LASIK/PRK QuestionsMedical Insurance Questions

LASIK/PRK Questions

What is 20/20
If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with the vision chart that hangs in every optometrist’s examining room–the one with a big “E” at the top. Officially known as a Snellen chart, it is the basis for measuring what is known as visual acuity. This quantitative measure of your vision establishes where your vision is placed on a numeric scale. There are also qualitative measures of your vision, such as your ability to perceive subtle contrast changes, especially in low-light situations. Taken together, these quantitative and qualitative measures determine the overall performance of your vision.

Which is better for me, LASIK or PRK?
Both procedures are very effective in correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. LASIK has become the procedure of choice for most patients due to quicker recovery time and less discomfort after the procedure. However, there are several factors that should be considered before making your final decision. Dr. Carlson and Dr. Lee will be happy to discuss all aspects of each procedure during your initial consultation. We will then be able to recommend the procedure that is most appropriate for you.

Is Laser Vision Correction (LVC) Permanent?
Yes, LVC results in a permanent change to the shape of the cornea. However, LVC will not prevent age-related conditions such as presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) or cataracts. These conditions would still be treated in their normal manner.

What if additional surgery is necessary?
InSight LASIK provides a lifetime-enhancement policy for all patients undergoing refractive surgery. This policy provides patients with the peace of mind that they will be taken care of if their vision changes/decreases over time. Each patient is evaluated on an individual basis. This means that you do not have to meet any pre-determined level of blurred vision (some clinics refuse to provide additional surgery unless your vision becomes worse than 20/40). If we feel that we can safely improve your vision with an additional procedure, then that is what we will do. This is a collaborative decision between you, your primary eye care provider and InSight LASIK.

Some centers also mandate that you must return to see them (and pay them) yearly to keep their enhancement policy in force. It is certainly in your best interest to continue to receive yearly eye health exams from your primary eye care provider. However, failing to do so does not impact your lifetime enhancement policy with InSight LASIK.

What are the long-term effects of LVC?
LVC has been performed since 1987. The FDA has approved the use of the Excimer laser and recognized LVC as being safe and effective for the treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism in eligible patients. 600,000 LASIK cases are performed in the United States every year and it has become the most commonly performed refractive surgery in the world. The first patient ever treated with LVC was in the US in 1987. That patient achieved 20/20 vision following treatment and still has 20/20 vision more than 20 years later.

What are the risks?
No surgical procedure is without risks. Long-term, sight-threatening complications from LASIK and PRK are very uncommon — less than 1%. Understanding potential risks allows you to make an informed decision before undergoing LVC. Dr. Carlson and Dr. Lee will discuss potential risks in greater detail and answer any questions you may have.

Is LVC painful?
There is little or no discomfort during the procedure. Eye drops are used to numb the eyes. No needles or injections are required. After LASIK, post-operative discomfort is minimal. However, it is common to have some eye irritation the first few hours. With PRK, the irritation may last for several days following the procedure.

Why is Femtosecond Technology a better way to create my corneal flap?
Femtosecond technology is the most advanced way to perform LASIK. The Femtosecond technology allows the doctor to tailor-make your corneal flap based on what’s best for your eye, decreasing the risk of complications by increasing the safety profile of the procedure. The alternative option to Femtosecond technology is utilizing the hand-held Microkeratome steel blade. While the Microkeratome is how LASIK has been performed since its inception, it does come with additional risks. Decreasing risks and improving outcomes are the two primary reasons we switched to the Femtosecond technology. Dr. Carlson or Dr. Lee can discuss this all-laser procedure with you in more detail at your consultation.

How long does the procedure take?
Plan on being in our office for 1 to 1 ½ hours. You will be in the Laser Suite for about 15 minutes.

When can I return to work?
Most patients notice dramatic improvement within the first few days following the procedure and are able to drive a car and return to work within one to three days. Most LASIK patients see quite well the next day. However, the speed of visual recovery ultimately depends on personal healing patterns. After LVC, restriction on activities is minimal. These will be covered in detail prior to the procedure.

Are both eyes treated the same day?
Yes. Most patients choose to have both eyes treated the same day.

Do you offer a monthly payment plan?

We offer GreenSky Patient Solutions® Program for our patients. They offer financing provided by federally insured, equal opportunity banks. With the simple click of your mouse on the secure link, you can pre-qualify with no impact to your credit score. Learn more here.

Does insurance cover LVC?
Generally, LVC is considered elective and is not covered by most health insurance plans. However, some companies have started covering a portion of the procedure. Please contact your insurance carrier to determine your specific coverage. Cafeteria plans, flexible spending plans (FSA) and health savings plans (HSA) can be used for LVC.

We offer GreenSky Patient Solutions® Program for our patients. They offer financing provided by federally insured, equal opportunity banks. With the simple click of your mouse on the secure link, you can pre-qualify with no impact to your credit score. Learn more here.

Can LVC eliminate the need for reading glasses?
Yes and no. The need for reading glasses usually begins at age 40-45 and is caused by a loss of elasticity of the natural lens inside the eye. The loss of elasticity results in an inability to focus on small print or near objects. This condition is called presbyopia. LVC cannot restore the elasticity to the natural lens inside the eye. However, there is a technique that is commonly used with contact lenses called monovision in which one eye is fit with a contact lens to see at distance and the other eye is fit with a contact lens to see near. This same technique can be used with LVC. One eye would be treated for distance and the other treated for close work. It has been our experience that monovision is helpful for near tasks such as reading a watch, menu or price tags, but not for reading fine print or prolonged close work. For people with active lifestyles (those who play golf, tennis or drive a great deal at night), monovision may not recommended. Please tell Dr. Carlson or Dr. Lee if you’d like to discuss monovision.

Medical Insurance Questions

Will my medical exam and procedure be covered?
We are happy to work with your medical insurance company if we are contracted with them. Each insurance company offers a variety of plans with a wide array of coverages, benefits and deductibles. While we will check on our end, it is important that you also confirm your coverage, benefits and deductibles with your insurance company.

What insurance plans do you take?
We participate with the below listed medical plans, yet this list is subject to change. We recommend that you contact your insurance company to confirm your coverage, benefits and deductibles.

  • BCBS
  • Aetna
  • Humana
  • UHC – (AARP, Medicare, Secure Horizon, Spectera, Tricare, UMR)
  • Cigna
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • AARP
  • First Choice
  • Tricare
  • RMHC
  • CO Access
  • UMR
  • CoFinity
  • Great West
  • VA

What if I don't have medical insurance or want an elective procedure?

We accept cash, personal checks, most major credit cards and we offer GreenSky Patient Solutions® Program for our patients. They offer financing provided by federally insured, equal opportunity banks. With the simple click of your mouse on the secure link, you can pre-qualify with no impact to your credit score. Learn more here.