Decades of Innovation & Experience

(From Left to Right: Dr. Bennett Walton, Dr. Richard Baker, Dr. Stephen Slade & Dr. Shama Essa)

Slade & Baker Vision doctors were the first to perform LASIK in the United States in 1991. We were also the first in the US to perform All-Laser LASIK, as well as many firsts in cataract surgery in the US, such as implantation of the Accommodating IOL and performing Laser Cataract Surgery. Slade & Baker surgeons have a proud history of innovation, having performed FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval trials for Photo-Refractive Keratectomy (PRK), Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE), Implantable Contact Lenses (ICLs), Laser Cataract Surgery, and the Raindrop® inlay, among others.

This combination of having the longest experience and the newest technology means that Slade & Baker surgeons draw upon their surgical experience to customize the vision correction needs of every patient. We understand that each patient’s ocular anatomy and visual goals are unique, and this means vision correction options should not be “one size fits all.”

Slade & Baker Vision Offers

  • Complimentary consultation — The best “First Step” to find out the ideal option for your eyes.
  • The latest state-of-the-art laser and diagnostic technology used to provide top quality vision correction surgery.
  • A customized approach that provides the best solution for all patients including those with thin corneas, dry eye, irregular corneas, high prescriptions or presbyopia.
  • 24-months, no-interest financing provided (with approved credit through CareCredit).

How LASIK Eye Surgery Works

LASIK is an acronym for Laser in-situ Keratomileusis and is one of the most commonly performed types of laser eye surgery. This procedure is safe, effective, and has very few side effects. This procedure has helped millions of people see clearly without dependence on glasses or contact lenses. It has made active lifestyle people happy again. Imagine being able to workout without glasses or see the alarm clock in the middle of the night!

For contact lens wearers, there is no more bother putting lenses in, no more scratchy lenses hitting your eyelids, and no more solutions. LASIK is a quick and comfortable vision correction procedure with an excellent track record of success. Proper pre-operative evaluations are critical to the success of this procedure for you.

To get a better understanding regarding whether or not you would be a candidate please see our LASIK candidacy page. To learn about what happens during this eye surgery process please read below.

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Nearsighted individuals typically have problems seeing well at a distance and are forced to wear glasses or contact lenses. The nearsighted eye is usually longer than a normal eye, and its cornea may also be steeper. Therefore, when light passes through the cornea and lens, it is focused in front of the retina. This will make distant images appear blurred.

There are several refractive surgery solutions available to correct nearly all levels of nearsightedness.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

Farsighted individuals typically develop problems reading up close before the age of 40. The farsighted eye is usually slightly shorter than a normal eye and may have a flatter cornea. Thus, the light of distant objects focuses behind the retina unless the natural lens can compensate fully. Near objects require even greater focusing power to be seen clearly and therefore, blur more easily.

LASIK, Refractive Lens Exchange, and Contact lenses are a few of the options available to correct farsightedness.


The asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common.

Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special implant lenses.

Am I a Good Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK is a procedure that has provided millions of people with clear vision, but not everyone is considered a candidate for a laser vision correction procedure.  In order to be considered a candidate for LASIK, you should meet certain criteria. A list of LASIK requirements can be found below, but it is important that you still meet with your eye doctor to discuss your specific vision correction needs. Because Slade & Baker Vision doctors use many different technologies to improve vision, people who are not candidates for LASIK or laser vision correction often have the option of other technologies, such as refractive lens exchange or implanted collamer lens (ICL).

Do you meet the following LASIK Requirements?

  • I’m nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism.
  • I’m between the age of 18 and 60.
  • My vision has been stable for at least 2 years.
  • I have no significant eye problems or health issues that may affect my eyes.

During your appointment, our doctors will perform a thorough LASIK evaluation to make sure that you are a qualified candidate for LASIK. Since each set of eyes is unique, there is no way to actually determine your candidacy for LASIK until you have had your pre-operative LASIK evaluation. The pre-operative evaluation will involve a series of diagnostic tests. Below is a list of some items that are typically involved with the evaluation process:

  • Complete review of the overall health of the eye
  • The measurement of corneal thickness and shape, including corneal topography
  • Complete review of glasses and contact lens history
  • The measurement of your prescription and refractive error in each eye
  • Dilation of the eyes to check the health of the retina and optic nerve
  • Dilation will also help determine the actual absolute power of the eye
  • Custom LASIK measurement for higher-order aberrations
  • Dry eye test
  • Measurement of pupil size in a very dark room

Traveling from Out of Town?

We see patients from around the world for LASIK and all procedures. Please click here for more information if you would be traveling to Slade & Baker Vision from elsewhere.

Questions to ask your LASIK Houston surgeon

When you are conducting an interview or having a pre-operative LASIK eye surgery diagnosis you may want to discuss the following LASIK questions:

  • Describe your experience as a laser eye surgery expert?
  • How much does LASIK cost? Does it vary depending on my visual parameters?
  • What is the difference between LASIK and LASEK?
  • What is PRK and why was this approved by the FDA before LASIK eye surgery?
  • What is the relationship between Dr. Slade and Dr. Baker? Who will do what parts of my eye care?
  • What is the best LASIK Technology?
  • How can laser eye surgery help me?
  • What are the risks of LASIK?
  • What are your credentials and educational history?
  • What makes a great LASIK surgeon?

Understanding the Cost of LASIK

At Slade and Baker Vision Center we try to make LASIK pricing easy by simply including everything in one price. We may not have the cheapest LASIK cost in Houston, but you will not be tricked by a $299 LASIK advertisement. We are not the least expensive eye doctors but rather strive to be the best, and with the best technology.

When shopping for price, make sure you are getting the whole cost and not just a “bait and switch.” Does the quoted price include everything, the exams before, the care after, all the tests, and all fees? Our prices are all-inclusive, one price covers all the surgery and workup. It is important to remember “you get what you pay for” so potential candidates that are “price shopping” should remember they are shopping for one of the most important things in their lives, their vision.

LASIK costs have become hard to compare due to corporate entities that emerged in the field of laser vision correction during the late 1990s. LASIK’s success rate and popularity attracted numerous chains offering discount pricing. Aggressive advertising campaigns followed that often promised a low price simply to lure the patient in the door.

After arriving at the FREE LASIK consultation most patients quickly realized that the advertised price would not work for them because their vision was outside the parameters. Very few patients paid the low initial advertised price. Indeed, according to a South Florida Business Journal report, the national operations director of a well-known discount center stated that their average customer paid close to $1800 per eye, even though the advertised price was only $299. Several of these chains ended up bankrupt, after paying fines to the SCO for fraudulent advertising.

The Process of Undergoing LASIK

These are the 4 main steps of the LASIK eye surgery process.

  • Consultation & Screening
  • Pre-Operative Eye Exam
  • The Day of Surgery

During your initial free screening, we will thoroughly examine your eyes and perform comprehensive testing to make sure that LASIK eye surgery is the right procedure for you.

A medical and eye history will be taken and several tests will be performed, including dry eye testing, visual acuity, refractive error, screening visual fields, pupil size in low & medium light, ocular pressure, general health of the eyes, corneal topography & corneal thickness.

Bladeless LASIK Technology

In the past, the corneal flap was created by a mechanical device, which used a blade (microkeratome). Today, we offer our patients ALL LASER LASIK using the IntraLASE® femtosecond laser to create the corneal flap, thereby adding a higher level of safety and precision to the LASIK procedure. Using this Blade-Free LASIK procedure, the IntraLase laser delivers over millions of tiny, micron-sized bubbles that gently separate the layers of corneal tissue.

This creates a customized corneal flap of the desired thickness, size, orientation, and location. This unprecedented level of control also allows more patients to qualify for LASIK and virtually eliminates many of the complications associated with the past mechanical approach. Along with being the first LASIK surgeon in the US, Dr. Slade has the longest experience in the United States with this remarkable blade-free technology.

After LASIK Eye Surgery

What happens after LASIK?
The protective layer of the cornea will remain intact after your LASIK surgery in Houston, but patients will be required to use antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drops for about a week. Additional eye drops will be suggested to minimize any dryness and increase comfort during the healing process.  Our LASIK locations will also instruct patients to wear protective eye shields at night to prevent unconscious rubbing or bumping of your eyes.

Did You Know?

Doctors have been performing LASIK for over 2 decades and to date approximately over 40 million LASIK procedures have been performed since 1991! (Fun Fact this was the same year Dr. Slade performed the first LASIK surgery in the US!).

LASIK vs. Contact Lenses. What is Riskier?

Here is a topic that we deal with on a daily basis, and perhaps you have even considered it once or twice.  We wanted to have an open discussion with our readers about LASIK and how they feel about it in relation to wearing contacts, as that is usually a day-to-day struggle.

Because contacts are so commonly used, many people assume they are safe.

In fact, many people (including some eye professionals) felt that contacts were safer than laser vision correction surgery (LASIK) until the last 10 years or so.

This is where the experts at Slade & Baker Vision want to share some key facts from an extensive literature review of various studies published between 2014 and 2015.  (Masters et al., JCRS 2017 Jan;43(1):67-73.)

The review of the medical literature indicated that:

  • Use of any non-daily disposable contact for 1 year appears to be associated with 3 times the risk of having a bacterial infection in the cornea compared with LASIK.
  • Even the use of daily disposable contact lenses for 5 years appears to be associated with 3 times the risk of having a bacterial infection in the cornea compared with LASIK.
  • The use of daily disposable contact lenses for 1 year is not statistically different in bacterial infection risk from LASIK!

It will be more difficult to compare the risk of getting an infection in the next 30 years with the chance of complications after surgery. However, what all the information above tells us is that contact lenses are not always a safer choice than LASIK surgery.

How long have you been wearing contacts?  How much longer do you plan to wear them?  If you do choose to wear contacts, please be diligent about perfect contact lens hygiene.  And make sure your contact lenses are newer models that allow as much oxygen through as possible.

We find that day in and day out in our clinic that contact lenses and LASIK are very safe, although there is always a small risk of complications from both.

LASIK Questions

Are laser vision correction procedures covered by insurance?

Few insurance policies cover Laser Vision Correction, however, we would be happy to check yours when you come in for a consult. Remember patient financing plans are also available. We use Care Credit with 0% Financing Options.

Is there any pain involved?

Because we make every effort to make sure the eye is numb, patients tell us they feel only slight discomfort, not pain during the procedure. After the procedure, most people report a slightly irritated eye for a few hours, similar to an eyelash getting in your eye. But pain is subjective, and when you learn more about the procedure you’ll form your own opinion of what to expect.

Has anyone ever gone blind from a Laser Vision Correction Procedure?

To this date, there have been zero reported cases of a total loss of vision.

If you have questions about LASIK or contact lens wear, please do not ever hesitate to call our office at 713-626-5544 and speak to our experts.

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3900 Essex Lane – Suite 101
Houston, TX 77027

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3900 Essex Lane - Suite 101 - Houston, TX 77027  -  713-626-5544