Frequently Asked Questions.
What is LASIK or PRK?
LASIK or PRK performed at The Q Laser & Med Spa both use the iDESIGN® Refractive Studio from Johnson & Johnson. Because we have the fully integrated Johnson & Johnson platform, the iDESIGN Refractive Studio, the Visx Star 4 Eximer Laser and the iFS Instralase, we’re certified LASIK providers. Both laser procedures are designed to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contacts. LASIK, as described below, uses a laser (Intralase Femtosecond Laser) to create the flap and an Excimer Laser to reshape the cornea. PRK, on the other hand, involves removing the epithelial surface manually and then the Eximer Laser to reshape the cornea. Both are capable of correcting a wide variety of refractive errors including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
What is the difference between LASIK and PRK?
Both procedures use the iDESIGN® Refractive Studio, the Excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct nearsightedness. The difference is that in PRK the laser is used on the surface of the cornea, and in LASIK the laser is performed under a protective flap of tissue.
Our surgeons believe that the use of the laser under a protective flap produces faster visual recovery, less pain and less scarring.
In PRK, the laser is used on the surface of the eye, and it takes several weeks for the surface to heal
and become smooth, allowing good vision. Steroid drops are necessary (usually for about 2 months) to help regulate healing. It is not as easy to repeat PRK, because of scarring and lack of predictability.
For these reasons, LASIK has become the refractive procedure of choice. There are some circumstances that make PRK preferable to LASIK. If this is the case, your physician will discuss this with you during pre-op evaluation.
What is the LASIK procedure like?
With LASIK, one of our skilled surgeons creates a thin flap on the cornea with a specialized laser (Intralase Femtosecond Laser), then carefully reshapes the corneal tissue with an excimer laser to correct the refractive error. Your surgeon then positions the flap back in place where it bonds securely without the need of sutures. The procedure takes about 15-20 minutes for both eyes.
What is the PRK procedure like?
With PRK, one of our skilled surgeons removes the thin skin like layer of the cornea called the epithelium, then carefully reshapes the corneal tissue with the Excimer Laser. A bandage contact lens is then put in place. You will wear the contact lens for about 5-7 days to let the surface heal. We will take the contact lens out for you at one of your post-op visits. The procedure only takes about 5-7 minutes per eye.
How long has LASIK been performed?
The Excimer laser has been used for more than 20 years and received FDA approval in 1998.
Has LASIK technology become more advanced over the years?
Yes, technology has become more advanced over the years. The Eximer laser now includes an eye
tracker as well as advanced software. Instead of using a bladed instrument called a microkeratome
to create the flap, we use an advanced Intralase Femtosecond Laser. More importantly, the state-ofthe art technology in The Q Laser & Med Spa now includes the iDESIGN® Refractive Studio from Johnson & Johnson. This extraordinary technology allows every part of the cornea to be mapped with the greatest possible precision. It is this precision that allows for a customized treatment for every patient.
Who performs LASIK or PRK procedure?
One of our highly skilled surgeons, Dr. Emmanuel Kai- Lewis or Dr. Duane Wiggins, will perform the procedure.
How do I know what if I am a candidate for LASIK?
The ideal candidate is typically between the ages of 21-45 and very successful outcomes have been achieved on patients between the ages of 18-60 with stable vision.
Patient inclusion criteria for LASIK investigation:
- Up to 12.00 D myopia
- Up to 5.00 D hyperopia
- 6.0 D or less of astigmatism
- Minimum age: 18
- Maximum age: 60
- No systemic disease affecting outcome
- Realistic expectations
Who should not have LASIK?
If you have cataracts, keratoconus or have undergone other types of corneal surgery, you may not be a good candidate. If you are pregnant or nursing you may receive a baseline screening. Once your vision stability is maintained you may elect to receive a second screening.
What is the next step?
If you are considering LASIK, the first step is a LASIK screening. If you agree to proceed you will have a preop evaluation, which includes testing and an office visit with the surgeon. After the pre-op evaluation, the specialists at The Q Laser & Med Spa will discuss your vision goals and develop a customized treatment plan designed specifically for you.
To schedule your LASIK screening, please call 239-329-TheQ (8437).
What is the difference between a LASIK screening and a pre-op evaluation?
During the LASIK screening, you will meet with our Refractive Coordinator who will answer your questions. You will also have preliminary testing to determine whether you are a candidate.
The LASIK screening is free.
During a pre-op evaluation, additional testing is performed and a complete dilated eye examination and specialized computer measurement of the shape of your cornea is performed. Your doctor examines your eyes and reviews this information in light of your visual needs for work and leisure, then provides you with options and recommendations for refractive procedures.
The cost is $150 for the pre-op evaluation. If you have a LASIK or PRK procedure performed this will be applied to the cost of the procedure.
Can I have a LASIK screening and pre-op evaluation done on the same day?
What is the cost of the procedure?
The cost for LASIK or PRK is $3,500 for both eyes.
What does the cost of the procedure include?
The costs include the procedure, post-op medications, follow-up care for 3 months and any enhancement treatments, if necessary, during the first 12 months. It does not include the cost of temporary glasses.
Why are we more expensive than others?
We are competitively priced with other skilled refractive surgeons. We also utilize advanced technology and equipment to allow for a custom outcome!
What if I wear contact lenses?
If in fact you wear contact lenses, in order for your cornea to return to its natural shape by the time of this examination, you must take your contact lenses out for 1 week and gas permeable lenses out for 2 weeks prior to your screening.
Do I need to bring my old records to my consultation?
No. Just remember to bring your old glasses or CTL bottles or foils.
Can the procedure be performed on both eyes at once?
This is very typical to do both eyes at the same time. Most patients prefer it for the sake of convenience.
How long does the LASIK procedure take?
The procedure itself takes approximately 20 minutes for both eyes.
Does LASIK hurt?
Typically, LASIK does not hurt. Anesthetic drops allow the operation to be performed without pain. After procedure, your eyes may be a bit scratchy, but most patients do not require any pain medications (not even Tylenol) and are able to return to work the day after the procedure.
What if I blink?
A tiny wire spring or speculum keeps you from blinking and a pupil tracker follows your pupil to ensure the proper delivery of the laser pulses.
I’m a very nervous person. Are you sure I can get through the procedure?
Yes. We specialize in dealing with anxious patients, and so far we have been able to get every patient through the procedure without a problem. You will get a drug called Ativan or Valium that is taken by mouth and will totally relax you. Your doctor will talk you through the procedure, so there will be no surprises.
What are the restrictions following the procedure?
You must wear a protective shield the first night following the procedure. You should not swim or get water in your eye for one week after the procedure, although bathing and showering are fine. All other activities, including exercise, may be resumed on the first day following the procedure.
How soon do the eyes recover after LASIK?
Usually LASIK patients report improved vision within a very short period of time with continued improvement over the first 24 to 48 hours.
When can I go back to work?
Typically, the day after the LASIK procedure, as your vision permits. It could be up to a week for PRK.
Do I need a driver on the day of the procedure?
Yes. You will be lightly sedated and fuzzy until after your nap.
What should I do right after the procedure?
Go home and take a long nap. Usually the sedative you get before the procedure will help you accomplish this. This nap helps your vision recover quickly by keeping it moist and protected. You will be given tiny eye shields or goggles to keep you from rubbing your eyes while you sleep. There is usually minimal pain or irritation after your nap, so you can go out to dinner or watch TV. Enjoy your new eyes!
How long is follow-up needed?
Follow-up appointments are required at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month and 3 months after the procedure. These visits are included in the charge for the procedure.
Will I have 20/20 vision after my LASIK?
Although some of our world-renowned LASIK surgeons can provide you with data on the outcome of your procedure, no one can guarantee you perfect vision. However, we are pleased to announce that following laser vision correction, a vast majority of our patients are able to drive, play sports and watch TV without glasses! Our patients are overwhelmed with this life-changing event and enjoy referring their friends and family.
What are my chances of not wearing glasses after the procedure?
This will depend on a number of factors, including your refractive error, your visual needs and even your personality. Almost 100 percent of patients can see well enough after the procedure to never require glasses for distance vision. It is important to understand that LASIK does not eliminate the need for reading glasses as you grow older.
What is an enhancement?
An enhancement involves coming back and fine tuning your original procedure, which is performed at no charge up to 12 months following the procedure. After the 1-year free enhancement period the cost will be $750.00 per eye.
What percent of patients need an enhancement?
With a 99% success rate it is very unlikely that you will need an enhancement the year following the procedure. The likelihood of needing an enhancement is dependent on the degree of refractive error. More highly nearsighted eyes are more likely to need an enhancement.
What side effects are typical?
Your vision will fluctuate during the first few days following the procedure. You may notice some glare around lights at night during the first 2 weeks. Dry eye is extremely common and usually dissipates after 2 weeks. Light sensitivity is typical during the first week and goes away by a month or less. Your eyes may feel tired at night and tender to touch for about a month after the procedure.
What are the risks of the procedure?
Like any procedure, LASIK carries some risk of complications. Risks include an infection that could damage your cornea and result in loss of vision, although this is extremely unlikely. As part of your pre-op evaluation for the procedure, we will give you an informed consent document that details potential risks and complications of the procedure.
What about patient safety?
Patients are carefully evaluated at their screening and preop to be sure they are good candidates. The Q Laser & Med Spa, like all Quigley offices, follows all current public health guidelines to ensure a safe and comfortable patient experience.
If necessary, can I wear contact lenses after LASIK?
LASIK does not modify the cornea in a way that would prevent contact lens wear. Not being able to wear contact lens years after LASIK is an “urban legend” that probably got started because this was true for radial keratotomy, or RK.
Are the effects of LASIK permanent?
Yes. As far as scientists know, they are. The cornea looks untouched to the trained eye after a year. Most patients will not need any additional procedures in the decades to come after LASIK. However, 1 to 2 percent of people may have a natural drift in their need for glasses and may require a “redo” after 5 to 10 years.
Will LASIK interfere with cataract surgery as I get older?
No. Again, after a year or more it is difficult to tell anything has been done, so any future surgeries on the eye will be routine.
What is monovision?
It is where your dominant eye is corrected for distance and your non-dominant eye is under corrected or reshaped a little differently to allow you to see at a closer distance.
How does LASIK correct astigmatism?
Astigmatism is most accurately corrected using a laser with software that is capable of ablating an oval pattern on the cornea. The LASIK Refractive Studio is capable of correcting various levels of astigmatism. It truly will do better than your glasses, which cause optical distortions such as “curvy doorways” or toric soft contact lenses, which move and blur with each blink.
What if I had a prior LASIK procedure?
Patients who would like a touch up are encouraged to schedule a LASIK screening. Advancements in diagnostic and corrective technology may allow you to achieve better vision with an enhancement.
Are patients satisfied with results?
Yes, national surveys, as well as our own experience, indicate very high patient satisfaction rates. In fact, some patients report even better results than 20/20 vision after their LASIK procedure.
Are there options other than LASIK?
Yes, Dr. Wiggins and Dr. Kai have other procedures to correct refractive vision errors. For instance, a patient with a thin cornea might benefit from photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), which treats the cells on the surface of the corneal tissue. Schedule a LASIK screening to discuss which treatment option is best for you.
Do we take Care Credit?
Yes. It is 24 months interest free!