Honest Answers from the LASIK Experts
If you are considering LASIK vision correction or another refractive surgery procedure at the Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute, we would like to answer all your questions and encourage you to become as informed as possible before making any decisions about refractive surgery. Please review the information provided below, read our Consumer Guide to Laser and Refractive Eye Surgery and contact the Eye Institute with any additional questions.
How do I know if I am a good candidate for refractive surgery?
We can try to outline the qualities of an ideal LASIK patient; however, the only way to truly know if you are a good LASIK candidate is to visit us for a LASIK evaluation. With all that being said, here are some of the ideal characteristics of a LASIK candidate. Remember, just because you don’t fit each of these attributes does not mean that you shouldn’t visit us for a consultation. Every patient is different, and this list is only designed to give you a vague idea of who an ideal patient would be.
- At least 21 years old
- Stable glasses prescription for at least one year
- Farsighted up to +3 diopters or nearsighted up to –10 diopters (with up to 5 diopters of astigmatism)
- No history of trauma to the eyes
- No history of crossed or lazy eye
- No infections of the eyes
- Has not used the following medications: accutane, imitrex, amiodarone
- No uncontrolled diabetes or significant diabetic eye changes
- Not currently pregnant or breastfeeding
- No history of unstable glasses prescription
- No eye diseases that cause unstable corneas
- No underlying eye diseases (e.g. significant cataracts, glaucoma or retina problems)
What are the risks and complications associated with LASIK?
While LASIK is a very safe procedure, it still is surgery, and as such, there are always risks and complications. Here are some of the most common possible risks and complications with LASIK. Please feel free to further discuss these with your surgeon during your consultation.
One of the most common complications of LASIK surgery is an undercorrection of vision. This amounts to the laser removing too little tissue from the eye. Many surgeons would rather remove too little tissue than too much, which is why undercorrections are so common. In this case, the patient may still need glasses or contacts to correct their vision, though their eyesight will certainly be better than prior to the surgery. In many cases, additional retreatment or enhancement LASIK can be performed to fully correct the patient’s vision.
The opposite of an undercorrection is an overcorrection. This is when the laser takes too much tissue from the eye, resulting in imperfect vision for the patient. In some cases, the treatment will regress spontaneously so that the over-treatment self-corrects. In other cases, it may be necessary to do additional LASIK surgery to reach the desired visual outcome.
Dry Eyes Following Surgery
Immediately following LASIK surgery, it is possible for patients to deal with very dry eyes. The procedure will interfere with tear production in the eye, which creates significant dryness for as long as six months after the surgery. Most patients can handle this dryness through the use of eye drops designed specifically for this purpose.
Difficulty Seeing at Night
Another issue that can arise after LASIK surgery is poor vision at night. Some patients find that they can no longer drive at night or see clearly in low light. This is a result of halos or even double vision that are often only a problem at night. Poor night vision is something that patients must weigh the risks of prior to undergoing LASIK.
Deteriorating Vision Over Time
Finally, prospective patients should be aware that LASIK surgery is not always permanent. In some cases, vision will deteriorate over time to some degree. As the eye ages, the lens loses its flexibility and becomes unable to focus on near objects. Most people between the ages of 40 and 50 begin to need reading glasses. If you have LASIK, this can still happen as you are sacrificing some of your near vision to gain better distance vision.
What are the costs for LASIK at the Medical College of Wisconsin?
At the Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute, the current rate per eye for the LASIK surgery is $2,100. not including the $150 initial consulation fee. While this rate may seem high when compared to what the high-volume clinics claim, it is quite comparable to other prestigious surgeons who use our superb level of technology. Furthermore, unlike those other surgeons, there are no hidden costs associated with our pricing system. In fact, we use a global fee that includes the surgery itself, the laser facility fees, and all postoperative examinations for an entire year. This rate also covers any potential surgical enhancements directly related to the LASIK procedure for up to a year. The Medical College of Wisconsin offers financing options for portions of the total cost.
Need to find us or get in touch?
Our surgeons see patients at the Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute, located on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Campus near the Zoo Interchange.
To schedule your consultation,