LASIK - FAQs

Am I a good candidate?
The ideal LASIK is 18 years of age or older and has healthy eyes. Candidates must not have had a significant change in their prescription in the last 12 months. People with certain medical conditions or women who are pregnant or nursing may not be good candidates for LASIK. The best way to determine if LASIK is right for you is to schedule a free consultation so that we may do a thorough assessment of your candidacy.
What is LASIK?
LASIK is a treatment used by the world's most experienced refractive surgeons to correct most ranges of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The surgeon will use the IntraLase femtosecond laser to create a hinged flap of tissue on the center of the cornea. The flap is lifted back and the excimer laser reshapes the underlying tissue. The flap is then replaced and adheres naturally. LASIK has a lengthy learning curve and consistently good outcomes are gained only by the experience of performing a number of cases. Your choice of a LASIK surgeon can make a major difference in how well you will see. America has many eye surgeons and, as in any profession, levels of ability and quality of outcomes vary. Your lifetime of vision is far too valuable to risk with a surgeon selected simply on the basis of cost.
What is CustomVue LASIK?
Laser vision correction at Cincinnati Eye Institute can now be tailored to the unique characteristics of your eyes with VISX CustomVue™ LASIK. At the heart of the CustomVue procedure is the WaveScan® system. This system allows our experienced LASIK surgeons to measure and correct visual imperfections that were previously undetectable with the common technology used to prescribe glasses and contact lenses. By specifically addressing the unique imperfections of your vision, we can help you safely and effectively achieve your "personal best vision" without glasses and contact lenses. 

Glasses and contacts are limited in their ability to correct unique imperfections and thousands of people have the same prescription. With the CustomVue LASIK procedure, no two "prescriptions" are identical. In fact, clinical studies have demonstrated that qualified nearsighted and astigmatic individuals can potentially achieve better vision than is possible with wearing contact lenses, or glasses.

What is IntraLase Method?
The IntraLase Method is a 100% blade-free approach to creating your corneal flap, the thin flap of tissue that the doctor folds back in order to perform your LASIK procedure. 

Traditionally, doctors have used an instrument called a microkeratome for the creation of corneal flaps. The microkeratome is a hand-held blade that moves across the eye, cutting the corneal flap as it goes. While LASIK is extremely safe, if complications do occur the microkeratome is most often the cause.

The IntraLase Method, by contrast, enables your doctor to create your corneal flap without a blade ever touching your eye. With the IntraLase Method, tiny pulses of laser light, a quadrillionth of a second each, pass harmlessly through the outer portion of your cornea and form a uniform layer of microscopic bubbles just beneath the surface of your eye.

The exact dimensions of this layer of bubbles are determined by your doctor based on what's best for your eye, and are computer controlled for maximum precision - things that are not possible with a hand-held blade. The IntraLase flap creation process takes about 15 to 30 seconds.

When it's time for your LASIK treatment to be performed, your doctor easily separates the tissue where these bubbles occur and then folds it back, thus creating your corneal flap.

When LASIK is complete, a flap created using the IntraLase Method is uniquely able to "lock" back into place. Your eye then begins to rapidly heal.

Am I A Candidate for CustomVue LASIK?
Anyone over the age of 21 who is nearsighted and/or astigmatic is potentially a candidate for CustomVue LASIK. Candidacy is determined after a thorough evaluation of your vision at CEI, or by your Optometrist, and specialized testing by one of our laser vision specialists at Cincinnati Eye Institute.
Can you guarantee 20/20 vision?
Our goal is to get you as close to 20/20 as possible. However, as with any medical procedure, there are no guarantees. Instead of hoping to forever eliminate your need for corrective lenses, a more realistic goal would be to reduce your dependence on glasses and contact lenses. However, most of our patients achieve 20/20 or better vision.
Does LASIK hurt?
Before your procedure, your eyes will be numbed with eye drops. You will feel minimal, if any, discomfort.
How much does the surgeon's skill have to do with good results?
Even with the highly technical instruments used for LASIK, the surgeon's skill and judgment are the most critical factors in achieving excellent visual outcomes. Their expertise becomes even more crucial during the procedure. We have learned that the accuracy and impeccable precision of numerous small details controlled directly by the physician and their team are the key to achieving good outcomes. The Cincinnati Eye Institute combines all of this with the latest technology and highest surgical skills. You can see our results!
Do I need to be out of my contacts for a consultation and why?
Yes. Being out of contacts allows the cornea to return to its natural shape for accurate corneal curvature readings prior to the procedure. This also allows for a more accurate measurement of your myopia or hyperopia.
Can I wear my contacts and still have an exam?
Yes! You may come in for a screening appointment wearing your contact lenses and we can determine if you are a candidate. If you are a candidate and are interested in having laser vision correction, you must then discontinue wearing your contact lenses for the above specified time and return for a comprehensive evaluation.
What's included in any comprehensive eye exam?
Prior to your procedure, you will need to have a comprehensive evaluation by your Optometrist or one of the laser vision specialists at the Cincinnati Eye Institute. 

A comprehensive exam includes:

  • Fully dilated medical evaluation of your eyes
  • Vision check before and after dilation
  • Corneal topography (this measures the curvature of your cornea)
  • Corneal pachymetry (this measures the thickness of your cornea)
  • WaveScan analysis (this measures the fingerprint vision of each eye)
  • Pupillometry (this measures the size of your pupils under different lighting)

After your exam, the doctor will review the risks, benefits and goals of laser vision correction to make sure your expectations are achievable. Please keep the following in mind - for a full comprehensive evaluation, you must be out of your contact lenses for the following time periods:

  • Soft contact lenses - one week
  • Extended wear contact lenses - two weeks
  • Gas permeable contact lenses - three weeks
What is monovision and is it right for me?
As people approach their mid-forties, it is natural for them to begin losing their ability to focus on both near and distant objects. This age-related change is called presbyopia. It is the result of the lens in the eye becoming less elastic and losing its ability to change its focus. 

Age-related focusing problems are usually relieved by reading glasses or bifocal lenses. People with low amounts of nearsightedness can simply remove their glasses to read. Contact lens wearers can use reading glasses over their contacts. Another contact lens option is to wear one lens corrected for near vision in one eye and another corrected for distance vision in the other eye. This is known as monovision.

Monovision may also be an option for those considering refractive surgery. The advantage of monovision is being able to both read and see in the distance without corrective lenses. This option might be particularly helpful for people who frequently shift their vision between near and far distances. If you feel monovision may be an option for you, it is important to approach it with care. The Cincinnati Eye Institute recommends having your Optometrist fit you with contact lenses to simulate monovision. Wearing these specially prescribed contacts for several days will give you the opportunity to "test drive" monovision.

What happens the day of the procedure?
After your comprehensive exam, the day comes for you to have your procedure! The final checks for your custom laser treatment are reviewed. You will be given antibiotic and numbing eye drops. A mild sedative is also available if you desire. You are then positioned under the laser where you will see a red target light. A lid holder is used to gently open your eye to prevent blinking. The doctor will check to make sure your eye is numb and prepare the surface of the cornea. 

Then, the surgeon will use an IntraLase femtosecond laser to create a
"flap" before performing the excimer laser treatment. During the laser procedure, you will hear the clicking sound of the laser. There is no pain and this part of the treatment lasts anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds. At the conclusion of the laser treatment, you are examined by the surgeon, goggles are placed over your eyes and you are ready to go home!

Do I have any restrictions after the procedure?
With LASIK, you should have minimal discomfort after surgery; however, your eye may feel slightly irritated and your vision will fluctuate the first week. Your eye may appear red or bloodshot at first, but this is normal and will gradually fade. Your surgeon will cover more specific restrictions during your consultation.
What are the possible risks or side effects?
Even though LASIK is a relatively safe procedure with a history of very few complications, these risk factors should be considered: 

  • Infection
  • Corneal flap problems
  • Irregular healing
  • Corneal surface irrugularities
  • Contact lens intolerance

Certain temporary side effects can be expected as part of the recovery process:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Halo effect
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Watery or dry eyes

LASIK Conditions Videos