Health Chats
Eye Care: LASIK Surgery
Tuesday Aug 04, 2009, 05:00PM - 06:00PM (EST)
Omar E Awad, M.D.Blank
LasikPlus
At Lasik<b><i>Plus</b></i> we know your vision changes throughout your life. But the importance of caring for your eyes and maintaining your sight never goes away. With constant advances in technology, more people can now be considered excellent candidates for laser vision correction than ever before. Whether it’s the hassle and expense of glasses or contacts, health issues, or the desire to focus on what’s most important to you, you have your own unique reasons for considering laser vision correction. <br><br> Everyone’s eyes are different, and not every procedure is appropriate for everyone. Having helped a million people nationwide through this process, we at Lasik<b><i>Plus</b></i> have a lot of information to share with you. <br><br> If you are considering LASIK surgery, or just want to learn more about the procedure, join Omar E. Awad, MD as he answers your questions regarding laser eye surgery. You can also call one of our Lasik<b><i>Plus</b></i> specialists anytime at 1-866-921-2179 or visit us on the web at <a href="http://clk.atdmt.com/CHI/go/147163270/direct/01/" target="_blank">www.LasikPlus.com</a>. We look forward to hearing from you!
MedHelp:
Welcome to today's health chat on LASIK. Dr. Awad will be joining us at 5 pm Eastern/2 pm Pacific, but feel free to start submitting your questions.
MedHelp:
Welcome, everyone. This chat will begin in about 5 minutes. Please feel free to submit your questions.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Welcome everyone!  I look forward to a chat about one of my favorite topics - LASIK laser vision correction!
MedHelp:
Welcome to today's health chat on LASIK. Thanks, Dr. Awad, for joining us today. Let's get started.
MedHelp:
Please remember that only questions about LASIK will be accepted.
lucyd1229:
I had Lasik 4 years ago and am loving it.  It's one of the best things I've done for myself.  My question is what percent of people who have this procedure need a tweeking in future?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
It really is amazing!  I just had it done on myself a few months ago and I love it too!
Omar E. Awad, MD:
The enhancement rate is usually highest in the first one year after surgery, and can be between about 2-10% depending on a number of factors.  After the first year, the chance of needing an enhancement is even lower.
statler:
Hi doctor...I am considering LASIK, but wanted to know what the average recovery time is? I work with computers, so want to know if I would need to take time off for this procedure.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Most people can return to work the next day after LASIK surgery, including computer work.  If you can do it on a Friday and have the weekend off, that might be even better as you know you'll have an extra day or two if needed.
SeatownHero:
I have really dry eyeball and have been using Restasis for a little over 2 months. It has helped a little. My doctor says my tear volume is normal, but the tears do not stay on my eyes for as long as they should. Do you think plugs will help with this condition and second of all, is it possible to get Lasik surgery with this condition? Thanks a whole bunch!
Omar E. Awad, MD:
I believe it is important to treat any dry eye condition prior to having surgery, so it's great that you have begun the treatment.  Restasis is an excellent medication that can help immensely.  If your tears do not stay on your eyes as long as they should, there is another fairly simple remedy to help this - warm compresses and gentle eyelid massage.  There are tiny oil glands in the eyelids that make oils that protect your tears from dissipating.  When you heat the eyelids (not TOO hot), and massage them, this stimulates the flow of the oils glands.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
I usually reserve punctal plugs for people who have a deficiency of the water part of the the tear film, not the oil layer.  I do think it is possible to have LASIK surgery - you may be closer than you think!  Just make sure the eyelids are treated as well.
Brenndy:
Hi Doctor.  Would LASIK be recommended in a patient with pre-glaucoma?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
A person with pre-glaucoma and even well-controlled glaucoma can have LASIK.  The procedure could affect the pressure readings in the future, so it is important to let your doctor knwo you had LASIK.
HealthMD94:
Thank you for this, Dr. Awad. My question is - I had lasik done about 15 years ago at Duke University. My vision is beginning to get a little worse. Is it possible to have a 2nd procedure?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
You must have been amongst the first group of people to enjoy the benefits of LASIK!  It certainly is possible to have a second procedure.  If your LASIK flap was created several years ago and is well-healed, we usually do a sruface treatment (no flap), and this is even simpler that the original LASIK.  Good luck!
chantal21:
My husband is really considering Lasik, and hopefully going for a consultation sometime this year. What are the risks and are there ever people who could be turned down for it? He has had glasses his whole life, and without them has a hard time seeing the time and things far away. Also, he is somewhat colorblind. Will it work for him and do you know the average cost of it? We do not have insurance.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Your husband has taken the first step towards freedom from his glasses.  You can also find answers to many of these questions at www.LasikPlus.com, and I will do my best to answer as well.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Not everyone is a candidate, so I would encourage your husband to visit your local LasikPlus center for an evaluation to determine if he is a candidate.  He will learn about the benefits and the risks.  Any surgery has risks, and with LASIK the success rate is very high - that's why so many people have already had it done.  I think the biggest risk is that the vision may not be perfect with one procedure, and an enhancement procedure could be needed (about 5% plus or minus).
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Color blindness will not affect whether he is a candidate - he will have that with or without glasses.  The procedure usually is not covered by insurance, so expect a cost of about $3000-$4000 for both eyes if done with the latest technology lasers and equipment.  Best luck!
zaefod:
I have a Lasik procedure scheduled in a week. The problem is that I've had a sinus infection for about 2 weeks, and started antibiotics a couple of days ago. Will this affect the Lasik procedure? Should I postpone it?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
A sinus infection should not affect your LASIK procedure, nor should the antibiotics.  You should be able to proceed, but check with your doctor beforehand.
chantal21:
Thank you Dr. Awad. I will look up the website. I know he will feel so much better knwoing he never has to wear glasses again. I hope he is able to have it done by next year. Glasses are becoming more expensive. Thank you, once again!
Omar E. Awad, MD:
You are very welcome!  My pleasure!
MollyRF:
Hi Dr Awad. If an enhancement procedure is needed, does the candidate need to pay the same amount again for a second surgery?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
This depends on where you had your original procedure.  At LasikPlus, we have a Lifetime plan which includes any necessary enhancement procedures at no cost to the patient.  Other centers have a tiered pricing that requires you to pay for an enhancement but provides a discount that phases out of the first few years.  And still other centers require full payment each time you have a procedure.
melissw:
If someone with mild myopia who uses contact lenses has their vision corrected with Lasik and needs correction later on, do they have to use glasses? In other words can the ability to use contacts be compromised in any way?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
You could wear a contact lens after LASIK surgery, if needed or desired.  Having the surgery does not mean that you can't wear a contact lens afterwards.  But most people will not need contacts again.
ajayv:
What is correct age to undergo lasik treatment? Will there be any aftermath effect because of lasik?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
The FDA has approved LASIK for persons 18 years and older.  The correct age is the age when your eyes are no longer changing significantly, which is often defined as a change of 0.5 diopters or less per year.  The after effects are that you should be able to see clearly and not need the glasses any more.
darrensv:
What would you recommend Laser eye surgery, RK or PRK to correct myopia? And which is more cost effective (cheap). Thanx!