Lasik surgery has been around for 20 years, and 19 million procedures have been done. However, getting Lasik eye surgery is still one of the biggest decisions someone can make, according to Ophthalmologist Dr. John Vukich.
If you decide Lasik is something you want to do, here's what the FDA recommends you should ask and share with your doctor:
- Any past and present medical and eye conditions
- All medications you are currently taking
- What are the risks and benefits?
- Are there any alternative options other than Lasik?
- What should you expect before, during and after the surgery?
Dr. Vukich says to remember not everyone is a candidate for Lasik surgery.
"We turn away about a third of patients for a variety of reasons why they might not be a suitable candidate for Lasik or might not have the outcome they are looking for,” Dr. Vukich says.
One of the initial consultations you'll have with your doctor will be a thorough examination of your cornea. That's where you find out if you're a candidate.
"Lasik fundamentally recontours the cornea,” Dr. Vukich explains. “It reshapes the eye in a way that allows the focus light to be perfectly focused."
The recovery is about six months long, and for the first few months, some patients have reported fluctuation in their vision.
"This is a treatment that is extremely precise, but there is a healing response that can be slightly different from patient to patient," Dr. Vukich says.
If you’re considering Lasik, visits websites like the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery, where you can find information about Lasik doctors.
When selecting a doctor, remember it’s not uncommon for a doctor to have done more than 10,000 Lasik procedures. Also, make sure your doctor has turned away patients that weren't qualified. That allows you to see Lasik is not appropriate for everyone.