Since LASIK surgery was introduced in 1992, more than eight million Americans have received this vision correction surgery. It was developed in response to the needs of people who disliked wearing glasses or contacts or whose active lifestyle made wearing them impractical. LASIK surgery can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, and it can free you from dependence on glasses or contacts. At St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute in Largo, FL, our LASIK equipment is the most advanced in the industry, and our eminently qualified physicians are among the most trusted in the Tampa Bay area. It’s little wonder that we have a 100% success rate with LASIK.

If you wear glasses or contacts and are wondering if LASIK is right for you, it would be helpful to first understand exactly what the procedure involves.

LASIK Surgery for St. Petersburg and Clearwater, FL

How Is LASIK Performed?

LASIK stands for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis. In everyday language, this means that a highly specialized laser is used to reshape the cornea, which is the clear covering over the iris and pupil. The procedure changes the refractive characteristics of the eye in the same way that glasses and contacts do—by enabling light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina. The result? Markedly improved vision. In fact, many patients achieve 20/15 vision or better.

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What Should You Expect From LASIK Surgery?

LASIK surgery takes only about 20 minutes for both eyes. Recovery time is also fast. Typically, patients can expect improved vision—without glasses or contacts—immediately after the procedure. Many patients are able to drive within a week, with vision continuing to improve and stabilize over the next three to six months.

Is LASIK Safe?

The complication rate for LASIK surgery is extremely low, making it one of the safest surgical procedures. It’s also pain free, but you may feel a temporary burning or itching sensation immediately afterward. To reduce inflammation and ensure a smooth recovery, your doctor will likely recommend that you use eye drops regularly for a period of time following surgery.

What Is Epi-LASIK?

Epi-LASIK is a state-of-the-art, updated version of LASIK that has been shown to result in more stable healing of the cornea and better long-term results. St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute offers epi-LASIK to some patients who are not good candidates for LASIK.

As with any surgery, the physician’s skills and experience are critical factors in achieving the best results. At St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute, our experience runs deep. We’re a family-owned and -operated eye-care clinic that has been serving the Tampa Bay area for more than 50 years. Our leading ophthalmologist, Dr. John Michaelos, is one of the most experienced and prominent corneal specialists in Largo. If you would like more information about LASIK or Epi-LASIK surgery at St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute, contact us today.

How Much Does LASIK Cost?

LASIK Surgeon in LargoThe price of your LASIK eye surgery depends on the type of laser technology, the degree of vision correction required and the eye surgeon’s skill and experience. You can expect around $1,000 to $3,000 per eye, including pre-op and post-op care and a secondary procedure if further correction is needed later on. LASIK cost also depends on the type of procedure, such as EPI-LASIK or LASIK.

After your consultation, our office can provide you with a detailed price estimate for your LASIK vision correction. We offer financing options, and note that LASIK is eligible for FSA and HSA contributions.

What Can LASIK Correct?

LASIK works to correct your vision by reshaping the cornea, the clear outer dome of your eye. The cornea works with your lens like a film camera, focusing incoming light onto the retina lining the back of your eye. When the cornea is misshapen, light does not refract correctly onto the retina, causing blurry images, and this is what happens with nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. LASIK corrects these refractive errors by fixing the shape of the cornea with a laser-guided by a computer using measurements and calculations based on your vision.

While LASIK can improve vision problems caused by an abnormal corneal shape, it won’t address blurry near vision caused by presbyopia. Presbyopia is the age-related loss of near vision when the natural lens inside your eye hardens and stiffens with age, making it difficult to view text and objects close to your face.

Preparing for LASIK

Our Ophthalmologists will thoroughly test your vision to determine the precise measurements to correct your refractive errors, and the computer-guided laser uses these data points for LASIK vision correction. You will be asked to stop wearing contact lenses for at least five days and perhaps up to two weeks because contact lenses distort the shape of your cornea, and exact corneal measurements are crucial for accurate LASIK calculations. If you have toric contact lenses for astigmatism, you may be asked to avoid wearing them for 10 to 14 days before LASIK.

Make sure you drink plenty of water and line someone up to drive you to and from your LASIK procedure, because your vision will be blurry. Avoid makeup on the day of your laser eye surgery, as it can interfere with the sterile surgical environment and may impact the medications and lasers used for LASIK. Scented products can affect the air quality of the surgical suite, which is regulated for precise temperature, purity and humidity.

LASIK Benefits

The most significant benefit of LASIK vision correction is freedom from contact lenses and prescription eyeglasses. You will wake up with sharp vision every day without the inconvenience of corrective eyewear. LASIK offers permanent vision improvement and a better quality of life. There are some cost savings when you factor in the long-term expense of regularly purchasing new contact lenses and glasses. LASIK can eliminate the risks of contact lenses by reducing how often you touch your eye. There’s no risk of corneal infection from sleeping in contact lenses and other bad habits many contact lens wearers tend to have over time.

LASIK Eye Surgery Recovery

Eye Exam for LASIKYour LASIK recovery will depend on if you have LASIK or EPI-LASIK. EPI-LASIK typically has a shorter recovery period because the LASIK flap is thinner, and the procedure is less invasive. It’s normal to have an itchy or burning sensation right after LASIK. Our Ophthalmologists will prescribe eye drops and provide you with detailed instructions to follow for your recovery, including pain relief and eye drop administration to reduce infection risk and flap complications.

Rest your eyes for the first couple of hours and avoid strenuous activity. Most patients return to their routine the day after LASIK, but you need to protect your eyes with UV-protective sunglasses and eye shields when you sleep. Attend all your follow-up visits to ensure optimal vision and eye health.

Don’t rub or touch your eyes for the first month after LASIK to avoid disturbing the corneal flap. Keep chemicals and soap away from your eyes and avoid contaminated water, such as hot tubs, pools, lakes and oceans. Avoid wearing eye makeup and contact sports.

Why Choose Eye Doctors at St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute

Our Ophthalmologists and experienced team in the Tampa Bay area are proud to have helped countless people achieve better vision since 1961. We are a three-generation, family-owned business devoted to patient safety and high-quality care. Our LASIK vision correction procedures maintain a 100% success rate. Our eye doctors, technicians and office personnel believe in individualized, compassionate care and offer a welcoming environment for every visit.