Looking for LASIK in St. Louis? Here’s what you should be asking.
The Internet is an amazing thing. Thanks to dot coms, we now have an entire universe of information at our fingertips. Whether we want to find a recipe or figure out what’s causing that irritating rash, all we have to do is search for a couple of keywords and voila! The answers are right in front of us.
That’s a good thing, but it’s also a mixed blessing. Even with all that information, we don’t know what we don’t know. And when it comes to important decisions like laser eye surgery, nothing replaces solid medical advice provided by a reputable, board-certified LASIK surgeon. Not only does he or she likely have many years of experience, but the answers you receive will be for you and your unique eyes.
When you visit an ophthalmologist to find out if you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery, here are some questions you should ask:
Q: Does your refractive surgeon provide a variety of procedures, or only LASIK and PRK?
A: Many LASIK surgeons in St. Louis only offer LASIK, and for a variety of reasons are unable to provide the full range of FDA-approved vision correction options. LASIK is perfect for some people, but it is not the answer for everyone. Think of it this way: A carpenter needs more than just a hammer in his toolbox, because no matter how hard he pounds, he isn’t going to be able to get every job done with that one tool. Ophthalmologists need options, too.
The risk for complications or the need for future surgery increases in patients whose eye anatomy or tear production isn’t ideal for LASIK. The best LASIK surgeons in St. Louis offer LASIK plus the full spectrum of vision correction options.
In addition to SBK, an advanced form of bladeless LASIK, there are six modern variations: ASA, Visian ICL, SMILE, Kamra inlay, LRI and Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE). The more options your LASIK surgeon has at his or her fingertips, the more likely you’ll be to have the best possible outcome.
Q: How safe is LASIK?
A: The jury is in, and LASIK is now considered the most successful human surgical procedure in the world. Across the board, studies like the FDA-sponsored “Patient Reported Outcomes with LASIK” (PROWL) showed impressively and consistently high marks for safety, outcomes, and patient satisfaction. In comparison, the risk of sight-threatening infection from continuing to wear your contact lenses is significantly higher.
The key is in the vetting process. This is why, whether you live in St. Louis or elsewhere, it’s so important to visit a LASIK surgeon who does a thorough exam with the latest technology available.
Q: I know LASIK is extremely safe, but I’m still scared. How do I get past my fear and move forward?
A: Refractive correction lasers are incredible pieces of technology. There really isn’t anything you can do to mess up your surgery. The tracking system built into the laser actually follows your eye at a rate much faster than you can blink. If your eyes move during the procedure, the laser moves with your eye, and if you move more significantly (such as if you cough or sneeze), the laser will temporarily turn off.
Q: What if I have one of the rare complications? Will I be blind? Can the problem be fixed?