Submitted by Vision Point Eye Center
So, you’re thinking about LASIK eye surgery but, you’ve got some questions. Who better to ask than the surgeons who have performed thousands of LASIK procedures? Dr. Daniel Brownstone, Dr. Catharine Crockett, and Dr. Scott Pinter of Vision Point Eye Center reflected on some of the questions and concerns they discuss with their patients.
How long have you been doing this surgery and how safe is it?
Dr. Pinter: We started doing LASIK in 1998. It was a revolutionary procedure at the time. There were some side effects with night vision and issues with dry eyes. But as technology has gotten better, there is less and less of all that.
Dr. Brownstone: The latest iteration of our technology is the iDesign. Since we made technology updates, we are finding our retreatment rate has gone way down. We are in the range of 3 percent, which is just remarkable.
Dr. Crockett: It is so safe. We’ve been doing this for 23 years now and its only gotten better. The risk factors were very low to begin with but they’re even less now.
How long does the surgery take and what is it like?
Dr. Brownstone: Patients are typically in the room for 15 minutes, but most of this time is actually lining things up and getting things situated where we need them to be. The actual treatment time is three minutes for both eyes.
Dr. Crockett: The most surprising thing is that it is so fast and relatively painless. If patients can get through a teeth cleaning, they can get through LASIK surgery because it is faster than that and much more comfortable. We talk everyone through it and everyone does well.
Dr. Brownstone: Basically, I walk patients through the procedure. I tell them everything that is going to happen from the minute they hit the door to every move that I make. I tell them what they are going to see, feel, and hear and so they are prepared. I am kind of lucky in the sense that I had LASIK done myself. I can tell patients about my experience and after they hear this, often times they feel better about it.
Dr. Pinter: The most frequent response I hear afterwards is “Boy, that was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be,” or “I can’t believe we are already done.” I think it is much quicker and easier to go through than people think.
Besides the fear factor, what holds people back from getting LASIK?
Dr. Pinter: I think for a lot of people it is a financial decision. But Lasik may actually save people money over the long-term when you consider that you no longer need to purchase glasses, contact lenses, and solution. However, it’s really an investment in themselves and the freedom they get from getting out of their glasses or contacts.
Dr. Brownstone: And a lot of patients don’t realize that there are ways to get financing for this. We have low interest loans; we have no interest loans that you can pay back over a year and you can use your MER account as well if you have one through your employer.
Dr. Crockett: It is often the expense. The twenty-some-year-old, unless their parent is going to pay for it, often don’t have the money. But they are the ideal patients and they’ll have excellent results and many years to enjoy great vision.
What encouraging words do you have for people considering LASIK?
Dr. Crockett: There is such a great convenience of just being able to wake up and have your eyes work for you without having to apply pieces of plastic to your eyes or put on glasses. I have all the confidence that patients will see better and be glad they had this done.
Dr. Brownstone: I am amazed how many patients come in who have been waiting for years to do this procedure. They finally get up the guts to do it and then we do the procedure and they are like,” What was I waiting for?”
Dr. Pinter: I would tell the patient that if it is something that you have thought about at all, you owe it to yourself to come in for a screening. There’s no cost. There’s no obligation. More importantly, it is education so you can make the best decision for yourself.
Your vision is an important part of your overall health. If you would like more information or to schedule a comprehensive eye exam, contact VisionPoint Eye Center at (309) 662-7700 or visit the website at www.visionpointeye.com. They are located at 1107 Airport Rd in Bloomington. Their ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians will be happy to see you.