Many myths about LASIK eye surgery exist, and they too often they prevent ideal LASIK candidates from considering the procedure. In Cullom & Farah’s over twenty years of experience performing LASIK, we have heard it all. Helping patients overcome these barriers during the preoperative consultation equips them with the knowledge and peace of mind to make a confident decision about the surgery. We’d like to shed some light on these myths and put them to rest. Here are a few of the most common myths about LASIK.
1. LASIK hasn’t changed since the 90’s.
You aren’t using the same computer you had 20 years ago, and neither is your LASIK surgeon. As technology has advanced, so have LASIK techniques. There have been revolutionary changes that include;
- Automatic iris recognition and alignment
- Advanced pupil trackers
- Custom treatments that are based on image studies instead of glasses checks.
Today’s machines are more accurate than ever, and experienced surgeons like Cullom & Farah are using their state-of-the-art LASIK lasers to provide their patients with life-changing, crystal-clear vision.
2. LASIK is painful.
The LASIK surgery is quick, and discomfort is minimal. Many patients are even content to chat with their surgeon during the 5-10 minute procedure. There is some significant aching afterwards, but this lasts only around four hours and many sleep through this stage in the healing process. Most patients feel great, are able to drive, and are enjoying 20/20 vision the day after their procedure.
3. The doctor will use a blade to cut my eye.
Modern LASIK is completely blade free. With a newer surgical machine, only the laser touches your eye. A laser makes a small flap during the procedure but is not cutting the eye like a blade would.
4. I could mess up my surgery if I blink, fidget, or sneeze.
Many patients fear that they will somehow irreversibly damage their eyes by moving during the procedure. However, this is extremely unlikely with all the built in safeguards.
Cullom & Farah use cutting edge automated trackers that follow the movements of the eye and keep the laser perfectly centered in the pupil. If you move, so does the laser. If you look too far to the side or blink, the machine cuts off. Safety is built in to the system.
5. You can smell the laser burning your eyeballs.
This is one of the biggest urban legends about LASIK surgery. You will not smell flesh burning during your procedure. Occasionally during longer surgeries patients may smell the gases from the laser, but it is not your eyeball burning.
6. It takes a long time to recover from LASIK.
Unlike most surgeries, it takes very little time to recover from LASIK. Both eyes are done the same day, usually taking less than 5 minutes each eye. You can drive and go back to work the next day — the only difference will be clear vision!
Most patients only require three visits: one for a preoperative consultation, one for the surgery itself, and a quick checkup the day after. A fourth visit for a one-month checkup is recommended but optional.
7. The results won’t last.
The majority of people that get LASIK today will enjoy excellent vision that lasts for decades. Though keep in mind that most people, whether they have had LASIK or not, start developing the need for reading glasses after age 40. Also, it is not uncommon to start getting aging changes of the eye such as early cataracts in the late 40s or early 50s.
8. LASIK is not safe.
It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of any procedure with your surgeon. The safety of LASIK for patients who are good candidates is considered excellent. One of our surgeons has in fact had LASIK himself.
9. You have to wait to get LASIK.
LASIK is no longer considered a surgery for the middle-aged. The ideal age to get the procedure done is between 20 to 45. Those in their late 40s or older generally should consider other methods of refractive surgery such as refractive lensectomy.
10. LASIK cannot treat astigmatism.
While the original LASIK surgery could not treat astigmatism in the 90’s, laser technology has come a long way since then. Today’s machines treat astigmatism with ease.
11. LASIK is expensive.
With a reputable surgeon using up-to-date lasers, the cost for LASIK surgery is typically $2000 to $2500 per eye. Though this might seem like a lot of money, in the long run LASIK offers a major savings over purchasing contact lenses every six months for the rest of your life.
12. LASIK is for everyone.
While many people are fantastic candidates for LASIK, people with certain conditions might not be ideal matches for the surgery. People with severe dry eye and those whose main issue is just presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) may not be candidates. Experienced surgeons like Cullom & Farah can help you determine if the procedure is right for your eyes.
At Cullom & Farah Eye & Laser Center, we understand our patients’ desires for wanting to become glasses and contact lens free. We want our patients to feel completely confident entrusting us with their vision, and we hope debunking these common myths about LASIK will provide you with that peace of mind.