LASIK is a refractive surgical procedure that involves reshaping the curvature of the cornea using a laser. The cornea is the clear dome of tissue on the front of the eye. Changing the curvature of the cornea improves vision by allowing light to properly focus on the retina. To maximize your chances of a good outcome after surgery, you and your eyes need to be healthy which is why a LASIK consultation is necessary before scheduling your surgery.
A pre-LASIK exam with your optometrist will help determine if you are a good candidate for refractive surgery. The exam involves more testing than a typical annual eye exam, so let us know at scheduling that you are considering refractive surgery. Dilation of the eyes is required during a pre-LASIK exam to check the stability of your distance prescription and evaluate ocular health. Your glasses prescription should be stable to minimize the likelihood of needing correction again shortly after surgery.
Your eye doctor will thoroughly assess your overall health history and eye health. There are some conditions that disqualify you from having LASIK, and some that will need to be considered stable and well controlled in order to proceed. Some prescriptions are too high to be considered good candidates for LASIK and those who need bifocals or reading glasses need to be aware that LASIK typically corrects for distance vision only, meaning that readers may still be necessary after surgery. LASIK will not help with vision loss from glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, amblyopia, retinal detachment, or other ocular damage. The goal of refractive surgery is to eliminate the need for glasses or contacts. If you have reduced vision that glasses or contacts cannot improve, LASIK will not work for your vision needs.
If there are no contraindications found by your eye doctor, we will refer you to the LASIK center of your choosing and can help coordinate your appointments for surgery and post-operative care. The surgery center will schedule a separate LASIK consultation to take corneal measurements needed for the procedure before scheduling your surgery. At the end of the consultation, if you qualify for surgery, they will review the surgical procedure as well as post-operative care and answer any questions you may have.
Written by: Dr. Giannonatti, optometrist since 2019