FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). Laser Vision Correction. ArtLife Ophtalmologic Centre

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

All the questions asked personally via our contact form will be answered by email. Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Can a person with diabetes undergo a laser vision correction procedure?

Diabetes is not an absolute contraindication to the surgery. Prior to the procedure, blood sugar level should be stable and there should be no signs of diabetic retinopathy in the eye fundus. A diagnosed diabetes always entails a risk of a longer healing period and undercorrection.

Is laser vision correction safe?

Laser vision correction procedure is associated with a very low risk. Nevertheless it is a type of surgery and you should realise that there is always a risk of complications. Complications occur in less than 0,1% of the cases, which is why we perform qualification assessments and if you have any contraindications, the doctor will not qualify you for the surgery. The very course of surgery and of the recovery period largely depends on the patient himself/herself, his/her cooperation with the doctor and compliance with the doctor’s instructions before and after surgery. Furthermore, follow-up examinations are performed after surgery and the patient can always count on emergency treatment.

What are the contraindications to laser vision correction?

Contraindications to laser vision correction include: less than 18 years of age, progression of the patient’s refractive error in the past year, eye diseases, retinal changes in the course of diabetes, implanted cardiac pacemaker, thyroid diseases, cancer, psychiatric diseases, dependence, pregnancy and breastfeeding, treatment with hormones (except for contraception, which should not be used within 3 months before and after surgery).

Will I feel pain during and after surgery?

The surgery is performed under local anaesthesia achieved by eye drops and is completely painless. The patient is additionally given painkillers by mouth. There are no pain after SBK LASIK surgery. The sensation tends to be described as discomfort or presence of a foreign body under the eyelid. In the case of LASEK, TransPRK surgery, pain may occur in the first two days after surgery, when the patient is given painkillers.

Is it possible to have both eyes operated on at one go?

Yes, of course it’s possible. However, it’s best to make the final decision after discussing it with the doctor during the qualification visit.

What are the differences between various methods of laser vision correction?

Methods of laser vision correction can be divided into two groups depending on the way the cornea is prepared for the laser procedure:

  • with creation of corneal flap - SBK LASIK,
  • with removal of corneal epithelium - LASEK, TransPRK.

What also enables us to distinguish between the methods is the time required for corneal healing and the sense of discomfort following the surgery (determined by the way the cornea is prepared for the laser procedure). The method in which a flap is created on the surface of the cornea (an SBK LASIK method) is more comfortable for the patient, as well as characterised by a short healing period. After the correction, i.e. after the laser ablation, the corneal flap is repositioned and works as a natural dressing. Following an SBK LASIK surgery the patient does not usually experience any discomfort or pain. The eye heals very quickly and it is possible to return to everyday activities on the next day after the procedure. In methods which require the removal of corneal epithelium (LASEK, TransPRK) deeper layers of the cornea are reached with the laser after the epithelium has been removed. The LASEK method involves application of alcohol solution which allows to soften the epithelium and separate it mechanically. In the TransPRK method the epithelium is removed with laser. After a surgery in which the epithelium has been removed contact lenses are applied onto the eyes, which works as a dressing. After a week the lenses are removed by a doctor during a follow-up examination. 

During a preliminary qualifying examination, once a number of tests and measurements are conducted and a detailed medical history of the patient is taken, a doctor will suggest the most suitable method of laser vision correction.

Are there any complications after laser vision correction?

Laser vision correction, much alike any surgical operations, carry certain risks. However, laser vision correction is considered to be the safest of all procedures associated with aesthetic medicine. Occurrence of any type of postoperative complications is very rare. This is why the qualifying examination plays a crucial role in the whole procedure as it helps to eliminate any contraindications.
Complications may occur in patients who do not follow doctor’s instructions and do not take the prescribed drugs after the surgery. Such complications are mostly connected with irregularities in the healing process which usually require further treatment. After SBK LASIK procedures patients usually do not experience any kind of discomfort, especially pain... Patient begins to function normally and tends to forgets that he has had a surgery and he is in a recovery period – in which the eye should be allowed to heal.
Wrong application of the eye drops may cause the cornea to heal unevenly which may result in irregularities in its’ structure. In such case planned correction may not be achieved.
Infection of the eye during the healing process may also be a complication. Infections are caused by not applying to restrictions connected with swimming or by failing to maintain proper hygiene of the eyes. Moderate infections can generally be cured with antibiotics and do not affect the vision. However, the more advanced ones, can lead to scarification and decrease in the quality of eyesight. Such cases often require the laser vision correction procedure to be repeated.
What is more, numerous effects of the healing process are often reported by patients as complications. E.g. hypersensitivity to sunlight, necessity to use moisturising eye drops more often, halo effect... These are postoperative effects which are not dangerous and gradually decrease as the eyesight stabilises during convalescence period. 

Contraceptive pills and laser vision correction

During a preliminary qualifying examination the patient should inform the doctor about any medications they regularly take, including contraceptive pills. Hormonal balance should be stable  at least a few months prior to the procedure and a few months afterwards. You should neither start nor stop using contraceptives within the last three months before or three months after the surgery.

I am a physically active person. Can I return to training directly after the surgery?

After the laser vision correction physical effort should be limited. It does not mean that you are not allowed to jog or stretch. Lifting heavy object as well as any sports resulting in elevation of the intraocular pressure should be strictly avoided. It is advised not to swim or use sauna for a month after the procedure. The patients often emphasise that it is wise to resign from sport for a month in order to fully benefit from it afterwards, without any limitations caused by glasses or lenses.

Do I need to arrive for the procedure with an accompanying person?

Many of our patients return home, or to the hotel by themselves, but driving a car after the surgery is strictly prohibited. After leaving the treatment room patients do not wear any dressing (there is no need for it) - only sunglasses (included in the price of the surgery). It is advised that the patient is accompanied by someone, but he can arrive alone only at his own risk. The ArtLife Team is there to offer help, for example by calling a taxi.

Do I have to take leave after undergoing the surgery?

Our patients are often back to wok on the very next day after the procedure (SBK LASIK). But when patients job requires physical effort or staying in dusty areas – it is advisable to take advantage of a medical leave. The certificate will be written out by the doctor performing the surgery.

What are the guarantees and insurance?

In accordance with the legal regulations in Poland, the responsibility for treatment is based on the diligence principle, both in the diagnosis and treatment processes. The doctor and the medical entity in which the surgery is performed are not entitled to "give a guarantee" to achieve a specific result of the treatment. The physician always tries his best to achieve the best result. This rule applies in all areas of medicine - in cardiology, oncology, dermatology, and ophthalmology. Giving a guarantee would be contrary to applicable regulations. Each patient, due to his or her individual properties, can achieve a different therapeutic effect, and it the doctor's task is to achieve the best result.

ARTLIFE Sp. z o. o. - ArtLife Ophthalmologic Center, in order to provide patients with the best possible treatment conditions, has high quality equipment and employs specialists in the field of laser vision correction, microsurgery, and plastic surgery. Thanks to this, we achieve very good results of treatment. We make every effort to ensure that the treatments have the best possible results.

Regarding the insurance, we would like to inform you that every healthcare provider and any practising physician in Poland is obliged to have a liability insurance and we meet such a requirement. Issues related to the insurance are regulated by medical law.

How much time should you wait after giving birth to be able to undergo laser vision correction?

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, there are many changes in the woman's body caused by the so-called hormone storm. The eye defect may fluctuate during this time, and the tests give unreliable results. Time suitable for laser vision correction after childbirth is about 6 months, then the hormones stabilize and the body returns to function from before pregnancy.

Correction of high hipermetropia

The WaveLight EX500 excimers laser, which we have at the ArtLife Ophthalmologic Centre, corrects presbyopia up to +6.0 dioptres. In a case of a high-degree defect, the result of the keratometry, i.e. the measurement of the radius of the curvature of the cornea and its strength, is crucial. If a corneal bulge of significant proportions is detected during the examination, the procedure cannot be performed.

Thyroid diseases - are they a contraindication?

Thyroid diseases, e.g. hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s, are not a contraindication for a laser vision correction. However, to qualify for the procedure, you need a proper certificate from your endocrinologist about the degree of the disease, stabilisation of hormone levels and the lack of contraindications for a laser vision correction. Thyroid diseases may be a cause of longer healing of the eyes and significantly extend the recovery time.

Glasses only for reading – presbyopia

Presbyopia appears most often around the age of 40-50 and makes it difficult to see close objects clearly, especially in low light, and therefore hinders daily activities such as reading, using a mobile phone or computer. The solution for people with myopia may be with excimer laser intervention aimed at achieving so-called monovision. In this case, a small negative defect (up to -1.75 D) is intentionally left uncorrected in one eye (which will be "intended" for reading), while the other eye gets fully corrected – this eye will be used for distance vision. In practice, this means that the dominant eye will become responsible for the possibility of a clear vision of the distance, while the subordinated eye - for good near vision. However, it is worth remembering that laser correction reduces only the effect of presbyopia, not presbyopia itself as it is a physiological process. As time passes, you will probably need stronger glasses for reading. All people over 40, when correcting myopia or hyperopia (also called farsightedness, which is usually an inborn defect and manifests itself during adolescence), just as all those who have never had to use glasses, will eventually have to - because of the natural physiological processes associated with the aging.

Is it possible to born a child naturely after laser vision correction?

Yes, but before the delivery you should undergo an ophthalmological examination and have the topography and thickness of the cornea checked – to see whether there are no deviations from the normal state. It is important that the cornea is not thinner than 400 micrometres , that there are no degenerative changes visible in fundoscopy and no holes in the retina (which may sometimes occur in short-sighted, physically active patients – this state increases the risk of retinal detachment). It should be underlined that laser vision correction does not affect state of the retina, but only changes the shape of the cornea. After excluding the above morbidities, there are no contraindications to vaginal delivery.