Laser vision correction questions and answers


Laser vision correction questions and answers



Frequently asked questions on laser eye surgery

Get all of your questions answered so you can make the right decision

No. Many of the discount LASIK centers want you to believe that surgeon experience, lasers, diagnostic technology and follow-up care don’t matter.

Laser vision correction will affect the way you see for the rest of your life. You should make your decision to have laser vision correction carefully, not quickly.

We encourage you to visit other laser centers and we will tell you what to look for in our “How to choose a laser vision provider” form, found in Patient Forms.

Our website has a lot of information about our surgeons, our laser technology, our advanced diagnostic technology and what you should expect for the money you spend.

We provide you with all of this information because we feel the more you know about us, the more confident you will feel about choosing us as your laser vision correction provider. We also encourage you to attend one of our free educational seminars to learn more about our practice and why you should choose us.

The goal of any refractive surgical procedure is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. However, we cannot guarantee you will have 20/20 vision as a result.

Our commitment to you is that we will not perform laser vision correction on you or anyone we feel does not have a good possibility of achieving independence from glasses and contacts.

The vast majority of our patients are extremely happy with their results and can do most activities without dependence on corrective lenses after laser vision correction.

In a recent study 94% of our LASIK patients achieved 20/20 vision without glasses or contacts.

There are possible risks with any surgical procedure. Serious complications with LASIK are extremely rare. The chance of having a vision-reducing complication from LASIK has been documented in clinical studies to be less than one percent.

Many of the risks and complications associated with this procedure can be reduced or eliminated through careful patient selection and thorough pre-operative testing using the latest diagnostic technology.

After laser vision correction, you may experience some visual side effects. These are usually mild and most often diminish over a few days to a few weeks. But there is a slight chance that some of these side effects won’t go away completely, such as feelings of dryness, glare and halos.

If after a thorough examination we decide you are a good candidate for laser vision correction, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed.

Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.

In the many millions of LASIK cases performed worldwide, we know of no recorded incidence of anyone losing their eyesight due to this procedure.

You have probably seen news stories about people having difficulty driving at night after refractive surgery. Nighttime side effects may include halos, starbursts, and glare around lights and blurry vision. Some of these can be caused by overcorrection, under correction, or residual astigmatism. These effects usually diminish as the eye heals in the first three to six months. Sometimes additional touch-up (enhancement) procedures will be recommended.

Another possible cause of nighttime side effects is pupil size. At night, the pupil expands to let in more light. Light coming through the peripheral cornea may be out of focus if the pupil opens beyond the laser treatment area. This is why some patients are not good candidates for LASIK if they have very large pupils. However, our advanced laser technology has expanded treatment zones and patients that were at one time not candidates for LASIK because they had large pupils, can now be treated.

Memorial Eye Institute’s lasers have been upgraded to perform customized LASIK procedures and we are the first center in Pennsylvania to offer this advanced technology.

Custom LASIK procedures can be individually personalized for optimal visual results.

Following a LASIK procedure, every patient has temporary dry eye, which can be treated most often with artificial tears. This dry eye sensation usually clears up in eight to 12 weeks except in rare cases, where it may take longer.

Patients with pre-existing dry eye may still be good candidates for LASIK.

If you have dry eye, you should discuss it with your doctor at your pre-op examination. Tests can often diagnose dry eye but it is still somewhat difficult to predict who will experience significant dry eye following LASIK.

A thorough evaluation of your current medications, medical history and work environment should all be taken into account.

Following your procedure, the flap stays in position without the need for stitches. Initially, there is a vacuum effect created by the cells lining the inner surface of the cornea. As the eye heals over the first few days, the epithelium (the outer surface of the cornea) seals the edges of the flap.

Memorial Eye Institute is one of a select group of Laser Vision Correction Centers able to offer INTRALASIK, the ALL LASER LASIK technique that creates the flap with a laser rather than a mechanical technique. IntraLASIK offer the ultimate in LASIK safety and precision.

There is no pain during any of the laser vision procedures since anesthetic eye drops numb your eyes, although some patients may experience mild discomfort or a pressure sensation during their procedure.

You might experience mild irritation for a few days after LASIK. An over-the-counter pain reliever or use of artificial tears will generally take care of this discomfort.

For most procedures, both eyes will be corrected on the same day.

Since both eyes are usually treated during the same appointment, you will be in the surgery room for approximately 30 minutes.

Once in the laser room your eyes will be cleaned and prepared for surgery.

The surgery itself usually only takes five minutes or so per eye.

Following LASIK, most patients return to work the day after their procedure.

If you are wearing hard or gas permeable contacts, it’s important that you remove them at least three weeks prior to your exam.

Soft lenses should be out for at least one week before your exam. Soft toric lenses may need to be out longer.

Your doctor will advise you on how long you need to be out of your contacts prior to your exam and prior to your surgery.

You need to be over 18 years of age, and your glasses or contact lens prescription should not have changed in the last year. If your eye is still changing from year to year, you should not have the procedure until the cornea is stable.

Pregnancy can affect your vision, therefore if you are pregnant or trying to conceive, you should not have laser vision correction.

You should wait several months after your pregnancy or after you finish nursing before having laser vision correction.

Laser vision correction is considered to be permanent. However, your eyes can still change as you age, which may lead to a need for glasses or contacts, or additional vision correction procedures in the future.

As people reach their early forties, they develop presbyopia and begin to need reading glasses. If you’re over 35, you may want to consider monovision.

Not necessarily. The effects of presbyopia continue to worsen as you get older, whether or not you have monovision. At some point in time, reading glasses or another vision correction procedure may become necessary.

The benefit to having monovision is that there won’t be a complete dependence on glasses for close vision. Many who have monovision are able to see well enough both at distance and near to do things at any age without corrective lenses.

The cost of vision correction varies among practices, based on surgeon experience and what the center includes in the fee.

We are not the least expensive providers because we never sacrifice safety to save you money. We have invested heavily in advanced laser technology and our diagnostic technology is second to none. This investment is extremely important to surgical results and our patients tell us they can see the difference.

We encourage you to visit other laser centers and compare. Please download our “How to chose a laser vision provider” form, found in Patient Forms.

It’s only natural to want to get the best price, but remember, quality and service are extremely important when it comes to medical care. After all, laser vision correction is a procedure you’ll have only once in your lifetime and your vision is one of your most important assets.

The best way to find out exactly what your price will be is to come in for an exam. After a comprehensive evaluation to determine what procedures you’re a candidate for and what degree of correction you need, we’ll be able to give you a specific price.

A few insurance companies do pay for all or part of vision correction procedures. You can check with you plan administrator, or we will be happy to make a copy of your insurance card and check coverage for you.

Many people have medical flex plans they use to save up to 50 percent on their procedure by using pre-tax dollars. Your employer’s human resources department can tell you whether you have this benefit.

Laser Vision correction also may be tax deductible as a medical expense (check with your financial advisor).

If you do not have insurance coverage, we do offer affordable payment plans. It is easy to apply online and receive credit approval before you schedule an appointment. We also accept cash, personal checks, Visa, and MasterCard.

Can you be free from glasses and contacts?

The best way to find out if laser eye surgery is right for you is to book a free appointment. You’ll get a clear answer from our experts on your suitability and treatment options

Free yourself from glasses and contacts

Discover if vision correction treatment can give you more confidence and convenience

I want to see glasses-free!

Life’s complicated enough these days. With all I’ve got going on, who’s got time for glasses and contact lenses too? Click here to see if you can become glasses-free…

I hate my reading glasses!

These things aren’t me at all. On, off, on, off… what a huge inconvenience to have to deal with day-in and day-out. Click here to find out if you can ditch your readers…

I have a high prescription and I’m not suitable for laser eye surgery

We offer Implantable Contact Lenses (ICLs) as an ideal option to get you out of glasses and contact lenses Click here to see the options available

“I had no idea it would make such a huge difference to my life”

Recognized leaders in Harrisburg LASIK eye surgery


Dr. Erik A Chotiner
M.D., F.A.C.S.


Erik Chotiner, M.D. diagnoses and treats a wide range of medical eye conditions. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Franklin and Marshall College. Dr. Chotiner attended Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia where he received multiple awards including the Physiology Prize for …

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Dr. Richard M. Kowalski
Dr. Richard M. KowalskiO.D
Dr. Kowalski is a specialist in comprehensive eye care, refractive surgery consultations and contact lenses…

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Dr. Kenneth H. Levin
Dr. Kenneth H. LevinM.D. F.A.C.S
Dr. Levin is a specialist in cataract surgery, glaucoma and general ophthalmology

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Dr. Bradford K. Sgrignoli
Dr. Bradford K. SgrignoliD.O
Dr. Sgrignoli is a specialist in retina and vitreous disease & surgery, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy…

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Dr. Michael J. Silvetti
Dr. Michael J. SilvettiO.D
Dr. Silvetti is a specialist in comprehensive eye care, refractive surgery consultations, contact lenses and low vision consultations…

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Dr. Katherine Won
Dr. Katherine WonO.D
Dr. Won is a specialist in comprehensive eye care and contact lenses…

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