LASIK in San Diego
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is LASIK?
Is anesthesia used during LASIK?
How old do I have to be to get LASIK? Am I too old?
Is LASIK safe?
What should I do with my old glasses after LASIK?
What is LASIK?
LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. These are some big words that you can impress your friends and family with! But when you think of LASIK, or actually try to explain LASIK to your friends and family, you can break it down into two parts.
The first part of LASIK involves creating a flap in the cornea, which is the transparent outer layer in front of the eye. Ten years ago, this would have been done with a small, mechanical blade called a microkeratome; but nowadays, at La Jolla LASIK Institute, we use advanced lasers to create the corneal flap. These state-of-the-art lasers, called femtosecond lasers, allow me to create ultra-thin flaps with speed and precision. This means you get more comfort, more accuracy, and less discomfort.
After the corneal flap has been made, the second part of LASIK involves using a laser to reshape the cornea to your exact prescription. These lasers are called excimer lasers, and they basically reshape your eye so that light passes through your eyes differently, which then can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The lasers we use at La Jolla LASIK also allow me to customize your prescription to the unique features of your eyes, track all the small movements of your eyes throughout the procedure, and preserve the natural shape of your eyes. This gives you the most accuracy and excellent results that won.t diminish over time. After all the goal of LASIK is to give you clear vision...for a lifetime!
Is anesthesia used during LASIK? What type is used?
A lot of patients are worried that there are needles and pain for applying ocular anesthetics before their LASIK surgery. Rest assured, the only anesthesia I use is a numbing eyedrop called Proparacaine.
Once the patient is in the operating room, I apply the Proparacaine to the eyes and test to see if the patient still feels anything. Normally a couple of drops works immediately to numb the eye, whereupon I perform the LASIK operation.
How old do I have to be to get LASIK surgery? Am I too old?
You can get LASIK if you are at least 18 years old.
Generally, if you are in your 40s and 50s, you're still young enough for LASIK. Many of my successful patients have been in their 40s and 50s, and I have helped them correct their nearsightedness and farsightedness. So if you are in your 40s and 50s, LASIK can help you see far away AND up close. Also, don't worry! Because LASIK occurs on the cornea, which is the part of the eye that remains stable over long periods of time, LASIK won.t change how fast your eyes age.
If you are an older patient in your 60s you can sometimes still get LASIK, or you may choose early cataract surgery. After I carefully examine your eyes for early cataracts, we can decide together whether early cataract surgery or LASIK is the better choice for you.
If you are in your 70s, though, it usually is better to opt for cataract surgery instead of LASIK.
Of course, everyone's eyes are different, and when it comes to deciding whether you are a good candidate for LASIK or not, what really matters is your eyes and your prescription. You don't want to get LASIK if you have any eye diseases such as glaucoma, and your prescription should be stable, meaning it hasn't changed by more than 0.5 in six months. (Don't worry, I'll figure that out from your old glasses.) Regardless of your age, it is important that I talk with you about your medical history and examine your eyes to make sure you qualify for LASIK.
So call and make an appointment, and I'll personally answer all the questions you have.
Is LASIK safe?
LASIK does hold some risks, just like any other surgical procedure. Some of the potential side effects include:
- seeing halos or glare
- dry eyes
- light sensitivity
- difficulty with driving at night
- changing/fluctuating vision
However, you can significantly minimize these risks if you choose a knowledgeable and experienced surgeon. I personally take the time to get to know my patients and address all of their concerns. Your well-being is my top priority. I give unlimited personal consultations, I have the latest and best technology for your needs, and I guide you through all of your options to make sure that you make the best and safest choice. Long-term risks from LASIK have been proven to be less than 1%, and in my career as a LASIK surgeon I have had a 100% success rate in vision improvement.
What do I do with my old glasses now that I have perfect vision?
After my patients get LASIK, I always encourage them to donate their glasses. In fact, I have a fishbowl sitting on my desk that holds all of them - I make sure to periodically donate the glasses to charity whenever the bowl fills up.
I'm a big fan of Lions Club; they donate glasses across the globe to help underprivileged children and adults. Here is a great quote from their website that describes the purpose of their organization:
"According to The World Health Organization, 153 million people have uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). Most of these vision impairments are quickly diagnosed and easy to treat with corrective lenses. Still, millions of people in developing nations are pushed deeper into poverty simply because they don't have glasses. They can't learn, because reading is difficult. They can't work to the best of their ability, because they can't see clearly. It costs Lions less than US$0.08 to provide a pair of recycled eyeglasses and change someone's life. For children, clear vision means a better education, healthier development and a better quality of life. For adults, it means greater employment opportunity and economic strength. For seniors it means less dependence on others."
So, if you come into my office and get LASIK, you can expect to leave with two things: excellent vision and the knowledge that you.re helping someone else in the world see as well.