When it comes to your eyesight, there are no chances worth taking. That’s why if you’re considering LASIK surgery, it’s paramount to select the right surgeon the first time and why you shouldn’t base your surgeon selection solely on the dollar amount. If you’re considering LASIK, here are the insider tips you need to know — from surgeon selection to what to expect — so your procedure is simple and successful.
One of the most popular elective cosmetic surgeries in the world, LASIK, which stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, reshapes the eye’s cornea to improve vision. Rates of patient satisfaction after having the procedure are remarkably high, and most people who undergo the surgery experience improvement in their vision immediately.
Because LASIK has become so common, however, several providers market discounted prices — and this is something to be wary of, says Mark Prussian, a board-certified healthcare administrator and CEO of The Eye Care Institute in Louisville. Mark, who co-wrote One Eye or Two?: Insider Secrets to Help You Choose the Right LASIK Surgeon, says it’s always wise to do some research before getting the surgery.
“We find that most people put more research into buying makeup online than they do for eye surgery,” he says. “You only get one pair of eyes in a lifetime, and we want people to know how it’s done.”
LASIK, Mark explains, corrects near-sighted and far-sighted vision as well as astigmatism. What it doesn’t do is cure eye diseases like glaucoma or serve as an alternative solution for cataract surgery. When considering whether or not to get the procedure, Mark says there are a few key questions to ask.
Do I qualify for LASIK?
If you depend on glasses or contacts, then you’re a likely candidate for LASIK. A hallmark of a qualified LASIK surgeon, Mark says, is having the discretion to know when surgery is a good option and when it is not.
“We tell about 10 percent of the people who come into our practice that LASIK isn’t right for them,” he says.
If you qualify for the procedure, then you can expect the process to begin quickly. Mark says that the only regret most people have is not getting the procedure done sooner. Such was the case for Louisville resident Casey Dailey.
“I was very hesitant to have LASIK after many, many years of planning it and looking forward to it,” Casey wrote in her post-operation review. “My only regret in this process was waiting so long to pull the trigger. Guys, LASIK was a game-changer… I couldn’t praise this procedure and staff more.”
Unlike glasses or contacts, there is no “prescription” or different level of LASIK that correlates to existing vision strength. Each LASIK patient will have their measurements calculated with the intent of providing the optimal postoperative visual outcome.
How much will it cost?
Plenty of places will market low prices for LASIK — but what they often leave out, Mark says, are the extra costs that come standard in most procedures. Most procedures average about $1,900 per eye.
“You don’t want to be surprised with cost at the end,” he says.
When LASIK first gained popularity, mostly young adults who had disposable income elected to have the procedure. Today, Mark sees a new demographic showing interest.
“We’re seeing more and more people in their 40s and 50s, who have maybe already raised their kids or put their kids through college, deciding to spend money on themselves and get LASIK,” he says.
Mark encourages those who are considering getting LASIK to treat the operation as an investment. Especially when contact lenses and eyeglasses are no longer an expense, in the long run, LASIK can actually end up paying for itself.
How much time do I need to recover?
After undergoing LASIK surgery, most patients are ready to go about their regular schedule in a matter of hours. Mark recommends taking one day off work, and coming in for a one-week check-in and one-month check-in after the operation. Also, heavy weightlifting for the first few weeks after getting LASIK is not advised.
“We think the magic way to good recovery is taking a nap after the procedure,” Mark suggests. “Almost all of our patients, if they take a nap after the procedure and sleep for an hour or two, they’ll wake up with really good vision.”
Above all else, it’s Mark’s goal — and the goal of all the doctors of the Eye Care Institute — to ensure that each patient leaves with a positive experience and a set of eyes that help them see and experience life to the fullest. And with the long list of raving reviews, it sounds like The Eye Care Institute is accomplishing that goal.
“The entire process from check-in to exam was efficient, friendly and well-organized,” writes patient Holly McCullough. “Everyone was pleasant and made me feel at ease. The doctor answered all my questions thoroughly. I couldn’t be happier with the experience.”
If you’re ready to start the process of looking into LASIK, the following do’s and don’ts when choosing a LASIK surgeon, excerpted from One Eye or Two?: Insider Secrets to Help You Choose the Right LASIK Surgeon, are a great starting point:
- DON’T base your decision simply on cost alone. While it is certainly understandable that most people are looking to be budget-conscious, remember that you will likely get what you pay for.
- DON’T simply settle for the first doctor, vision eye center, or procedure that you research. The decision that you make today about your eyes and vision will have an impact on the rest of your life and the quality of your life.
- DO be cautious about eye centers that advise package deals or promise your money back if you do not receive specific results. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- DO read any information provided to you about your chosen procedure.
To learn more about The Eye Care Institute ® and the services provided, visit them online at EyeCareInstitute.com.
This article is sponsored by The Eye Care Institute.