fREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When it comes to your vision, there are no stupid questions. Dr. Rubinfeld specializes in laser vision correction (LASIK, PRK, etc) and the treatment of keratoconus, a rare corneal disease. We have prepared the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) about laser vision correction below. If you are looking for more information on keratoconus treatment, you can click here

Dr. Rubinfeld and his staff will also encourage you to ask as many questions as you would like at your free, no-cost consultation for either procedure you are curious about.

Before you start your research, take our LASIK quiz and find out how much you already know.


LASER VISION CORRECTION


What is the procedure like and what can I expect when it is happening?

You will remain awake and relaxed during the procedure. We often prescribe a mild sedative that allows our patients to fully relax but still remain aware and responsive to instructions and information being shared by our staff and doctor. We will also give you numbing drops. It only takes one anesthetic eye drop to numb your eyes so, to be absolutely certain you are very comfortable, we use four anesthetic eye drops. Music of your choosing will be played during your procedure if you so desire as well. During the laser part of your procedure, we will ask you to look at a flashing fixation light pictured at right. We will let you know when you may feel some pressure and your vision may dim for a few seconds at the beginning of the procedure. During the laser treatment you will also hear some ticking sounds, see red lights and notice an odor that’s a bit like a hairdryer, although no significant heat is generated. Hearing about the experiences of other patients may help you feel more comfortable about deciding to have laser vision correction and can make the experience easier for you. Please feel free to ask the Re:Vision – Roy Rubinfeld, MD staff and surgeons who have had it done themselves about their personal experiences. Watch this video to actually see what the procedure is like.

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How long do laser vision correction procedures take?

The LASIK procedure itself takes just a few minutes per eye but you can expect to be in the laser center for between two and three hours on the day of your procedure as we often carefully recheck many measurements.

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Does laser vision correction hurt?

It only takes one anesthetic eye drop to numb your eyes so, to be absolutely certain you are very comfortable, we use four anesthetic eye drops. Some people feel a sensation of pressure around their eye for several seconds. After LASIK eye surgery, most people have 3-6 hours of mild irritation (similar to the sensation of a dirty contact lens) and a single dose of Tylenol (if anything) is all they need. PRK (a laser procedure often recommended for patients who cannot have LASIK) can sometimes be more uncomfortable for a longer period of time (4-7 days).

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What are the long-term results of laser vision correction?

For over four decades we have been studying the effects of laser vision correction (including the procedure before LASIK called myopic keratomileusis or automated lamellar keratectomy). Several studies have been conducted and show stable / good vision 10, 12, 14 years and longer after laser vision correction*. It is unlikely that you will need any additional laser vision correction for distance vision after you are stable  from the procedure. After analyzing our custom LASIK results, we found that (on average) 95% of our patients had excellent results with a single LASIK procedure. On occasion, particularly amongst patients with high prescriptions, Dr. Rubinfeld will suggest a second procedure to get your vision as clear as you desire. This does not mean that anything went wrong with your initial procedure. Similar to golf, the farther the hole, the more strokes you need to get the ball in.

With our Commitment of Care Program Re:Vision - Roy Rubinfeld, MD will perform any necessary enhancements free of charge until your vision is satisfactory and stable, as long as it is medically appropriate. In the unlikely event that an enhancement is medically appropriate and necessary two years or more after a vision correction procedure, Re:Vision - Roy Rubinfeld, MD may perform this procedure (for a nominal fee). For more information please refer to our Commitment of Care Program.

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Many of our patients worry they might not be able to hold their eyes steady for the few minutes required for laser vision correction, but the overwhelming majority do so without any difficulty. We also use certain precautions. Just in case there is difficulty, however, we use certain precautions. Your eyes won’t feel dry during the procedure because of the numbing drops and while you relax your head in a soft, cushioned headrest, we help you keep your eye open with a small instrument to help prevent blinking. Your surgeon observes your eye through a microscope during the procedure and can detect the slightest movement before you can. We also use advanced lasers with tracking systems that track and adjust for the movement of your eye thousands of times per second. If you do look away, your surgeon can stop the laser treatment immediately and instruct you to look back at the flashing light. Once your eye is correctly positioned again, the treatment is restarted exactly where it left off.

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Should I get laser vision correction on both eyes the same day?

For the overwhelming majority of our patients, Dr. Rubinfeld will perform laser vision correction on both of their eyes on the same day. This is because most people want to minimize their postoperative discomfort and time away from work. They also choose to do both eyes on the same day as it can be somewhat disorienting to have one eye corrected when the other is still very nearsighted or farsighted. 

In general, the doctor can observe the potential problems that can occur from LASIK at the time of the procedure. For this reason, in most cases, when the first eye's LASIK goes perfectly, Dr. Rubinfeld feels confident in treating the second eye the same day. If, however, the first eye's LASIK proceeds less than perfectly, Dr. Rubinfeld generally prefers to wait until the first eye heals to treat the second. Should you have any questions about having one or two eye treatments or anything else about LASIK or laser vision correction, please don’t hesitate to ask us.

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How much does laser vision correction cost? Can I afford it?

Our fee for each eye ranges from $2,250 to $3,000. This includes a pre-operative evaluation with our staff, the laser vision correction surgery and the post-operative care (for up to a year after procedure). It also may include supplemental procedures through our Commitment of Care Program if needed.

While this may seem like a lot, it can often be less than purchasing a decade of soft contact lenses, especially for astigmatism. Although, after a decade of contact lens wearing, your vision still is not corrected.

Dr. Rubinfeld likes to say that laser vision correction is like “owning “ your vision as opposed to “renting” it. See for yourself. Use this LASIK-Affordability calculator to see how much you will save. 

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Do you offer interest-free financing?

In most cases, your laser vision correction will not be covered by your insurance.  Many of our patients find that the easiest way to pay for their laser vision correction procedure is through a medical savings plan. Your work may set you up with a medical savings plan. If so, you set aside pre-tax dollars in that plan, using it for laser vision correction in the year to follow. This allows you to save on taxes and can make laser vision correction more affordable. Someone with a salary of $35,000 might save $1,480 on laser vision correction that costs $5,000 through a medical savings plan.

If you would like to learn more about medical savings plans or financing options we offer, please mention this at your free consultation or contact us.

If you would like more info about getting LASIK eye surgery, call us at (301) 908-8091 or fill out this form to request a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our laser vision correction surgeons at our conveniently located Maryland or Virginia offices near Washington, DC.

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Is there a risk in having LASIK or another form of laser vision correction?

While all surgeries have risks associated with them, in Dr. Rubinfeld’s over 2 decades of experience as well as published medical studies, the vast majority of patients attain exceptional results. Out of millions of patient procedures, serious complications are rare. 

In 2001, USA Today recognized Dr. Rubinfeld as one of the leading laser vision correction surgeons to visit for complex or complicated cases. Other major mediahave cited Dr. Rubinfeld as one of the top surgeons in the country. Because of this and the countless, happy patients, we say that Dr. Rubinfeld’s patients are in the best hands.

That being said, it is important to note that nothing is completely absent of risk. Even contact lenses have risk associated with them.  In fact, medical papers have suggested that when a skilled and expert surgeon handles laser vision correction, the procedure could be less of a risk than wearing contact lenses long term. In fact, Dr. Rubinfeld has treated many patients with serious complications caused by their contact lenses.  It is worth noting that for patients who do not follow their doctor’s care instructions, contact lenses can create more common complications than laser vision correction.

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What kind of complications can be caused from laser vision correction?

We know that the laser vision correction consent form can seem confusing and overwhelming. While certainly anything is possible, Dr. Rubinfeld’s patients usually ask about the most common issues that could happen from laser vision correction. From our experience, the most common possible issue that arises is the need for a second procedure to help the patient achieve the best, most clear vision possible. If a second procedure is necessary, Dr. Rubinfeld will generally perform it weeks to months following the first treatment. Read more about the possibility of a second procedure here. 

Another rare but possible complication following laser vision correction or LASIK surgery is an eye infection. However, after tens of thousands of procedures over more than 20 years, Dr. Rubinfeld has only witnessed a handful of these cases.

It is also possible but rare that Dr. Rubinfeld will cancel a procedure when the corneal flap isn’t to his liking. This is resolved by simply rescheduling your procedure after your eye heals. Trauma to a laser vision correction patient’s eye, particularly when the eye is still healing, is another concern. Occasionally, patients are accidently hit in the eye after their procedure. This can move the flap and then it needs to be repositioned surgically. That is why Dr. Rubinfeld tells his patients to stay away from anything that could hit the eye and refrain from rubbing their eyes for months following the laser vision correction procedure.

Sometimes, epithelial cells (skin-like cells) on the eye’s surface can grow underneath the flap. This can cause a complication particularly after a subsequent, enhancement. However, the issue can generally be resolved in another procedure where the flap is lifted, the cells brushed away and the flap is reapplied.

 If you have any questions at all or would like more information about getting laser vision correction or LASIK eye surgery, call us at (301) 908-8091. You can also fill out this form to request a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our laser vision correction surgeons at our conveniently located Maryland or Virginia offices near Washington, DC.

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What should I be expecting after my laser vision correction or LASIK surgery?

It is normal for one eye to be more comfortable than the other or see better more quickly than the other eye for the first few weeks following surgery. It usually does not get in the way of driving or other activities day-to-day. Your vision can also fluctuate a bit from day to day or moment to moment due to dryness. This is also common and normal.

Although eyes that have undergone laser vision correction do not necessarily feel dry, Dr. Rubinfeld encourages his patients to use the artificial tears he supplies you (or similar tears you can find at the pharmacy) several times throughout the day for a few weeks following your procedure.  Those tears with preservatives should be avoided and we encourage you to refer to your post-op instructions for the recommended brands. 

Like any surgical eye procedure, it is critical that one does not rub or get hit in the eye. Most patients start exercise or swimming after about a week. You can ask the eye doctor that treats you after the surgery when you can safely go back to your normal activities.

During your first/second eye doctor visit after the laser vision correction procedure, you may be instructed to wear temporary glasses that will help your vision improve as your eyes heal. This is not uncommon and does not mean that there is an issue. Another normal occurrence can be red spots on the white part of your eyes. They fade over time, usually about 2 weeks or so.

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When will I see results? How quickly should the surgery work?

This can vary depending on the laser vision correction procedure. But, most of Dr. Rubinfeld’s patients go back to work and drive within 1 to 2 days following their procedure. It is common and totally normal that patients feel like they are looking through Vaseline or dirty contact lenses during the first days or weeks. Their vision’s contrast, sharpness and/or clarity aren’t what they were. It can usually take about a few weeks for a patient’s vision to reach peak. After three months, most patients’ prescriptions and vision are stabilized. Many describe their results as “high definition” vision.

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What kind of complications can occur?

You can read more about the rare but possible complications here. Generally, they are uncommon when you see an expert surgeon, however, if the following symptoms arise, you should seek your doctor’s attention.

• Increased discomfort, rather than decreased comfort in the first week or so following surgery.

• A significant lessening in vision (this does not refer to a mild flux).

• Your eyes giving off a marked discharge, redness or your lids swell.

You can always call 301.908.8091 after your procedure should you have any questions at all. Click here for more information about rare but possible complications. 

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How long do I have to wait to exercise or travel after my laser vision correction procedure?

Most of Dr. Rubinfeld’s patients return to their jobs within a couple of days after LASIK. However, we don’t recommend that our patients fly on long flights in the first few days after procedures, but you can check with Dr. Rubinfeld to be sure.

As for exercise, all patients’ routines vary. The main thing to remember is avoiding any eye trauma. When you start exercise again post LASIK, we encourage you to avoid sweat running in your eyes as you may accidentally rub them. Usually, patients swim about a week after laser vision correction, but we encourage them to avoid exercise or sports that could lead to an eye injury unless the proper eye protection is worn. Dr. Rubinfeld and his staff are here for you should have any specific questions about your personal sports and exercise routine and how it relates to your vision.

If you have any questions at all or would like more information about getting laser vision correction or LASIK eye surgery, call us at (301) 908-8091. You can also fill out this form to request a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our laser vision correction surgeons at our conveniently located Maryland or Virginia offices near Washington, DC.

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