**Access definitions related to vision conditions, LASIK procedures and more via the Providence Eye & Laser Specialists' glossary.

Common Questions About Vision Correction Surgery (AKA LASIK Eye Surgery)

Question: How much does LASIK eye surgery cost?

This is one of the most common questions about LASIK. At Charlotte’s Providence Eye & Laser Specialists, we believe in an honest, straightforward pricing policy and offer many options to make the procedure affordable for most candidates including financing with convenient monthly payments. Bargain pricing ads for LASIK eye surgery are optical illusions. “Bait and switch” tactics are an unethical way of providing health care and you will not find any “small print” or “starting at” prices at Providence Eye & Laser Specialists. We firmly believe Providence Eye pricing is competitive when compared to similar LASIK technology, and that we provide a level of service, technology and experience that are unmatched in the region.

We do not charge more for high prescriptions or astigmatism when determining how much LASIK costs. Be careful when comparing LASIK eye surgery prices. With numerous technological advancements in laser vision correction, not all practices provide the best available lasers. Providence Eye continually reinvests in the latest, proven, state-of-the-art technology, rather than discounting our services cutting corners elsewhere. Under some circumstances, your medical insurance may offer a nominal LASIK discount. If you think that is applicable to you, please bring it to our attention at the time of your consultation.

Question: What are All-Laser LASIK, Intra-LASIK, I-LASIK and Z-LASIK?

All-Laser LASIK, IntraLASIK, I-LASIK and Z-LASIK are similar in that no blade (keratome) LASIK technology is used as part of the procedure. All of these techniques create a flap of tissue with a laser, thereby avoiding some of the risks of traditional blade LASIK eye surgery. IntraLASIK or I-LASIK are one in the same and have been available since 2002. The technology behind IntraLASIK has been upgraded a few times since 2002, but the basics remain the same. Z-LASIK is a more recently introduced competing brand with a limited track record.

The all laser LASIK performed by Dr. Mozayeni at Providence Eye  is a combination of advanced LASIK technology that utilizes the Wavelight FS 200, FDA approved in 2010, to create the corneal flap and the Wavelight Allegretto Eye-Q Laser to correct vision.

To complete the all-laser, blade-free LASIK procedure, Dr. Mozayeni uses the latest, most advanced excimer laser technology, the WaveLight EX500. This component was chosen to not only provide the best immediate results for our patients, but to also ensure a long-lasting result with uncompromising safety. In addition, we utilize the most advanced Pentacam® corneal mapping system and Wavefront analysis on everyone during the consultation.

Question: Does LASIK hurt?

Shortly after arriving in our office on the day of your procedure, you will be offered an oral sedative that will help you relax and allow you to take a nap afterwards. All LASIK eye surgery patients receive topical numbing drops so patient comfort is maximized. There is usually a feeling of pressure during the procedure that lasts less than 30 seconds per eye. Afterwards, there is usually a short period of burning, tearing and irritation that usually does not last more than 3 hours.

Question: What is WaveFront LASIK Technology?

Wavefront is a term used in our industry to indicate a more customized treatment utilizing mapping information in addition to standard prescription information. There are different categories of Wavefront technology including Wavefront guided and Wavefront optimized, both of which are offered by Dr. Mozayeni. The difference is very technical and is best explained in person depending on your personal evaluation. A thorough corneal mapping evaluation and your complete examination will help us determine if you need Wavefront technology and what kind.

Dr. Mozayeni is the first Cornea Specialist in the region to combine both All Laser LASIK and Wavefront LASIK technology, and is currently the only surgeon in the area to offer both the WaveLight FS200 and WaveLight EX500.

Question: Why is corneal thickness and mapping important for LASIK eye surgery approval?

The thickness of a person’s cornea contributes to its strength and ability to maintain shape. Over decades of worldwide experience, LASIK eye surgeons have determined that a certain cornea thickness is necessary in order to avoid long-term complications after laser vision correction. At Providence Eye & Laser Specialists, we believe this is crucial and our technology allows us to provide thesafest form of laser vision correction today. Dr. Mozayeni uses a LASIK Suite with the two most advanced FDA-approved lasers, the WaveLight FS200 and the WaveLight EX500 lasers. This combination allows for the maximum conservation of your corneal thickness, thus optimizing long-term safety.

In addition, we were the first practice in the area to offer the Pentacam® corneal mapping device. This mapping device is considered the best available in the world and replaced the Orbscan system at Providence Eye & Laser Specialists in 2005. Most other practices still utilize this older Orbscan system.

Question: What is PRK LASIK eye surgery?

PRK is an acronym (abbreviation) for Photo-Refractive-Keratectomy and can be called PRK LASIK or no-flap LASIK. Dr. Mozayeni uses the same laser technology used for all-laser, blade-free LASIK to correct vision using this method, except that no corneal flap is created. It is considered the preferred method of vision correction in about 25% of our patients. Results are equal to LASIK for most people, even though recovery is a little slower. After your thorough evaluation, we will discuss PRK LASIK eye surgery in more detail, if this is the preferred method for your situation.

Question: How long does LASIK take?

The actual time you will be in our laser suite is approximately 10 minutes or 5 minutes per eye. Due to the time needed to complete documents, review instructions, and re-check some of information necessary to program the lasers, plan on spending about 1 to 1 1/2 hours at our facility on the day of your LASIK procedure.

Question: How do you keep your eyes open during LASIK eye surgery and what happens if they move?

During the procedure you do not have to worry about keeping your eye open. After instilling numbing eye drops you actually do not feel the urge to blink, and a device is used to gently keep it open when necessary. Each eye is kept open for only 2 to 3 minutes. Our lasers also have sophisticated eye tracking systems and will move the laser treatment with even the slightest eye movement. The WaveLight EX500 has the fastest eye tracker of all lasers and will move the laser treatment with your eye movement to assure a more predictable result and give you further peace of mind.

Question: Will anything cover my eyes after my LASIK procedure?

Clear plastic shields are placed over the eye(s) to prevent you from accidentally rubbing your eyes after LASIK eye surgery. The shields should be worn until the day after your procedure. Additionally, they should be worn for 3 to 5 more nights or whenever you are sleeping.

Question: How long does it take to heal from LASIK eye surgery and when will my vision to re-stabilize?

Recovery of vision with LASIK is quite rapid but varies from person to person. Most people will be able to function well within 24 to 48 hours. There is some fluctuation in vision for the first few weeks depending on the severity of your prescription, your age, other health issues, and how much dryness you experience afterward. This will be discussed with you on an individual basis at the time of your free consultation. The recovery is somewhat slower with the PRK procedure and will be reviewed with you in detail if applicable.

Question: What is the success rate for LASIK eye surgery?

The success of your procedure is dependent on many factors. A thorough examination and evaluation is necessary before specific success rates can be determined. Almost all mild to moderately nearsighted patients obtain 20/20 or better uncorrected vision under the care of Dr. Mozayeni and Providence Eye. We feel strongly that the extreme detail and personal attention provided to every patient combined with the best LASIK technology is one of the many reasons why our results are so outstanding. It is important to note that even though not everyone achieves 20/20 results immediately, as each patient’s body heals differently, those that do not experience good results can typically get to that point with a second correction, otherwise known as an enhancement. For the roughly 3% of LASIK patients who require an enhancement, Providence Eye offers this at no additional charge within a year of undergoing a LASIK procedure.

Question: Can LASIK eye surgery correct my reading vision?

LASIK can be utilized to correct both distance and near vision in many circumstances. Many LASIK eye surgery patients under the age of 40 choose to have both eyes done for distance and will still be able to see at near distances. For those lucky enough to age, there are several quality options for eliminating reading glasses, including monovision LASIK. If and only if you have cataracts or the onset of cataracts, Dr. Mozayeni may refer you to a specialist to investigate a lens replacement procedure such as Restor®, Rezoom™, or Crystalens® technology. Dr. Mozayeni does NOT recommend this type of procedure if you have healthy eyes.

Question: What are Restor®, ReZoom™ and Crystalens®?

These are brand names of artificial lens implants used as part of lens replacement surgery, otherwise known as cataract surgery. These implants are designed to provide a combination of distance and near vision in each eye, especially when working together. Each brand has some advantages, some disadvantages and work on different principles. If your evaluation or age indicates you may have a cataract, brand name lens replacement surgery may be the procedure of choice for you and will be discussed if appropriate.  Dr. Mozayeni does NOT recommend this type of procedure if you have healthy eyes.

Question: What are the possible complications and side effects of laser vision correction surgery?

In reality, the complications associated with wearing contacts long term are higher than those associated with LASIK.  LASIK complications are rare and if a comprehensive consultation is conducted can be avoided.  Most complication have been associated with the corneal flap in traditional blade LASIK, NOT all-laser LASIK. At Providence Eye & Laser Specialists, we have been performing blade free all laser LASIK since the beginning of 2003, which has proven to eliminate 95% of these rare complications. Nevertheless, no surgical procedure is risk-free, so a thorough discussion will take place during your complimentary LASIK consultation.

Common post procedural side effects include glare and halos in dim light or nighttime, as well as a sensation of dryness. In most circumstances, these side effects are temporary; our thorough evaluation helps to determine your specific risk before ever undergoing LASIK eye surgery. The most effective way to reduce risk is to have a thorough and meticulous evaluation at our facility first. If Dr. Mozayeni anticipates that you may not have an optimal outcome, we will turn you away from the procedure for your health.

Question: Why can’t I have LASIK eye surgery/What could exclude me from having LASIK eye surgery? 

Evaluating the shape and structural integrity of your corneas utilizing our advanced Pentacam® system is critical to a thorough and accurate evaluation. You must also be over the age of 18, but more importantly, your prescription must be stable. Your eyes should be generally healthy and your corrective prescription needs must be within a certain range, although Providence Eye can treat people with high levels of astigmatism and very high corrections that may have been denied LASIK eye surgery years ago. Some eye problems, health problems and medications may also exclude you from having a LASIK procedure. Other important factors that will be evaluated during your examination include tear production, corneal thickness, and pupil size. Each patient is examined individually to see if they are the right fit. The only real way to know if you are a candidate is with a thorough free consultation.

Question: Can I have LASIK if I have astigmatism?

Yes you can!  Back in the early days of LASIK this was not possible. However, with significant technological advancement Dr. Mozayeni now treats patients with astigmatism on a regular basis. During your free consultation Dr. Mozayeni will examine your vision and the health of your eyes and let you know if you are a great candidate for LASIK.

Question: Will Dr. Mozayeni definitely be the doctor performing my LASIK?

Definitely yes!  Only ophthalmologist (MDs) can perform LASIK. Dr. Mozayeni is the only ophthalmologist hence the only LASIK surgeon.  He also examine every patient during the consultation and is integrally involved in all of your post-operative care.

Question: Do I need to have an eye exam prior to my LASIK consultation?

No, an eye exam is typically not necessary before a LASIK consultation. A LASIK consultation is a full eye exam plus more!

Question: How old do you have to be to have LASIK?

According to the FDA you must be 18 to have LASIK. This is important but really the most important question for patients between the ages of 18-late 20's is has your prescription been stable for 12 months?  Stability is a critical factor that Dr. Mozayeni examines carefully. If you have LASIK before your vision has stabilized then your LASIK will not last.