LASIK Myths and Facts
There are a number of myths sorrounding LASIK. Many of these myths have sort of percolated in society over a period of time, and no one cares for understanding the truth. So here is our take on LASIK myths and facts.
LASIK Myths and Facts 1
Myth: LASIK is new technology…. I want to wait till it matures
- LASIK is not new. The first LASIK procedures were done over 20 years ago.
- The intellectual heritage on which LASIK is based was built by a Dr. Jose Barraquer in 1960, more than 50 years ago. Barraquer invented a procedure known as keratomeleusis, which is what LASIK is based on.
- The excimer laser (the laser used to perform LASIK) has been used in human eyes since 25 years.
- More than 40 million LASIK procedures have been done worldwide since 1997. It is the most common procedure after tooth extraction and cataract surgery.
- In India alone, there are more than 400 laser centers, performing more than half a million procedures every year
- New Vision Laser Centers has been performing laser refractive surgery since more than 15 years in India. Our doctors have performed more than 80000 procedures till date.
With this impressive a track record, how long will you wait? Should you wait? In the fast changing world of medical technology, how many procedures can claim a history of more than 20 years, and 40 million procedures?
LASIK Myths and Facts 2
Myth: No ophthalmologist undergoes LASIK
- Not true at all. In fact, lots of ophthalmologists have undergone LASIK. As a percentage of the population, more ophthalmologists have undergone LASIK than any other profession. Indeed, our clinical director, Dr. Rupal Shah, has herself treated 6 ophthalmologists.
- Also important are the close relatives of ophthalmologists who have undergone LASIK. Dr. Rupal Shah has treated her husband, and daughter. She has also treated a 100+ close relatives of eye surgeons. This number is of course very high, but that is because eye surgeons go to the most experienced doctor there is…
- And in any case, this should not be a reason to judge LASIK. There are a couple of reasons (including the need to constantly work with a microscope) why ophthalmologists might not want to undergo LASIK. These reasons do not apply to the vast majority of the population.
Opthalmologists do undergo LASIK themselves. More importantly, many close relatives of ophthalmologists have undergone LASIK. What better proof of LASIK safety?
LASIK Myths and Facts 3
Myth:The number comes back after 10 years, the effect wears off with time…
- The eye changes shape till around the age of 18-21. Once you stop growing, the bones around your eyes fuse, and eyes stop growing too. Once this happens, your refractive error becomes stable.
- If LASIK is used to correct a stable refractive error, than in the absence of any other eye disease, there is rarely any change in the refractive error subsequently.
- Studies show LASIK results as stable for several years after LASIK. There is no evidence whatsoever that the results of LASIK reverse with time. In a tiny minority of individuals, there may be some change. However, in the vast majority, LASIK results remain stable over decades.
We are often intrigued as to why the myth is around 10 years. We ourselves have been performing Laser Refractive Surgery since more than 15 years. Nothing is more gratifying for us than meeting an old patient at a social occasion and finding out that they are perfectly happy with their vision several years after LASIK. And this happens quite often!!!
LASIK Myths and Facts 4
Myth : LASIK is only for women who want to look better,,,,
- Lots of women get LASIK done, because they want to look more beautiful, more youthful, more vivacious. Let your eyes see and be seen. What is the point of putting a pair of beautiful, expressive eyes behind a pair of spectacles? And this is true for men as much as women.
- But looking good is hardly the only reason to get LASIK done. Here is a small list of the many reasons people want to get rid of their spectacles and contact lenses.
- Some organizations, like the army, railways etc. do not tolerate refractive errors. But they have approved LASIK and recommend it in most situations
- People who are active sportspersons find spectacles and contact lenses a huge burden. The list of celebrity sportspersons who have had LASIK done include Tiger Woods, Greg Maddox and many many others.
- Long term use of contact lenses often causes allergies, eye dryness and intolerance. For such individuals, LASIK is the best alternative
- It is simply more convenient to not have to wear spectacles and contact lenses. Your natural eyes do not need frequent cleaning, they do not get lost, or broken or scratched. They don’t fog up in the rain.
Get LASIK done, and through away the crutches of spectacles and contact lenses. There is nothing better than your natural eyes seeing the world clearly, as they will after LASIK.
LASIK Myths and Facts 5
Myth: The procedure is very painful….
- Hardly. All patients are given anesthetic drops in the eye before the procedure. And they then don’t have much sensation during the procedure. The procedure takes barely 5-6 minutes per eye, and while they feel the doctor working on the eye, they do not feel pain.
- At New Vision Laser Centers, we have femtosecond lasers like the VisuMax. These don’t even cause the high suction that microkeratomes do. So the Femto-LASIK and ReLEx procedures offered at New Vision do not even cause the minimal discomfort that traditional microkeratome LASIK does.
- For a couple of hours after LASIK, there is certainly some pain and discomfort. But it is always transient, and we give our patients pain killers to deal with the discomfort in the immediate aftermath of the procedure.
Better vision in the blink of an eye. All Gain without Pain. That is the promise of LASIK
LASIK Myths and Facts 6
Myth: It can’t correct Farsightedness (Plus (+ve) numbers)…
- In fact, it can. Farsightedness or hyperopia can be corrected with +ve power lenses. Patients with hyperopia can typically see well for distance when they are young, and then start having difficulty in seeing distant objects as they grow older. But modern lasers can easily treat hyperopia upto -6D, with excellent results and stability.
+ve numbers, -ve numbers, cylinders, myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, cross cylinders. Throw what you can at our experienced doctors and magnificent machines. We will cure them all.
LASIK Myths and Facts 7
Myth: It cannot correct people more than age 40….
- People over age 40 require 2 types of correction. One correction for distance, the other for near. Sometimes, they have no correction for distance (they do not wear glasses when they are young), but require glasses for only reading. Sometimes, they have a small amount of myopia, and require to remove glasses while reading.
- No matter what your condition is, we can still correct it. All New Vision Laser Centers are equipped with software for Laser Blended Vision or LBV. LBV software creates a situation where between two eyes, you can see all distances-near, intermediate, and far-even if your age is more than 40.
Near Vision or Distance Vision, we have a cure for everyone.
LASIK Myths and Facts 8
Myth: If you blink or move during the procedure, something will go wrong…
- In fact, a speculum is placed in the eye during the procedure. Even if you would try, you cannot blink for those few minutes of the procedure. And while some eye movements are inevitable, the lasers are equipped with sophisticated eye trackers to take care of those fine eye movements, and place the laser spots exactly where intented.
- In fact, it is during the flap creation phase that moving your eyes will create some problems for the surgeon. If you are undergoing Femto-LASIK, it is much simpler. The surgeon can simply refit the contact glass, and start the process again. If you are undergoing standard microkeratome lasik, it may be that the surgeon needs to postpone the procedure for a few weeks. But your eye will not come to any harm under either circumstance.
Blink, Move, try what you can. The experienced surgeons at our centers will ensure that you live a life away from dependence on glasses and contact lenses.
LASIK Myths and Facts 9
Myth: If something goes wrong, then nothing can be done about it…
Far from the truth. The truth is that if you suffer an undercorrection or overcorrection, you can simply get the treatment enhanced. At New Vision, our commitment is clear. If a patient needs an enhancement, and can undergo one, we will offer it, completely free, even several decades after the original procedure.
And if your case is more complicated than an undercorrection or overcorrection, and you suffer from night vision problems and so on, we can still do something about it. Our centers are equipped with sophisticated wavefront-guided and topography-guided correction platforms, to give you the most accurate treatments, customized to your eyes.
LASIK Myths and Facts 10
Myth: I am afraid that I will go blind…
- Every act has a risk, no one can guarantee the complete absence of adverse outcomes. Going out on an evening walk can also put your personal well being at risk. The issue is really of how high the risk is, and what the percentage of adverse outcomes are. And what are the risks of the alternatives-spectacles and contact lenses.
- In a recent study of Femto-LASIK complications at New Vision Laser Centers, we were shocked to find that in the treatment of more than 1500 consecutive eyes, we had a 0 (zero ) complication rate.
- Not a single eye treated with Femto-LASIK at New Vision Laser Centers has lost 2 or more lines of Best Corrected Vision
- In the last 5 years, we have not had a single case of an eye infection post LASIK. In contrast studies show that 1 in 300 patients who wear extended wear contact lenses suffer from a serious eye infection.
- Complications can and will happen though. However, the issue is whether the doctor treating you has the experience of tackling them, whether the institution you are being treated at has the philosophy of patient first, everything else later. You won’t find us wanting at New Vision Laser Centers.
Experienced Doctors, Latest Technology-These change the odds dramatically. LASIK has never been safer. Going Blind, forget it. Our standards are much higher.
LASIK Myths and Facts 11
Myth: After LASIK, if you get a cataract, then it is very difficult to correct and find the right Intra Ocular Lens…
- It is true that finding the right intraocular lens requires a more considered choice after LASIK than in someone who has not undergone any procedure. However, it is hardly difficult. Post-LASIK IOL Power calculators are available on all industry association websites, and are directly available in modern instruments meant to find out the correct IOL power for a person.
- The results are best if enough data is available about the LASIK procedure itself. No matter where you get your cataract operation done, just ask the doctor to call us, and we will give the operation surgeon all the information he needs to get the most accurate IOL power calculation for your lasered eyes.
Commitment, commitment, commitment. No matter whether you got operated at a New Vision Center 20 years ago. We commit that we will have the records of your treatment available, and we will make it available to you whenever necessary with no extra cost.
LASIK Myths and Facts 12
Myth: LASIK does not work well-Some people are happy, but….
- LASIK results are great. In a study of myopic LASIK by the US FDA with the same laser we use at New Vision Laser Centers, more than 97% of the patients reached an uncorrected visual acuity of 20/20 or better.
- In a recent study of ReLEx outcomes performed at New Vision Laser Centers, which was published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, a highly respected peer-reviewed journal, 99% of our patients had a post-operative error of less than 0.5 diopters.
- Studies show that more LASIK corrected patients achieve a visual acuity of 20/20 or better, than people who currently wear glasses
- LASIK results show that contrast sensitivity improves after LASIK.
- With advanced techniques like wavefront and topography guided treatments, Femto-LASIK and wavefront-optimized corrections, LASIK provided better vision than glasses, without any compromise in night vision.
What better statement can you make about LASIK outcomes-Better Vision than Glasses. LASIK results are great-witness the thousands of happy patients out there.
LASIK Myths and Facts 13
Myth: We don’t know anything about the long term safety after LASIK
- The intellectual history of LASIK is more than 50 years old. LASIK in its modern form is practiced since more than 20 years. Given the large numbers of LASIK procedures performed, if there was an issue with long term safety, it would be nothing less than a scandal. Instead, the number of LASIK procedures keep going up.
- So far, there is no one who has shown, in any scientific manner, that there are any reasons to doubt the long term safety of LASIK.
One can always believe any crazy statement. But to doubt the long term safety of LASIK is entirely crazy, given the enormous numbers, long intellectual heritage, and strong scientific evidence