QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
decision to undergo LASIK surgery is a serious one. While technology
has reduced the risks, it is natural to be curious and even a
little apprehensive. You can alleviate some of your anxiety by
educating yourself on the best options for you. To get you started,
here is a list of the most commonly asked LASIK surgery questions.
Q: How do I find the best LASIK surgeon?
A: Your regular ophthalmologist may be able to refer a good LASIK
surgeon. You may also be able to find a list of surgeons in your
local or online Yellow Pages. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
also offer a variety of links on their resource page (http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/lasik/resources.htm)
that could be useful in locating a credible surgeon in your region.
Any respectable eye surgeon will be happy to provide you with
Q: What do I do if I have a bad experience?
A: If you believe you have been victim of malpractice, you should
contact the FDA to file a report. They can be reached toll-free
at 1-800-FDA-1088, or online at their watchdog MedWatch site (http://www.fda.gov/medwatch).
It is also advisable to file a complaint with your state’s
medical licensing board and the Better Business Bureau.
Q: How much will my eye surgery cost?
A: The price of LASIK surgery varies depending on the procedure,
the surgeon, and the services requested.
Q: How do I know if the procedure I am considering is
the right one for my condition?
A: The FDA’s website (http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/lasik)
provides summary information on all approved laser technology.
This information includes clinical studies that elaborate on the
conditions treated by each method, that method’s most common
side effects, and results.
Q: Where can I get more information on laser technology
that is not yet FDA approved?
A: The FDA does not supply information on unapproved lasers, but
the manufacturer of the laser should be able to provide you with
Q: Which method is best for my condition?
A: FDA approved lasers are required to submit documentation of
their effectiveness. You can review these statistics to determine
which LASIK procedure had the best scientific results for each
aberration. After a preliminary exam, your eye surgeon will also
discuss your options and may recommend the method they feel is
best for you.
Q: How is wavefront LASIK different from traditional LASIK?
A: Wavefront LASIK is a specialized method that seeks to eliminated
higher order aberrations that go beyond the issues of nearsightedness,
farsightedness, and astigmatism that traditional LASIK treats.
These aberrations represent a very small percentage of the refractive
errors that may afflict an eye. Traditional LASIK often increases
existing higher aberrations. Some studies indicate that wavefront
LASIK achieves a higher success rate of 20/20 vision compared
to the results of traditional LASIK.
Q: What is Bladeless or All Lasers LASIK, and is it better
than traditional LASIK?
A: In traditional LASIK procedures, the corneal flap is created
through the use of a mechanical blade called a microkeratome.
The new bladeless procedure utilizes a laser and is thus bladeless.
Surgeons disagree on which method is better, and there is no solid
scientific proof that one has an advantage over the other in issues
of safety or success rates. Your surgeon will tell you which method
they prefer and why.
Q: How common is 20/20 vision after surgery?
A: Results from clinical trials submitted to and approved by the
FDA show a 40-95% chance of 20/20 vision after completion of the
recovery period, depending on your condition and the method chosen.
On average, the procedures average an 85% success rate for 20/20
Q: Where can I get more information on LASIK surgery?
A: Your ophthalmologist should be able to address your basic concerns
and provide a referral to a respectable LASIK provider. Once you
have selected a surgeon, they should also have extensive information
readily available for you in their office and to take home. For
basic information and current statistics, you can visit the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration’s official website for LASIK
eye surgery at http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/lasik/.