LASIK Frequently Asked Questions

LASIK Frequently Asked Questions


How should I choose a physician for my LASIK procedure?
Choosing the right doctor for your laser vision correction is a very important decision. By choosing an experienced surgeon who uses clinically proven, safe, advanced technology, you can be certain you will get the best possible results and minimize the risk of problems.

What are the benefits of your laser technology?
The ALLEGRETTO 400 WAVE Eye-Q excimer laser system delivers the fastest laser vision correction procedure available in the U.S. The 400 hertz ALLEGRETTO WAVE Eye-Q is the next generation of Wavefront Optimized technology designed to increase efficiency and enhance patient comfort. The laser’s tracking system assesses the position of the eye 400 times per second and makes adjustments to ensure that the treatment is centered on the cornea. The Wavefront Optimized system delivers a specific ablation profile based on each eye’s unique corneal asphericity to preserve the cornea’s natural shape. This has been shown to improve visual outcomes, particularly in dim light conditions.

How do I know if I am a good candidate for LASIK?
With today’s sophisticated laser technology most people who currently wear glasses or contacts can benefit from LASIK. Near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism can all be corrected. You must be at least 18 years of age and have otherwise healthy eyes. The best way to find out if you are a candidate for laser vision correction is to come in for a complimentary consultation. You will have the opportunity to meet our LASIK team, including Dr. Helm and ask all the questions you may have. A packet of information about LASIK and our advanced technology will also be given to you to review at your own leisure.

Q: How does LASIK work?
LASIK (laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is now the most commonly performed surgical procedure for the correction of near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism. An estimated 5 million people have undergone LASIK worldwide. LASIK is a safe and highly effective procedure to reduce dependence on contact lenses and glasses.

We perform LASIK in our state-of-the-art climate-controlled laser suite. This facility was specifically designed for the optimum functioning of excimer lasers. Before the procedure, you will be given the option of taking an oral relaxing medication, such as Valium. The procedure is done using anesthetic drops to numb the eye.

Once the eye is completely numb, Dr. Helm creates a corneal flap using a sophisticated microkeratome device.  Once the flap is created, the corneal bed is gently reshaped with a cool ultraviolet laser beam. The laser reshaping of the cornea usually takes less than 20 seconds. The protective corneal flap is then returned to its original position, and the procedure is complete.

Is LASIK safe?
LASIK surgery has proven to be a safe, highly effective, and permanent procedure, especially with an experienced surgeon using safe, proven technology.

Why is the preoperative workup so critical to good results?
After a thorough eye exam, including sophisticated computer imaging, your doctor will be able to determine if LASIK surgery is an option for you. If you prove to be a good LASIK surgery candidate, and you wish to have LASIK surgery, you will be given additional information about the LASIK surgery procedure. This will enable you to make an educated decision about whether or not to proceed. It is vitally important to be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.

What can I expect the day of the procedure?
You will arrive for your LASIK surgery about 45 minutes prior to your procedure. Once you have been checked in, you may be offered a sedative to help you relax. You will then be prepared for LASIK surgery. The area around your eyes will be cleaned, and a sterile drape will be applied around your eyes. To numb your eyes, anesthetic eye drops will be used; no injections or needles will be used in this process. When your eyes are totally numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the LASIK surgery procedure. Each step of the procedure will be described to you before it is done so that you will be comfortable and know just what to expect.

Next, the microkeratome instrument will create a hinged flap of thin corneal tissue, and your doctor will gently fold the flap out of the way. You may feel a little pressure during the LASIK surgery process, but absolutely no pain. As the laser reshapes your cornea, you will then look directly at a target light.  The information gathered in your preoperative exam will be programmed into the excimer laser. The LASIK surgery treatment will be completed in a matter of seconds, depending upon the amount of correction needed. To finish the LASIK surgery procedure, the protective layer will be folded back into place where it will bond without the need for stitches.

Following your procedure, your eye(s) will be examined with a slit lamp microscope by Dr. Helm. Your eyes will be shielded for protection, and you will be given additional eye drops. Immediately following your procedure, your vision will likely be foggy like you’re looking through plastic wrap or like you’re looking underwater. You will need a ride home. After the anesthetic wears off in 20 to 30 minutes your eyes will sting, tear, burn and have a gritty sensation for 3 to 4 hours. We recommend that you go home and take a nap. In this case, you will sleep through the period where your eyes are irritate. When you wake up your eyes will be comfortable and you will notice that your vision is improving. Foreign body sensation within the first 12 to 24 hours is not uncommon. In the few days following LASIK surgery, some people experience sensitivity to light and watering or swelling of their eyes.

What do I see and feel during the procedure?
You may feel a little pressure on your eye, and you will hear Dr. Helm as he informs you as to what he is doing next. The laser will make a clicking noise as it reshapes your cornea

Is there any pain or discomfort from the procedure?
The procedure is entirely pain free, though you may feel a little pressure on your eye during the procedure.

How soon after the procedure can I see?
Many patients experience a dramatic improvement in their vision within the first day. For others, vision may be slightly blurry and fluctuate for several weeks. Most patients return to their normal functionality within a day or two after the laser vision correction surgery. It may take a month or two before you achieve your sharpest vision

Are there any activities I cannot do immediately following LASIK?
You should be able to resume your daily activities the day after your LASIK surgery. You will be asked to come back the next day for another LASIK surgery examination of your eye(s). We recommend that you do avoid eye rubbing, and underwater swimming for the first two weeks after your procedure.

What are the risks of the LASIK procedure?
LASIK surgery has proven to be a safe, highly effective, and permanent procedure. Any surgery procedure presents an inherent risk. Many complications and risks associated with LASIK surgery can be reduced or eliminated through careful patient selection, thorough preoperative evaluation, and having an experienced surgeon using safe, proven technology.