Fear and LASIK Eye Surgery

“I am afraid that something might happen,” “I am worried about the ‘long-term,’” “I am waiting until it’s perfected,” “What if I move?” “What if …?”

Fear and LasikI have heard the voices of fear from thousands of my patients. The ones I worry about the most are those who say they are not afraid, because I fear they have not taken the time and effort to learn about the procedure, the results and its risks. The first step is to learn about the procedure. I would recommend both online research – see our helpful links and resource center – but more importantly, visit the center or centers. Ask all the “What ifs.” Do they treat you well? Are they knowledgeable? Is their surgeon local? Will they be there for you long-term? Do they have the technology, and the experience using it? About 12-15% of our patients are not good candidates. You should feel comfortable and informed before proceeding.

We perform an extensive preoperative exam on every patient.

You will also be informed of the process as we go. Good patients are those who are very well informed. We will not operate on you if you are not a suitable candidate for this procedure. We will tell you if you are (or are not) a good candidate and why. Some people have risks that others do not, depending on prescription and age; there is no upper age limit, just changing considerations based on your eye and medical history.

On the day of your LASIK eye surgery procedure, it’s all about you!

You will be guided through each step of the LASIK eye surgery procedure by our team. We offer sedation to make the fear more manageable, not to eliminate it. You will still be very nervous, and I understand this. No one likes someone touching their eyes! I will meet with you prior to your procedure; make sure you are as prepared as you can possibly be. I will guide you into the laser room; talk you through every step of the procedure so nothing startles you. We put lots of numbing drops in your eyes which will make them feel sort of heavy. A pillow cradles your head to keep you from moving, and I am right there holding your head as we go. We have an instrument to hold your eyes open, but because they are numb, you don’t feel like blinking.

For LASIK eye surgery, you feel about 20 seconds of pressure as the flap is created. I talk you right through this part. During the subsequent laser, you feel absolutely nothing. You cannot see the ultraviolet laser, although you may smell the vapor. It is not “burning” your cornea, but precisely ablating it, or changing its shape to suit your individual prescription as determined in all of our LASIK eye surgery preoperative measurements. I will tell you how long the laser will take (usually from 10 to 80 seconds) so you know how much longer you need to stay put. A lot of people worry that their eyes will move, or they will cough/sneeze during their LASIK eye surgery. The lasers all have tracking devices to follow your eye and readjust the laser position before each pulse. When I conduct the procedure, it usually takes 3 to 4 minutes per eye. Then you’re done!

I love it when someone says about their LASIK eye surgery, “That’s it?” Or “I don’t know what I was so worried about!” I try really hard to make it smooth and easy on you. I’ve been in your shoes, and I didn’t like it either. I have loved not having my -8.00 (Highly nearsighted) contact lenses for the past 9 years. Come in for a free comprehensive exam and education. Let us help you get out of those contacts and glasses. Call and we’ll get started.

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