LASIK remains one of the most popular laser vision correction procedures in North America and has helped countless numbers of people reduce their reliance on corrective eyewear to see clearly at a range of distances. Gimbel Eye Centre holds the distinction of being the first practice in Canada to perform laser refractive surgery and we are proud to offer our patients state-of-the-art LASIK techniques that do not require the use of a surgical blade.
The information below can help you become more familiar with the LASIK procedure and how it may benefit your needs and goals. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact Gimbel Eye Centre today.
- What Is LASIK?
- Laser Vision Correction Benefits
- LASIK Candidates
- LASIK Procedure
- LASIK Recovery
- LASIK Alternatives
- LASIK Cost
What Is LASIK?
LASIK is an acronym for Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. This revolutionary vision correction treatment utilizes a high-powered laser to change the way the eye refracts light, making it possible for patients with refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism to focus clearly without the need to completely rely on eyeglasses or contact lenses. LASIK works by reshaping the cornea of the eye to enhance light refraction and reduce blurriness, giving individuals the ability to dramatically improve their vision.
"Great service, no complaints. Both eyes done in 2 days (Excellent)."
What Are the Benefits of Laser Vision Correction?
Our state-of-the-art LASIK laser vision correction procedure offers numerous advantages for patients who are tired of depending on corrective eyewear to see clearly. The benefits offered by LASIK include:
- Correction of myopia (nearsightedness)
- Correction of hyperopia (farsightedness)
- Correction of astigmatism
- Laser-based treatment; no surgical blade coming near the eye is required
- The procedure is often very quick and can be performed right here at our practice
- Recovery is typically minimal
- Most patients begin noticing the results of LASIK just 24 hours after the treatment
Am I a Candidate for LASIK?
Ideal candidates for LASIK are typically individuals who:
- Are 18 years of age or older
- Have had a stable prescription for vision correction for a minimum of one year
- Are not currently experiencing cataracts, glaucoma, or other eye diseases and conditions
- Have corneas that are of adequate thickness to undergo the treatment
During your complimentary eye and vision assessment, one of our experienced eye doctors will evaluate your needs and help you determine whether LASIK is your best option. If not, we can talk with you about the SMILE® vision correction procedure, PRK, Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICLs), or Refractive Lens Exchange. One of these treatments should present a suitable alternative.
What Does the LASIK Procedure Involve?
The LASIK procedure involves two basic steps: creation of the corneal “flap” and then laser correction of the refractive error. With the state-of-the-art ZEISS VisuMax® femtosecond laser our eye surgeon will delicately and precisely create a flap from the outer layers of corneal tissue. Our doctor will then use the ZEISS MEL® 90 excimer laser to reshape the inner corneal tissue layers. This process is what allows the eye to better-refract light and improve vision. At the end of the procedure, the corneal flap is placed back in its original position, where it should heal on its own without the need for stitches.
One of the major benefits of LASIK procedures is how quickly they can be performed for most patients. In general, the entire procedure usually takes about 15 minutes to complete, with only a small fraction of that time being spent on the laser vision correction component of the procedure. While patients may feel a small degree of pressure during treatment, the eyes are numbed beforehand to reduce the potential for discomfort.
What Can I Expect During Recovery from LASIK?
Some degree of blurriness in your vision can be expected following the LASIK procedure; however, this should diminish relatively quickly. Temporary sensitivity to light and excessive tearing are also common, but these effects should fade over the next few days. In most cases, patients begin experiencing the results of LASIK after approximately 24 hours, and vision should continue to improve over the ensuing weeks. Most individuals are ready to resume work and other normal daily activities one day after LASIK has been performed.
What Are the Alternatives to LASIK?
While LASIK can be an ideal option for many individuals looking for an effective way to minimize their dependence on glasses and contacts, it may not be the best treatment for some patients. This can be due to the present condition of the eye’s cornea, individual patient goals, or other factors. Fortunately, patients who are not good candidates for LASIK are often eligible for alternatives that can provide exceptional results. PRK is another laser vision correction option that can achieve many of the same goals as LASIK. Additionally, we offer procedures such as Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICLs) and Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) that do not involve laser correction at all, but utilize a lens implant that essentially serves as an internal contact lens that can improve vision.
If LASIK is not the best option for your needs and goals, our doctor can talk with you about alternatives that may be worthy of consideration. We will be happy to answer all of your questions and address any concerns you may have.
How Much Does LASIK Cost?
The cost of LASIK is $2,400 per eye at our practice, which includes corneal collagen cross-linking in the event LASIK XTRA is recommended. LASIK XTRA—a technique that combines LASIK surgery with prophylactic corneal collagen crosslinking. XTRA is beneficial for individuals who have overly thin or steep corneas, asymmetrical corneal topography, irregular corneal astigmatism, or against-the-rule astigmatism.
Although this typical starting price for LASIK can help you formulate an idea of how much treatment may cost, it is very important to note that LASIK procedures are customized based on each patient’s unique needs. With that in mind, the price of LASIK is often variable among patients. While LASIK is not usually considered “medically necessary,” and is therefore not often covered by provincial insurance, Gimbel Eye Centre accepts a variety of convenient payment methods, including treatment financing through Medicard. Once your treatment plan has been created during the initial consultation, we can present you with the estimated cost of your LASIK treatment and talk with you about the most ideal way to bring this procedure into your budget.
Would you like additional information on LASIK or other vision correction procedures? Please contact Gimbel Eye Centre to learn more about our options, or to schedule an appointment.