Laser Eye Surgery Frequently Asked Questions
At the Australian Institute of Eye Surgery our approach is to help you make an informed decision about laser vision correction and your eyes. Our objective is to ensure that you know as much about the procedure as possible.
Our surgeons are very careful in deciding which potential patients are good candidates for laser vision correction and they will discuss with you your expectations from the procedure.
Our surgeons and staff have changed the lives of thousands of patients since introducing the LASIK procedure.
You may be a perfect candidate for LASIK. However, you may be told as with more than 1/3 of our potential patients that your eyes are not suitable.
Why should I choose your laser centre?
Our experience in carrying out over 20,000 procedures and changing the lives of thousands of patients means you are in good hands.
Will I have 20/20 vision?
Most of our patients achieve 20/20 vision. Others may have their use of corrective lenses reduced dramatically where mild glasses may still be required for reading, working at a computer or night driving.
Who will conduct my LASIK vision procedure?
At the Australian Institute of Eye Surgery all vision correction surgery is conducted by our chief surgeon, Dr. Ronald Binetter. It may be important for you to know that as an experienced eye surgeon Dr. Binetter spent 11 years in medical study at University including four years specialist study in Ophthalmology (more commonly known as micro-eye surgery).
As a practising eye microsurgeon Dr. Binetter has spent a further ten years conducting refractive eye surgery including 20,000 LASIK procedures.
How much experience have your doctors had?
Our doctors were among the first in the country to perform LASIK and our chief surgeon, Dr. Ronald Binetter has performed over 20,000 LASIK procedures.
How does it work?
A simple way to imagine how the laser works is to think of it as placing the curvature from your glasses or contact lenses onto the front surface of your eye allowing you to see without corrective eye wear.
How do I know if I am suitable for laser vision correction?
You may be a perfect candidate for laser vision correction if you are at least 18 years old, not pregnant, have stable vision for one year prior to the procedure and are free of complicating eye disease. However, you may be told as with more than one third of our potential patients that your eyes are not suitable. A comprehensive examination at the Australian Institute of Eye Surgery is your first step.
What conditions can be treated?
Shortsightedness, longsightedness and astigmatism are all able to be treated.
What kind of results can I expect?
The degree of improvement varies among individuals and how well and quickly your vision improves depends on how you heal and the severity of your prescription. Although we can't promise perfect vision, most patients with mild to moderate prescriptions do achieve 20/20 vision or better. This means that they no longer need glasses or contact lenses to drive, play sport or watch movies or TV.
During your consultation and examination your doctor will help determine the range of your probable outcome based on your particular prescription.
Have any of your staff had the surgery?
Yes 3 of our staff members have had the procedure performed and many more of their family members have had LASIK or other vision correction procedures performed when they have not been suitable for LASIK.
Will my vision be corrected forever?
Today leading LASIK surgeons around the world regard LASIK as a permanent correction to the cornea. Over 15 years of investigative trials have demonstrated that vision remains stable. However, over the age of 45, all people will start to have difficulty with close up vision due to the natural ageing process which occurs in the lens of the eye. This usually results in the need for reading glasses. Occasionally some people may experience very late regression years after the procedure.
What does the procedure cost?
• There is an initial consultation fee of $225.00.
• There is an additional cost on the day of the Laser Eye Surgery procedure of $50.00 for the required eye drops.
Is laser vision correction covered by insurance?
You are unable to claim any of the costs from your private health fund or Medicare. You are able to claim some of the costs back through personal income tax. You would need to discuss this with your accountant.
Is LASIK painful?
The laser treatment itself is painless. There are no needles. Instead, anaesthetic eye drops are used to numb the surface of the eye both before and during surgery. Some people may feel discomfort from the lid speculum used to keep the eyelids open. Sometimes, prior to the laser re-shaping of your cornea, a moderate feeling of pressure may cause brief discomfort. After the procedure your eyes may feel gritty or irritable for several hours. This usually resolves with sleep. 1% to 2% of patients require a mild analgesic such as Panadol to relieve more prolonged discomfort.
What is the Excimer Laser?
The Excimer laser is an ultra-violet laser which utilises Argon and Fluorine gas to create a non-thermal or cool beam of laser light which can break molecular bonds.
How long does the procedure take?
LASIK takes approximately 15-20 minutes for both eyes to be treated, although the actual laser re-shaping of your cornea takes less than 60 seconds depending on your prescription. You will be at the Institute for about 1-2 hours.
How soon can I return to my normal routine?
Most people can return to work the next day as 90% of visual recovery will occur within the first 24 hours. Minor fluctuations in vision can persist for several weeks.
When will I be able to drive?
Most patients are able to drive the following day.
Are there any risks?
There are risks with having laser vision correction. However, the chances of having a vision reducing complication has been documented in a number of clinical trial studies to be less than 1%.
Will I have to wear glasses again?
Presbyopia is a natural ageing process which affects the lens of the eye in everyone in the mid 40's to 50's. This results in most people in this age group requiring reading glasses. It's possible that some people might need to wear a small prescription for certain activities after the surgery.
If I only wear reading glasses can the laser surgery help?
Yes, laser surgery may help you. Monovision is an alternative to reading glasses.
Do I have one or both eyes treated on the same day?
Your surgeon will discuss this with you, but the vast majority of patients can have both eyes treated on the same day.
When will I be able to see after the procedure?
Results vary from patient to patient. Most patients have functional vision the next day. Full visual results are realised for most within one to four weeks.