What you should ask and know prior to your LASIK procedure
Will LASIK work for me?
Today, over 94% of all refractive errors can be corrected with the individual Femto-LASIK, an all-laser, wavefront-guided LASIK. LASIK surgery is used to correct nearsightedness of up to -8 dpt, farsightedness of up to +3 dpt and astigmatism for up to 5 dpt.
A final assessment can only be made after an eye exam and consultation.
Who should not have LASIK surgery?
Regardless of the type and severity of the refractive error, each patient must meet some criteria and conditions in order to ensure an optimal success of the surgery.
Children and patients who are younger than 18 years should not receive eye laser surgery. The refractive error should be stable (and the eye should have stopped growing) before the surgical procedure is performed.
Eye diseases such as cataract or glaucoma can contraindicate surgery and it is important to discuss them with the ophthalmologist.
Because some general illnesses as well as some medications have an influence in the healing process of the cornea, certain illnesses such as rheumatic arthritis can contraindicate surgery.
Treatment during pregnancy or while nursing is not recommended.
If you suffer from allergies, the surgery should be planned at an allergy-free time.
Can I wear contact lenses prior to the pre-op exam?
Yes! Contact lenses must only be removed 1-2 weeks prior to LASIK surgery. This will be explained to you in detail during your preoperative exam.
How long will I be unable to work?
You should rest for about 1 week. Your vision will be very good again the day after surgery.
What are the risks of LASIK surgery?
With today's procedures, the risk of serious complications is considered to be extremely low, less than 1%, but cannot be excluded completely. Your ophthalmologist will inform you of your individual risk during your preoperative consultation.
The minimization of the risk to the presently lowest level depends on the experience of the ophthalmologist who performs the procedure as well as on the patient cooperation by closely following and observing any postoperative treatment instructions.
Are long-term studies available?
For decades, ophthalmologists have been interested in developing procedures for the surgical correction of refractive errors. José I. Barraquer (1916-1998) has already developed a rather successful method 40 years ago. He dedicated his whole life and all his work to the idea of optimizing the refractive power of the eye by "reshaping" the cornea. His "keratomileusis" was the foundation for the PRK and LASIK procedures used today and made him the founder of refractive surgery.
The LASIK method has been used since 1991, and today it is scientifically accepted and established in ophthalmology. The procedure itself as well as the equipment continues to be improved (See Individual LASIK (iLASIK), Femto-LASIK or wavefront-guided LASIK).
It can be assumed that the effect of the surgery attained a few months after surgery will remain stable.
Will I experience any pain during or after the LASIK surgery?
Before your LASIK procedure, you will receive a tranquilizer and a pain reliever. Your eye will be anesthetized with eye drops, there are no injections necessary. The laser surgery is painfree. After the LASIK surgery, you will only feel a foreign body sensation with itching and an increase in tears.
How long does the surgery take?
The surgery itself only lasts for a few minutes. Because your eyes will be examined before as well as after the procedure, your stay with us will be about one hour to 90 minutes.
Can I have surgery on both eyes at the same time?
Yes! We usually perform LASIK surgery on both eyes on the same day. Of course we 'll use a separate sterile set of instruments for each eye.
At your specific request, we can also perform surgery on both eyes at different appointments.
How long will the treatment result last?
Our present knowledge shows that the results attained approximately 3 months after surgery will remain stable.
How do I handle the time between the surgeries on both eyes?
Usually, the LASIK procedure will be performed for both eyes on the same day.
In case the LASIK treatment is not performed on the same or two consecutive days, or a different procedures such as a lens implantation is performed, we recommend the following:
If you wear contact lenses, you can manage the time between the surgeries without problem by continuing to wear your contact lens on the eye on which surgery was not yet performed. Please take into consideration that contact lenses may not be worn for 2 - 3 weeks prior to surgery.
If you wear eyeglasses, your choices are to leave the unoperated eye uncorrected by not wearing eyeglasses, or you may continue to wear your eyeglasses after surgery on the first eye, which will create an unfocused image on the operated eye.
How many postoperative checkups will I need?
You will come to our LASIK center for a postoperative check-up on the day following your surgery. After that, we usually refer you back to your primary eye care doctor. Please make sure that you attend all scheduled postoperative check-ups. They are an important part of the treatment and effect the final result of the surgery.
What does the postoperative treatment consist of?
Usually, it is necessary to take eye drops for a limited amount of time. It is extremely important that the instructions given by the ophthalmologist are strictly observed, the postoperative medication treatment requires regular check-ups!
If any problems should occur, the treating physician should be contacted immediately.
What can you do to ensure good vision after LASIK surgery?
Do not rub your eyes for the first few days after surgery!
Use the eye drops you received on a regular basis and as prescribed.
Only use the eye drops for the length of time specified by your ophthalmologist; an extended time of use of this highly effective medication may be harmful to your eyes.
Take advantage of the scheduled check-up visits.
Immediately contact your ophthalmologist if you experience severe pain or a sudden decrease in vision.
Which activities should I avoid directly after the surgery?
Physical activity, sports, tanning beds, saunas and swimming pools should be avoided for 1 - 2 weeks. Otherwise, simply take it easy and do whatever pleases you!
When will I be able to drive again?
You may operate a vehicle as soon as sufficient vision has been regained on the operated eye. After bilateral LASIK, this is usually the case on the day after surgery.
Can eyeglasses or contact lenses be worn again after surgery?
Yes. After all procedures of refractive surgery, eyeglasses or contact lenses can be worn for the correction of a potential remaining refractive error. However, because of the altered shape of the cornea after refractive surgery, it is technically more complicated to fit contact lenses and they may be less tolerated.