LASIK FAQs

Providing crystal clear vision to Sacramento, Roseville, Folsom, Stockton & nearby areas of California

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What kind of results should I expect?
What is laser vision correction?
What is the LASIK procedure like?
What is a 20/40 or 20/30 Waiver?
Where is the surgery performed?
Are there any financing options?
How does LASIK work?
Can I have both eyes treated or must I do one at a time?
Do I need to take time off of work?
What kind of laser do you use?
Can you treat farsightedness?
How long does it take to recover from laser vision correction?
How do I know if I am a good candidate for laser vision correction?
How do I begin the process to have laser vision correction?
Will I still need reading glasses?
What are the risks?
Does insurance cover laser vision correction?
How long will the correction last?
How does the eye work?
Does LASIK hurt?
How much discomfort is there after the surgery?
What does "better than 20/20 vision" mean?
Can I have LASIK if I wear bifocals?
How successful is the LASIK procedure?
Am I awake for the surgery?
What if I don't look at the blinking red light correctly?
How long does the LASIK procedure take?
What care is necessary after the procedure?
Does insurance cover LASIK?
Are payment plans available?
Why should I choose Griffin & Reed Eye Care?
What is Wavefront Optimized® Custom LASIK correction?
Am I a candidate for the Custom LASIK procedure?

What kind of results should I expect?

Our laser vision correction results are superior. There is a special section on our website that goes into great detail about our results. Click here to link to it.

What is laser vision correction?

Laser vision correction is the most technologically advanced method for correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Laser vision correction encompasses procedures that utilize the excimer laser to correct refractive disorders. During the treatment, the laser's cool ultraviolet light removes a small amount of corneal tissue - typically less than the thickness of a human hair - allowing light to be more sharply focused on the retina, thereby improving vision.

What is the LASIK procedure like?

Patients experience no pain during the procedure. LASIK is the most advanced form of laser refractive surgery. The procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes to perform with actual laser time averaging less than one minute. Prior to surgery, the surface of the eye is numbed completely with anesthetic drops. The patient also takes a relaxant drug such as Ativan. The patient is then brought into surgery and is seated in a reclining chair and lowered into position. A small instrument is used to hold the eyelid open while the untreated eye is covered with a patch. Due to safety concerns with many mechanical microkeratomes that use a blade, we use the Ziemer Z4 Femtosecond Laser. Many patients express a concern about blinking during the procedure. This is impossible due to a special retainer that helps to keep your eye open. The surgeon first creates a thin corneal flap by using the femtosecond laser. The flap remains attached to the eye, similar to a hinge. This portion of the operation is fully automated and takes just a few seconds. The flap is then temporarily lifted back and computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light gently reshape the inner cornea to duplicate your glasses or contact lens prescription. The surgeon monitors the eye through a microscope. The laser pulses are administered to the cornea under the surgeons control with a foot pedal. The advanced laser technology and eye-tracking features of our Alcon WaveLight® EX500 laser endsures the most accurate treatment, even if your eyes move during treatment. After the excimer laser treatment, the flap is then placed back into its original position. Because of its natural bonding properties, healing starts immediately and no stitches are required. Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops are also applied to the eye. Shields are then placed over each eye. These are worn for the first 24 hours and while sleeping for about a week in order to make sure that the corneal flap is not disturbed during sleep by accidentally rubbing the eye. After the procedure the patient then enters the post-op room and is given a care kit, which includes some artificial tears and a pair of UV-protection sunglasses. At this time, the surgeon also reviews with the patient how to care for their eyes during the next 24 hours before their 24-hour post-op appointment. The patient is then ready to go home. Discomfort following the LASIK procedure is much less likely than with PRK due to the fact that the surface layer of the cornea known as the epithelium is preserved. There are no needles used during the surgery. After the procedure, you may feel a slight irritation. Usually there is no pain after the procedure and most patients are quite comfortable after taking a short nap.

Griffin & Reed Eye Care has been serving the Sacramento area since 1974. Surgical skill is a key factor and the experience and success of the surgeons at Griffin & Reed Eye Care is unsurpassed. We have treated and cared for many, many thousands of laser cases. However, we spend our time and resources tracking our outcomes more than our number of surgeries. How people see after surgery is much more important to us than trying to see how many people we can run through surgery. Our laser vision correction procedures are performed within our state of the art facility in a sterile environment.

What is a 20/40 or 20/30 Waiver?

Many centers have prospective patients sign a wavier indicating that if they achieve 20/40-20/30 or better vision after the procedure regardless of their preoperative visual acuity, that it is good enough and they will not retreat those patients. At Griffin & Reed Eye Care, we do not have our patients sign any documents stating limitations on enhancements. We treat our patients like family. We put ourselves in our patients' shoes and realize that if you are best corrected at 20/20 now with glasses or contacts and only achieve 20/30 or 20/40 with laser vision correction that you will not be happy.

Where is the surgery performed?

Unlike many practices, we perform laser vision correction within our Sacramento office. Patients find this extremely convenient due to the fact that everything takes place under one roof. We also have a facility in Roseville.

Are there any financing options?

Various financing options are available. Patients can choose between different financing companies that best meet their needs whether it be a low interest rate or a same as cash option. In order to receive more detailed information about the financing options that are available, please contact the laser vision correction department by emailing us or by calling (916) 485-2020.

How does LASIK work?

The cool ultraviolet laser beam vaporizes these layers of the corneal tissue without altering the adjacent tissue in any way. By changing the diameter and shape of a long series of laser beam pulses during treatment, the corneal curvature can be reshaped to better focus the light entering the eye, and improve vision. The corneal epithelium is a thin, transparent skin that covers the cornea. With LASIK, a thin flap is made with the Ziemer Z4 Femtosecond Laser. This portion of the operation is fully automated and takes just a few seconds. The flap remains attached to the eye, similar to a hinge. The flap is then temporarily lifted back and computer-controlled pulses of cool laser light gently reshape the inner cornea to duplicate your glasses or contact lens prescription.

Can I have both eyes treated or must I do one at a time?

Yes, the majority of our patients select to have both eyes treated at the same time. This is an issue that should be discussed with your surgeon.

Do I need to take time off of work?

Most people can return to work the next day. This is due to the fact that most people see well enough to drive the day after surgery.

What kind of laser do you use?

We use the wavefront optimized Alcon WaveLight EX500 excimer laser with advanced eye-tracking. Click here to link to another section on our website that goes into further detail about the equipment we use. We believe that only the best equipment must be utilized with the best surgical team in order to achieve the best possible results. We meticulously maintain our laser in order to continue to achieve outstanding results with our patients. In countries where even more of a variety of lasers are available, Alcon's WaveLight EX500 excimer laser is the most advanced technologyand laser of choice among the world's top eye surgeons. 

Can you treat farsightedness?

Yes, our surgeons are the most experienced in treating farsightedness in Northern California. We are able to treat a variety of farsighted prescriptions. For additional information we invite you to call our laser vision correction department at (916) 485-2020 in order to inquire about your individual prescription.

How long does it take to recover from laser vision correction?

Each patient heals at a different rate. Most patients are able to return to work the next day. With LASIK the average healing time is 1 - 2 days, which is much shorter than with PRK.

How do I know if I am a good candidate for laser vision correction?

Our surgeons prefer that patients are at least 18 years old. Patients should also have a stable prescription. Their eyes must also be in good health and have no active eye disease. We will be able to determine your candidacy through a thorough evaluation performed in our office. Laser vision correction can treat a very broad range of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

How do I begin the process to have laser vision correction?

The first step is to call our laser vision correction department at (916) 485-2020  in order to schedule an evaluation. During this evaluation you will meet with various members of our staff and get a feel for who we are and why so many people choose Griffin & Reed Eye Care. Our comprehensive evaluation is used by our surgeons to determine how much corneal tissue is to be removed by the laser.

Will I still need reading glasses?

Some patients consider monovision in order to be free of reading glasses. This concern is explained in detail in the monovision section.

What are the risks?

As with any surgery there is some potential risk. The greatest risk a patient will face is rubbing their eyes soon after surgery as well as the risk of an infection by not using the prescribed eye drops.

Does insurance cover laser vision correction?

In order to determine if your insurance plan offers a discounted price for LASIK please contact our laser vision correction department at (916) 485-2020.

How long will the correction last?

A frequent question that patients ask is whether or not this is a permanent correction. The answer is yes, it is a permanent correction. The excimer laser permanently reshapes the front of the cornea by removing small amounts of tissue typically less than the thickness of a human hair. This tissue that is removed does not regenerate, thereby making the correction permanent. Near vision laser vision correction has been performed for over 20 years. Every study performed has shown that there are no long-term negative effects on the eye. In October of 1995, the FDA approved laser vision correction after intense clinical studies had verified that the procedure was not only effective but also safe.

Can you treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism?

Yes, we can treat a variety of refractive errors and have extensive experience in all ranges of prescriptions.

How does the eye work?

Think of the eye as a camera. The iris acts like the shutter, regulating the amount of light entering the eye. The retina functions like the film and is the surface upon which light must be precisely focused. This retinal image is then transmitted to the brain where the picture the eye receives is recognized. The cornea, combined with the lens, provides the focusing power that controls the clarity of the image. By removing very small amounts of tissue, typically less than the thickness of a human hair, we are able to restore your clear, natural vision. Click here to learn how the eye works.

Does LASIK hurt?

The procedure itself is painless and there is very little discomfort. Some patients report feeling slight pressure, but no pain. Some discomfort after the procedure may occur, although it usually disappears within 12 to 24 hours.

How much discomfort is there after the surgery?

Following your LASIK procedure, some patients may experience mild burning sensations, watery eyes, light sensitivity and irritation. Patients are advised go home and take a nap or close their eyes to help minimize any discomfort.

What does "better than 20/20 vision" mean?

With the extreme accuracy of the Alcon WaveLight EX500 laser, our proprietary programming method and the predictability of the Wavefront Optimized® LASIK, patients have the potential to achieve a higher level of vision than 20/20.

Can I have LASIK if I wear bifocals?

Patients in bifocals can have a form of monovision where one eye is treated for distance and the other for near vision. The amount of monovision that is obtainable will allow patients to see computers, menus at restaurants, their faces for grooming, scanning the newspaper, seeing the dashboard in the car, seeing their food when they eat, etc.

How successful is the LASIK procedure?

Including a small percentage of retreatments, 98%-99% of patients should be able to achieve 20/25 vision or better when treated by our surgeons who use the highest quality equipment and proprietary program for programming  our Alcon WaveLight EX500 laser.

Am I awake for the surgery?

The patient is awake since they need to look at a fixation point during the surgery, however we do prescribe a mild sedative to help you relax.

What if I move my eye during surgery?

Our Alcon WaveLight EX500 excimer laser utilizes WaveLight® advanced lighting system, which is used to minimize eye movements during surgery.  It also features the industry's most precise multi-spacial 1050 Hz-type eye tracker that tracks at speeds 10 times faster than movements of the natural eye and provides exact positioning. 

How long does the LASIK procedure take?

On average, LASIK takes less than 10 minutes per eye.

What care is necessary after the procedure?

Eye shields are used the day of surgery to prevent the patient from rubbing their eyes. These shields are also used during sleep for the first week following the procedure. Eye drops are used for one week and artificial tears are used for extra lubrication if needed. The doctor will see the patient for several scheduled visits during the one year post-operative care period.

Does insurance cover LASIK?

Unfortunately, most insurance plans do not cover this procedure. The patient will need to call his or her insurance company to see if this is a covered benefit. Some tax savings may be achieved with flex benefit insurance/medical reimbursement plans.

Are payment plans available?

Yes, Griffin & Reed Eye Care offers two different financing plans that are able to fit most individual's needs. We offer a one year 0% interest or "Same as Cash" option. If you pay off the balance before the designated time frame, there is no interest on the borrowed amount. The second option is a term loan in which you are able to choose the length of the term from a list of options.

Why should I choose Griffin & Reed Eye Care?

Your eyes are precious. Extensive experience, the most advanced technology, personalized care and a friendly, well-trained staff are very important. Our surgeons are board-certified Ophthalmologists who specialize in LASIK. Laser vision correction patients have come to us from all over the United States, as well as out of the country due to the trust patients have developed in our surgeons and eye care facility.

What is Wavefront Optimized® laser vision correction?

The WaveLight® EX500 Excimer Laser system utilizes proprietary Wavefront Optimized® technology, which offers the latest and most accurate results in custom cornea shaping. Beyond even traditional custom LASIK, Wavefront Optimized® treatment measures and considers the unique curvature of each patient's eye and addresses minute spherical distortions that may cause glare or impact night vision.  In short, you will have a more precise treatment and reduce potential side effects by maintaining more of your eye's overall natural curvature with Wavefront Optimized® LASIK.

Am I a candidate for the Custom LASIK procedure?

If you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, with healthy corneas and a stable prescription, you are probably a good candidate for the Custom LASIK procedure. The first step is to contact Griffin & Reed Eye Care at (916) 485-2020 for a complimentary consultation.