Your Questions About LASIK – Answered
What do you really want to know about LASIK? Dr. Stephen Updegraff and the staff of Updegraff Vision are dedicated to patient education and honesty, and so when one of our readers asked these questions, we were happy to answer.
If a patient’s surgery is not successful, can the doctor remove the lens and will the vision be restored back to its original state prior to the surgery?
The lens of the eye is not affected during LASIK surgery. Instead, LASIK corrects vision by reshaping the cornea during a two-step process. First, Dr. Updegraff uses a femtosecond laser to create a flap in the cornea, which he folds back. Then, he uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea. Once the cornea has been reshaped, Dr. Updegraff replaces the flap, and the edges of the flap heal with the surface skin cells within 4-5 hours.
Cataract surgery with high-tech lens implants is a common procedure that does require a new lens to be inserted into the eye. During this procedure, Dr. Updegraff removes your natural lens because it has become clouded and formed a cataract, which can cause severely reduced vision, glare, and poor night vision. Because your original lens has been removed, Dr. Updegraff must then replace it with a new lens – either a standard lens implant, which can give you distance vision, or a high-tech lens implant, which can reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses by giving you distance, intermediate, and possibly near vision.
What percentage of people have had to return to glasses after the surgery, and after how many years?
One of the most common questions patients ask us at Updegraff Vision is how long LASIK lasts, and whether or not they will ever need glasses again. We’re happy to be able to assure them that, if you’re a good candidate for it, LASIK is a permanent and lasting procedure that doesn’t need to be redone every few years. In fact, Dr. Updegraff himself is proof that LASIK is a lasting surgery – he had LASIK in 1994, and his vision is still 20/20 today.
When patients who’ve had LASIK eventually do need to return to glasses, it’s usually a result of other variables unrelated to their surgery. For example, as you age, your natural lens loses its flexibility, a condition called presbyopia. Because the lens is no longer able to change its shape (by thickening like a magnifying glass) to help you see up close, you may need to begin wearing reading glasses. LASIK has no effect on the development of presbyopia – it doesn’t speed up or slow down the process.
Dry eye is another common reason LASIK patients return to glasses. Chronic dryness causes the skin cells on the cornea’s surface to thicken to protect the eye. This thickening, which is like a callus, can reverse the reshaping of the cornea that occurred during LASIK, and therefore change the patient’s original post-LASIK vision. That’s why it’s essential for patients to follow their post-operative care instructions, as well as continue to attend routine eye exams.
What is the average cost of the surgery?
One of the most commonly asked questions about elective procedures like LASIK is how much they cost. If you’re considering having vision correction surgery, the first step is to attend a LASIK consultation with Dr. Updegraff to determine what procedures you are a good candidate for. His surgical recommendation will be based on what the best option is for your individual eyes. Even if Dr. Updegraff determines that you aren’t a LASIK candidate, he may recommend you have another procedure that can also reduce or eliminate the need for glasses, such as high-tech lens implants, PRK, or LRI.
Vision correction surgery can range anywhere in price from $1000 to $5000 per eye. LASIK with Dr. Updegraff is very competitively priced – and comes with the benefits of being performed by a pioneering surgeon with one of the longest track records of performing LASIK in the country.
The cost for each LASIK surgery with Dr. Updegraff is all-inclusive, and includes the following:
- comprehensive LASIK screening with state-of-the-art technology to determine candidacy
- pre-operative medicines, if needed
- advanced, state-of-the-art technology, including the only iFS laser on Florida’s west coast
- all post-operative visits
So, what are your questions about LASIK?