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LASIK

LASIK is the most well-known laser vision correction procedure, benefitting nearly a million patients per year. If you aren’t a candidate for LASIK, our world-class surgeons can recommend another laser vision procedure to better fit your vision and lifestyle goals.

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Why Choose LASIK?

LASIK is a laser procedure that corrects refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism (the inability to focus clearly at any distance because of a misshapen cornea).

LASIK was approved by the FDA in 1999 and since then has been refined into the safe, technology-driven procedure it is today. In fact, Vance Thompson Vision participated in the FDA-monitored trial that laid the groundwork for LASIK technology.

Some patients aren’t candidates for LASIK, but because Vance Thompson Vision is a comprehensive refractive center, we offer other laser procedures such as PRK and SMILE that can accomplish results similar to LASIK.

Get started with a free consultation.

LASIK Checklist

LASIK Procedure

In general, laser vision correction uses a precise computer-controlled laser to gently reshape the cornea so light rays focus more directly on the retina and ultimately reduce your dependence on glasses. The in-office procedure lasts only a few minutes per eye and most patients can return to work the next day.

Specifically for LASIK, a thin protective flap is made in the cornea with a femtosecond laser. Your surgeon folds the flap back and then gently reshapes the exposed cornea with an Excimer laser. The flap is laid back in place, where it will heal, allowing you to see more clearly.

Procedure Time 20 minutes
Recovery 24 hours
Initial Follow-up 1 day

SMILE Procedure

Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) is the most minimally invasive refractive procedure. However, certain refractive errors cannot be treated with SMILE, including farsightedness.

For those who can benefit from SMILE, your surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to create a thin layer just beneath the cornea’s surface and then removes it through a tiny opening. The remaining tissues heal together leaving behind a more rounded corneal shape that allows light to reflect on the retina more accurately.

Not all Vance Thompson Vision locations offer SMILE; however, when possible, we’ll refer you to a nearby location.

Procedure Time 20 minutes
Recovery 24 hours
Initial Follow-up 1 day

PRK Procedure

PRK, or Photorefractive Keratectomy, differs from LASIK in that it does not create a flap. Instead, a cold-pulsing Excimer laser is applied directly to the cornea. Patients with thin corneas or with low to moderate vision corrections are good candidates for PRK.

PRK vs LASIK is a decision your surgeon will help you make. After this surgery, a bandage contact lens will be placed on your eyes for improved comfort. Because there isn’t a protective flap created as it is during LASIK, recovery takes three to five days. During that period, you may experience mild discomfort and sensitivity that our care team will help you manage.

Procedure Time 20 minutes
Recovery 3-5 days
Initial Follow-up 3 days

“I’m not one to look back and say ‘I should have done that sooner’, but I may about this. Playing softball and basketball without glasses is something else. You get used to not being able to see, and when you suddenly can, it’s pretty awesome!”

Matt Traen, LASIK patient

Why Vance Thompson Vision?

The optometrists and ophthalmologists at Vance Thompson Vision create, protect, and maintain clear vision. We partner with you on your vision journey, educate you about your unique eye structure and condition, and offer advanced diagnostic, surgical, and optimization technologies.

Comprehensive Refractive Center

Did you know laser vision correction is more than just LASIK? As a comprehensive refractive center, Vance Thompson Vision has the expertise, tools, and facility required to correct an array of vision problems. Because we do, even when you aren’t a candidate for LASIK, we can explore other effective options such as PRK and SMILE to give you clear vision. If those aren’t a fit, we also offer ICLs and RLE. Thanks to our extensive technology, we also have refractive options for cataract patients that may give them less dependence on corrective eyewear after their surgery.

Same Day Surgery

Most often referred to as our See and Do LASIK Program, we offer an expedited process in which patients are seen for their consultation in the morning and have their surgery in the afternoon. This program has steadily grown in popularity, particularly for our patients who travel from out of town.

Partnering With Your Local Optometrist

Following surgery, patients will be seen for a series of follow-up appointments to ensure healing is on track and your vision is improving as expected. These visits can be done at Vance Thompson Vision or at your local optometrist’s office. Whichever you choose, our team will schedule your aftercare appointments with your chosen provider on your behalf.

See Their Stories

Darren & Monica’s PRK Story

Amber’s LASIK Story

Eli’s LASIK Story

Emily’s LASIK Story

Cory’s LASIK Story

Kristi's LASIK Story

Dr. Wallin’s LASIK Story

Dr. Schweitzer’s LASIK Story

Dr. Schmit’s LASIK Story

What To Expect

The specialists at Vance Thompson Vision will help determine your options for laser vision correction with an extremely thorough, pre-surgery consultation that uses advanced diagnostics and includes dilation. These consultations are complimentary.

On the day of your procedure, your eyes will be gently numbed with drops. An eyelid support will be used to help avoid blinking. Medication is also offered to help calm your nerves.

Laser vision correction procedures are among the most studied and time-tested surgeries for reducing or even eliminating your need for corrective lenses. For over 30 years, LASIK has been helping people see more clearly, freeing them from the frustrations that may come from glasses or contacts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does LASIK cost in 2022?

LASIK at Vance Thompson Vision is $2,950 per eye. This price includes surgeon fee, facility fee, eye drops, aftercare appointments, and fine tunes, if needed, for up to two years.

Is LASIK covered by insurance?

Most insurance companies consider LASIK and other refractive surgeries to be elective procedures, and because they are, they usually aren’t covered under basic health or vision plans. Since we believe finances shouldn't stand in the way of clearer vision, Vance Thompson Vision has payment options to assist in making corrective surgery as affordable as possible.

Can you get LASIK if you have astigmatism?

Yes, you can. Patients with mild to moderate astigmatism are usually candidates for LASIK. A consultation is required to determine if LASIK is the best refractive procedure for your specific vision, and if it isn’t, it’s likely that you’ll qualify for another procedure.

Does LASIK fix astigmatism?

Yes. For clear vision, it’s most ideal for your cornea to be smooth and rounded. Those with astigmatism have eyes shaped more like an egg or a football, and because of that, light that enters their eye doesn’t refract onto the retina in an optimal place. Because LASIK – and PRK and SMILE – reshape the cornea into an ideal shape, it does correct astigmatism.

How long does LASIK last on average?

Generally the results of LASIK are permanent, but occasionally nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism can return due to changes in the lens of the eye. In these cases, your primary eye care doctor will refer you back to the specialists at Vance Thompson Vision, where they can determine the best course of action.

What is recovery from LASIK like?

After the topical anesthesia wears off, most patients experience burning, tearing, and light sensitivity for 2-4 hours. Generally, patients can see immediately after surgery, and their vision improves with every passing hour. Avoiding swimming, eye makeup, and eye rubbing is important. Many patients find it helpful to use preservative-free artificial tears to ease discomfort and aid healing.

How do I find out if I am a candidate for LASIK?

You will have a comprehensive exam with one of our Vance Thompson Vision doctors to see if you qualify.

Do I really need to come out of my contact lenses for a few days (or up to two weeks) before surgery? I don’t have any glasses.

Yes. Contact lenses can affect some of the measurements needed to accurately perform refractive surgery. Without accurate measurements, we risk falling short of best results.

Will I be awake during the procedure?

Yes. We offer a mild sedative to relax you for the procedure; however, this is optional.

Still have questions?

Questions about LASIK, PRK, or SMILE? Call us! Our representatives can answer many common questions, and when they can’t, they’ll put you in touch with someone who can. If you’re ready, they can also schedule your free consultation.

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