LASIK surgery is approved for nearsighted, farsighted, and astigmatic patients who are 18 years of age or older. It is important that your prescription is stable for at least one year before LASIK can be performed. In addition to these requirements, all other aspects of your health must be considered, including current medical conditions and any medications being taken. Dr Epitropoulos will give you a thorough eye exam and discuss with you your goals and options. The best LASIK surgery candidates tend to have similar characteristics. They are usually dissatisfied with glasses and contact lenses or glasses, and motivated by their recreational and occupational needs to seek treatment. The only way to determine candidacy, however, is to be evaluated by a qualified doctor who is highly trained in laser vision correction. When you have your LASIK eye surgery consultation at our facility in the Arena District, Dr. Epitropoulos will determine whether you are a good candidate for Wavefront™ or traditional LASIK. If these procedures are not a good fit for your needs, she may suggest another refractive treatment, such as PRK or presbyopic lens exchange.

How safe is LASIK?

As with any surgery, there are risks associated with LASIK. However, because LASIK is performed with a computer-controlled beam of cool light, the chance of error is very low. As a procedure that has been performed in the United States over a million times, LASIK is an established, safe practice. According to recent studies, 98% of nearsighted and astigmatic patients who underwent LASIK were able to see well enough to pass their driver's test without glasses or contact lenses. Dr. Epitropoulos prides herself on excellent results. She attributes her high success rate and low re-treatment rate to her commitment to providing individualized care of unsurpassed quality to each of her patients. Dr. Epitropoulos is personally involved in your preoperative evaluation and measurements prior to surgery.

Will I experience any pain during LASIK?

Most LASIK patients report no pain during their treatment. For one or two days after LASIK, most people report an increased sensitivity to light, dry eyes, and a somewhat"gritty" sensation. This is perfectly normal and will abate relatively quickly.

What if my eye moves during the LASIK procedure?

Today's advanced LASIK lasers have integrated tracking features, meaning that if you involuntarily move your eye, the laser will either simply follow it or automatically stop and wait until your eye returns to the correct position. Also, Dr. Epitropoulos will be able to instruct you on how to best keep your head and eyes still.

What are the possible side effects of LASIK surgery?

The most common reported reaction experienced by LASIK patients is a glare effect, or"halo" around light sources. This effect is more noticeable at night. It is normal for these reactions to diminish in the two to four months following LASIK surgery. As technology has advanced, persistent side effects are becoming more and more rare. Overall, the possibility of side effects are no more serious than those experienced during contact lens use. Other potential complications include infection, flap complications, inflammation, dry eyes and epithelial ingrowth.According to statistics provided by the Eye Surgery Education Council (ESEC), less than one percent of LASIK patients have experienced serious complications that threatened their vision.

How soon after the procedure will I be able to see clearly?

Under normal circumstances, your vision will improve within hours of treatment. Most people can resume activities like driving the day after surgery, and return to their jobs within two to four days. The best way to minimize time off of work is to schedule LASIK surgery on a Thursday or Friday.» back to top

Are the results of LASIK eye surgery permanent?

Many clinical trials, both in the United States and internationally, have shown that the results of LASIK appear to be permanent. The chances of requiring an enhancement with Dr. Epitropoulos are extremely low; the reason for this is that she performs all preoperative measurements, and will not schedule laser vision correction unless these measurements are consistent, accurate, and stable.

How soon can I return to work after LASIK?

Depending on your profession, you may be able to return to work the day after surgery, although it is generally recommended that you wait at least two days if possible. If you have a job requiring precision vision, more than two days may be necessary. Remember, LASIK changes your vision for life. You owe it to yourself to take the necessary time to heal as thoroughly as possible, so your eyes will continue to serve you well for years to come.

Will I still have to wear glasses after undergoing LASIK?

Probably not. The goal of LASIK is to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses to see objects at a distance. However, depending on the severity of your refractive error, you may find that you need to wear glasses for activities like reading or driving. When you come in for your LASIK consultation with Dr. Epitropoulos, she can discuss with you the probable outcome based on your specific visual needs.

Will my insurance cover LASIK?

Currently, most health insurance companies do not cover LASIK, because it is viewed as cosmetic or elective surgery. However, under certain policies or conditions, the cost of LASIK may be partially or fully covered. The best way to determine this is to contact your insurance company directly.

Cataract surgery FAQ's

Is surgery the only option to treat a cataract?

Just because you have a cataract does not mean that you have to have it removed. Cataract surgery only becomes necessary if you are not happy with your vision and want to see better. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your vision.

What is ReSTOR®?

ReSTOR® is the common name for the AcrySof® ReSTOR® intraocular lens (IOL). The ReSTOR® IOL is a permanent artificial lens. The soft plastic IOL has been uniquely designed to allow cataract patients the ability to have improved vision at all distances.

How does the ReSTOR® IOL work?

The ReSTOR® IOL replaces the eye's natural lens. Its distinctive design utilizes apodization, diffraction, and refraction technologies to focus light on the retina, allowing patients to see at various distances. Unlike other intraocular lenses, the ReSTOR® IOL has a gradual blending of diffractive steps within the lens so there is no need for mechanical movement of the lens. This feature creates clearer vision no matter the lighting situation. It also eliminates the visual disturbance of a lens needing to readjust to focus on images and objects at various distances.

When is ReSTOR® used?

The FDA has approved use of the AcrySof® ReSTOR® intraocular lens in adult patients who desire increased freedom from glasses after cataract surgery. The IOL can improve vision at all distances (near, intermediate, and far).

What will the ReSTOR® IOL be able to accomplish?

During a clinical study, the ReSTOR® IOL demonstrated the ability to provide good near, intermediate, and distance vision, reducing the dependence on glasses.

Who is a good candidate for the ReSTOR® intraocular lens?

Most cataract patients with otherwise good eye health are candidates for implant surgery with the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL. Patients with health problems including uncontrolled diabetes and chronic infections should wait until these conditions are under control before scheduling the surgery.If you are unsure if you are a good candidate, discuss your concerns with Dr. Epitropoulos.

What makes the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL different from traditional monofocal lenses?

The AcrySof® ReSTOR® intraocular lens is a multifocal IOL, which means it corrects for near, intermediate, and distance vision problems. Monofocal IOLs, however, are only able to correct for single-focus distance. Because of this, if you choose a monofocal lens for your cataract surgery, you will most likely remain dependent on glasses for near or distance vision. Using the ReSTOR® IOL greatly reduces the possible need for eyewear after the procedure.

What is the cost difference between the ReSTOR® IOL and a monofocal lens?

Because of the advanced technology of AcrySof® ReSTOR® lens, cataract surgery using this IOL costs more than procedures using a monofocal lens. The basic cataract surgery is covered by Medicare, private insurance, and supplemental insurance, but additional fees may be required for the ReSTOR® surgery. Many agree that the benefits of the multifocal lens are worth the added costs.

Does cataract surgery hurt?

Thanks to numbing drops and medications to help you relax, this procedure involves minimal to no discomfort.

Will I be asleep during cataract surgery?

Since this procedure does not take very long and is essentially pain free, it is unnecessary to put you completely asleep with general anesthesia. Instead, Dr. Epitropoulos will use a local/topical anesthetic to numb your eye and you will remain awake but sedated during the surgery.

Who performs the procedure, a surgeon or a technician?

Dr. Epitropoulos, who is a surgeon (ophthalmologist), will perform the procedure. There will be a technician and nurse in the room to assist her.

I have cataracts in both eyes. Will the doctor treat both at the same time?

Typically, Dr. Epitropoulos will perform surgery in the second eye two to four weeks after the first eye, if needed. All patients are different, so talk to Dr. Epitropoulos about what is right for you.

How long will I be in the surgical facility?

Patients commonly spend only a few hours at the surgery center, and are allowed to go home the very same day.

How long before I can see after surgery?

Every patient and every eye is different, but patients commonly see well enough to drive the day after surgery. Ask your doctor how quickly he or she expects you to recover.

How long until I can return to normal activities?

Most patients can resume normal basic activities like reading and watching TV by the next day, and return to work within the next few days. Dr. Epitropoulos typically recommends against any strenuous activity for at least two weeks. However, results vary for different patients, so you should ask Dr. Epitropoulos what is best for you.

After surgery, will I be able to drive at night?

Your ability to drive at night should be much enhanced once your cataract is removed. Patients with the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL may notice a ring of light around headlights and other point-light sources. These are typically mild, rarely bothersome, and tend to diminish with time.

Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?

It depends on what type of intraocular lens you elect to have implanted. Most patients do not need glasses or contacts for distance tasks following cataract surgery with a traditional monofocal IOL, but still rely on reading glasses for near tasks. However, over 80 percent of patients who choose to have the multifocal ReSTOR® lens implanted will not require glasses for distance or near vision after surgery. (In the clinical trials, four out of five AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL patients reported never wearing glasses for distance, intermediate or near tasks after their surgery.)

Can my cataract come back?

No, once a cataract has been removed it cannot return. However, over time, patients may complain that their vision has once again become cloudy. This sometimes-common condition, which may occur with any type of IOL, is known as a secondary cataract or “PCO.” Secondary cataracts can be easily treated by a simple laser procedure performed in the office.

Any precautions after surgery?

Every patient is different, so be sure to ask for advice on caring for your eye after the procedure. Dr. Epitropoulos asks that you refrain from rubbing your eye or engaging in any strenuous activity for a few weeks after surgery.

Who do I call if I have a problem?

Dr. Epitropoulos wants you to call her anytime if you have any problems, questions or concerns, especially if you experience pain or decreased vision.

When should ReSTOR® not be used?

The manufacturer of ReSTOR® states that some patients may not be optimal candidates for the IOL. These patients include those who: