A Consumer Overview from San Francisco.
It really is amazing how far vision correction and LASIK eye surgery has come since the mid 1990’s. With LASIK eye surgery getting its first FDA approval in the mid 1990s, aspects of the surgery were still new. 25 years later we have a whole new world of vision correction options.
Some of the new vision correction procedures include Bladeless LASIK surgery, PRK, The EVO Visian ICL and SMILE eye surgery. If you seeking vision correction you absolutely must know about these options. If an eye center is only offering LASIK eye surgery you should ask them why. These new options are gaining incredible traction, giving people crystal clear vision and yet there are still relatively unknown to consumers.
Here is the basic overview of each vision correction procedure.
PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratotomy)
PRK, also known as Photo-Refractive Keratectomy or Advanced Surface Ablation was actually the first version of laser vision correction approved by the FDA in the United States. Some patients that are not LASIK eye surgery candidates might qualify for PRK eye surgery. PRK can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. PRK differs from LASIK in that it does not involve the creation of a flap but involves direct laser treatment. PRK does require a longer recovery and vision is not restored as quickly as LASIK.
Commonly referred to as simply LASIK, laser vision corrective surgery has been available inthe United States since 1991. During Lasik an excimer laser is used to reshape yourcornea under a created corneal flap so you can improve your vision.
However not all LASIK surgery is done the same way. The flap created during LASIK
surgery can be performed with either a blade or with a laser, with the laser being the
most preferred method because of its accuracy and enhanced safety.
EVO Visian ICL
EVO Visian (ICL) has been commonly called the implantable contact lens because it gets implanted inside the eye. This is a great vision correction option and actually is one of the only options that treats high levels of myopia. Patients report very clear vision after this eye surgery. This lens implant is also removable.
ZEISS SMILE Eye Surgery
SMILE is a minimally invasive, flapless vision correction procedure that does have some similarities to LASIK eye surgery. The incision is not a full circle flap but instead a smaller incision, which creates less corneal disruption. It is reported that patients suffer from less dry eye syndrome as a result. The procedure is also very short. SMILE is redefining laser vision correction surgery as we know it.
My LASIK Journey
During my laser vision correction research projectI visited several centers if the San Francisco bay area and had completely different experiences. Some practices are far more focused on the patient experience and other are more of a medical factory of sorts. Finding the right eye surgeon and practice that suits your comfort might not be easy and you should take your time to find the right one. First off, you want an ophthalmologist that has a great deal of experience with eye surgery and can specifically speak to about outcomes and past successes. The practice should also have updated equipment and offer you more choices than just LASIK. The fact of the matter is if the practice only does LASIK eye surgery that is what you will get. With the recent advancements in technology and your personal vision status one of the more advanced procedures might give you better vision longer.
My LASIK Research
In the process of our research we found that there were several San Francisco LASIK providers that were actually very straight forward and had a real nice streamlined process. We learned that you do need to have a pre-operative LASIK exam to really determine the actual price. I preferred the clinics that were all-inclusive and did not nickel and dime me in the consultation process. It is important to make sure any follow up care is covered either by your optometrist or you actual LASIK provider. We enjoyed the free LASIK consultation with Dr. Lay Bansal at the Laser Vue Eye Center because he actually met with me in person and was the actual ophthalmologist who would be performing the surgery. Additionally this practice had options for all the vision correction procedures and seemed more concerned about what would be the best outcome and fit for my lifestyle. If you are seeking a San Francisco LASIK surgeon this is a good starting point.
What is the Cost of LASIK or Vision Correction Procedures?
Ah yes the moment you have all been waiting for! The costs of these procedures varied widely from place to place and sometimes for no reason.
In the San Francisco area you can expect a relatively reasonable costs. From what we have been able to tell from our research these prices range from $2500 an eye to $3600 per eye. LASIK can often be cheaper in certain places because there are actual chains that exist. After walking into one of these chains I quickly realized this place was not for me. I have a problem when a certain price is advertised and then I get an entirely different story. The prices for EVO Visian ICL were definitely higher than LASIK eye surgery but this is a more involved procedure. I found the prices for EVO ICL To range from 3200 per eye to $5000 per eye. SMILE eye surgery came in around $4000 and eye in multiple circumstances.
If you are simply tired of glasses and contact lenses one thing is for sure. Vision correction can completely make your life easier and you not have to miss the details that happen every day. Doing proper research prior to selecting an eye surgeon is a strong recommendation.