Monthly Archives: February 2016

ARE YOU A PARENT CONSIDERING LASIK?

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Parents who are considering LASIK usually have more questions for our Long Island ophthalmologists about the procedure than single people and couples without children. This is because they need to prepare their family, as well as themselves, for the day of their surgery and the brief recuperation period that follows. Here are three questions we get asked most often:

 

When will I be able to return to taking care of my kids?

 

Parents will find the operation barely interferes with their normal routine. They do need to have someone else be responsible for their kids on the day of their surgery so they can focus on themselves and resting once they get home. The most important time is the first 6 hours after the procedure when the parent should keep their eyes closed. They will also need for someone to act as taxi driver, taking them to surgery and picking them up afterwards. The parent having LASIK should be able to resume their normal parenting activities, with certain limitations, the next day. Most patients can drive the next day but may be a little blurry for night driving for 1 or 2 days. Small children, particularly 1-2 year olds, have a habit of poking mom or dad in the eye so I recommend patients wear protective glasses around their children for the first 5 days after surgery.

 

Can I bring my children to watch the surgery?

 

This is, surprisingly, not an uncommon request and allowing children to watch the surgery can be a good idea if they’re 3 years of age or older. It reassures them that nothing scary is happening to their parent and that everything’s going to be okay. In our practice, we explain the procedure to your family before the surgery starts and then have a staff member sits with them during the operation to answer any questions or concerns. Families can watch the procedure on TV or through a window into the surgical suite. Afterwards, we bring the children to visit the parent in post-op and get them on board with “playing nurse” and helping out at home for the next few days. I like to let the child place the protective shields on the parent’s eyes, I find it reassures them their mom or dad is OK and takes away any potential fear of the shields.

 

How old does a child who wears glasses have to be to have LASIK?

 

Many parents will come back to the office the day following their procedure and the first question they ask is how old does their son or daughter have to be to have LASIK. Now that LASIK has been around for 20 years an enormous number of our new patients have parents who have had the procedure. The requirements for these “legacy” patients are the same: the child should have stable vision and be a good candidate based upon their preoperative evaluation. The youngest age we generally perform LASIK is 18 but some surgeons prefer to wait until the child reaches the age of 21.

 

If you are a parent considering LASIK, ask your surgeon these questions and any others you have about taking care of your family and parenting duties before, during and after the procedure. This will give you peace of mind so you can concentrate on your surgery and the benefits it will deliver.

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Were You Told You were Ineligible for LASIK in the Past?

Early in the evolution of LASIK, many patients wanting LASIK in Long Island were told their prescriptions were too high, corneas too thin or dry eye symptoms too severe to be eligible. To be clear, there are medical conditions and vision issues that, for some people, mean LASIK isn’t a good option. LASIK, like most fields in medicine, is dynamic. Surgeons, like myself, work constantly to push science and technology in our commitment to continuous improvement in both safety and visual outcomes from LASIK. The result of this effort—particularly for you—is that, today, more people and more types of vision prescriptions can take advantage of the benefits of LASIK. So if you were interested in having LASIK a few years ago, but were told that you weren’t a good candidate, schedule a consultation at any of our Long Island LASIK locations to see if the latest LASIK technologies can help you and your vision.

LASIK procedure has been fully optimized with more precise lasers and advances techniques along with high-definition digital measurement capabilities, resulting in more patients achieving 20/20 or better vision. Here in Long Island, I’ve invested in the latest technologies to ensure the best safety and outcomes. These include:

Femtosecond lasers: Introduced in 2003, this ultra-precise laser replaces the surgical blade used to create the corneal flap, allowing some patients with thinner corneas to take advantage of LASIK. The femtosecond laser creates microscopically thin flaps, which have also been shown to reduce the incidence of dry eye post-LASIK.

Wavefront mapping and corneal topography: Light waves are used to create a microscopically detailed digital blueprint of the surface of the eye as well as the shape of the cornea to create a complete analysis of the patient’s vision. The ability to precisely measure visual distortions is an essential benefit to surgeons to achieve both visual acuity (clear vision at all distances) and quality (reducing glare and halos).

Next generation excimer lasers: Advances in laser technology deliver vision correction capabilities to a wider range of vision prescriptions. Today’s lasers make it possible for those patients at the far ends of the vision spectrum to benefit from LASIK and other vision correction procedures.

If you were among those wanting LASIK when it first became available, but were told at the time you weren’t qualified, it is worth it to have a new consultation to see if you are among those who may be able to take advantage of the latest innovations in LASIK.

You can learn more about this and other advances in vision correction surgery from the American Refractive Surgery Council.

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