Dr. Therese Alban of LasikPlus Vision Center spoke with Health Editor Angie Green about LASIK surgery and what to expect. Alban has performed more than 30,000 LASIK surgeries since 1999.
BUZZ: What outcome can people expect after LASIK surgery?
Dr. Alban: The way they see with their contacts or with their glasses is a good indicator of how they will see after the surgery.
BUZZ: Who qualifies for LASIK?
Dr. Alban: Just about everybody. About 10 percent of people don’t qualify due to eye conditions.
BUZZ: What is the process to qualify?
Dr. Alban: There is one appointment where we do a series of tests to verify that a patient is a good candidate. After that, a surgery appointment can be scheduled.
BUZZ: How long does the surgery take?
Dr. Alban: Ten to 15 minutes.
BUZZ: Is there pain during the surgery?
Dr. Alban: Usually it does not hurt at all. You will feel manipulation of the eyelid and pressure on the eye, we use numbing drops so nothing should be painful.
BUZZ: What would you say to someone who is scared or apprehensive about LASIK?
Dr. Alban: It’s completely normal to be scared. We are very visual creatures. It’s natural to want to protect the eye.
BUZZ: How do you ease your patients’ apprehension during the surgery?
Dr. Alban: The trick is to breathe and to focus on my voice. I’m telling them what is next. Like, ‘you might smell the laser, your vision might go dark.’ I’m guiding them through those steps so they don’t get startled.
BUZZ: Is your approach to give frequent updates to patients?
Dr. Alban: I’m talking non-stop. ‘You are doing great, look at the light, keep breathing.’ I’m like a coach, like your favorite coach, I only say nice things to you.
BUZZ: How long is the recovery time?
Dr. Alban: We advise you to go home and rest and sleep for two to four hours. You might have a little burning or scratchy sensation in your eye and we recommend using artificial tears. By the next day you are seeing and feeling great.
BUZZ: Is there a difference in outcome for men and women?
Dr. Alban: No difference.
BUZZ: How can LASIK improve quality of life?
Dr. Alban: Wow, getting rid of glasses allows so much more freedom. Normally you arrange your life around your contact lenses.
BUZZ: Have you seen a change in people’s activity levels after LASIK?
Dr. Alban: It changes people’s access and freedom to outdoor activities. We have a lot of people doing basically total body makeovers on their own and LASIK is part of that.