LASIK Frequently Asked Questions
Philadelphia LASIK – Bucks County, Elkins Park, Phoenixville, Warminster Dr. James S. Lewis
Do you have the most advanced technology in the region?
We do. Moria’s One Use Plus SBK MicroKeratome is not a laser. It is a single, disposable unit designed for one purpose only, the creation of the perfect LASIK flap. Without unnecessary heat and energy, this finely tuned blade produces the most precise, atraumatic corneal bed with no tissue loss, inflammation or pain. Moria is the international favorite in flap creation and provides the fastest visual rehabilitation.
The Nidek Quest, the world leader in Excimer technology has been granted full FDA approval for the country’s first Custom Aspheric Topography Guided laser system. This laser actually constructs a 3D model of your treatment and determines your final visual result before the surgery begins. Unlike using VisX and WaveLight, Dr. Lewis can test and validate your laser treatment well in advance. You never have to worry about your answers to the “better one….better two” questions.
Both of these devices are more expensive than their competitors. We believe they are worth every penny.
Is LASIK painful? Does laser eye surgery hurt?
No! Most of our Philadelphia LASIK patients feel minimal pressure during the procedure and sometimes a scratchy sensation for a few hours. We provide anti-anxiety medications like Valium, preoperatively, to make the experience even easier.
Does my health insurance cover LASIK?
We do not accept insurance for LASIK. If your employer has a LASIK subsidy plan or a health benefit program we will be happy to explore these options with you. Medical savings accounts are an excellent way to help defray costs.
How long will I be out of work?
Usually half a day. Most patients can drive to their follow up appointment and return to work the next day but this varies. Everyone heals at a different rate and we can’t be sure when you can safely drive or perform your job. If you want to play it safe, take two days off.
How long do I have to keep my contact lenses out?
If you wear soft lenses one to two weeks.
If you wear gas permeable lenses usually more than one month. Sometimes, we will ask you to stay out of lenses even longer.
If you can’t, have one eye done at a time and go without lenses in the preoperative eye only.
What is your success rate? What are my chances of 20/20 vision?
Almost all of our patients see 20/20 with both eyes and without glasses.
A small percentage may require a free enhancement if they don’t achieve that vision.
How many LASIK procedures have you performed?
I have performed over 9000 LASIK procedures as well as over a thousand advanced procedures including Epi-LASIK and Intraocular Contact Lenses.
What is your Enhancement rate?
Some centers require that you see 20/40 or worse and have one diopter of refractive error before they will include (i.e. pay for) an enhancement.
We do not refuse an enhancement unless it is medically unwise or unsafe.
Our present enhancement rate is approximately 8%.
What is your complication rate?
Serious complications, like infection and/or irregular corneal astigmatism are extremely rare. In our practice this occurs less than once every 4000 cases. We are committed to keeping this number as low as possible.
What about eye makeup?
You should stop wearing eye makeup a few days before surgery and wait about a week before restarting.
Why don’t you offer a guarantee?
We guarantee to do the best surgery possible and work with you until you are happy with your vision.
Guarantees are for toasters and other household appliances, not surgery. If you read the fine print in many of the guarantees offered elsewhere you’ll be surprised by the hidden costs and stunned by the multiple escape clauses. We have a reputation to protect. We are highly motivated to keep you happy and visually healthy.
Will I still have to wear reading glasses?
Yes! In fact, if you are 40 or older and can take your glasses off to read, LASIK may abruptly precipitate your need for reading glasses. If you are in your 20’s or 30’s you’ll have some time before this happens. For some, monovision (one eye sees near, the other sees far) is an alternative.
This approach works in some patients. A contact lens trial for monovision is always required. Clear lensectomy is another way to address both far and near vision concerns after age 40.Discuss these options at your evaluation.
Are there age requirements?
The ideal age for LASIK is between 18 and 101.
There are special considerations at both ends of this spectrum.
Are there evening appointments?
What kind of nearsighted, farsightedness and astigmatism can you correct?
Most patients between –12 and +4.00 are acceptable candidates.
This decision, however, really requires a careful ocular evaluation.
Mild to moderate regular astigmatism usually isn’t a problem.
Can someone with a lazy eye, crossed-eyes, or prism in their glasses have this surgery?
Sometimes. This needs to be discussed at length.
Does pupil size matter?
This is becoming less of an issue with the improvements in laser technology. It is always considered in the surgical plan.
Can I get a dry eye?
Dry eye symptoms usually dissipate over time.
Can I drive home after the procedure?
Is financing available?
Yes, no interest for 6 months as well as very low monthly payments.
Is the treatment permanent?
We anticipate long-term benefits from the surgery.
Aging of the eye will continue. This manifests in presbyopia (reading glasses for near vision) and then years later, cataract development.
Can I have both eyes operated on at the same time?
Yes. Most prefer this option. Sometimes surgery on different days is medically indicated or otherwise desirable. (There is no additional charge.)
Am I done with eye doctors after this?
No. In fact, you can’t stop seeing your eye doctor.
LASIK doesn’t eliminate the need to protect your ocular health.
What restrictions are there after surgery?
We ask everyone to sleep soon after surgery.
This helps the eye heal and allows the medication to wear off. Drops are required for a week or two.
You must avoid even mild ocular trauma for the first few days.
|Rubbing Eye||try to avoid this forever|
|Boxing, Karate, etc (with eye protection)||one week|
|Scuba, Sky-diving, Mountain Climbing||two or three days|
|Swimming, Hot tubs, Steam Rooms||one or more weeks|
|Vigorous Exercise||one or two days|
|Golf, Tennis, Commercial Airline Travel||24 hours|
|Reading, Television, Showering||8 hours|
What kind of time commitment is involved? How long does it take?
The evaluation takes about an hour. The surgery only takes 15 minutes but you will be in the office for about two hours. We prefer to see you the day after surgery, a week or two after that, and then at one, three, six months, and twelve months.
These visits usually take less than half an hour.
There is no charge for routine visits during the first year.If you are being co-managed by your eye doctor, we will need to see you less frequently.
Can I have my examination and surgery on the same day?
What if I have been told I am not a candidate for LASIK?
That may be the case. Dr Lewis has access to technology and techniques your doctor may not. You are welcome to an evaluation to see if any new options exist.
Who will perform my operation and can I meet the surgeon?
- a board-certified,
- fellowship trained,
- corneal sub-specialist
- affiliated with the
- Wills Eye Surgical Network
- performs all surgery.
If you’d like to meet Dr. Lewis after your evaluation or on a day before your surgery simply let us know when you schedule.
He will always see you immediately prior to and just after your LASIK.
Will LASIK get even better?
Yes. Nevertheless, we anticipate 2 million procedures in the US alone this year. Its time has come.
Do you perform a sterile procedure?
How do I know if I should consider LASIK?
- are sick of their glasses and contact lenses
- want to see in the shower, ocean, and sporting field unaided
- don’t want their glasses to fog up or slip down their nose anymore
- want people to see what they really look like
- are tired of dragging contacts, glasses, and solutions around
- want to see their alarm clock
- are just tired of the hassle and dependence on lenses
- want a guarantee
- insist on 20/20 vision immediately after surgery
- are unwilling to tolerate mild initial fluctuation and other symptoms
- demand to be spectacle or contact lens free for life
- do not recognize that there is risk in having LASIK
- are obsessive, intolerant, uncompromising, or impatient
- don’t follow instructions or educate themselves about the surgery
- expect perfection
How do I keep my eye still?
What if I blink or don’t give the correct answers during my refraction?
We have multiple checks and balances. This is our responsibility.
Also, the laser won’t be fired unless you are in the right position.
We will control your eye movements and blink reflex and keep you from jeopardizing the result. You will not be our “worst” patient!
How much of this surgery is the laser and how much of it is the surgeon?
You need excellence in both in order to get the desired outcome.
That is our plan.
How do I start the process?
Dr. Lewis is proud to offer his patients a variety of advanced refractive vision correction procedures. In addition to performing LASIK, he specializes in helping Epi-LASIK Philadelphia patients achieve their dreams of clear, crisp vision. He also has multiple years’ experience performing implantation of Visian ICLs and is renowned as one of the most highly skilled Philadelphia ICL surgeons.