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LASIK Eye Surgery FAQ

Q. How do I know if I am a candidate for refractive surgery?
Q. Is the surgery safe?
Q. How many people have had refractive surgery performed?
Q. What age patients are candidates for refractive surgery?
Q. When can I go back to work?
Q. Will I need reading glasses after surgery?
Q. What is monovision?

Q. Does insurance cover refractive surgery?
Q: Which laser is the best for treating my refractive error?
Q: Can you send me more information or respond to my concern?
Q: How can I find out if a particular laser has been approved to treat my refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmastism)?
Q: Which laser is the best for treating my refractive error?
Q: How does wavefront LASIK compare to conventional LASIK?
Q: What percentage of patients attain 20/20 vision or better without     glasses or contacts?


Q. How do I know if I am a candidate for refractive surgery?
A. Candidates for refractive surgery should be 18 years or older, have had stable vision, have healthy eyes and a refractive problem
within the range of effective treatment.


Q. Is the surgery safe?
A. There are risks associated with all surgical procedures. Refractive surgery in the hands of the experienced surgeon is associated with minimal risk. Although this risk is small (about the same as the risk associated with extended-wear contact lenses), all patients should be well informed of the risks of surgery and follow their post-operative instructions carefully. That educational process is what the consultation is all about.


Q. How many people have had refractive surgery performed?
A. Over two million Americans have had refractive surgery to improve their natural vision. Millions more around the world have also had refractive surgery.


Q. What age patients are candidates for refractive surgery?
A. The surgery is generally not recommended for anyone under 18 years of age. There is no upper age limit as long as you have "healthy" eyes.


Q. When can I go back to work?
A. Most patients are back to work the next day after Lasik surgery and between one to four days after PRK surgery.

Q. Will I need reading glasses after surgery?
A. Most patients under 40 years of age read well without glasses following surgery. Nearly all patients, as they enter their early 40’s, require reading glasses or bifocals.This is also true for patients who have had refractive surgery (unless you choose the monovision option).


Q. What is monovision?
A. Monovision is a method of correcting your vision so that one eye is corrected for distance and the other for near vision in presbyopic patients (patients over 40 years of age). This can potentially can eliminate the need for reading glasses and distance glasses. You need to discuss this further with your doctor to find out if you are a good candidate.


Q. Does insurance cover refractive surgery?
A. Select insurance companies and some cafeteria plan programs will sometimes cover refractive surgery. You should check with your insurance carrier or employer prior to consultation.


Q: Which laser is the best for treating my refractive error?
A:The FDA approves the safety and effectiveness of a device independent of any other product and does not provide comparisons between
refractive lasers. Two of the most significant advances in the field of refractive surgery were the introduction of the IntraLase femtosecond laser to perform LASIK flaps and the ability to perform “wavefront based” or customized surgery. You should discuss any questions concerning the medical devices used in a particular procedure with your doctor.


Q: Can you send me more information or respond to my concern?
A: Please go to our special reports by clicking here. You may also use the contact form to submit a question and we will refer you to a doctor to answer your question.


The following Frequently-Asked-Questions are provided courtesy of the FDA.


Q: How can I find out if a particular laser has been approved to treat my refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism)?
A: You can find approved devices, their approval date, and a synopsis of the approved indications on the FDA-APPROVED LASERS page

Q: How does wavefront LASIK compare to conventional LASIK?
A: Wavefront adds an automatic measurement of more subtle distortions (called higher order aberrations) than just nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism corrected by conventional LASIK. However, these “higher order aberrations” account for only a small amount (probably no more than 10%) of the total refractive error of the average person’s eye. Conventional LASIK increases higher order aberrations. Although wavefront-guided treatments attempt to eliminate higher order aberrations, results from the clinical studies have shown that the average aberrations still increase, but less than they do after conventional LASIK. In a few studies comparing wavefront-guided LASIK to conventional LASIK, a slightly larger percentage of subjects treated with wavefront LASIK achieved 20/20 vision without glasses or contact lenses compared to subjects treated with conventional LASIK. Patient selection (“When is LASIK not for me?”) and the experience and competence of the surgeon are still the most important considerations.


Q: What percentage of patients attain 20/20 vision or better without glasses or contacts?
A: Data in the Approval Orders and related documents summarizes the outcomes from the clinical trials submitted to the FDA for each approved device. Links to these documents are included on the FDA-APPROVED LASERS page.


The screening process and standards used by Trusted LASIK Surgeons can be found at:


How Are Lasik Eye Surgeons Qualified at TLS

To find a refractive specialist who has qualified to be listed at Trusted LASIK surgeons in your local area, please visit:

Find a Trusted LASIK Eye Surgeon

To find a vision correction expert surgeon who has qualified to be listed at Trusted LASIK surgeons in another area, please visit:

Find a Trusted LASIK Eye Surgeon

The screening process and standards used by Trusted LASIK Surgeons™ can be found at:

How Are Lasik Eye Surgeons Qualified at TLS