FAQs

What does it mean to be nearsighted? To be farsighted? To have astigmatism?
Can LASIK correct astigmatism?

Yes! In most cases, LASIK can completely correct astigmatism. While there is a limit to the laser’s capability (about 3 diopters of astigmatism), most patients fall below this threshold.

Can LASIK correct a lazy eye?

No. The medical term for “lazy eye” is amblyopia. It results from the connection between the eye and the brain not developing properly, even if the eye itself is relatively normal. LASIK has no effect on the connection between the eye and the brain, and therefore it cannot correct a lazy eye. However, if the vision in your lazy eye is 20/30 or better, you may still be a candidate for LASIK.

Can I wear contact lenses to my free LASIK consultation? What about to my full dilated examination?

Contact lenses can interfere with proper measurements of your eyes. So, you must completely stay out of your contact lenses for at least 2 weeks before your examination with Dr. Larson or Dr. Saipe.

Can surgery be performed on both eyes on the same day?

Yes! If both eyes are eligible for LASIK surgery, then both eyes can be treated at the same time. The entire LASIK procedure for both eyes takes only about 10 minutes to perform.

How long does the LASIK surgery take?

The actual LASIK procedure only takes about 10 minutes to perform. However, on the day of your surgery, plan on being at Vermont Eye Laser for approximately 2 hours. The additional time is needed to verify measurements, review consent forms, and explain post-op instructions.

Will I be awake during the LASIK surgery?

Before your LASIK procedure begins, you will be given a medication to help you to relax. So, while you will be awake during the surgery, you will be very comfortable. Most patients report that the experience of having LASIK is much easier and much less stressful than they had anticipated beforehand.

Does the LASIK surgery hurt?

Before your LASIK procedure begins, drops will be placed in your eyes to thoroughly numb them. This makes the surgery itself completely painless. There may be times during the procedure when you feel pressure around your eyes, but you should not experience any pain. When your surgery is over and your numbing drops eventually wear off, you may have some mild discomfort in your eyes, but this generally lasts only a few hours. Over-the-counter pain medication is rarely needed.

What happens if I have trouble staying focused on the blinking orange light during my LASIK surgery? What if I blink or move? Will the laser treatment be wrong?

The advanced technology used at Vermont Eye Laser allows the laser to carefully track your eye in three dimensions. So, if your eye starts to drift up/down/left/right, or if you start to breath heavily and your eye moves closer/farther from the laser, the treatment is automatically adjusted to your position. If you move out of range of the laser tracker, the laser automatically shuts off.

What is the difference between conventional LASIK and custom Wavefront-guided LASIK?

Conventional LASIK is based on the prescription in your glasses (or contact lenses) alone. It aims to eliminate your prescription, but without taking any specific measurements of your individual eyes.

Custom Wavefront-guided LASIK is based on a sophisticated device called an aberrometer, which takes precise measurements of your eye that include not only your prescription, but also the unique nuances of your eyes’ anatomy. It is a more advanced, more precise, and more specific form of laser vision correction.

As you would expect, the results of Custom Wavefront-guided LASIK are superior to conventional LASIK. At Vermont Eye Laser, we are proud to offer the most advanced Wavefront-guided system in the industry (CustomVue™), giving our patients the best possible outcomes.

Is LASIK safe? What are the possible complications of LASIK surgery?

Like any surgery, LASIK has risks. Millions of Americans have undergone LASIK in the last 20+ years, and the rate of serious problems has been about 1%. However, it is important to recognize potential complications of this procedure. These include:

  • Overcorrection or undercorrection of your prescription
  • Dry eyes
  • Halos/starbursts around lights or glare from bright lights
  • Flap striae (wrinkles/folds) or flap dislocation
  • Inflammation under the flap, or cells from the surface of your eye trapped under the flap

More serious problems (like progressive irregular bulging of the cornea, eye infection, or vision loss) are far less common.

Talk to you surgeon at Vermont Eye Laser about any questions that you have regarding the risks, benefits, and alternatives to LASIK surgery.

Can I drive myself home after the LASIK surgery?

No. You must have someone drive you home on the day of surgery. You cannot use a taxi.

Are there any restrictions after LASIK surgery?

Yes. For two weeks following your procedure:

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes
  • Wear eye protection while sleeping
  • Wear eye protection during any activities that could result in being hit in the eye
  • Do not use swimming pools, hot tubs, or saunas
  • Do not use eye makeup
When can I resume driving after LASIK?

You can begin driving again once your vision is good enough and you feel comfortable behind the wheel. Overall, most people are ready to resume driving within 1-2 days.

When can I return to work?

Typically, most patients are back to work within 24-48 hours.

How long does it take for my eyes to heal?

Your eyes begin to heal immediately after your LASIK procedure is over. Healing usually occurs rapidly, but it is normal to have blurry vision or fluctuating vision for several weeks to months after your surgery. Attending all of your post-operative appointments is critical to ensuring that your eyes heal properly after LASIK.

How many appointments are there after LASIK? Are these included in the cost?

If you plan on having all of your follow-up care at Vermont Eye Laser, your post-op appointments are included in the cost of the LASIK procedure. You will be seen the day after your surgery, 1 week after your surgery, 1 month after your surgery, and 3 months after your surgery.

If you plan on seeing your established eye doctor for follow-up appointments after LASIK, a separate fee is paid directly to this provider. You will be seen by your surgeon on the day after surgery, and then you will see your optometrist for the remaining post-op visits. Copies of these visits with your optometrist will be sent to your surgeon so that your progress can be monitored. If for any reason you need to see your surgeon again during the first month after LASIK, the visit is included in the fees you have already paid.

Does insurance pay for LASIK?

LASIK is considered an elective procedure, and it is generally not covered by your insurance. However, some insurance providers offer patients a small discount on LASIK. Please contact your insurance provider to ask if they offer a discount, and Vermont Eye Laser would be happy to honor it.

How much does LASIK cost? Do you offer financing?

Learn more about the cost of LASIK on our LASIK pricing page. For information about financing programs, see our financing page.

How long do the effects of LASIK last?

In the majority of cases, the effects of LASIK are permanent. However, there is a chance that you may experience a recurrence of some nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism over time. If this occurs and you are bothered by your vision, a LASIK enhancement (“touch-up”) can often be done to restore clear vision.

is important to remember that other eye conditions (dry eyes, presbyopia, cataracts, glaucoma, etc.) can impact your vision. If you develop one of these problems, previous LASIK will not prevent vision changes, and additional LASIK will not correct these vision changes.

Will LASIK prevent me from needing reading glasses / allow me to read without my cheaters?

The short answer is no. The goal of LASIK is to provide clear distance vision without glasses or contact lenses. LASIK does not eliminate your need for reading glasses (if you already have them) or prevent you from needing reading glasses in the future (if you don’t have them already).

Presbyopia occurs as a natural part of aging. LASIK does not prevent/reverse presbyopia and the resulting need in reading glasses. However, if you are interested in reducing your dependence on glasses for both distance vision and near vision, Vermont Eye Laser offers several option, including monovision.

What happens if I have LASIK surgery and then develop cataracts?

Developing cataracts is a natural part of aging. LASIK does not accelerate the development of cataracts, but it does not prevent the development of cataracts either.

Over time, cataracts cause vision problems. When these problems become bothersome, cataract surgery is considered.

Previous LASIK does not complicate cataract surgery. However, in order to treat you properly, your cataract surgeon will need certain pre-LASIK information about your eyes. At Vermont Eye Laser, we provide you with written records that contain all of the necessary pre-LASIK information about your eyes so that your future cataract surgery goes as smoothly as possible.

If you had LASIK years ago and you are now being told that you have cataracts, make an appointment today. In addition to being LASIK specialists, Dr. Larson and Dr. Saipe are also highly-acclaimed cataract surgeons with extensive experience treating previous LASIK patients.