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FAQ
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Frequently Asked Questions


What is LASIK?
What is CustomVue LASIK?
How do I know if I am a good candidate for LASIK?
How long will the correction of the LASIK procedure last?
Does LASIK hurt?
Will I experience pain after the LASIK treatment?
How long does LASIK take?
How soon after surgery will I see well?
How soon after the treatment can I bathe or take a shower?
When can I drive?
When can I return to work?
How soon after the treatment can I exercise?
How soon can I swim?
How soon after the surgery can I use eye makeup?
How long will I be using drops?
How often do I see the doctor after the surgery?
What are the risks and side effects of LASIK?
Will I need glasses or contact lenses after the LASIK treatment?
Will I need reading glasses after the treatment?
What is Monovision?
What is Refractive Lens Exchange?
Should I have a Custom LASIK eye surgery treatment or a conventional treatment?
How much does LASIK Vision Correction cost? Can I afford it?
Can my employer help me pay for LASIK?
What are the realistic expectations?



What is LASIK?
Laser in-Situ Keratomileusis, or LASIK, is the most popular form of laser vision correction. LASIK corrects vision by removing tissue from the inner cornea. It is done by making a flap in the cornea and then reshaping the inner tissue. This provides a quicker return of functional vision and less discomfort after surgery.

There are new advances in LASIK. There is VISX® CustomVue Individualized Vision Correction which is setting a new standard for laser vision correction.
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What is CustomVue LASIK?
CustomVue LASIK is just like a fingerprint. It can measure and correct the unique imperfections of each individual's vision and give them more potential for better vision than is possible with glasses or contact lenses.

Before recent advancements in technology, doctors were only able to use standard measurements to correct vision, which means that the prescriptions could only provide a certain level of correction regardless of the individual's needs.

The CustomVue LASIK uses the Wavescan™ techonology. Wavescan-based technology was originally developed to use in high-powered telescopes to help reduce distortions when viewing distant objects in space. So by using this techonlogy for LASIK, your doctor can detect and measure the optical distortions unique to your optical system.

The Wavescan system compares the refracted wavefront with the original unaltered wavefronts, and this produces a fingerpront of your vision, or Waveprintâ„¢ map. This information is then transferred to the VISX Excimer laser and used as a guide to reshape the cornea during your laser vision treatment.
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How do I know if I am a good candidate for LASIK?
The majority of patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are potential candidates for LASIK. Ideal candidates must be 21 years of age or older, have a stable prescription for at least one year, have healthy corneas, no cataracts and no retinal problems. Furthermore, the best candidates are people with a lifestyle or occupation in which they are dissatisfied with their contact lenses or glasses. An evaluation performed by the ophthalmologist will determine if you are a good LASIK candidate.
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How long will the correction of the LASIK procedure last?
Probably for the rest of your life. Following an initial healing period of two to three months, the effect of the treatment is lifelong, since the cornea is a very stable tissue. Medical experience shows that once the cornea has been modified, it tends to stay modified permanently. There are other diseases which may develop unrelated to LASIK, however, which may change the prescription, such as cataracts, etc. Also, reading glasses may be needed on patients after the age of 40.
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Does LASIK hurt?
No. The LASIK treatment itself is painless because we put a few numbing drops in your eyes to make you even more comfortable. you will feel pressure on and around the eye durign treatment, but only for a few seconds. With LASIK, some patients may experience a feeling of "something in the eye" for a day or so after treatment.
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Will I experience pain after the LASIK treatment?
Some patients experience a feeling of burning or scratchiness generally from one to three hours following the LASIK treatment. Most people feel fine if they can take a nap soon after treatment. Patients will be light sensitive immediately after surgery. Some patients may develop a dry eye syndrome after surgery which usually lasts a short period of time.
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How long does LASIK take?
The entire treatment takes about 10 minutes per eye or approximately 20 minutes for both eyes.
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How soon after surgery will I see well?
Each patient is different. The eye drop medication can cause some blurring, but most patients notice a dramatic improvement even as they leave the surgery center. Most patients can pass a driving test without glasses or contact lenses after the treatment.
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How soon after the treatment can I bathe or take a shower?
Your LASIK surgeon will advise you as to the specifics. However, typically you can bathe the same day as the treatment but you should not shower for 2 days after the treatment. As always, avoid getting soap or water directly into your eyes. Avoid rubbing your eyes during the first month after surgery.
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When can I drive?
You should not drive the day of treatment. After that, you may drive when you feel confident that your visual acuity and eye comfort allow you to drive safely. Most patients can drive the next day if they feel comfortable about it.
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When can I return to work?
Most patients are back to work full-time the day after treatment. An additional day or two is rarely required before returning to work.
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How soon after the treatment can I exercise?
Non-contact sports can be resumed as soon as you feel capable. Eye protection is always recommended for racquet sports or rough sports where there is a risk of being hit in the eye.
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How soon can I swim?
You should stay out of swimming pools for one week after your treatment and rivers, lakes and oceans for two weeks following your treatment.
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How soon after the surgery can I use eye makeup?
You may resume wearing eye makeup starting 1-2 weeks after your treatment. We strongly recommend that you purchase new eye makeup, especially mascara, to avoid potential infection following your treatment.
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How long will I be using drops?
You will be using antibiotic drops immediately after surgery and for approximately 1-2 weeks after the surgery. Some patients also need to use artificial teardrops to keep the eye moist for several weeks after surgery.
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How often do I see the doctor after the surgery?
Most patients are seen the day following the treatment, then 1-2 weeks later, then 1 month, then 3 months and then annually. Some patients require more visits.
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What are the risks and side effects of LASIK?
For detailed information about all the risks and side effects, please read the consent form prior to surgery.

The side effects which occur more commonly include:
- Increased sensitivity to light for the first couple of days.
- Glare, mainly at night. This resolves in over 90% of patients within the first couple of months.
- Fluctuations in vision. This tends to stabilize within a few weeks depending on your prescription prior to surgery. Speak to your LASIK doctor.
- Dry eye. This is normally only for 6 weeks, as drops are given to keep the eye wet. In some instances the dryness may last longer and more extensive treatment is required.
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Will I need glasses or contact lenses after the LASIK treatment?
The goal of refractive surgery is to reduce your dependence on glasses and/or contact lenses, but LASIK patients still may benefit from reading glasses or distance glasses when they desire perfect near or distance vision. A nominal percentage of patients wear a thin pair of prescription glasses for night driving.
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Will I need reading glasses after the treatment?
Generally patients under 40 years of age read without glasses following the treatment. Patients over 40 may need magnification for reading fine print. Presbyopia is the term that refers to the natural weakening of the focusing muscles that occurs in our early to mid 40s, causing us to need the magnification that reading glasses provide. The LASIK treatment does not correct or prevent presbyopia. We also will be glad to discuss other options like Monovision or Refractive Lens Exchange.
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What is Monovision?
With this procedure the dominant eye is corrected fully for distance and the non-dominant eye is corrected for near. This works extremely well for most patients in that when they look in the distance the brain ignores the eye for near vision and when they read the brain ignores the eye for distance vision. The advantage of monovision is that you will not need reading glasses for 5 to 10 years. The disadvantanges are that there is some slight loss of depth perception and some people may still need glasses for night driving only. If you are interested in this ask your doctor to demonstrate it to you with glasses prior to surgery.
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What is Refractive Lens Exchange?
It is another option for patients over 45 years of age who need bifocals. This is a viable alternative for those patients who wish to eliminate their dependence on traditional or progressive bifocals and those patients who may be showing signs of developing cataracts. Refractive Lens Exchange may be the procedure of choice for those candidates who are also too nearsighted, too farsighted or have corneas that are too thin for LASIK.
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Should I have a Custom LASIK eye surgery treatment or a conventional treatment?
Custom LASIK not only corrects your prescription, but also any optical aberrations in your visual system. Dr. Santamaria does the CustomVue LASIK. CustomVue is the first U.S. approved, Wavefront-guided laser treatment and more than 92% of the elegible population are candidates for this procedure.
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How much does Laser Vision Correction cost? Can I afford it?
There is one set price for CustomVue LASIK with Intralase procedure. It does not vary because of your prescription or any optical aberrations in your visual system. Speak to your Refractive Surgery Coordinator for financing information. In most cases you can qualify for an affordable monthly payment plan to help fit LASIK into your budget. As compared with eye glasses and contact lenses, LASIK can pay for itself in a few years time. Eye glasses usually have to be replaced once a year or so and contact lenses, depending on the type, can be extremely costly.
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Can my employer help me pay for LASIK?
Many companies have implemented healthcare options that make elective surgeries such as LASIK, an affordable alternative. These insurance programs are referred to as Flexible Spending Plans or Alternative Health Plans. These plans designate a limited amount of pre-tax dollars to pay for the employee's pre-determined elective surgery. Generally, the employee must decide which surgery they are planning to have and declare this to their employer. You can contact your Human Resources office to find out when your company's enrollment period begins.
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What are the realistic expectations?
It is your decision to have Laser Vision Correction and it is an important one. It is paramount that you have realistic expectations and that your decision is based on facts, not hopes. The goal of CustomVue LASIK is to reduce you dependence on corrective lenses. Laser Vision Correction does not always create 20/20 or better vision. There is no guarantee. Your doctor will provide additional information that will help you make your decision. Be sure all of your questions are answered before consenting to have an elective surgery.

Take the first step toward living your best life with your personal best vision. Call to schedule an evaluation with the Refractive Surgery Coordinator.
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