Considering LASIK? Austin’s KEYE-TV sat down with Dr. Luke Barker on “We Are Austin” to debunk some of the myths associated with LASIK and learn more about the procedure itself.
Myth #1: LASIK can only correct nearsightedness.
Dr. Barker: False. It can correct more than just nearsightedness. Nearsightedness was one of the first things, now, with the technology we have, astigmatism can be corrected, farsightedness can be corrected, or any combination of those. So, many more options for LASIK nowadays.
Myth #2: LASIK is painful.
Dr. Barker: Again false. I’ve had it myself. We do several things to keep you comfortable during the procedure. It’s all done with laser now, so there’s no blades, no needles, no stitches. Conceptually that’s a lot more comfortable for sure. Plenty of numbing drops, and a lot of times we give you a Valium which relaxes you, it’s like having a few glasses of wine, really puts you in a good spot. We reassure you with local anesthesia the whole time while the procedure’s going on, an all you feel is a little bit of pressure during the first part of the procedure.
Myth #3: LASIK surgery is risky.
Dr. Barker: Most people who have LASIK actually wear contact lenses. Contact lenses have been, historically, far greater chances for complications from infections that lead to blindness than actual surgeries such as LASIK. So it’s much less risky to have LASIK than it is to wear contact lenses.
How long is a procedure like LASIK?
Dr. Barker: Typically the procedure for both eyes is less than ten minutes.
What kind of feedback do you get from people who have LASIK?
Dr. Barker: Usually the people who have already had it, swear by it, and would have it again if they needed it. Some really interesting data has come out in the last few months actually. A study was done comparing the average rate of the general public vs. refractive surgeons like myself and Drs. Paul and Mike Mann and how often they get it. Four times more likely, are surgeons likely to have LASIK than the average general public. Who knows more about LASIK than the actual surgeons who perform it?
It really speaks to the safety and efficacy of the procedure. Over 90 percent of surgeons would recommend it to their family members or friends. It’s very, very safe nowadays. I had it about 5 and a half years ago when I was finishing residency. I was the first one in my residency to do it, and after me, six more doctors did it. It was much easier than I expected; I didn’t take a Valium because I wanted to have the full experience, so I could relate that to patients better. So I can go from a patient’s perspective, from a doctor’s perspective, and really help patients see the light.
For the full video of the interview, click here.