Surgery FAQs

  • How do I know if I’m a candidate for surgery?

    We recommend that you come in for a no cost, no obligation screening exam to meet your surgeon and discuss questions. When you bring your glasses or prescription, we can determine whether you are a candidate for these or other procedures. If you know you want LASIK, or PRK surgery, then we recommend that you discontinue wearing your soft contact lenses 2 weeks before your consultation, and hard or gas permeable contact lenses 4 weeks before that appointment. This is imperative, as use of contacts too close to the time of your surgical measurements can adversely affect your surgical outcome.

  • Are all patients who wear glasses and contact lenses, good candidates for surgical procedures?

    Patients need to be between the ages of 18 and 65 years for these procedures. The prescription of younger eyes between 18 and 21 tend to change more, while patients between 60 and 65 may have the presence of cataract which means they don’t qualify for any of these procedures. This depends on the amount and type of cataract present, so our surgeons would still like to have the opportunity to examine your particular situation. Another common reason patients do not safely qualify for these procedures, stems from their eyes being too flat, too steep, or too thin. These are easily determined by your surgeon at the time of your consultation exam.

  • How much work will I miss?

    Most patients return to their normal activities the day after the procedure. Of course, this can vary with the type of work requirements for each individual patient. This will be discussed with you during your doctor’s consultation.

  • How long will the procedure actually take?

    Overall time typically would be expected to be 1 to 2 hours for lasik or PRK procedures. All our surgeons do their lasik and PRK procedures at the surgery center.  You are required to have a driver bring you to and from those surgical appointments, and ideally they should plan on staying with you in the event you are able to finish at an earlier time.

  • What kind of vision can I expect the day after LASIK/PRK surgeries?

    Typically patients experience an immediate 50% improvement, sitting straight up off the table from any of these procedures. Distance and near vision are tested separately, as well as each eye. In addition, each patient has differing goals on their particular customized vision goals. Your doctor can estimate for you at the time of your consultation, as well as your first postop visit, what time frame your eyes will take to respond to their distance, near, and intermediate vision needs. Different refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia) each take various paths as they heal following surgery. Other factors such as patient age and the severity of refractive error also play a big role in patient visual recovery. Most patients can safely drive themselves to their first day postop visit from a visual standpoint; however exceptions do exist with regards to light sensitivity as one example. We ask that patients use good judgment in this regards, and have a designated driver available if needed, during the postoperative period of time.

  • Are all patients who wear glasses and contact lenses, good candidates for surgical procedures?

    Patients need to be between the ages of 18 and 65 years for these procedures. The prescription of younger eyes between 18 and 21 tend to change more, while patients between 60 and 65 may have the presence of cataract which means they don’t qualify for any of these procedures. This depends on the amount and type of cataract present, so our surgeons would still like to have the opportunity to examine your particular situation. Another common reason patients do not safely qualify for these procedures, stems from their eyes being too flat, too steep, or too thin. These are easily determined by your surgeon at the time of your consultation exam.

  • Do you have financing plans?

    There are various financing plans available and we will work with you to develop a flexible payment plan to meet your requirements. Our laser vision coordinator will be happy to go over such details at the time of your consultation.

  • Does insurance cover laser vision correction?

    Most insurance companies consider refractive surgery an elective surgery and it is not usually a covered benefit. There are exceptions to this, so it is worthwhile to check with your insurance company and we encourage you to call them personally.

  • Can both eyes have surgery the same day, safely?

    LASIK procedures are generally chosen by most patients to be done on both eyes same day. This is called ‘bilateral simultaneous’, and is discussed at length in the LASIK consent form you are given. Occasionally LASIK procedures are not safe to perform on both eyes in the same sitting, and although rare, can occur. We treat each of your eyes like they are each their own person. Carefully, we utilize a completely separate sterile set of instruments and surgical gloves between your two eyes. Your surgeon will personally check each of your eyes prior to your dismissal home, on the day of surgery, if both eyes have surgery on the same day.

  • How long will my surgical results last?

    LASIK/PRK procedures are considered permanent refractive procedures, however, our human eyes don’t remain ‘permanent’ throughout our lifetime (e.g. Cataracts can occur in our early 60’s typically, and create the need to wear minor corrective lenses again). Unforeseen eye diseases can arise during our lifetime that can reduce or remove vision in an eye (e.g. Glaucoma, Retinal detachment, Macular degeneration), that may require the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses to enhance vision once again. Following any one of these procedures, the eye doesn’t return back to the same refractive state it was in prior to surgery however. This is why it remains important to maintain regular eye health exams with your doctor after refractive surgery, to enable early detection of such eye disease. We typically know within the first 6 months after one of these procedures, if an eye over or under responded to it. In keeping all your postop visits with your surgeon, they are better able to see your customized pathway of healing to assist you along the way.

  • What are my risks of LASIK/PRK going to be?

    The Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA) doesn’t allow new surgical procedures or devices to be used on human beings here in our country without first undergoing rigorous United States Clinical Trials that indicate them to be safe, efficacious, reliable, and in the best interests of the patient. There are important FDA Patient Information Booklets given to each of our patient surgical candidates for LASIK and PRK procedures, as required by law. Any patient undergoing such procedure should carefully read this informative material, and ask questions directed toward their surgeon at the conclusion of reading it. Each eye, and each person, carries differing risks with each of these procedures. The question of risks involved is uniquely customized to each patient, following their consultation visit with their surgeon, and is done BY their surgeon. Alternatives to surgery, complications, and risks are reviewed with patients after all the available information has been collected that uniquely relates to their particular situation. There are separate consent forms given to each surgical patient candidate prior at the conclusion of their consultation, reviewed with them, and sent home with them to allow further opportunity to make a good surgical decision. Since patients eyes are typically dilated at the time the consent forms are given to them, surgeons at Sabates Eye Centers prefer patients to take them home and further explore them in the comfort of their homes without the nuisance of trying to read them while still blurry in our offices from dilation. Consent forms are very informative, and are required reading of our patients prior to surgery.

  • How can I pay for my surgery?

    We have many financing options available to patients, and simply ask that you call and speak with one of our laser vision coordinators to assist you in this regards. You will be given a self explanatory fee sheet prior to your surgery. Your surgeon’s fee is paid prior to the day of surgery, preferably on the day of your consultation visit or by the day before your surgery at the least. The facility fee for the surgery center is payable on the day of your surgery. All of this is pre-arranged with you prior to your surgery with one of our coordinators.