Common Questions about Laser Eye Surgery

Click on the question below to find answers to commonly asked questions from our patients about the treatments, processes, side effects and pricing of laser eye surgery. Still have questions? Call or send us a note and we’ll get back to you with the answers you need.

How old do you need to be to have laser eye surgery?

The minimum age is 19. There is no maximum age. If you are over 19, it is best if your prescription for glasses / contact lenses is stable (minimal change over a two-year period). Some people who are considering a career that has vision requirements may be able to undergo laser eye surgery before the prescription is stable, with the understanding that the eyes may still change and more surgery or corrective lenses may be required again.

How long will the correction last?

Studies have shown that the effects of PRK and LASIK are permanent. However, it cannot guarantee that there will be no change in your vision over the years, just as nobody can guarantee that your current glasses or contact lens prescription will last you a lifetime.

Is it painful?

There is very little, if any, pain during surgery. It is during the recovery that there is potential for discomfort or pain. With LASIK, if there is any discomfort, it may last about six hours. PRK takes longer for initial healing to occur, so any discomfort experienced (ranging from feeling like there is something like an eyelash in the eye to a stinging / burning sensation) can last a few days.

Can you guarantee 20/20 vision?

It is not possible to guarantee a perfect result of any surgery, including laser eye surgery. There are variables from person to person that are unpredictable and may result in a less-than-perfect result. If your vision after surgery is very close to 20/20, it is typically advised to leave it as is. Additional surgery can usually be done for those whose vision is blurred to the point that it is bothersome.

Is there any sort of warranty?

In over 85-90% of cases one single laser treatment is sufficient. In others, a second laser treatment is necessary to help you achieve the optimum vision. At BoydVision your laser vision correction is covered for retreatment up until 5 years after surgery. After that there is a fee for any further follow up visit, but you are eligible for retreatment at a reduced fee ($395/eye) indefinitely, as long as it is medically safe to do so. Blended Laser treatments are separate than regular Custom Laser Vision correction, and have a separate fee charge.

How much time do I need to take off from work?

For LASIK, you can return to work quite quickly. Theoretically, you could work the day after surgery. However, most people will take the first day off and return to work the next day. Care needs to be taken to avoid contact with the eye during the first week.
For PRK, most people will take a week off from work. While some are able to return to work after just a few days, it is unpredictable. If your schedule is not flexible, plan on a week.

Why do costs vary between clinics?

Laser Vision Correction has a large price range between different local clinics. This is partially aided by the publics’ confusion about the topic with its specialized terminology and complicated pricing structure. All laser vision centres emphasize that surgical experience and advanced technology is of paramount importance so comparisons on that level are ambiguous. BoydVision simply guarantees it can offer the most affordable fee for Custom Laser Vision Correction.

What if I move my eyes during surgery?

The laser is equipped with an active tracking system, so the laser will follow small movements of the eye. If you move your eye beyond the range of the laser, it will pause until you are able to look at the fixation light again. Most people are concerned about this before surgery, but it rarely becomes an issue during the procedure.

How do I avoid blinking during surgery

We take care of that for you—a small device is used to hold your eyelids open on the eye that is being worked on. The other eye is able to blink freely, but is covered so you don’t confuse which eye to fixate with. There are numbing drops used before we start, so you won’t have the urge to blink.

How long does it take to do the surgery?

It only takes a few minutes per eye to do the actual procedure. Plan to be in the clinic about an hour, though. You’ll need to do some paperwork, possibly have some measurements repeated, take a sedative (if desired), and have last minute questions answered. We like people to relax for a little while after everything is done before heading home.

Can I have surgery on both eyes the same day?

Yes, it is standard to have both eyes done on the same day.

How does Customized treatment compare to Standard/Conventional laser eye surgery?

If we compare laser surgery to clothing, standard/conventional treatment would be akin to buying a garment off the rack. The Custom treatment would be like having a tailor made garment. With Laser Vision Correction the primary difference between Conventional/Standard and Customized treatment is the mapping system that guides the laser. Because the surface of each individual’s eyes is unique and different, Standard LASIK map system does not detect those variations. Customized LASIK uses a more detailed analysis to recognize and treat these subtle irregularities.

Why doesn’t Medical Services Plan cover this surgery?

Even routine eye exams for the general public are not covered by MSP, so having elective surgery covered would not be in keeping with their philosophy. Some private insurance covers some or all of the surgery fee, so it is worthwhile to check any coverage you may have.

What payment options are available?

We accept cash, money order, Visa and MasterCard. We can also arrange financing for you, if desired.

When do I have to stop wearing contact lenses before surgery?

Typical soft contact lenses need to be out for one week prior to surgery. If you wear toric soft contact lenses (the type that correct for astigmatism), two weeks is required. If you wear rigid gas permeable lenses, they should be out for three weeks minimum. It’s important to follow the recommended schedule for non-wear of contact lenses to ensure the accuracy of your exam results and ultimately your laser treatment.

Does Laser Vision Correction cause dry eye?

Laser Vision Correction dehydrates the corneal surface and temporarily cause dry eye syndrome after surgery. This is usually mild, and generally can last 1-2 months. Sometimes the ocular dryness can last longer, particularly if the patient had a pre-existing dry eye problem. It is a matter of debate whether LASIK is worse than PRK with regard to this relatively common side effect. The biggest advance in the treatment for this problem has been the use of ReStasis™ eyedrops.

Is Laser Vision Correction safe?

Major complications with LASIK or PRK are rare. These can be greatly reduced with careful patient selection and thorough preoperative testing. Most patients experience mild visual side effects postoperatively, which resolve after few days or weeks. There is a slight chance some side effects may persist such as glare, halos and feelings of dryness.

Risk of Night Halos and Glare

Some patients may experience nighttime visual side effects after Laser Vision Correction including blurred vision, halos, starbursts and glare around lights. This is not uncommon and usually temporary—clearing up after 3 months as the cornea heals. Frequently the nighttime visual side effects are related to the severity of the preoperative prescription and larger pupil size. BoydVision’s insistence on using Custom Laser Vision Correction is aimed at minimizing this problem by using our advanced laser technology with an expanded treatment zone.

Bladeless LASIK?

Many Laser Vision Correction centres now advertise LASIK surgery without using a blade to cut the LASIK flap. They use a Femtosecond laser instead (Intralase™) to make the flap rather than a mechanical keratome which uses a disposable metal blade.There is a vast amount of marketing information produced by the manufacturer of the Femtosecond laser that it can reduce complications and enhance accuracy. However less-biased researchers conclude there is little difference between the blade and bladeless technologies in their clinical results. BoydVision still uses the mechanical blade system for two main reasons. It is arguably equally precise in cutting the flap, but definitely easier to re-lift the flap with any retreatment (thereby avoiding unnecessary flap tears). It also keeps laser eye surgery much more affordable.