Clinical studies may also follow people over time. The results from the laser eye-surgery survey are self-reported accounts collected at one point in time and in this instance could be years after the actual surgery. How people recall experiences is inevitably shaded by their current disposition and things that have happened since the surgery.
Clinical studies may be randomized controlled trials, considered the "gold standard" in medical research. They may permit comparison between relatively similar samples randomly assigned to treatment alternatives. They are the most definitive method we have for determining whether a treatment really works. Our medical team reviewed the limited data available from clinical trials on the topic of laser vision correction.
But there are inherent limitations to these investigations, including small sample sizes, inadequate length of the study, and high dropout rates, as well as potential biases due to the source of funding for the trial. Clinical studies are extremely precise, which has pros and cons. One of the fundamental pros is that precision erases ambiguity regarding the exact procedure being studied. Twenty-eight percent of our laser eye-surgery survey respondents were unsure about what type of surgery they had such as Lasik, Lasek, PRK, or epi-Lasik.
In a clinical study about laser eye surgery, all of the patients would have had a clearly defined procedure and an objective measure of their starting and ending vision. Our respondents were generally quite satisfied with their experiences with laser eye surgery since As with all surgical techniques, laser vision correction is an ever-changing field. In our data, the year of surgery made no difference in satisfaction, but it's important to recognize that techniques change.
These results are of laser vision correction procedures that have been available since One of the cons of clinical studies is that the more precise a clinical trial, the fewer people to which it will apply. Although understanding findings from these studies is a critically important piece of the decision-making process, the narrow focus limits the breadth of information available about a specific surgery. A clinical trial often prescreens candidates and excludes those who do not meet specific health criteria. Our laser eye-surgery survey fills this gap by asking a wide range of questions to a representative group of Americans about all aspects of the surgical experience, from making preoperative decisions to surgical outcomes and their potential for lifestyle changes.
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LASIK Eye Surgery in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Become a Member. Sign In. Remember Me. Not a member? Need further assistance? Please call Member Services at Join Consumer Reports. Already a member? Welcome to Consumer Reports. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed. Get Started. Subscribers only Sign in or Subscribe now! Forgot password? Check this box if you wish to have a copy mailed to you. Not a cure-all. The package includes: A tool to help you determine whether you're likely to be satisfied based on the odds and your expectations.
Detailed information from consumers who have had the surgery.
LASIK cost may vary depending on technology
A safety assessment of laser vision-correction surgery based on the latest evidence. A guide to choosing a surgeon, including key questions to ask and red flags that should prompt you to get a second opinion. What to expect before, during, and after the surgery.
The costs of surgery, insurance coverage, and payment options. Where to start. Are you a good candidate for Lasik? You may be a good candidate if: You are at least 18 years old 21 for some lasers. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved lasers for Lasik on people younger than age 18 since their vision usually is still changing. Your career plans permit it. Some employers, such as the military, may not allow people to perform specific jobs if they have had certain procedures, so be sure to check. You don't play contact sports.
Since laser vision- correction surgery involves the creation of a flap in the cornea the clear covering of the eye that sits over the iris , you may be vulnerable to eye injury after surgery both in the short- and long-term. Wear protective eyewear if you participate in contact sports or other activities in which you could get hit in the face. Your eyeglass or contact-lens prescription has been stable for at least the last 12 months.
It should be within acceptable limits to undergo laser vision-correction surgery and unlikely to change. You don't have a disease or take medications that can impede healing. Certain conditions, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes, as well as drugs such as retinoic acid and steroids may prevent proper healing after laser vision surgery.
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You are not pregnant or breast-feeding, as that can affect vision measurements. You have no other risk factors: Your corneas are thick enough for reshaping with Lasik. Your pupils aren't too large under dim lighting conditions so that they increase your risk of postoperative night-vision symptoms such as glare, halos, and starbursts. Ask your doctor whether you've been given a test for those problems. You have no history of dry eyes, a condition that Lasik tends to aggravate.
You show no evidence of blepharitis, inflammation of the eyelids with crusting of the eyelashes, a condition that increases the risk of corneal infection or inflammation after Lasik. A surgeon uses alcohol to loosen and then peel back the epithelium, or outer surface of the cornea. Next, a laser is used to reshape the surface of the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism which is blurred vision due to irregularities in the curvature of the cornea or lens.
Then the epithelium flap is placed back into position and a contact lens is placed temporarily on the eye as a bandage. Recovery is rapid but there may be some initial discomfort. A surgeon removes microthin layers of tissue from the outermost layer of the cornea with a sterile brush and uses a laser to reshape the cornea to correct either nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Then a contact lens is placed over the eye as a temporary bandage.
There may be some discomfort as the cornea heals during the next several days. Surgeons use a surgical knife, called a microkeratome, to create a flap on the surface of the cornea. Then, using a laser, the surgeon reshapes the underlying cornea to correct vision and folds the flap back into place. In wavefront, or custom Lasik, the surgeon uses a device to map the irregularities of the eye, which permits correction of subtle focusing imperfections. Lasik typically has rapid visual recovery with less discomfort.
What you should know. Currently the evidence shows that: Several laser vision-corrective surgeries are available. Various surgeries and lasers offer advantages in specific circumstances, but the lack of well-designed comparisons makes it impossible at this time to identify one as better than another overall. Satisfaction is high with laser vision-corrective surgery regardless of which procedure is used or when the procedure is done.
However, as we also found in our survey, a significant portion of patients still need glasses following these procedures. While many of them require glasses to help see up close, 14 percent still need to wear glasses all of the time or almost always. A significant portion of patients experience side effects soon after surgery 53 percent in our survey and many patients experience them six months after surgery, especially dry eyes and visual symptoms like halos, glare, and starbursts around lights.
What could go wrong? A recent review of Lasik complications organizes adverse events as follows: Problems that occur as a result of the flap that is created in the eye surface. Problems that occur as a result of the laser application to the cornea. Problems related to healing, infection, and inflammation. Other problems.
What consumers say What did the consumers who have had laser vision-correction surgery say about the benefits, side effects, and regrets of the procedure? Before the surgery People who started out with nearsightedness rather than farsightedness or astigmatism tended to be more satisfied with the surgery. The surgery itself Satisfaction with one's surgeon and the surgery center, doctor's office, or hospital where the surgery took place strongly predicted the overall satisfaction with laser eye surgery.
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After the surgery Vision improvement was a significant factor leading to satisfaction. How to choose. Choosing a surgeon: Questions to ask If you want to be happy with your outcome, pay more attention to the surgeon who will operate on you than on the fanciness or convenience of the surgery center itself. Here are questions we recommend you ask when consulting a surgeon about laser vision correction. What's your training? What's included in your presurgical evaluation? What's your rejection rate? How do my results stack up?
What results can I realistically expect? What type of equipment do you use? Do my eye problems require the newer "all laser" Lasik technology? When to get a second opinion: Look for these red flags If your surgeon minimizes the chance of complications, assures you that the surgery will enable you to get rid of your glasses forever, urges you to proceed as soon as possible, or is vague about the procedure or laser, be sure to get a second opinion.
Hit the brakes if staff members or doctors say or imply that: The surgery is risk-free, or they deflect questions. They should be straightforward in discussing possible side effects and complications.
You'll achieve perfect vision and be able to throw away your glasses and contact lenses forever. Detailed, precise vision may be slightly diminished, and you may still need eyeglasses as your vision changes over time.
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There are no former patients for you to speak with. They should be able to put you in touch with people who have given the practice permission to contact them and undergone the procedure you're considering so that you can ask them what the surgery was like and what they encountered afterward.
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This short outpatient procedure is becoming increasingly more convenient and affordable, so make the change! Performed by specialists, LASIK eye surgery can help improve vision and reduce the need for contact lenses and eyeglasses. Custom LASIK eye surgery performed by an experienced specialist helps reduce the need for eye glasses and contact lenses.
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