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Lasik Eye Surgery; Too Good To Be True?

Sep 8, 2008
According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 95% of all people who get Lasik surgery also known as PRK (photo-refractive keratectomy,) are completely satisfied with the outcome. However, the other 5% have either had complications of some sort or the surgery did not go as well as expected. Still, in my opinion 95% is pretty darn good when you think about it.

I have often considered Lasik surgery, as I was one of those kids that always had bad eye sight. I have been wearing glasses since I was about 5 years old and once I got older I started wearing contacts. Not being able to see, visually, is one of the most horrible things. Not only do you have to depend on some apparatus to help you see (contacts or glasses) but you also aren't able to have that vision all the time unless you depend on "help" from your contacts or glasses. I always considered Lasik surgery to be a way out of this. Through the years Lasik surgery has gotten easier to perform by surgeons, and the price has gone down as well.

So what are some advantages and disadvantages of this surgery? How expensive is this really going to be? What sorts of things should you look out for?

One of the most important advantages is that you will actually be able to see all the time, and you won't have to use glasses or contacts in doing so. In LASIK, the corneal epithelium remains intact. This results in a much faster recovery, a smoother corneal surface and better optical quality. The LASIK procedure also has a reduced risk of infection with less need for potentially hazardous prophylactic steroids. In addition, LASIK has a much greater range of vision correction.

Disadvantages come few and far between, lets just note that right now and consider the 95% it does work for and the 5% it doesn't work for. Since most people heal differently and at their own speed, the healing process varies amongst patient to patient. So you might know someone that was completely healed in one week and it make take you 1 month to fully heal. This isn't really direct disadvantage of the surgery, but more or less has to do with your body. In some cases Lasik has worsened a person's vision, some aspects include night vision, glares, and halos. And lastly, in some very rare cases Lasik surgery may make your vision worsen, and you may not be able to fix it with glasses or contacts.

Lasik surgery prices (as with everything else) depend on whom you go to. Just like with your car, you could go to one auto-mechanic and it could cost $5,000 to put in a new engine, or you could go to someone else and it could cost $1,500. It's a good idea to "shop" around before you get this surgery, and also make sure you get a surgeon who knows what he is doing. A report commissioned by AllAboutVision from a leading industry analyst in 2008 listed average LASIK costs as:

- $2,105 for all laser-based vision correction procedures

- $1,662 for non-customized LASIK using a bladed instrument (microkeratome) and excimer lasers that are not guided by wavefront analysis.

- $2,341 for wavefront-guided LASIK using IntraLase.

Lasik surgery is usually not covered by your vision insurance plan simply because it is considered "cosmetic" surgery. However, some employers might make arrangement with a default Lasik center for a special price. Also, you might qualify for a tax deduction so check with your accountant.
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This author is a HUGE fan of Truth Lasik Surgery
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