LASIK Information Checklist
Reviewed by Jason Jacobs, M.D.
If you are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism, LASIK Eye Surgery represents an opportunity to take a journey to freedom from the hassle of eyeglasses and contact lenses. Just as the pilot of airplane goes through a "readiness" checklist to make sure that that the flight will be safe and comfortable for travelers, this LASIK Information Checklist is a final check to make sure that you have gathered and reviewed the necessary information about the LASIK procedure, alternatives to LASIK, questions to ask about LASIK, the LASIK consultation and experience and LASIK surgeons.
I have fully thought about what I hope to achieve by eliminating my dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses. I can clearly state at least one or two meaningful activities that upon being less dependent on eyeglasses and contacts will mean my LASIK procedure was successful.
There is nothing in my current occupation or planned future occupation that would suggest having LASIK might not be a good method of vision correction.
There is nothing about the recreational activities I enjoy that would preclude me from having LASIK and in fact they would be even more enjoyable or I could actually do them better or more safely if I didn't have to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Fees and Costs
I understand all of the fees I will pay for LASIK including my LASIK consultation and all pretreatment diagnostic testing, my actual LASIK surgery, all of my LASIK follow-up care and any enhancements that might be necessary. If I have decided to use a monthly payment plan, I understand the monthly costs, the interest rate that will be charged and the length of time I will have to pay. If I have decided to use a "zero % interest" plan, I understand what the payments will be initially and what the payments and interest rate will be AFTER the initial zero % interest rate periods. I am prepared for any and all fees.
I have identified for my LASIK surgeon any and all illnesses that I am being treated for and especially ones that may effect my ability to heal properly. I have also identified those illnesses for which I have been treated in the past that may affect healing as well as those for which I was evaluated.
I have identified for my LASIK surgeon any and all eye conditions, besides wearing eyeglasses and contact lenses that I have been told that I have, have been treated for or have been evaluated for.
I have identified for my LASIK surgeon any and all medications that I am currently taking or have taken within the last year, whether by prescription or purchased over the counter. I have especially made him or her aware of those medications which might effect healing or cause my eyes to be dry.
I have made sure that I provided my LASIK surgeon any old eyeglasses or contact lenses, or copies of eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions so that the stability of my prescription can be verified.
Especially if I have large pupils, I have had a chance to discuss this with my LASIK surgeon. We have taken careful measurements with a pupilometer and I have had a wavefront refraction with an aberrometer to determine whether I have higher order aberrations that will need to be treated with Custom LASIK.
I have had a measurement of my corneal thickness with a pachymeter in order to determine if I am suitable for LASIK. If I do not have adequate corneal thickness, then I have discussed other Laser Eye Surgery options such as PRK, LASEK and Epi LASIK and not having Laser Eye surgery at all, with my LASIK surgeon.
During my evaluation and consultation, my tear film was evaluated to see if I have signs of tear film instability or dry eyes. If I have ever been treated for dry eyes, take medication or use eye drops for dry eyes, I have advised my LASIK surgeon. If I am currently or have taken any medications for dry eyes I have advised my LASIK surgeon.
Overcorrection & Undercorrection
I have discussed with the surgeon and their staff that all eyes heal slightly differently and that I may experience an overcorrection or undercorrection. I understand that if it is visually significant and medically necessary, I may require a second "enhancement" procedure to obtain my desired result.
I understand and I have discussed with my LASIK surgeon or their staff, that LASIK only corrects distance vision. If I am above 40 I realize that I will need reading glasses to see up close if not immediately after my LASIK procedure, within some foreseeable period of time. If I already wear bifocals and need correction for far and near at this time, I have discussed monovision LASIK and other alternatives with my surgeon.
Glare & Haloes
I understand and I have discussed with my LASIK surgeon or their staff, that some patients experience an increase in glare and haloes after LASIK. I have had a pupilometry measurement and an aberrometry measurement and discussed the results with my LASIK surgeon in order to determine whether Custom LASIK would be best for me and minimize the possibility of glare and haloes.
Reduced Contrast Vision
I understand and I have discussed with my LASIK surgeon or their staff that some patients experience reduced vision in dim or dark lighting, making night driving difficult. I have had a pupilometry measurement and an aberrometry measurement and discussed the results with my LASIK surgeon in order to determine whether Custom LASIK would be best for me and minimize the possibility of reduced contrast vision in dark or dim illumination.
LASIK Surgeon Experience
I have inquired and understand my LASIK surgeon's length of experience and cumulative number of LASIK Eye Surgery procedures that he or she has performed. I am comfortable with this.
I have inquired and understand that my LASIK surgeon will be using a scanning and tracking FDA approved Excimer Laser System. I have confirmed that my LASIK surgeon routinely has the preventative maintenance performed to monitor the laser's performance, reliability and conformance with the laser manufacturer's specifications. I am satisfied that pretreatment diagnostic testing included thorough measurements to allow a proper decision to made about my suitability and treatment procedure recommendation.
LASIK Care Continuity
I have had a chance to meet and speak with key staff members who will be part of my care team. I have had a chance to ask all of the questions that I might have at this point in time. I know who to ask should I have additional questions at any point in time. I am confident that my LASIK surgeon will be available and involved in order to answer questions or provide additional examinations.
This LASIK Information Checklist is a final list of questions and considerations to make sure that you have prepared yourself for the most successful LASIK journey.