How does LASIK eye surgery work?
LASIK is an innovative and unique procedure that works by utilizing two FDA approved devices. The cool light of an excimer laser is combined with a specialized machine (a microkeratome) to create a pocket in the cornea. The underlying corneal tissue is then gently and precisely sculpted to a pre-programmed amount in order to correct the refractive error. The top of the pocket is then floated back into its normal position, without the need for sutures.
How do I know if I am a candidate?
Most people who wear glasses for driving, seeing television, and other distance tasks are candidates for laser vision correction. With today's modern laser software, the vast majority of common refractive conditions can be treated. However, you must be over 21 years of age and your prescription cannot be still changing. The only way to be certain would be to come in for a free laser vision correction screening at one of our offices or with one of our affiliated optometric physicians.
How Experienced is Dr. Witlin?
Dr. Richard Witlin MD, FACS has been performing refractive surgery since 1983.
Before starting to do LASIK surgery in 1997, Dr. Witlin had personally done hundreds of radial keratotomy surgeries and laser photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) surgeries. He has personally performed over 7,000 LASIK procedures and over 98% of his patients have achieved 20/40 or better vision. Even more significantly, none of his patients have ever suffered a major loss of vision related to LASIK surgery. He is currently the Co-Medical Director of the N.J. Laser Eye Center in Somerset, N.J.
What Type of Equipment Does He Use?
All of the equipment is FDA-approved. He uses only the most technologically advanced lasers available. These include the Autonomous LANDARVision® 4000 and the Visx Star 4 lasers. Both of these lasers have eye-tracking devices and have been approved for a wide range of refractive errors including myopia, far-sightedness and astigmatism. Dr. Witlin is also certified to use a variety of microkeratomes which allows him to further customize each patient's surgery by varying the size and thickness of the flap, as well as the position of the hinge (thereby creating either down/up or side-to-side LASIK). Dr. Witlin also offers the option of all-laser LASIK using the femtosecond laser (see Customized Laser Surgery page).
Does LASIK Hurt?
As a LASIK patient himself, Dr. Witlin can testify that the discomfort from LASIK is very mild. Patients can experience mild irritation, redness or tearing for the first few hours after surgery. Following the surgery, we strongly encourage our patients to go home and rest; and to refrain from reading or using a computer the day of surgery. By the next morning, the mild discomfort has usually completely subsided. No strong narcotics are needed.
Can Both Eyes Be Done at the Same Time?
Yes. Most patients prefer to have both eyes done the same day. Several published studies show that the results are the same as doing one eye at a time. Most patients prefer the convenience of bilateral surgery.
Is this Procedure Permanent?
Is LASIK FDA Approved?
What about my night vision?
Some patients do notice changes in their night vision and can experience glare and halos at night. For that sub-group of patients that notices these phenomena, these symptoms are generally quite manageable and self-limited, resolving spontaneously within 2-3 months of the surgery. Higher risk patients include patients with a combination of factors including high prescriptions and larger pupils. For these patients, Dr. Witlin strongly recommends a custom Lasik procedure. We have had excellent results using this more sophisticated technology in avoiding these types of symptoms.
Are the Results Guaranteed?
NO. Although the vast majority of patients do very well, complications can sometimes occur as with any surgery. We work very hard to try to make sure that your surgery goes smoothly. Our staff is specially trained to perform LASIK and we use the latest equipment. You will be given a detailed informed consent before surgery; and will have the opportunity to have all of your questions answered. Should a problem develop, Dr. Witlin and his staff are available 24 hours a day to help deal with the situation.
When Can I Return To Work?
Most patients can return to work the next day. It is best not to schedule a heavy reading or computer load the first day you return to work. Bring your lubricating drops to work with you and instill them liberally for the first few days following your surgery.
Is LASIK Covered By Health Insurance?
In most cases, the answer is no. The major insurance companies view this surgery as cosmetic (which it is not) and decline to cover it. A few union welfare plans do offer some coverage. We ask that you make payment arrangements for the day of surgery. We will give you a paid receipt for your surgery should you desire to try to seek some reimbursement from your insurance carrier.
Do you Offer Financing?
We participate in the VSP, Spectera, and Davis Lasik Programs. Please contact us at 732-698-9300 for more details, or visit www.carecredit.com.
I currently have monovision in my contacts. Can this be simulated with LASIK surgery?
The answer is Yes. If you have successfully adapted to the monovision concept (that is, one eye is fitted to be distance-dominant; the other is used for reading vision), we can attempt the same correction with the laser. If monovision is something you are considering, please discuss this in detail with either Dr. Witlin or your own optometrist before the surgery has been planned.
Dr. Witlin is available to personally answer your questions about laser vision correction. You can call any office and arrange for a free screening. Alternatively, we will give you the address of a conveniently located optometric physician experienced in laser vision correction who can perform the free screening. Dr. Witlin can be reached on his beeper by dialing 1-877-625-6578. He will return your call by the same evening and discuss your individual situation with you.