FAQs/The Horizon Difference
LASIK: Experience, Training and Reputation
Q: Is experience or training important? What is a corneal fellowship?
A: Although modern eye surgery has become very sophisticated, especially the advanced laser technology used in LASIK eye surgery, experience and training are absolutely critical when it comes to surgery on arguably your most prized possession, your sight. The truth is excellent outcomes are directly dependent on the surgeon’s abilities. LASIK has a lengthy learning curve and consistently good outcomes are gained only by a complete mastery of the surgical details and the experience of performing a high number of cases.
Q: I have seen other doctors advertise LASIK at discount prices. Why should I choose Horizon Eye Specialists and LASIK Center (HESLC)?
A: With so many advertisements about price we can understand why patients might be confused. How can one facility offer $399 per eye for LASIK and another charge $3000 per eye? The answer is simple - $399 is a means to capture attention and attract patients to the office.
Typically patients must meet certain narrow criteria to qualify for the $399 pricing. For example, if your prescription is not extremely mild or if you have any astigmatism, the pricing will likely go up considerably.
Likewise, the cheaper pricing might be for an older technology option. If you choose to “upgrade” to newer technology, the price changes again. This begs the question, “why not offer the best technology possible for every single patient?”
Finally, additional costs might be incurred with extended warranties for enhancements, or any other service provided. While these are not rare “marketing” practices, they are not practices HESLC considers appropriate for patients looking to reduce their dependency on glasses or contact lenses through eye surgery.
At HESLC, our pricing structure is straightforward and our recommendations are specific to your individual visual needs based on the results of comprehensive testing. Likewise, we offer only the latest, most sophisticated and safest technology available today, together with quality medical service.
Q: Do you turn away patients who are not good candidates for refractive surgery?
A: Absolutely. At HESLC we only recommend surgery to patients who are excellent candidates. We not only consider a patient’s test results, including but not limited to their prescription and ocular health, but also their systemic health, age, occupation, hobbies and expectations. In short, we take into account the whole overall picture. We routinely say “no” or “not now” based on what’s best for a patient’s long-term visual needs.
Q: Do you offer “same day” LASIK like some centers advertise? Is there extensive pre-op testing necessary?
A: Your eyes are very important to us. While you may be set on having a specific procedure within a short time frame, you may find Dr. McCulloch recommending a procedure he feels is better for you, a monovision trial or additional testing which could delay your desired surgical date. While waiting may be disappointing, remember you only have one set of eyes, and it’s important we give you the greatest opportunity to achieve your best visual result. While some clinics may boast of “same day” LASIK, at HESLC we give you time to consider our recommendations, and review your risks, benefits and alternatives. Likewise, we’re not anxious to get you “in and out the door”; we want you to stay and be patients for life, returning every year to monitor your vision and ocular health.
Q: Do you only perform refractive or cataract surgery?
A: No. At HESLC, we’re a full service multi-specialty eye clinic. We see whole families from grandparents to grandchildren. We provide exams for glasses and contact lenses; we treat emergencies, and follow patients with diabetes or macular degeneration. Likewise, we treat patients with glaucoma and have a fellowship trained cataract and glaucoma Specialist/surgeon on staff, Dr. Bagga. And as mentioned before, Dr. McCulloch is corneal specialist and is not only an expert in LASIK, but regularly performs other corneal surgeries like corneal transplants. In other words, we’re capable of taking care of all your vision or ocular health needs.
Q: Are affiliations with professional or collegiate sports teams an indication of surgical skill or reputation?
A: No. The terms “Team Eye Doctor” or “Team LASIK Center” are merely marketing tools. A medical clinic pays a sports team for the right to advertise this way; these centers are not selected by the sports team for their quality care.
Q: Are there any risks with LASIK?
A: As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with LASIK, but in the hands of a highly skilled and experienced surgeon, LASIK can be a safe and successful procedure. Nevertheless, you should talk with your surgeon and our staff about any risks associated with the procedure, as well as all the benefits. Keep in mind, at HESLC you are in the hands of a highly experienced and skilled eye surgeon who has a commitment to excellence and uses some of the most advanced LASIK technology available today.
Q: Is LASIK painful?
A: You will receive anesthetic eye drops prior to your LASIK procedure that will prevent you from feeling any discomfort. Once you return home, it’s normal for some patients to experience mild discomfort, watery eyes, light sensitivity or blurry vision. These symptoms are usually temporary and treatable with mild medication, such as Tylenol.
Q: How soon after LASIK can I return to my regular activities like driving, going to work or exercising?
A: In most cases, people who have had LASIK can return to work the next day. Most people resume normal activities after a day of rest. However, be sure to ask your doctor before engaging in swimming or any other physical sports such as tennis or racquetball.
Q: What results can a person hope to achieve?
A: LASIK has proven overwhelmingly successful in reducing dependence on glasses and contact lenses. Clinical studies show most LASIK patients have the potential to achieve 20/20 unaided vision. Generally, this means they no longer need or have reduced dependence on glasses or contacts to drive, play sports, watch TV, or return to work.
Q: How long does it take to have LASIK surgery performed?
A: The LASIK vision correction procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes in the operating room. The actual laser time is approximately 1 minute or less.