Health Chats
Eye Care: LASIK Surgery
Tuesday Nov 17, 2009, 05:00PM - 06:00PM (EST)
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="" target="_blank"></a>. We look forward to hearing from you!
Hello and welcome to today's Lasik Surgery Health Chat with Dr. Omar E. Awad.  This chat is scheduled to begin at 5:00pm EST, but feel free to submit your questions earlier.
Welcome again to today's health chat.  Thank you for joining us and thank you Dr. Awad for leading this chat.  
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Time to talk about one of my favorite subjects - LASIK laser vision correction!
Hi doctor, I want to know what is lasik surgery? How and when is it used?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
LASIK is a surgery to reshape the front part of the eye, using a precise laser, so that the eye can see better without needing glasses or contact lenses.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
LASIK stands for Laser Assisted in situ keratomileusis - which basically means a laser reshapes the cornea.
My father was told a few years ago he was not a good candidate for Lasik because he has a pacemaker? Some articles I have seen say it should not be an issue. Any thoughts? He is 68 years old.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
As far as I am aware, it is OK to do LASIK surgery on people who have pacemakers.  If he has an automatic defibrillator as well, that may need to be shut off during the surgery.  Often the representative from the pacemaker manufacturer will come out to do this.  You may want to check again to see if he is a candidate.
Hi Dr. I drive a truck cross country for a living. How long after surgery would it be before I could drive again?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Hi Big Pete.  Most people are able to drive the next day after their LASIK surgery.  However, if you are able to plan a day or two off, that might be even better.  Best luck to you!
My number is -3.75. I'm 18. Can I get lasik?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Your prescription certainly is well within the treatable range.  We prefer if your prescription is not changing significantly in the past year.  There are several other factors that we check before determining if you are a candidate for LASIK.  I recommend visiting your local LASIK center to see if you are a candidate.  But based on those numbers, I hope you will be!
Hi, I am considering Lasik surgery. If I have the start of a small cataract, could I still continue with the surgery and if so, would the cataract continue to grow?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
This is an increasingly common scenario that I see.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
If your cataract is affecting your vision (not able to see 20/20 or having sypmtoms of severe glare, etc), then we can correct your vision with a cataract surgery.  However, cataract surgery is not as good as LASIK at predicting your target prescription / refraction.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Usually if someone has a small cataract that is not affecting the vision, I will still proceed with the LASIK, with the understanding that we can address the cataract when starts to actually affect your vision.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Lasik surgery itself will not affect how the cataract grows or changes.  And most cataracts grow really really slowly, so there is a good chance you will enjoy your LASIK for many years.
I had Lasik surgery about four years ago. It went very well (except occasionally my right eye becomes blurry). But now I am having a bit of trouble reading fine print. How difficult is it to have adjustments and how costly is it?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
The trouble reading fine print will happen to everyone, commonly starting inthe mid-40s or so.  One option is to get over-the-counter reading glasses (can get even at the dollar store!).
Omar E. Awad, MD:
It is usually pretty easy to have adjustments done using laser vision correction.  At LasikPlus, we have a Lifetime Satisfaction Plan, so the "enhancement" surgeries do not cost you anything.  At other centers, you may pay a pro-rated fee or even full price again.
How effective is lasik for astigmatism?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
I tell my patients that LASIK is the best way to treat astigmatism.  It's very effective.
They said that Lasik works 98%. What happens with the other 2% of the people?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Any and every surgery has risks.  I tell my patients that the biggest risk is that they might need an enhancement or second treatment to get the best vision.  In most practices this is between 2% and can be up to 10% or more.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
Fortunately the more serious problems that could occur are extremely rare, and far less than 1%
Why do they say that people who suffer from anxiety should not get Lasik Surgery done (it was on the form when I went for a consultation)?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
It's very normal to be anxious or nervous when you are having a surgery.  It is important to keep still during LASIK surgery, even though it can be as quick as just a few minutes.  This might be a possible explanation.  
Is there is any way to cure the loss of vision of one's eye due to wrong treatment.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
This can depend on what you mean by wrong treatment.  If the laser was programmed incorrectly, this can usually be easily corrected with a second procedure.
Omar E. Awad, MD:
If other issues arose, it would depend on what the issue was.  Fortunately complications are very rare.
Would you please tell me the side effects of LASIK Surgery? Do the side effects affect everybody?
Omar E. Awad, MD:
The main effect is that you should see better without glasses or contacts!