Lasik eye surgery has become very popular and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to correct vision problems. It is a quick, outpatient procedure with a relatively short recovery period and a complication rate of 5%, low for a medical procedure. Lasik, which stands for laser in situ keratomileusis, is a procedure that corrects the shape of the cornea using a laser. It is not a guaranteed fix for vision problems but does help a majority of patients either eliminate or reduce their dependence on corrective eyewear or contacts. In addition to traditional lasik, there a several other different varieties of lasik surgery offered. Traditional lasik is a procedure that utilizes a knife to make a small incision in the cornea and then uses a laser to remove the tissue. Other types of laser eye surgery including Monovision or Wavefront Lasik are meant to correct specific eye problems.
Laser surgery for eyes is a very short procedure that takes only about 5 to 10 minutes per eye, lasting about a half hour from start to finish. The patient is awake for the entire surgery and is able to watch everything as it happens. The eye surgeon uses a small clamp to hold the eyes open and a few drops of liquid numbing agent is put on the eyes to control pain. After the prep work is completed, the surgeon performs the procedure by cutting a hinged flap in the cornea and using a laser to remove part of the stroma, the middle part of the cornea. Recovery time depends on the patient but most people can resume normal activities within 1 to 3 days. Some fluctuation in vision can be expected for a few months following the eye surgery and it can take up to six months for your vision to stabilize.
The average cost of lasik surgery ranges from $2000 to $4000. Factors that determine the price are the type of surgery, the area of the country, the doctor chosen, and the amount of preoperative screening required. There are also many extras that can add to the overall cost of the procedure. Although there are many doctors advertising lasik eye surgery bargains, be cautious about selecting any provider who charges less than $1000. It is important to get a written estimate for the total cost of the surgery and ask questions regarding what are included in the advertised price. Most insurance companies do not cover lasik because it is considered a cosmetic surgery.