What is LASIK?

LASIK (laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is the most popular and a highly effective laser procedure used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye,using an excimer laser. By reshaping the cornea, light is able to enter the eye and focus properly onto the retina. LASIK is a relatively pain free procedure and takes approximately fifteen minutes per eye.

During surgery, topical anesthetic drops are applied to the surface of the eye and a lid holder is gently placed in the eye to keep you from blinking. The surgeon will then use a laser to create a thin circular opening/flap, about the thickness of a strand of hair. Once this opening is created, the surgeon will proceed to fold back the flap to access the underlying cornea.  Using a highly specialized cool beam excimer laser, the surgeon then removes a small amount of tissue to precisely reshape the cornea. After reshaping the cornea, the flap is replaced and serves as a natural bandage. Most often both eyes are treated on the same day and there is little to no discomfort.  Stitches are not needed and visual recovery is very quick. In as short as 24 hours, patients can enjoy clearer vision.

How do I find out if I am a candidate for LASIK?

The typical LASIK candidate is over 18 years of age, may be tired of, or unable to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses on a daily basis.LASIK can treat a broad range of correction for Nearsightedness, Farsightedness and Astigmatism. The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK is to begin by having a free laser vision correction screening at our Boston office. You will initially meet with our refractive coordinator and dedicated refractive team. Once you are ready to move forward with a surgery date, we will schedule you for a LASIK consultation. During your consultation your eyes will be dilated and you will be in our office for approximately 2 hours. One of our doctors will perform a thorough examination, explain your options, and answer all of your questions. Contact us to arrange a laser vision correction consultation at our practice, based in Boston, Massachusetts.

What are my options if I am not a good candidate for LASIK surgery?

Our goal at New England Eye Center is to provide patients with options that will offer the best visual outcomes. Sometimes patients may be better suited to have an alternative procedure to LASIK. There is good news for patients who may not qualify for LASIK. If you are not a good candidate for LASIK surgery, our laser vision correction specialists may be able to suggest a procedure that is better suited to your needs. For example, patients who are unable to receive LASIK due to thin corneas, high prescriptions, dry eye or large pupils may be able to undergo a procedure such as Epi LASIK, PRK, LASEK  or Visian ICL surgery (Implantable Contact Lens). Intraocular lenses (IOLs) are another possible option.

Will LASIK surgery prevent or cure age-related vision deterioration (presbyopia)?

LASIK cannot prevent age-related vision deterioration (presbyopia) or more commonly known as "reading vision." Most patients, regardless of whether or not they have LASIK, will need reading glasses after the age of 40. Our center offers options to decrease the need for reading vision. Ask our vision correction team about "mono vision or blended vision, CK eye surgery and our advanced lenses."   Please contact us for more information.

Is LASIK safe?

Yes. New England Eye Center was a study site for the FDA and was one of the first centers in the region to offer LASIK to the general public. FDA studies have shown that there is a rate of less than one percent for complications that seriously affect vision. Still, outcomes can vary, so it is very important to choose an experienced surgeon and the right laser technology. Dr. Helen Wu, Director of Refractive Surgery, has performed thousands of surgeries and is recognized for her superior  surgical skills. Using state-of-the-art technology and advanced vision correction options, Dr. Wu has helped thousands of our patients achieve better vision. Read what patients are saying.

What are the risks and possible complications of LASIK?

Fortunately, the risks of the procedure itself are rare. Postoperatively, the most common complications are under correction or over correction, possibly necessitating temporary glasses to aid in driving or reading. A second procedure, called an enhancement, may be necessary several months later to fine-tune the refractive result. Dry eyes and night vision problems, such as glare and halos, may occur but generally resolve over several weeks to several months. Lubricants for the eye and occasionally plugs for the drainage canals of the eye usually help significantly in the meantime. Inflammation, fine wrinkles in the flap, or epithelial surface cells growing under the edge of the flap may require either eye drops or another procedure. Serious complications, such as infection, occur in less than one percent of cases.

Are there different laser systems that can be used for laser vision correction?

There are many different laser systems, ranging from broad beam systems to newer generation lasers incorporating pupil trackers. We have the choice to use the WaveLight® EX500 excimer laser,  the WaveLight® Femtosecond Laser, the VISX STAR S4™ excimer laser, and the IntraLase Femtosecond Laser. Dr. Wu is experienced in using all of these lasers. Our goal is to provide options that will help us give patients the best possible result. Read more about our advanced technology.

What is the cost of laser vision correction?

The cost of laser vision correction at our Boston, Massachusetts, practice varies depending on the procedure you have. Our procedures are competitively priced and are all-inclusive, covering pre-operative and post-operative care for one year after your surgery. We accept all major credit cards and payment plans are available through Care Credit. For a monthly payment probably less than that of an average cell phone bill, you can now afford LASIK. Contact our office to set up a consultation to determine which procedure is correct for you.

Is financing available for laser vision correction?

Yes. To help make laser vision correction more affordable, we have partnered with Care Credit. They have convenient payment plans at competitive rates.  You could receive laser vision correction at our Boston, Massachusetts center for as little as no money down and $80 per eye per month.

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