New year, new vision. We talked to CEENTA’s doctors to answer all of your LASIK questions.

New year, new vision. We talked to CEENTA’s doctors to answer all of your LASIK questions.
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This paid content was created in partnership with Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.


If you’re one of the 170 million people in the country who wear corrective glasses or contact lenses, you’ve definitely heard of LASIK; a refractive surgery that reshapes the cornea to correct a patient’s vision. While the thought of ditching your frames or contacts may be appealing, getting eye surgery can definitely feel intimidating.

To get the details about all things LASIK, we talked with the LASIK specialists at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. (CEENTA). They performed over 1,000 LASIK surgeries last year, so you already know you’re in good hands.

Can anyone get LASIK?

Technically, it’s been approved by the FDA for anyone over the age of 18, but younger patients can undergo the procedure if their doctor thinks it’s right. However, there are a lot of other variables to consider besides age, such as the stability of your eyesight over the years and the results of a general screening exam. Finally, you’ll have to talk with your doctor to see if you’re going into the surgery with the right expectations.

If I get LASIK, will I still need glasses or contacts? Will I have 20/20 vision?

That’s the goal. However, if you’re over the age of 40, you may need glasses for near reading after LASIK surgery.

“The goal is always to provide the best potential vision for each patient and duplicate their preoperative vision with glasses and contacts,” says CEENTA Ophthalmologist and LASIK specialist Scott Jaben, MD. “Often that is 20/20, but not always. With good results, one should need no glasses or contacts, unless they already need glasses for near vision or, in later years, when they start to experience natural changes in near vision.”

CEENTA Ophthalmologist and LASIK specialist Scott Jaben, MD

What can I expect when I come in for surgery?

“The surgeon will examine your eyes and go over a brief recap of what to expect during the procedure,” says CEENTA Ophthalmologist and LASIK specialist William Hammonds, MD. “You will be offered an oral medication to help ease anxiety. The procedure usually takes about 10-15 minutes. Then you will hang out with your eyes closed in a recliner for another 15 minutes. Next, your doctor will check your eyes one more time before sending you home for rest that night.”

CEENTA Ophthalmologist and LASIK specialist William Hammonds, MD

And don’t worry about feeling anxious beforehand.

“While many people have anxiety about having surgery while awake, most people are able to handle the procedure without issues,” says CEENTA Ophthalmologist and LASIK specialist Vipul Shah, MD.

CEENTA Ophthalmologist and LASIK specialist Casey Mathys, MD, agrees. “After LASIK surgery, almost every patient who was nervous before the procedure tells me that, looking back on the experience, it wasn’t a big deal at all.”

How long does the procedure take?

Less than 10 minutes per eye. You can expect to be in and out of the office in about 2 hours.

Can both eyes be treated at the same time?

Yes, this is routinely done, Dr. Mathys says.

“It has been shown to be safe with no added risks, although there are exceptions, of course,” Dr. Jaben says.

How long is the recovery? How quickly until I can get back to work?

It’s quick. You’ll recover 90 percent of your vision in 24 hours, and if you get surgery on Friday you may be able to return to work on Monday, depending on the level of physical activity your job requires.

“Patients bounce back quickly from LASIK,” Dr. Hammonds explains. “Many patients go back to work the next day after their post-op exam.”

“I had my own surgery on a Friday and was back to work in the operating room with normal vision on the following Tuesday!” Dr. Jaben says.

Dr. Shah adds it’s important to follow all postoperative instruction, including taking eyedrops, during your recovery period.

Are there any side effects?

Some mild, short-term dryness, halos, light sensitivities, haziness and glare can occur. These usually go away completely within several days to a few weeks following surgery.

“If your job involves significant computer work,” says Dr. Mathys, “you may need to take breaks more often to rest your eyes due to the dryness.”

Does it hurt?

“No, it does not hurt,” says Dr. Mathys. “The eyes are numbed with eye drops during the procedure.”

“Patients experience some pressure at the beginning of the procedure, but no pain,” says Dr. Hammonds.

“Some people will have some burning and stinging for 1-2 hours after the procedure,” Dr. Jaben says. “Most patients will breeze right through the procedure in less than 20 minutes and leave the center within 20-30 minutes after the procedure. Their vision will still be hazy, but it will be better than when they arrived for surgery.”

Can my vision get worse after LASIK?

Usually, wherever you’re at 6-months post-op will be where you stay. Of course, you may still develop a need for reading glasses or other eye conditions later in life, and those can affect your vision.

“Our rate for changes is less than 2 percent, and these are the exceptions,” Dr. Jaben says. “Most patients are like me. I had LASIK 20 years ago, and while my near vision of course has changed as I aged, my distance vision is the same today as it was postop.”

“There are risks with any procedure, but I have never had a patient experience vision loss,” Dr. Hammonds says.

“There can be some change in the vision over time as the eye continues to age,” Dr. Shah says. “Other eye issues, such as the development of cataracts, can also affect the vision later on after LASIK is done. It is important to continue to have your eyes examined on a routine basis to check for such changes.”

CEENTA Ophthalmologist and LASIK specialist Vipul Shah, MD

Refractive surgery has been around for a number of years. Has the quality/safety improved in recent years?

“The complication rate is never zero with any surgical procedure, but there is less than a 1 percent chance for a complication with today’s lasers and treatment programs,” Dr. Jaben says.

“The two most important advancements in LASIK technology are the femtosecond laser and wavefront guided treatments,” Dr. Mathys explains. “The femtosecond laser cuts the LASIK flap using a laser, which is much safer and more accurate than the older blade technology. Wavefront-guided treatment helps to provide more customized outcomes resulting in better vision for patients.”

CEENTA Ophthalmologist and LASIK specialist Casey Mathys, MD

How much does the procedure cost? Is it covered by most insurances?

The cost is determined by what type of insurance or vision plan you have – many offer discounts. Currently, there is financing available through Wells Fargo and through CareCredit.

Where do CEENTA surgeons perform LASIK?

The TLC Laser Eye Center Charlotte, located in CEENTA’s SouthPark office, is state of the art and is the only location for CEENTA LASIK surgeons.

Ready to get started?

Call 704-295-3000 for a phone screening, and the experts guide your next steps for a complimentary evaluation visit with testing, in-depth discussion and procedure review with a doctor.


This paid content was created in partnership with Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

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