FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How fast will my vision recover?

Following LASIK, improvement of vision starts immediately. Most patients will perceive tremendous improvement by the next morning. The majority of our LASIK patients achieve 20/40 or better vision overnight; (legal driving vision requirement in most states, including Texas). Some tearing and a mild sensation of having an eyelash in the eye is normal and to be expected the day of the procedure. The first follow-up visit is scheduled for the following day after the procedure, at which time Dr. Northam ensures that your healing is progressing normally. Prescription eye drops are used for 4 days, and protective eye-shields are recommended for 2 weeks. Visual recovery is slower after PRK, and functional vision is achieved after 3 to 5 days, after which point the recovery continues on a daily basis over the following weeks/months.

Can I have both eyes treated the same day?

It has been shown by a series of patients that the treatment of both eyes on the same day is just as safe and effective as having the surgery done one eye at a time. Same day treatment is preferred by the majority of our patients for added convenience, quicker visual recovery, and less time away from work.

Is the procedure painful?

Laser vision correction is generally painless or associated with little discomfort. During the procedure, anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye with no injections or needles. LASIK patients will generally have irritation for several hours after the procedure. Many patients compare this to a sensation of having an eyelash in the eye and feel no discomfort the following day. Having treated thousands of patients with LASIK, Dr. Northam and her staff make every effort to make your surgery as comfortable as possible.

How safe is LASIK?

In the hands of an experienced and skilled surgeon like Dr. Northam, sight-threatening complications following LASIK are very rare and in most instances treatable. A cornea-trained surgeon who has performed thousands of LASIK procedures and knows how to handle the very thin, delicate, transparent piece of corneal tissue (flap) is essential to the success of LASIK eye surgery. Also, the same surgeon should provide the pre- and immediate post-op care in order to detect any complications in a timely manner. A high degree of experience and skill is necessary to ensure that patients don’t run into complications. When performed by a surgeon who has the necessary skills and years of experience, LASIK is a remarkably safe procedure.

Is Laser Vision Correction permanent?

Laser vision correction results in a permanent change to the shape of the cornea. However, laser vision correction will not prevent age related conditions such as presbyopia (the need for reading glasses), cataracts, or glaucoma. These conditions would still be treated in their normal manner.

Who is a candidate for LASIK?

The best candidates for LASIK are at least 18 years of age, in good health, with no eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataract, and keratoconus. Candidates should also be free of certain health problems including poorly controlled diabetes, auto-immune or collagen vascular diseases. Since hormones may affect the stability of your prescription, pregnant or nursing women are not ideal candidates for laser vision correction.

Is LASIK covered by insurance?

LASIK is considered to be an elective procedure and is therefore not covered by health insurance plans. However, some insurance companies do allow for laser vision correction discounts.  We would be happy to check with your insurance carrier at the time of your consultation to see if you would benefit for a discount.

Is financing available for Laser Vision Correction?

If you’re like most people, one of your biggest concerns is ‘How am I going to pay for the procedure?’ At Collom & Carney Eye Institute, we make it easy for you to achieve your goal of freedom from glasses and contacts through financing. When you come in for a Free Screening, our refractive coordinator can help assist you in applying for financing through Care Credit Financial Institution. If you are approved, you can choose  0 down, 0 interest payment options for 24 months or can choose low, fixed, monthly payments.  Care Credit financing has no-prepayment penalties and no-down payments are required. For your convenience, we also provide in-house financing through Collom & Carney and accept all major credit cards, cash & certified checks.

What laser do you use?

We use the newest generation VISX STAR S4 IR Active Trak Excimer Laser System with infrared Active Track eye tracker. The VISX STAR systems have been used in over 2 million procedures worldwide. This newest laser system incorporates the VISX patented variable beam technology with an active eye-tracking system that works without pupil dilation, as well as other advancements to help the surgeon deliver the best possible treatment.

What is the ActiveTrack eye tracker, and how does it help provide better laser vision correction?

The ActiveTrack eye tracker is a new 3D eye-tracking technology. With ActiveTrak, the laser detects and compensates for eye movements by guiding the laser beam to keep it centered over the treatment area. The eye tracker adds a new level of precision and comfort not previously available.

What if my eye moves during treatment?

ActiveTrak continuously positions the laser beam precisely on the eye throughout the procedure for accuracy. ActiveTrak realigns itself between each pulse ensuring pinpoint accuracy.

Do all lasers have eye trackers?

No, not every laser on the market has an eye tracker. At Collom & Carney eye Institute, we use the ActiveTrak system because it is the most advanced eye-tracking technology available. This new technology makes older eye-tracking technology – which requires dilation – virtually obsolete.

Has anyone ever gone blind as a result of LASIK surgery?

Out of millions of procedures performed worldwide over the last 10 years, there are no documented cases of anyone losing sight as result of LASIK.

Are there any risks involved with LASIK?

Like any other medical procedure, LASIK does carry some risk. A few of the potential risks include under-correction, over-correction, flap wrinkles, dry eyes, irritation, irregular astigmatism, night glare, starburst, halos, ghosting, shadowing, infection and inflammation. These complications are in most cases treatable with eye drops or a second procedure, and usually improve over time as the eye heals. Therefore, it is essential to follow up with all the post-LASIK appointments to diagnose and treat any complications in a timely fashion. For a more detailed list of risks involved with LASIK surgery, ask your physician on the day of your LASIK Evaluation.