10 Things to Know Before You Schedule LASIK
This information is provided by Doctors For Visual Freedom Laser Center as a service to those interested in LASIK. This information is not meant to be comprehensive, but we welcome you to our office for a Free Comprehensive evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK. Please call our office at 877-393-3701 or 312-291-9680 to schedule your complimentary consultation.
- 1. Is your surgeon American Board of Ophthalmology certified?
In order to be board certified in Ophthalmology, an individual needs to attend four years of medical school, one year of an internship and three or more years of residency at an American Board of Ophthalmology approved training institution. Throughout training there are a series of examinations that must be passed to reach the next level all culminating in rigorous written and oral testing that can be completed only after a surgeon completes his/her residency and has gained clinical experience. It is legal for any physician to practice in any field of medicine including ophthalmology without such training and credentialing. The best ophthalmologists have this certification. In addition, this allows a physician to apply for certification from the American College of Surgeons, the highest level of honor for a surgeon. It also demonstrates that the surgeon meets or exceeds standards of practice and competency. It is important that any ophthalmologist you consider for LASIK at least have American Board of Ophthalmology certification.
2. Is your surgeon experienced in aspects of refractive surgery other than LASIK?
Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK and a careful discussion of LASIK should involve options including PRK Advanced Surface Ablation, Phakic Intraocular lenses, Clear lens extraction and even glasses and contact lenses. Your surgeon should be very experienced with Laser Vision Correction and have performed at least 5000 LASIK procedures. They must also be fully prepared to find you a non-candidate for LASIK. Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK and be sure that your surgeon does not find every person who comes in to be a candidate.
3. Who will perform your preoperative and postoperative care?
The best person to determine your candidacy for LASIK and to discuss the pros and cons with you is the surgeon. Many practices use optometrists or technicians to accomplish the examination and to perform the informed consent. Dr. Golden believes that patients are short-changed in this manner. The surgeon knows better than anyone else the risks of your particular procedure and should be the one to perform your examination and informed consent. On the day of your procedure, it helps the patient if they have had the opportunity to get to know the surgeon. It makes for an easier surgical process for both. There is no one more suited to perform your postoperative care than your surgeon. In many national LASIK chains, you will never see your surgeon except during the time of surgery.
4. Does your surgeon live locally and is he/she available for emergencies?
Dr. Golden lives in Chicago and is available to his patients 24/7. Although postoperative complications are rare, they most commonly involve the flap. Such complications are much more successfully handled in the first few days. There are many laser centers where the laser surgeon lives hundreds of miles away and if there is a problem with the flap, there may be no surgeon available to fix the problem for weeks. Always check to make sure that your surgeon is available after hours and for emergencies.
5. What type of laser will be used for your LASIK procedure?
The LASIK market is very competitive and many centers offer lower prices by using outdated technology. Studies have shown that the best results occur with Custom WaveFront laser technology from Visx. Dr. Golden only uses this technology as he wants all of his patients to be treated with the best. Other lasers may be less expensive or cheaper to operate, but Dr. Golden believes that cost should not be the issue for his patients. With Visx Custom WaveFront technology, 100% of patients were able to pass a driver’s test without glasses, 85% of patients have much less glare after their procedure than before, and it is possible to achieve better vision with surgery than with your best pair of glasses or contact lenses.
6. Will I be 100% glasses free after LASIK?
Everyone who has perfect vision for distance either naturally or after LASIK will need glasses for reading. This change is called presbyopia and typically occurs when individuals reach their early to mid-40’s. Some describe it as their arms becoming too short as they try to hold reading material further away. LASIK will not prevent the need for reading glasses as you age. Some of those who are already in the 40’s may enjoy monovision where one eye is set for near and one for far. Dr. Golden’s LASIK was set that way and he has great distance vision out of his right eye and excellent reading vision with his left eye. Not everyone tolerates the difference between the two eyes and the testing to see if you tolerate monovision can occur during your LASIK evaluation.
7. How soon can I return to work after LASIK?
Most people return to normal activities the morning after their procedure. Dr. Golden saw patients and performed LASIK procedures the morning after his procedure. If you work in an extremely dirty or dusty environment or are likely to be in situations where you may be hit in the face, you may choose to take more time off of work. Most patients at Doctors For Visual Freedom Laser Center choose to have their procedures on Saturdays with a postoperative visit on Sunday morning and start back to work on Monday. It is likely that you will have mild variability of your vision due to dryness, but this is helped with the frequent use of lubricating tear drops. Most feel comfortable driving the day after their procedure.
8. Who should not have LASIK?
It is best to wait on Refractive Surgery until the shape and size of the eye become stable. For girls this is usually sometime age 18 and 20 or 21. For boys, who take longer to physically mature, it would be 19 to 21 or 22. The key is that the cycloplegic or dilated refraction should not increase more than 0.50 diopters. Those with a history of viral eye infections such as herpes are not good candidates for LASIK. The process of LASIK causes dry eyes and those with significant dry eyes that cannot be well controlled preoperatively such as seen in those with autoimmune diseases like Sjögrens syndrome are not candidates. Uncontrolled diabetics should have stable blood sugars for several months before having surgery and if there is evidence of diabetic retinopathy may be absolute non-candidates. A stable hormonal situation is important as the corneas of pregnant and nursing women can vary significantly. We recommend that women not be pregnant, planning to be pregnant or nursing for three months before or after surgery.
9. Is LASIK affordable?
When you consider the cost of glasses and even more expensive, contact lenses; LASIK makes financial sense. At Doctors For Visual Freedom Laser Center we offer Interest Free Financing for 24 months or can arrange for payment plans to extend over as long as 60 months so that LASIK can usually fit into most people’s budget. Care great should be taken when “shopping for the best price” as LASIK is surgery and it is permanent. The difference of a few dollars becomes insignificant when balanced over a life-time of good vision. Saving a few dollars should not be the determining factor when considering something as important as your eyes. Making an informed decision about your eyes with this life changing surgery is essential. We work hard to make this amazing procedure affordable for everyone!
10. How can I find out if I am a candidate for LASIK?
At Doctors For Visual Freedom we offer Free comprehensive, no obligation consultations with appointment times in both our John Hancock Center downtown location as well as Arlington Heights. During this consultation you will find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK and then be educated as to the risks, benefits and alternatives as it relates to you and your eyes. Dr. Golden thinks that it is clear; every one of his patients is either a perfect candidate for LASIK or they do not receive surgery from our office. If you are a perfect candidate, you will then have all of the information about LASIK and we will have the numbers needed for your procedure.
For further information or to schedule an appointment contact Doctors For Visual Freedom Laser Center at 877-393-3701 or 312-291-9680.
Doctors for Visual Freedom Laser Center
875 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1550
Chicago, IL 60611
Doctors for Visual Freedom Laser Center
2010 S Arlington Heights Rd, Suite 121
Arlington Heights, IL 60005