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FAQ

Answers to our most commonly asked questions.

Is LASIK right for me?

If you are 18 years of age or older, have focusing problems such as nearsightedness, astigmatism or farsightedness and have a stable refraction you may be a candidate. Your eyes must otherwise be healthy. You also need to understand the possible risk and be realistic about what to expect. Refractive surgery works well for most people, but there is no guarantee that you will have 20/20 vision or that you will never need to wear glasses again. LASIK can change your life by dramatically improving your vision; it can reduce or eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses.

What is having LASIK like?

Prior to surgery a thorough eye examination will be done including checking and double checking your focusing ability, measurement of the thickness of your cornea (pachymetry), mapping the shape of your cornea with a specialized test (corneal topography) and a dilated pupil evaluation of the retina to determine if you are a good candidate for refractive surgery. On the day of surgery you will be asked to arrive about 45 minutes before the procedure. Wear comfortable street clothes. You will receive a pill to calm your nerves. Antibiotic and anesthetic drops will be placed on your eye(s). A technician will go over the medications to use after the procedure and discuss the activities permitted in the recovery period. LASIK itself takes about 10 minutes for each eye. It does not hurt although you may feel a pressure feeling or a little ache in some cases. The patient lies on their back and looks at a flashing light for orientation during the procedure. Afterwards the patient goes home and sleeps for the first few hours. The patient will be asked to return to the office within 24 hours. Most patients return to work within one to two days, jogging or lifting in one week and swimming in two to three weeks.

LASIK vs Contacts

According to a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, October 2006 edition, researchers have confirmed that LASIK surgery as performed this year is safer than contact lens use. Sight threatening infections from contact lens use occur in 1 in 2,000 contact lens wearers, whereas the study confirms that only one in 10,000 patients risk significant vision loss due to complications from LASIK, making LASIK the safest elective procedure being performed today.

A medical study showed that people who wear daily contact lenses run the risk of 1 in 100 of developing a bacterial keretitis, an infection that can lead to a loss of vision.

Patients who abuse contacts by wearing them overnight or improperly caring for their lenses have ALMOST 10 TIMES GREATER risk of infection and losing vision.

The risk of Lasik laser vision correction has been diminishing as technologies continue to evolve. Atlantice Eye Institute prides itself in our state-of-the-art excimer laser technology because it means safer and faster vision correction with superior results. “We eagerly anticipated the ALLEGRETTO WAVE® 400 technology and were the first in the state to purchase the system,” says ophthalmologist Neil T. Shmunes, M.D. “We have been using it to help our patients since August 2007. For patients who have been waiting to have laser vision correction, it opens up new possibilities that were not available before now. The ALLEGRETTO WAVE® was designed to minimize the after effects of nighttime glare and halos often associated with LASIK. We are finding the results to be extremely successful.”

When will I be able to see?

Results vary from patient to patient. Most individuals see reasonably well within 24 hours. The likelihood that you will have 20/20 vision depends on your refractive error prior to surgery. Nearly everyone experiences significant improvement with almost 99% achieving vision good enough to drive without glasses.

Is laser vision correction covered by insurance?

Most insurance companies consider refractive surgery to be elective and do not cover it. However, we will be happy to check with your insurance company for you. During your free consultation ask our LASIK coordinator about financing plans for as little as $79 a month.

Where can I get more information on laser vision correction at the Atlantic Eye Institute?

You can reach our LASIK coordinator at (888) 795-2020. We offer free consultations during which you can talk to the surgeon person to person. We have written materials we will send you or videos detailing the laser surgery.

Is the laser vision surgery permanent?

All research collected since the late 1980’s demonstrate the correction is permanent. However, if your prescription was destined to change (e.g. due to astigmatism or cataract), laser correction cannot prevent that kind of normal evolution. Enhancements are offered free up to one year after surgery if it is reasonable and safe.

Do you offer payment plans?

As a service to our patients, we are pleased to offer the CareCredit card, the nation’s leading patient payment plan. CareCredit lets you begin your treatment or procedure immediately-then pay for it over time with low monthly payments that are easy to fit into your monthly budget. So, you can begin your refractive or elective procedure today and conveniently pay with low, monthly payments.

CareCredit offers a full range of No Interest and Extended Payment Plans.

The No Interest Payment Plans* offer 3, 6, & 12 month plan options with no interest if the balance is paid within the specified time period. Minimum monthly payments can be as low as 3% of your balance.

For treatment fees from $1,500 to over $25,000, the Extended Payment Plans* offer 24, 36, & 48 month plan options at a low 12.96% interest rate. Monthly payments as low as $41 for a $1,500 fee balance. With CareCredit, you pay no up-front costs, no pre-payment penalties and no fees. Plus, CareCredit is a revolving credit line for additional treatment or add-on charges, without the need to re-apply. It only takes a few minutes to apply for CareCredit and you may receive an online decision in seconds! Apply now or see our staff for more details.

Why should I choose the doctors at Atlantic Eye Institute to do my refractive surgery?

Our Physicians at Atlantic have been caring for refractive patients since the mid 1980’s. They have the experience that ensures the best results and minimizes problems. The doctors place a high premium on patient education, offer a variety of refractive solutions tailored to the needs of the individual patient and provide eye care in a supportive environment. In a word, Atlantic Eye patients are happy – they see well and they enjoy being the focus of concerned, highly competent surgeons and staff.

Is the procedure safe?

Over three million people worldwide have improved their vision through LASIK surgery since 1989. The FDA after ten year of meticulous study approved the excimer laser in 1995. Of course, all medical treatments include some risk. However, the computer software controlling the laser is based on literally tens of thousands of previous successful cases. Couple that with the experience of the Atlantic eye surgeons and the risks are greatly reduced. The doctors will give you more detailed information regarding possible complications prior to your laser vision corrections procedure.

What is oculoplastic?

The term refers to surgery that is performed around the eyes to repair, restore or improve tissues that are injured, defective or misshapen. More specifically, blepharoplasty eliminates the excess skin and fat of the upper or lower lids. Ptosis surgery eliminates the droopiness of the upper lid(s). If the lid margin turns in (entropion) or out (ectropion), surgery can be done to improve the condition. Abnormalities of tear drainage may require surgical repair. Drooping of the brow, facial skin wrinkles, “spider veins” of the facial skin, skin discoloration from aging and sun damage, tattoo removal and excision of cancers affecting the tissues around the eyes – all these problems fall under the purview of oculoplastic surgery. The surgeons at Atlantic Eye Institute can improve all of these problems.

What is blepharoplasty?

A common outpatient surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fatty tissue from around the eyes. Over time the effects of gravity, sun and heredity cause the skin around the eyes to relax. In addition, fat pockets become more noticeable until they are termed “bags”. The upper lid skin may be affected to the degree that the field of vision shrinks and forehead aching ensues due to the constant effort of trying to elevate the lids/brows. With this type of surgery, the incision lines are hidden in the natural skin folds of the eyelids so that they are almost invisible during healing. The incisions of the lower lids are placed on the inside of the lid leaving no scar. Afterwards you must be very quiet for the first three days with the frequent use of cold compresses to the lids to reduce the chance of swelling and bleeding under the skin. Stitches in the upper lids skin are moved in about one week. Temporary blurred vision and tearing may be experienced during the first few days after surgery.

Will insurance pay for my blepharoplasty?

Insurance companies and Medicare have very strict rules regarding payment for upper lid blepharoplasty: the excess skin of your upper lids must impair your ability to function. The doctors will advise you if they feel your insurance is likely to pay for the surgery. Preliminary testing includes specific eyelid measurements, photographs, and visual fields to demonstrate the increase in upper field size with the eyelids wide open (upper lids taped up versus regular upper lid height). Medicare will not tell us ahead of time if they will cover blepharoplasty. If you choose to have the surgery and they don’t pay, you will be responsible for the charges. Generally speaking, the doctors have worked in this area over many years and usually are able to predict if the patient will receive reimbursement for their surgery. Insurance companies do not pay for cosmetic surgery for Medicare.

How can I get more information about blepharoplasty?

Call (888) 795-2020 and ask to speak with our cosmetic surgical coordinator.

What is having a blepharoplasty like?

The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis with an anesthesiologist present to keep you relaxed and pain free. You will wear a light gown over your regular clothes. An IV will be started in the back of your hand so that medicine can be administered. The surgeon will carefully measure and diagram the skin to be removed from your upper lids. The surgery takes about an hour. Your heart tracing, blood pressure and oxygen in you blood will be carefully monitored during the procedure. Afterwards you must be very quiet for the first three days with the frequent use of cold compresses to your lids to reduce the chance of swelling or bleeding under the skin. Most people take off four to six days to allow for healing.

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