Top 10 LASIK Myths
Fact vs. Fiction
Top 10 LASIK Myths and the Truths Behind Them
It can be hard to know where to turn for information about laser vision correction. In the recent past, the media has been peppered with conflicting stories about this procedure. As a result, a lot of myths about the surgery have developed. Below, we will address some of the most common myths about LASIK. For more information or to find out if you are a good candidate call us today!
Fiction: LASIK is not real surgery.
Fact: LASIK is surgery and should be treated as such. With proper care, it is not a dangerous or risky procedure. There are risks associated with LASIK, as there are with any procedure. However, several clinical studies have identified the chance of serious vision-reducing complications as being extremely low.
Fiction: Complications and side effects, such as night glare and dry eyes, should be expected after having laser vision correction.
Fact: As with any other surgery, there are risks associated with laser vision correction. Clinical studies of laser vision correction have documented the risk of having a serious vision-reducing complication as being extremely low. Many complications can be treated if diagnosed and treated at the early stages.
Moderate glare and dry eyes are common side effects immediately following the procedure, but typically last just three to six months. Proper testing before the procedure can identify patients who are at a high risk for long-term risk for long-term complications.
Fiction: Laser vision correction is so new that no one really knows if there are any long-term side effects.
Fact: Although laser vision correction became widely available in the United States in the mid-1990s, the technology was first developed in the early 1980s. The first patient was treated in the United States in 1987. To date, no long-term ill effects of the procedure are known. It has been over twenty years.
Fiction: There is only one type of laser used to treat all patients.
Fact: Actually, there are a variety of lasers that can be used to treat a patient’s eyes. After a proper screening and confirmation of the condition that needs to be corrected, a surgeon can identify the most appropriate laser needed to treat your condition. Surgeons who have access to a wider variety of lasers, ensure that their patients are treated with the laser best suited for their condition. At Slade & Baker Vision Center, we have different lasers to choose from. It is not one-laser-fits all.
Fiction: It does not matter which doctor performs your procedure, the outcomes are all the same because the laser does all the work.
Fact: The surgeon’s skill and the level of care he/she offers is an essential element in the success of any surgical procedure. The laser is one of the tools that the surgeon uses to perform the procedure. The surgeon must also create and manipulate the corneal flap, a delicate surgical procedure.
Two important contributors to the success of the surgery are the pre- and post-operative care. This is best achieved if your surgeon works closely with your own personal eye doctor, who is most familiar with your eyes and will continue to care for you years after your procedure. The surgeon, the LASIK technicians and your own eye doctor should work as a team to provide you with a quality outcome.
Fiction: The best indication of a surgeon’s ability is the number of procedures he or she has performed.
Fact: While the number of procedures performed by a surgeon can be a good indication of his or her level of experience, surgeons should not be judged solely on the number of procedures they have completed. Anyone considering the procedure should do their homework before selecting a surgeon. Potential patients should first consult their own eye doctor to determine if they are a candidate and for recommendations on surgeons. You should also consult your family and friends who have had LASIK to ask them about their experiences with surgeons.
Fiction: LASIK can forever end patients’ needs for glasses.
Fact: While LASIK has proven to be overwhelmingly successful in reducing dependence on glasses and contact lenses, the degree of improvement may vary depending on the individual. Each patient’s need for glasses depends on how well he/she heals and the severity of the patent’s original prescription. Most patients with mild to moderate prescriptions can achieve 20/20 vision or within 1 to 2 lines 20/20 on the eye chart. Such success can end a patient’s dependence on vision aids for driving, sports and watching television or movies. During the pre-surgical screening, your doctor should be able to determine the range of your probable outcomes. Keep in mind, as a patient ages the need for reading glasses is quite common.
Fiction: Anyone who wants to have LASIK is a candidate.
Fact: Not everyone is an appropriate candidate for LASIK. In fact, potential patients evaluated by many reputable providers are routinely rejected as candidates for the surgery. The best way to determine if you are a candidate is to undergo a thorough screening by your eye doctor. LASIK can treat patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Appropriate candidates must be at least 18 years old, in good health and have healthy eyes free of diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma. Appropriate screening is the first, and one of the most important stops in preventing complications. Often complications result when surgeons operate on patients who are not appropriate candidates.
Fiction: Because the outcomes are all the same, the cheapest surgery is no different than the most expensive one.
Fact: The old adage, “You get what you pay for,” also applies to laser vision correction. Patients should remember that they only have one set of eyes and it’s probably not a good place to compromise. Patients should be cautious of discount centers that may not be as focused on patient screening and care. Consumers should make sure they are comparing equivalent care and experience when doing their research. Often the more expensive procedures include added benefits that discounters do not offer. These added benefits can include lifetime commitments and follow-up care with your personal eye doctor.
Fiction: LASIK is still being developed, and new technologies are being introduced every year. Patients might be best served waiting until doctors find the best one.
Fact: The current LASIK technologies provide better outcomes than ever before. Many LASIK surgeons themselves have had laser vision correction performed on their own eyes. New technologies introduced in the future may make LASIK available to a wider group of potential patients whose vision cannot currently be corrected.