LASIK Questions Answered

What can LASIK eye surgery correct?

LASIK can correct a range of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

How is LASIK better than traditional eye surgery?

LASIK is preferable to other vision correction procedures for many reasons. Most importantly, the surgery is performed under a thin flap on the eye, so:

  • Few surface cells are disturbed.
  • There is very little discomfort.
  • Healing occurs within hours.
  • Recovery of vision is fast.

What is iLASIK?

Iowa Eye Center iLASIK uses a laser to create a tiny flap to reach the cornea, rather than a steel blade as used in conventional LASIK.

How long is the surgery?

Most patients are in the surgery suite for about 25 minutes and in our office for a total of about 30 minutes. The laser treatment itself is very brief — around one minute per eye.

Does the surgery hurt?

Most people have some brief (19 seconds) uncomfortable pressure when suction is first placed on the eye. The rest of the surgery may cause peculiar sensations but no pain.

Is LASIK covered by insurance?

Most insurance companies consider LASIK an elective surgery, so often it is not covered. For more information, go to Payments & Insurance.

Will I still need reading glasses after LASIK?

Yes. After age 40, natural changes in our eyes make it difficult to focus up close. Laser treatment can’t correct that. However, there is a treatment strategy that leaves one eye slightly nearsighted for reading. Ask us about it.

Who monitors my progress after surgery?

Our surgeons provide care before and after surgery. Typically, your visits will be one day, one week, one month, three months, six months and one year after surgery – all included in the fee.

How do I schedule a screening?

Call (319) 362-3937 or 1-800-362-3937 (toll free) to schedule your free screening with an Iowa Eye Center Refractive Surgery Coordinator.

How much time off will I need for surgery?

Most patients resume normal activities within one to two days, with minimal restrictions.

What if I move my eye during surgery?

Our iris registration technology identifies your iris based on your pre-surgical scan and rotates treatment to exactly match your eye. Tracking technology directs the laser to precisely follow your eye movements. If your eye moves out of range, the laser stops until your eye returns to the correct position.

What type of anesthesia is used?

A small amount of Valium before surgery helps you relax. During surgery, we’ll use numbing drops on your eye. You will be awake and alert the whole time.

Side effects of LASIK surgery?

Side effects from LASIK are mostly temporary and mild. For several days after surgery, you’ll see a halo around lights at night. This declines rapidly and then fades away in three to six months. For six months to a year, most people experience drier eyes. Over-the counter artificial tears are helpful.

Where do you do LASIK surgery?

At Iowa Eye Center, we have a dedicated in-office laser surgery suite where all LASIK procedures are performed.

Is LASIK permanent?

Yes, the procedure changes the shape of your eye. But the treatment does not prevent the eye from changing naturally over the years.

What is the LASIK success rate?

The odds of achieving 20/40 vision or better with one treatment is nearly 100%. (See below for information on touch-ups.)

What about touch-ups?

LASIK surgery is extremely precise but occasionally a patient needs a small touch-up to achieve their ideal vision goal. If you do need a touch-up during your first year after surgery, we provide it at no additional charge.

What does LASIK stand for?

LASIK is short for Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, which describes how the cornea is changed using a surgical device just under the front surface of the eye.

Are there alternative surgeries?

Other refractive laser operations are surface treatments. In these procedures, most surface cells on the cornea are scraped off and reshaping is done directly on the front of the eye. Iowa Eye Center surgeons occasionally perform surface treatments for medical reasons but LASIK is our procedure of choice. Surface treatment results in:

  • a large abrasion on the front of the eye
  • at least 3 to 4 days of healing
  • significant pain
  • a long delay in recovering vision

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