility of a patient not being a candidate for LASIK. The most common findings that would prevent a person from having the LASIK procedure are a thin cornea, an irregularly shaped cornea, corneal disease, significant corneal scarring, a vision prescription that is too high, or systemic diseases that adversely affect the eye. All of these parameters will be evaluated at your initial examination.
Am I awake during the procedure?
Yes, it is necessary for you to be able to follow instructions from the surgeon during the procedure, so we would like for you to be awake. However, we do administer an oral agent to help you relax and feel comfortable. In addition, there will be a topical anesthetic used to numb the eyes resulting in minimal discomfort during the procedure.
How long does it take?
Although you’ll be at Elite LASIK & Cataract for approximately two hours the day of the procedure, the procedure itself typically only takes a total of 10 minutes.
What if I move, will it mess up my results?
No! Thankfully due to our superior technology, there is a tracker on the laser that tracks your eye 4,000 times per second. If a patient inadvertently moves during the procedure, the laser will automatically stop treatment and once the surgeon has the patient in proper position, treatment will resume.
Is LASIK painful?
In most cases, patients describe the procedure as having minimal discomfort; however, each patient experience is unique.
What are my restrictions?
DO NOT RUB OR TOUCH YOUR EYES FOR ONE WEEK AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE.
Patients can experience eyelid swelling, tenderness, and slight redness in the eyes for several days. No hard rubbing of the eyes should be done for four weeks following the surgery.
Do NOT wear make-up around the eyes for one week after surgery.
Do not swim or hot tub for at least two weeks after your procedure. However, other physical activities (biking, working out, etc.) may be resumed on the second day after your procedure. Do not expose yourself to high-risk activities that can result in a direct blow to the eyes (e.g. an elbow in basketball) for at least the first month. If you participate in high-risk activities, always wear protective eyewear.
No heavy weightlifting over 45 lbs for 3-5 days after the procedure.
What are the side effects?
- Intermittent fuzziness / blurry edges on objects
- Fluctuating vision / less than “perfect” vision
- Decreased night vision quality (e.g. “glare”, “halos” or “starbursts”)
- Dry eyes
- Tender or swollen eyelids
- Foreign body sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty focusing on near objects
- Eye strain
What does the recovery time look like?
After a LASIK procedure, most patients can notice an immediate improvement in vision, although, for the first three to six hours it appears as if you are looking through wax paper. Recovery times for other refractive procedures may vary and we can provide more specific information during your evaluation.
How long does LASIK last?
The goal of the LASIK procedure is for the vision to last until the patient needs a cataract surgery, which usually takes place in a patient’s 60’s or 70’s. The distance vision should maintain until that time. The reading vision will maintain until the patient reaches their 40’s, when the eye starts to lose its ability to see up close. At this time, the patient can either use over-the-counter reading glasses or return to us for an additional procedure which is called the KAMRA Inlay.
Learn more about KAMRA
Does insurance cover cataract surgery?
Most insurance, including Medicare, will cover a portion of the standard cataract surgery. If the patient would like to upgrade their lenses, that upgrade part of the surgery is out of pocket.
Am I awake during cataract surgery?
Will I have to wear glasses or contacts after my cataract surgery?
Patients who have the standard cataract procedure may need glasses after surgery for activities like driving or reading. Multifocal lens upgrades can decrease the dependence for glasses in most patients.