FAQ: Can I Have LASIK If I Have Astigmatism, How About After Cataract Surgery?

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Yes, LASIK can fully and permanently correct astigmatism!

Astigmatism is a very common vision problem. Despite having a somewhat scary-sounding name, astigmatism is not an eye disease — it’s simply a refractive error like nearsightedness and farsightedness — and it can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses and LASIK surgery.

Astigmatism typically is caused by the front surface of the eye (cornea) having an asymmetrical shape.

An analogy that’s often used to describe this is to say the cornea is shaped like a football rather than like a baseball. Another is to say that an eye with astigmatism is shaped like an egg or the back of a spoon, rather than like a ping-pong ball.

The ultra-precise lasers used for LASIK surgery can be programmed to reshape the cornea so the front surface of the eye is more symmetrical, thereby eliminating vision problems caused by astigmatism.

When astigmatism is present, it typically does not exceed 3.0 diopters (D) in magnitude and can be fully corrected with a single LASIK procedure. Even higher amounts of astigmatism can be corrected with LASIK, though this increases the likelihood a follow-up LASIK enhancement may be needed to fine-tune the correction.

If you have high astigmatism, this may affect your LASIK surgery cost, depending on the policies of the LASIK surgeon and/or surgery center you choose. If so, this will be discussed with you during your preoperative exam and consultation.

Yes, LASIK can be performed after cataract surgery! 

Following cataract surgery, a LASIK surgeon can correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism and greatly reduce or eliminate your need for eyeglasses after surgery.

 

LASIK surgery usually takes less than 10 minutes and does not require general anesthesia. The laser that reshapes the cornea typically is on less than one minute per eye.

General anesthesia (being “put asleep”) during any type of surgery has its own risks and would significantly increase the cost of LASIK without adding significant benefits.
If you fear you will be anxious during the procedure, your LASIK surgeon will give you a mild sedative or other medication prior to surgery to help you relax.

Most patients are surprised by how quickly their LASIK procedure goes and feel afterward it was much easier and less stressful than they expected it would be.