Lasik surgery is a dream come true for many people. It can restore their vision to 20/20 or better. Now let’s get realistic. How effective is lasik eye surgery? Can it really repair everyone’s eyes to perfect 20/20 vision or better? Can you really throw your glasses and contact lenses away, never to have to worry about them again? The answers to these questions may surprise you. The truth is that not everyone gets 20/20 vision when the surgery is complete. The sad thing is that no matter how much research you do, getting exact statistics is impossible. A statistical chart on www.corneatexas.com shows that they have a 96% success rate. According to www.aapecs.com only about 55% of people have 20/20 vision after surgery; however 92% have 20/40 vision. 20/40 is the minimum vision requirement in the United States to get a drivers license.
You can see that statistics can be easily manipulated to mean anything you want them to mean. You can not base your decision on having surgery simply based on the statistics that your doctor gives you. Remember that he is in business. You are a sale to him. He will tell you what you want to make a sale. Statistics should be considered, but not be the basis for your decision.
Everyone’s eye is different. The decision to go ahead with surgery should be done after have a consultation with a competent doctor. Don’t go to someone you don’t know or trust, especially if they are going to be the one doing the surgery. They just want your money. If you have a regular doctor that you have been going to for years his/her opinion would be valuable. Over the years you have learned to trust this doctor and his consultation has a better chance of being unbiased.
Do not trust anyone who claims you can throw away your glasses forever or that they guarantee 20/20 vision or your money back. There are no guarantees in medicine. The truth is most people still need glasses when they are done with surgery. You may need a weaker prescription, but still you may need corrective lenses. You have to accept that risk before going into surgery.
Many people go into surgery not expecting or even knowing about any of the side effects or complications. You need to research and understand these complications before having the surgery. You also need to ask yourself, “What can I reasonably expect from this surgery.” You also need to know what to expect after the surgery. Although the surgery may only take about 20 minutes, the recovery can take up to six months.
No, you will not have patches on your eyes and you won’t spend six months in pain waiting for your eyes to heal. But it will take about six months to know if the surgery truly worked. If it did not work, your eyes may go back to their original shape within those six months. Also within that six month window, some of the negative side effects may manifest themselves. The first six months is critical. If you experience anything out of the ordinary, report it to your doctor immediately. They key to repairing any potential damage is timing. Don’t wait if you feel pressure behind your eyes, or extreme dry eye, or reduced vision, or glares, or anything that is not normal. Your doctor may still be able to fix these problems, but not if you don’t tell him or wait too long to tell him.
The honest truth is that you may still need glasses or contacts when it’s all said and done with. You need to know the risks involved and have realistic expectations. Going in prepared will help guide you through the entire process. “Knowledge is Power.” The saying may sound cliché, but it has always held true. Do your homework first. Research the surgery. Research the side effects. Research your doctor. Ask questions, even if you think it is a stupid question. It never hurts to ask questions and educate your self. A competent doctor will answer you questions honestly and not just sell you on the miracles of not wearing glasses ever again. Then make an educated decision about having the surgery. Then you can walk into surgery with confidence.