Frequently asked questions
What is Laser Vision Correction?
Laser vision correction, also known as laser refractive surgery, is an outpatient procedure to correct refractive errors. It uses a cool ultraviolet laser to reshape the cornea, the clear tissue through which light enters the eye.
Who is a good candidate?
Adults with up to 10.00 diopters of myopia, up to 6.00 diopters of hyperopia and/or up to 4 diopters of astigmatism are usually candidates, provided they have otherwise healthy eyes.
Are there any safety benefits of LASIK?
Casey Eye Institute doctors recently did a study to determine whether contact lenses were safer than LASIK surgery. They found that both contact lenses and LASIK are very safe, although there is a small risk of complications from both of them.
What is a diopter?
A diopter is a unit used to measure refractive error, but it differs from the 20/20 visual acuity measurements most people are familiar with. Visual acuity is highly subjective and two people with the same refractive error measured in diopters may still have different visual acuity if one person is better able to compensate for their refractive error. For instance, if two people have -0.5 diopters of myopia, one person may have 20/25 vision, while the other might only see 20/40. As a general rule, a person with -1.0 diopters of myopia will have a visual acuity of about 20/40. A person with -5.0 diopters of myopia will be unable to read any lines on the eye chart and will be completely dependent on corrective lenses.
Is Laser Vision Correction right for me?
To find out, attend a free seminar at the Casey Eye Institute. Our doctors will thoroughly discuss current surgical techniques and their associated risks and benefits and will help you understand your options. If you think laser vision correction is the right choice for you, book a comprehensive pre-op appointment. This appointment costs $100, which will be deducted from the cost of surgery when you book your procedure. During the pre-op appointment, your eyes will be thoroughly tested and examined. You can personally discuss your options with the doctor.
Can both of my eyes be treated on the same day?
Yes. Most of our patients elect to have both eyes done in one visit. However, this decision should be discussed during your pre-operative appointment at the Casey Vision Correction Center.
Is Laser Vision Correction painful?
No. Your eye is carefully anesthetized with drops before the surgery. You won't feel any pain during the procedure. If you are very nervous, you can request a prescription for a sedative to take before the surgery. Some patients report minor discomfort after the surgery.
How long does the surgery take?
The laser portion of the surgery takes about one minute. However, you can expect to be in the laser suite for 15 to 30 minutes per eye, and to be at the Casey Eye Institute for about two hours on the day of surgery.
Why choose a surgeon involved with cornea research?
Since the cornea is the outer surface of the eye, it is vulnerable to problems such as abrasion, trauma, infection and inflammation. Cornea surgery may also make the cornea vulnerable to some of these conditions. Having a doctor with extraordinary knowledge of cornea structure and healing processes can be of great benefit. Our doctors are highly aware of potential post-operative problems and how to prevent or solve them. They often help patients who had surgery elsewhere and who have concerns about their post-operative condition.
Will my age affect my results?
Not significantly. While you must be older than 21 and have stable vision to undergo LASIK, there is no other age requirement. If you are in your mid-40s or older, laser vision correction will correct your distance vision, but you will still need reading glasses. Younger patients can expect to enjoy good near and distance vision, but will likely need reading glasses in their 40s or 50s. In some cases, monovision may be an appropriate alternative to reading glasses. Sometimes, in cases of presbyopia, the natural hardening of the lens and/or weakening of the muscles supporting the lens can temporarily improve near vision.
Some people who have myopia (nearsightedness) see their eyesight improve naturally with age. The hardening of the eye's natural lens, the weakening of the muscles that support the lens, or both can help correct myopia. By getting laser correction for nearsightedness, some patients require corrective lenses for reading at age 40 to 50, when they otherwise might not need them until their 70s or 80s.Why can't you guarantee perfect results?
No reputable surgeon can promise that you will have 20/20 vision or be forever free of glasses or contact lenses. Each eye is unique, and not all eyes heal in the same way. If results are not satisfactory after a first procedure, a second surgery can be performed to fine-tune the results. Approximately 2 to 5 percent of our patients undergo a second procedure, known as an enhancement. This is most common in people whose eyes required greater levels of correction. This being said, the overwhelming majority of our patients are very happy with the results of their laser vision correction.
What does Laser Vision Correction cost?
Optimized and custom LASIK with Intralase, and PRK cost $2000 per eye at the Casey Vision Correction Center. During your pre-operative examination, your doctor will talk with you about the best procedure(s) for your specific situation. The fee for a pre-operative examination and consultation is $100 and is deducted from the cost of surgery. Our fees include pre-operative evaluation, all surgical care, post-operative care, post-operative ophthalmic eye drops and any enhancement procedures (if needed) for a period of one year. We accept all major credit cards, checks, cash and instant CareCredit financing for up to 18 months.
Will my insurance cover Laser Vision Correction?
This is an elective procedure and is not covered by most insurance plans. Check with your insurance carrier for details of your plan.
Is financing available?
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What If I live outside the Portland area?
If frequent visits to the Casey Eye Institute are inconvenient for you, you may be able to complete your post-surgery follow-up care with your regular eye care provider. Most eye care providers are willing to co-manage with us; please make these arrangements prior to your pre-op visit at the Casey Eye Institute. We will provide all of the necessary forms to your doctor's office.
Details of your procedure and specific post-op instructions will be forwarded to your co-managing eye care professional. We will remain available to your co-manager throughout your recovery.
Choosing the co-management option reduces your surgery fee by $195 per eye. You will, however, be responsible for paying your co-managing eye care provider according to his or her fee schedule.