If you’re considering one of our many vision correction procedures, such as LASIK or PRK surgery, you may have a lot of questions. Here are some of the questions we hear most frequently for each procedure. If your question isn’t answered below, or if you’d like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact our office. Our team will do our best to answer your questions in a timely, accurate, and respectful manner.
How do I know if I'm a good candidate for LASIK?
San Antonio Eye Specialists offers complimentary consultations to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK. During your consultation, we’ll use state-of-the-art technology to perform diagnostic tests. You’ll also meet Dr. Iskander, who will examine your eyes and use the diagnostic data to give you an honest recommendation for a treatment plan.
Is there anything special I need to do before having my Free LASIK consultation?
We advise you to wear glasses one week before your appointment if you wear soft contacts. We ask that you remove hard contacts or gas permeable contacts 3–4 weeks before your free consultation. Removal of contact lenses allows your corneas to relax to their natural state beforehand for accurate measurements. However, we can still see you if you are wearing contact lenses to determine your candidacy. If you wish to proceed with surgery, you will need to switch to wearing only glasses before any surgical intervention.
How much does LASIK cost?
The cost of LASIK will depend on many factors, such as the patient’s prescription and ocular health. To help make LASIK surgery affordable, San Antonio Eye Specialists offers low-interest financing options and accepts FSAs and HSAs. To learn more about LASIK pricing, schedule a free consultation.
How soon can I have LASIK?
Our LASIK surgery days usually happen on Thursdays with the 1-day post-operative visit on Fridays. Most people return to work or school the next day! Healing with LASIK is that fast, which is why it causes minimal interruption in their schedules. It’s truly a rewarding procedure for the patient and the San Antonio Eye Specialists team to see patients recover so quickly and achieve visual freedom from glasses and contacts.
Is LASIK painful?
Before your LASIK procedure, Dr. Iskander will administer anesthetic eye drops to numb the eyes and make the procedure pain-free. Once the anesthetic wears off, patients may experience minor discomfort after the procedure. Any burning, gritty, or foreign body sensations will go away by the next day.
Are there risks with LASIK?
Any surgical procedure will have risks. With LASIK, minor complications, such as a longer recovery time, occur in about 1% of patients. Potentially major complications, such as infections near the eye, occur in about 1 in 1,000 patients.
How long after LASIK surgery is the expected recovery time? Am I able to see right away?
Recovery with LASIK is very quick. Most of our patients return to work or school the next day! You will see well right away. Once the procedure is completed, we ask that you go home, sleep and keep your eyes shut to lubricate them. While recovery is fast, there will be 3–5 hours of discomfort and tearing so keeping eyes shut will help the healing process.
When can I resume normal activities?
Most patients can return to their normal routines after their next-day post-op appointment. More rigorous activities, such as contact sports or swimming, may require a longer period of recovery to avoid infection or trauma.
After LASIK surgery, how soon may I resume my workouts?
Avoid working out for one week. This is mostly due to the increased risk of sweat getting into your eyes. We recommend wearing a headband or wiping your brow to keep sweat out of your eyes.
How long do I have to worry or be cautious with my corneal flap? How long does it take the flap to completely heal?
Healing time will vary by patient. We recommend that you not rub your eyes for 2 weeks. After that time, it's safe.
Will I have light sensitivity after LASIK surgery?
Light sensitivity is normal for the first 3–5 hours after LASIK.
May I smoke after LASIK surgery?
We recommend not smoking after LASIK for at least 4 weeks. Smoke fumes can cause irritation and make you more prone to infection. Smoking has also been shown to slow the healing process of your eyes after LASIK.
Will I need glasses after LASIK?
For most patients, the answer is no! About 2% of LASIK patients still wear glasses for certain things, but it should be noted that these patients typically had awful vision before the procedure, and a great deal of refractive correction was obtained.
What is the best age for a LASIK procedure?
LASIK is FDA-approved for patients over the age of 18 who have a stable prescription that has not changed for 2 years.
What if my head moves under the laser during LASIK?
Almost everyone moves a little during the procedure. With normal breathing, there will be slight movement of face and eyes. This is why we use advanced laser tracking mechanisms to track the eye position.
Are there special accommodations if I don’t live in San Antonio?
Please let us know if you are not local to San Antonio. We can arrange a full consultation and evaluation on the same day, followed by a procedure, provided you are a candidate. We are conveniently located off of Loop 1604, and we are surrounded by reasonable hotel accommodations and restaurants. We can also help research for an alternate eye professional for continued post-operative care in your hometown.
Is LASIK covered by my insurance?
Because LASIK is an elective procedure, it is typically not covered by health insurance plans. However, some insurance carriers may offer reimbursement for procedures. San Antonio Eye Specialists will provide an itemized statement for services rendered so the patient can submit directly to the insurance carrier for any further savings.
Have you ever seen someone go blind from LASIK?
No, laser technology is so advanced that the risk of vision-threatening complications from LASIK are extremely minimal.
Can I have LASIK if I’m pregnant or nursing a child?
Because pregnant or nursing mothers can experience fluctuation in hormones that could affect their refractive prescriptions, we strongly recommend waiting until you are completely done breast-feeding and have resumed your normal menstrual cycle to have LASIK.
If I have a family history of eye disease, am I disqualified for LASIK?
No. Not all eye diseases are hereditary. We will perform a thorough, comprehensive exam of your eyes prior to your procedure. This helps ensure your eyes are healthy and there is no pathology present.
What if I was told I was NOT a candidate by another physician?
We respect all physicians’ expertise and diagnostic capabilities. We also know that our combination of refractive surgery expertise, experience, and availability of diagnostic testing is not common. That is why we offer complimentary consultations so we can assess you for ourselves.
I wore hard contact lenses for years. Does that mean I’m not a LASIK candidate?
No, you may still be a great candidate to have LASIK. We may recommend you wear glasses and stop using contact lenses for a while so we can get accurate scans of the true shape of your cornea.
If I have astigmatism, does that mean I can’t have LASIK?
Absolutely not! In fact, the latest LASIK technology is actually designed to help correct astigmatism.
Does LASIK surgery prevent the development of cataracts?
No. While that would be nice, unfortunately, the normal aging process and development of cataracts will still occur as you age. However, there are lenses and technology that is available that makes treating your cataract easier and more accurate than ever.
Will LASIK correct both my distance and near vision?
Younger patients can expect to see well at both distances after LASIK. Patients above 40 may require other options to correct both distance and near vision, such as monovision correction.
Will my correction from LASIK digress over time?
It is possible, but not typical. Most patients experience great vision and remain glasses-free until reading glasses are required around the age of 40–45, or until cataracts develop later in life.
Do most people have to get enhancements after a year or two?
No, a very low percentage of patients may require an enhancement if there is still a slight prescription after surgery, but again, this is not typical.
How long does LASIK/PRK last? Is it true I have to repeat the procedure every 10 years?
LASIK and PRK are permanent refractive procedures correcting the corneal curvature. The procedures do not change, it's the evolving of our eyes during the natural aging process that changes with time. For example, we develop presbyopia, generally in our 40s, which causes the need for reading glasses. Also, around our 60s, we may develop cataracts that clouds our vision requiring cataract lens removal.
How much time should I take off from work to have LASIK?
After your surgery, you will come in for a post-op visit the next morning. After that, most patients are able to return to work. However, if you work in a dusty or dirty environment, we suggest taking off one week from work. Or, make accommodations to your work environment and shield your eyes with goggles.
Will I be asleep for LASIK surgery?
No. The whole surgery takes about 10 minutes, and you will be awake and listening to Dr. Iskander talk to you. We will prescribe a mild sedative if you feel a little nervous or anxious.
How soon can I start driving after LASIK?
You are usually cleared to drive after your first post-op visit the next day. If you previously had glasses on your driver's license, make sure to ask us to give you a form to take to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to update your records.
How soon can I fly after LASIK?
You can fly the next day, after we have seen you for your post-op appointment.
Is it okay to cry after the LASIK procedure?
There is no harm in crying after the procedure, just refrain from rubbing your eyes.
How long after LASIK surgery before I resume with makeup?
We recommend one week of no regular eye makeup and one month of no waterproof eye makeup. All other makeup that does not involve the eye, or immediate surrounding area, is fine to use.
Can I wash my face after LASIK surgery? Do I need to be careful with water around my eyes?
Yes, you should be careful when cleansing your face. Consider using a washcloth to clean your face with care not to rub eyelids vigorously. You may also use a cotton-tipped swab with warm water to gently clean around your eyes.
I know I should not rub my eyes after LASIK, but what happens if I wake up with gunk in my eyes and need to clean them?
You may use a cotton-tipped swab and wet it with warm water. Gently clean around your eyes, being careful not to rub your eyelids.
How long before I can work in front of a computer screen following LASIK surgery?
You can use a computer the next day. We ask that you use the preservative-free artificial tears as instructed. This is especially helpful when sitting in front of a computer screen. Eyes tend to dry more frequently in these situations, due to decreased blinking. Take a break every 20 minutes.
Will LASIK change the color of my eyes?
No, the colored part of your eye (the iris) is untouched during surgery.
Can my family and friends watch my surgery?
Absolutely! We have several viewing areas for anyone that would like to watch. We even show the procedure, through the doctor’s procedure, on a live TV screen.
Will I be able to see during the procedure?
Yes, for the most part. Your eye is uncovered and you will see lights that come and go as Dr. Iskander talks you through the procedure. Most people state that it is a quick “light show.” You will be able to see a light, but it is so close that you will not see any instruments coming toward your eyes.
Are you able to smell anything during the LASIK procedure?
There is a smell during the procedure which comes from the gases that the laser uses. It is not a “burning” of tissue or flesh.
What are the benefits of cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery removes mature cataracts that have led to blurred or double vision. It can also be used to correct astigmatism. This can be achieved by implanting a Toric IOL or making a Limbal Relaxing Incision (LRI) on the cornea during surgery.
Is cataract surgery painful?
No, Dr. Iskander administers a topical anesthetic in the form of eye drops to numb the eye prior to surgery, making the procedure pain-free. Once the anesthetic wears off, patients may feel mild pressure around the eye that should go away within a day or two.
How much does cataract removal surgery cost?
The cost of cataract surgery will vary and depends on how developed the cataract is or whether both eyes require surgery. Cataract removal surgery is typically covered by insurance.
How does Dr. Iskander implant an RLE? Will stitches be needed, and will I be able to see the incision?
The RLE is inserted through small incisions that do not require stitches. Dr. Iskander inserts the lens in a folded position through the incision. The lens opens up inside the eye and is positioned appropriately by Dr. Iskander.
Can you see the RLE after it has been implanted?
No, you cannot see the RLE with the naked eye. The lens is not visible without special instruments.
How long after RLE surgery until I can see?
Patients report seeing well right after RLE surgery, with most seeing their best the next day. Although healing times vary, you will be able to resume most of your activities almost immediately.
Will I ever develop cataracts after RLE surgery?
You cannot develop a cataract after RLE surgery, also known as Clear Lens Extraction (CLE). This is seen as a great advantage with one less surgery as you age!
Does my insurance cover RLE/CLE procedure?
RLE/CLE is considered an elective procedure and is not covered by insurance.
How much time should I take off from work for RLE surgery?
We recommend taking between 2–7 days off from work. Some patients return to work after 2 days. However, if you work a strenuous job that requires heavy lifting or working in dusty/dirty environments, we advise taking one week off from work.
What kind of RLE lenses does Dr. Iskander use and how does he decide what lens is best for me?
Dr. Iskander uses the latest available intraocular lenses on the market. This includes Toric, multifocal, and depth of focus intraocular lenses. At your complimentary consultation, Dr. Iskander will use state-of-the-art technology and a thorough eye exam to recommend the lens that best matches your visual needs and lifestyle.
How long is the RLE procedure? Is RLE surgery considered Outpatient?
RLE surgery is an Outpatient procedure that takes approximately 15 minutes per eye. We perform RLE in our accredited surgical suite on site at San Antonio Eye Specialists.
What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?
PRK and LASIK each use different methods to correct vision by reshaping corneal tissue. No flap is created with PRK as the laser is applied to the outer corneal surface.
Is PRK more risky than LASIK?
No. While risks are involved with either procedure, neither one is riskier than the other.
Can you be a candidate for both PRK and LASIK?
Dr. Iskander honestly assesses each patient’s vision using state-of-the-art technology. Some patients may be candidates for both procedures at which point the patient chooses according to their lifestyle. Achieving the best corrected vision and enhancing a patient’s lifestyle is the desired result.
Why would someone be a candidate for PRK versus LASIK?
In general, PRK is a recommended refractive procedure for someone with a thinner cornea or irregularities on the corneal surface.
Is PRK recommended for certain professions?
Yes, pilots, for example, are recommended to have PRK.
How does the recovery time of PRK compare to LASIK?
PRK takes longer to recover, usually 3–7 days post surgery date. However, the end result of seeing 20/20 or better is the same as LASIK. Vision will continually enhance over the course of a month.
Is PRK favored by the US Military?
PRK is typically the preferred procedure for combat-bound soldiers and others in special operations.
When can you resume daily physical activities after PRK surgery?
PRK and LASIK have the same recommended time to resume physical activities after 3–4 weeks, including swimming.
When can makeup be applied after PRK surgery?
We recommend both for PRK and LASIK waiting at least one week to apply makeup.
Why would I want the ICL?
The Visian ICL™ is generally used to correct a wide range of myopia without the removal of corneal tissue. The ICL is a small, foldable, injectable lens that is inserted through a tiny 3mm incision that does not require sutures. The ICL provides predictable refractive outcomes and excellent quality of vision due to its placement inside the eye as well as its optical performance. The lens is made of a superior lens material called Collamer, which provides unparalleled biocompatibility.
How do I know if I am a good candidate for the Visian ICL?
Good candidates for this procedure are between 21 and 45 years of age with a moderate to advanced nearsighted prescription from -3.00 to -16.00 with up to 4 diopters of astigmatism. It is best if the candidate has not had any previous ophthalmic surgeries and does not have a history of ophthalmic disease such as glaucoma, iritis, or diabetic retinopathy.
Does my insurance cover the ICL procedure?
Insurance does not cover ICL surgery. It is considered an elective procedure.
What if my vision changes?
This is one of the strongest points of the Visian ICL™. If there are any changes in your vision for the worse, the Visian ICL™ can be removed and/or replaced. Most other eye care procedures can be done at any time. The Visian ICL™ offers something that neither LASIK nor PRK can, which is reversibility. If problems occur, they can be remedied with little difficulty. With the ICL, you can still wear glasses or contact lenses if necessary. The ICL does not help presbyopia, or the need for reading glasses due to age. The ICL is available for different treatment ranges, depending on what country you live in.
What are ICLs made of?
You can think of it like plastic, although it’s a very special plastic. The material is called collamer, and it’s a collagen co-polymer that contains a small amount of purified collagen. It is biocompatible (i.e. it will not cause a reaction inside the eye) and stable. It also contains an ultraviolet light filter, which is proprietary to STAAR Surgical.
Will my ICL dry out or get dirty like contact lenses?
No, this will never happen. The Visian ICL™ is designed to remain in place within the eye, without maintenance. An annual examination done by your ophthalmologist is recommended to make sure that everything is fine, but generally we see little change in the ICL’s placement and performance over time.
How long do ICLs last?
ICLs are intended to remain in place without maintenance. If it becomes necessary, for any reason, they can be easily removed by a trained ophthalmic surgeon.
Will other people see my ICL after it is implanted?
No. Because the lens is positioned behind the iris, neither you, nor an observer will be able to identify the lens in place. The cosmetic appearance of the Visian ICL™ is perfect, and there is no way for a non-professional to notice that a visual correction is in place.
What should I expect from an ICL procedure?
The ICL surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, which means that the patient has surgery and leaves the same day. Please note that someone will have to drive the patient to and from surgery. A light, topical or local anesthetic is administered, and there is very little discomfort and normally no pain associated with the procedure. Some drops or perhaps oral medication may be prescribed and a visit is usually scheduled the day after surgery.
How does Dr. Iskander implant an ICL? Will there be stitches and will I be able to see the incision?
The ICL is implanted through small incisions in the eye. The incisions heal on their own without the need for stitches. The ICL is inserted folded and opens inside the eye. Dr. Iskander then positions the lens appropriately.
How long after the ICL surgery will it take before I can see?
Most patients report having great vision immediately after the surgery.
How much time should I take off from work to have an ICL procedure?
We recommend taking two days off from work, one day for the surgery and the next day for your post-operative visit. Upon examination, we clear you to resume normal activities, with a couple exceptions. You should not lift anything heavy for one week and avoid dusty and dirty environments.
How long after the ICL procedure until I can drive?
Most of our patients are cleared to drive the next day.
How long after the ICL surgery until I can wear makeup?
We recommend you avoid wearing eye makeup for one week after your surgery. This is to decrease the risk of infection.
How long after ICL surgery until I can resume working out?
You may resume workouts one week after surgery. We recommend no heavy lifting and avoiding sweat in your eyes to minimize risk of infection and irritation.
Is there any restriction with smoke getting in my eyes after ICL surgery?
It is generally recommended that you avoid smoking for four weeks after your surgery. Smoking can irritate your eyes and increase healing time.
Can my ICL be felt once in place?
The Visian ICL™ is not typically noticeable after it is implanted. It does not attach to any structures within the eye and does not move around after it is placed.
Is it true the ICL has UV protection?
Yes, the collamer material that makes up the ICL offers UV protection. However, it does not protect all parts of your eye. This is why we still recommend wearing UV blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes and surrounding skin from the harmful effects of UV.
How long has Dr. Iskander been performing ICL procedures?
Dr. Iskander trained in ICL surgery over 20 years ago in Canada, prior to FDA approval in the USA. This procedure is generally limited to those that are not ideal candidates for LASIK or PRK.
Do San Antonio Eye Specialists offer a “lifetime guarantee” on LASIK or PRK enhancements?
No, we do not offer a lifetime guarantee, we offer a 3-year guarantee. If an enhancement is needed, it is typically seen in the first 6 months following surgery. Dr. Iskander is very meticulous and if there’s any doubt in measurements, we will repeat diagnostic testing. We are proud to say, Dr. Iskander’s enhancement rate is less than 2%.
Do you offer financing?
Yes, we offer financing through 2 vendors, Care Credit and Alphaeon. So, if you don’t qualify with one company, there’s another option. Some popular plans include 18 and 24 months with 0% interest-free financing terms.
What is refractive surgery?
Refractive surgery is the art of correcting the corneal curvature of the eye using lasers or intraocular lenses to change the prescription of the eye in order to help patients obtain their best corrected vision, unaided by glasses or contact lenses. There are various refractive procedures Dr. Iskander specializes in, such as LASIK, PRK, ICL, RLE/CLE and cataract surgery.
What is blended vision or monovision?
Blended vision, also known as monovision, is the correction of your vision to focus at distance with one eye and up close with the other eye. The most common way is to have your dominant eye focus at distance; however the reverse is still possible and used on occasion. Blended vision can be attained with glasses, contact lenses, LASIK, PRK, RLE, or cataract surgery.
Why should I consider blended vision? How will I know if it is the right fit for me?
Blended vision is an excellent option for presbyopic patients. Presbyopia is the natural aging of the eye which causes you to lose the ability to focus up close. We typically see presbyopia in patients aged mid to late 40s dependent on reading glasses or bifocals for reading fine print.
During our complimentary consultations, we demonstrate blended vision to our patients using a pair of special glasses. We also offer the use of short-term trial of contact lenses. We want to ensure our patients are comfortable with monovision before surgery.
What are your office hours?
Our customary hours are Monday to Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, but sometimes accommodations are made for earlier appointments so please consult with our team to ensure your correct appointment time. We observe and close on all national holidays.
Are you hiring?
We are a progressive, diversified team of eye professionals. If you are interested in joining our practice, please visit the Career Opportunities page below the Contact Us tab and send us your contact information.