If you are considering LASIK, discuss the risks and benefits with your ophthalmologist. Is vision correction surgery the best option for you, or would glasses or contacts be a better choice?
Everyone has their own general and eye health circumstances and lifestyle goals. Discuss these things with your surgeon before going ahead with the surgery. Although LASIK benefits many people, it is not for everyone.
Questions to Ask Your LASIK Surgeon Before Surgery
Will you have a reasonable chance of success and satisfaction with LASIK? Are you willing to accept the unknowns that are part of any medical procedure? Asking the following questions will help you and your ophthalmologist decide together whether LASIK is for you.
Is my refractive error within the approved range?
The FDA approved LASIK to treat certain degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, alone or in combination with near- or farsightedness. In general, severe refractive error reduces the chance of success. It also increases the chance that you will need retreatment.
Is this the optimal time for me to have LASIK?
- up to about age 25,
- during pregnancy, breastfeeding or menopause, and
- after age 40-45, when presbyopia and other aging eye changes may begin.
Have my eyes been relatively stable for the last year or so?
Find out if your glasses (or contacts) prescription has stayed about the same.
Would any of the medications I'm taking rule out LASIK or affect the results?
Give your surgeon a complete list of prescription and over-the-counter medicine you take.
Do I have other health or eye conditions that might rule out LASIK?
Some conditions that might rule out LASIK or need treatment first include:
- autoimmune diseases,
- immunodeficiency states,
- eye conditions like:
Are my lifestyle choices compatible with LASIK?
Do you need 20/20 vision to do all the things you want to do at work and at play, or would 20/40 be good enough?
What results can I reasonably expect? What might be the best- and worst-case scenarios?
Not everyone achieves 20/20 vision with LASIK. Also, there is a chance of side effects and complications from LASIK surgery. Understand these before deciding on LASIK.
About how long will it take for my eyes to recover after LASIK?
Ask about the kinds of adjustments you might need to make during this time.
If LASIK results do not meet our vision goals, what might retreatment involve?
If you need a retreatment, how might this be different or similar to your first surgery? How about recovery?
If I experience any undesirable side effects, about how long might it be before these resolve? How might you treat them?
It is important to discuss with your surgeon how possible issues might be resolved.
What are the costs of LASIK?
Also, ask what potential related treatments would cost, such as:
- treatment for minor side effects, or
- retreatment to meet our visual acuity goals.