LASIK (Laser in Situ Keratomileusis) is the most popular form of Laser Vision Correction (LVC) in the world today. If you or a loved one are considering LASIK, there are five primary questions you should be asking.
How happy or unhappy are you with your current form(s) of vision correction?
Eyeglasses and contact lenses are effective forms of vision correction. Glasses have almost no eye health risk, so they are the most conservative form of vision correction. Contact Lenses do have eye health risk as the lens comes in contact with the eye. Things like infection and contact lens overuse can threaten the health of the eye, but when a patient uses and cares for their contact lenses exactly as their eye doctor instructs them to, they can reduce those risks.
This form of vision correction is non-surgical in nature, and therefore considered to be more conservative than LASIK when the patient properly uses and cares for their contact lenses. Only if a patient is unhappy or unhealthy with the use of glasses and/or contacts as their forms of vision correction, should they look into LASIK. Like any other surgical procedure, LASIK should be reserved for the last line of treatment if other non-surgical forms of treatment have not worked to accomplish the desired objectives.
Am I a good candidate for LASIK?
Ensuring that a patient is a good medical candidate for LASIK is paramount. Four primary factors make up LASIK candidacy. Good systemic medical health is important, as there are certain systemic diseases that may make a patient ineligible for LASIK. Naturally, good eye health is the next element of candidacy.
Next, the patient must have an appropriate prescription for LASIK. The good news is that with modern LASIK, more patients than ever have an eyeglass prescription that falls within the range of what can be treated by LASIK. Lastly, the proper corneal anatomy and health is needed for LASIK candidacy. A comprehensive LASIK evaluation by a LASIK specialist can provide these candidacy answers for a patient.
LASIK vision correction is an elective procedure, meaning that no patient has to have LASIK. As with all elective procedures, once the doctor deems the patient a medical candidate, the patient should decide if they feel the rewards outweigh the risks of having the procedure. You should discuss those specific risks and rewards with your doctor.
Does the Type of LASIK I want fit into my budget?
It is true that for most patients the long-term cost of glasses and contact lenses over a lifetime is much greater than the cost of LASIK. However it is true that LASIK has a higher upfront cost. At 20/20 Institute we help patients fit LASIK into their budgets by providing zero down and 0% payment plans. We can assist patients in in arranging these affordable payment terms in under 5 minutes.
Which type of LASIK Provider is best for me?
In our experience as LASIK Specialists, once the above four elements are in alignment this is the single most important factor in how comfortable a patient ends up being with their decision to have LASIK. There are three primary types of LASIK providers to choose from:
The first is a higher volume discount LASIK provider. This type of LASIK provider is identified by their marketing that advertises a low price “hook” for LASIK. Usually this advertised fee is $250-$499 per eye, and the patient must have an evaluation to see if they qualify for the advertised fee. Most patients find that they do not qualify for the advertised fee, however, it is true that these higher volume providers charge less than the national average for LASIK. It is also possible that these providers may not be utilizing the same technologies as a slightly higher priced provider.
The most advanced forms of LASIK technology are considered by most doctors to be more accurate and better for a patient’s night vision, and long-term care is important for most patients. Because of these reasons, even though it seems to go without saying, with this type of provider, it is important that the patient is clear on what specific technology will be used on their eyes and that the patient receives very clear details on the specifics of their long term care.
Next is the medical office LASIK provider. This provider is usually in a traditional eye doctor’s office setting. A patient’s experience while visiting this type of provider usually feels in line with a traditional doctor’s office visit. Like most traditional doctor’s office settings, these LASIK providers may feel, to a patient, more doctor centered then patient centered when it comes to things like scheduling availability, waiting times, and staff attentiveness.
Nationally about 80-90% of medical office LASIK providers also provide general eye care, treat eye diseases, sell glasses, and/or provide eye surgery services like cataract surgery or glaucoma therapies. About 10-20% of medical office LASIK providers are ophthalmologists that have chosen to specialize in Refractive Surgery only, the specialty in ophthalmology that includes LASIK.
20/20 Institute as your LASIK provider. We have chosen to specialize only in Laser Vision Correction (LASIK and PRK). Our patient care model has been specifically designed around the wants of the LVC patient. We know that, more than anything, our patients want great vision. To that end, we have assembled experienced doctors that have chosen to specialize in LVC. In addition, we have invested in advanced Bladeless Wavefront Optimized® LASIK technology to maximize a patient’s visual results. The 20/20 staff is there for all of a patient’s specific needs, before, during and after the LASIK procedure.
Our state of the art facility is a relaxing and tranquil environment. We pride ourselves on 5 star customer service, similar to what you would experience in a world class hotel. Our convenient scheduling options include Saturday appointments for patients with busy schedules. Our fees are slightly lower than the national average for LASIK, however a patient’s experience at 20/20 Institute is far from average.
If you or a loved one is considering LASIK, answering these five questions will go a long way to making your LASIK experience a successful and enjoyable one.