There are both pros and cons to consider before submitting to this type of surgery.
First, if you are already firmly set in your decision to have LASIK, read these pointers:
1. Make sure you go to a doctor who uses the new Interlase laser for making the corneal flap.
Why? Because the Interlase is 100 times more precise than the "old fashioned" method of using a microkeratome to cut the initial flap. Many speculate that most of the problems that come from LASIK surgery have been due to the impreciseness of the microkeratome device used to cut the cornea.
2. Most definitely insist on a custom wavefront laser to do the actual reshaping of the cornea.
Why? Because the custom wavefront can get rid of what is called "higher order aberrations'.
What does this mean to you? It means much sharper vision after the surgery and a significantly reduced chance of having halos, starburst and other "complications" from LASIK.
Repeating: Make sure you go to a surgeon who is using both Interlase and Custom Wavefront technology to do LASIK surgery. Relatively few practices have these new technologies. Consider that surgeons who invest in these technologies may have more of your interests at heart.
One of the top 5 LASIK surgeons lives in Kansas City. Check out his site: durrievision.com Look at the information on his site including the videos where he explains what LASIK is all about. Compare your perspective surgeon's website to his and you may detect a difference.
Next, you should be aware of the potential problems of LASIK surgery - as you review surgicaleyes.com you may find that these horror stories came from procedures that didn't use interlase and custom wavefront technology together. See, there is a reason to go with the newer technologies. You can email the people on this site and ask them questions about their procedures and the complications that they faced or are still facing.
One of the problems with LASIK, has been the LASIK 20/20 phenomenon. Some people do technically see 20/20 after the procedure but it is not normal. Instead, it is hazy or blurred. This is probably due to the higher order aberrations mentioned earlier. That is why it is important to get custom LASIK done. The custom wave front lasers can remove those aberrations, hopefully allowing you avoid the LASIK 20/20 phenomenon.
If your doctor says that you don't need the custom treatment, I would ask him if he has a custom wave front machine. There may be a few legitimate reasons to not have the custom procedure done, but I seriously doubt there are many. If he doesn't have such a machine, I would wonder if his recommendation is based on the best thing for you as the patient. It always pays to get a second opinion anyway and in this case, you should.
These are your eyes that we are talking about and you owe it to yourself to get educated on every aspect of this surgery before undergoing treatment. The surgical eyes web site mentioned above is worth investigating. You need to know what could go wrong and how to choose a doctor and equipment that will allow you to avoid problems.
I will say it again. Try to go with Interlase to cut the corneal flap and try to go with a custom wavefront laser to reduce your risk of complications! I cannot stress this enough.
I went through a screening process to get LASIK done and was categorized as an excellent candidate. They even wanted me to participate in a study program that would save me about $600. I still turned it down. In the end, I decided that I didn't want to get my eyes lasered.
Of course, there is something to be said about not wearing glasses or contacts anymore and there are many happy patients out there. I just want you to be aware of both the pros and the cons.
Do you really need to have LASIK done? I think it's worth it to investigate natural vision therapy and see what you can do about correcting your vision naturally before permanently etching your current prescription into your cornea.
Many people have gotten results from vision therapy. A few have even gotten rid of their glasses and /or contacts forever. An industry insider has informed me that this does happen but not very often.
There are a couple of books to check out on natural vision improvement if you are interested in that alternative. Relearning to See by Thomas Quakenbush is one that comes to mind.
The original pioneer in vision improvement was Dr. Bates. He was an early 20th century ophthalmologist who really stuck his neck out to go against the prevailing theories of the day (that still persist). Many of the people who he helped were very grateful, I'm sure.
I have dabbled with naturally improving my vision. I have experienced a decrease of tension, but I have not fully recovered 20/20 vision. This type of improvement does take work and determination. That is why there will is LASIK today; everyone is different in their wishes and expectations. If you are in a hurry and you don't mind the permanent etching of a prescription in your cornea, LASIK might be for you.