Frequently Asked
Questions

LASIK Surgery

How much does LASIK cost?

Here at Eye Centers of Tennessee the cost of your refractive surgery procedure includes the preliminary evaluation, the drops and medications involved with your surgery, the cost of the actual surgical procedure in our premier surgical facilities and all follow up visits up to a year after your surgery.

Our surgical team here is proud to offer a variety of refractive surgery procedures, each with their own costs. However, if we have not seen you for a refractive surgery evaluation then we cannot know which procedure is right for you. If you would like to learn more about the various procedures we offer, please give us a call or email us and we would love to set up an appointment for you to see Dr. Patterson and help you make an educated decision.

How quickly will I be able to see after surgery?

Advancements in the technology used for LASIK procedures has made the amount of "down time" almost non existent. That being said, everybody heals at their own pace. We have many patients who have returned to the office the day after surgery telling us how ecstatic they were on the ride home to read signs on their own for the first time in their lives.

Everybody's vision will fluctuate after any type of refractive surgery. Some patients are able to read clearly the day after while others have to enlarge the font on their computers for a few days before their vision finally settles down. The amount of time needed for recovery after LASIK surgery is different from a surgery such as PRK though, so the amount of time you will need to see clearly again will be dependent upon the type of procedure recommended to you by Dr. Patterson.

Is it painful?

Before any refractive surgery, patients are given drops to completely numb the eye as well as medicine taken by mouth to help relax them. There is no pain involved with the actual procedure itself. Many patients experience a feeling of slight pressure, but nothing more.

After surgery, each patient receives a number of drops to both help the eye heal quickly and minimize discomfort. Once again, LASIK and PRK differ in this area. Patients who have had LASIK may experience minimal discomfort in the form of dry eyes after surgery. Some patients describe this as a feeling of grit in the eye. This symptom can be relieved with the use of lubricating drops that we provide every patient.

PRK patients however, may experience some discomfort during the first few days after surgery. The difference in the healing processes between these two procedures is in the way the surgery is performed. During LASIK, a flap is created and then laid back over the eye. PRK patients however, do not have a flap. Dr. Patterson puts a contact over each PRK patient's eye to ease the discomfort some patients may experience. All PRK patients are also given comfort drops that should relieve the mild pains associated with the healing process.

 

How quickly can I go back to work?

Dr. Patterson leaves the decision up to the patient. Some patients are seeing well enough the day after surgery to return to work after their first follow up exam with Dr. Patterson. Other patients prefer to take the day off to recuperate and simply relax and give their eyes some rest. As with the entire healing process, this will vary from patient to patient.

Can you guarantee that I won't have to wear glasses?

The decision to have LASIK is an important one that only you can make. The goal of any refractive surgical procedure is to reduce or eliminate your dependence on corrective lenses. However, we cannot guarantee you will have the results you desire. The vast majority of our patients are extremely happy with their vision after LASIK and can do most activities without dependence on corrective lenses.

What are the risks and side effects associated with LASIK surgery?

One of the most commonly experienced side effects of LASIK is dryness of the eyes. Dr. Patterson carefully screens each patient to find any incidence of dry eyes at the pre-operative evaluation. If there is any hint of dryness, we do whatever necessary to ensure that it will not become a problem for you after LASIK. Sometimes this means forgoing LASIK for certain patients. Another option for some patients with dry eyes is a similar procedure called PRK. Even with careful screening, some patients notice problems from dry eyes after their procedure which must be treated with over-the-counter or prescription eye drops or medications.

Are there other options besides LASIK?

LASIK is not the only refractive surgery we provide at Eye Centers of Tennessee. There are multiple options available to those who wish to live a life free of corrective lenses. 

 

Financing Options

We offer a number of financing options and affordable payment plans. It is easy to apply online and receive credit approval before you schedule an appointment. You can visit the link below to pre-qualify for financing before your appointment or anytime.

 

Cataract Surgery

What is a cataract?

A cataract is the gradual clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. It is not a growth or a "skim" on the eye. Cataracts are very common especially in people over the age of 55. There is no known treatment to reverse the growth of cataracts. Once a cataract develops it will continue to cause progressively blurred vision until it is surgically removed.

How does a cataract cause blurred vision?

Light rays enter the eye through the cornea, pass through the lens and land on the back of the eye (retina). The brain interprets the image from the retina. As a cataract develops, the light rays entering the eye have more difficulty passing through the cloudy lens (cataract) to reach the retina. This causes blurred vision. People with cataracts may complain that their vision appears blurry, hazy, smoky or waxy. They may also notice more difficulty with reading, recognizing faces or walking especially in low light. Driving at night may become difficult and even dangerous due to glare and halos around lights.

When does a cataract need to be removed?

Advances in cataract surgery have made this one of the safest and most frequently performed surgeries today. Cataract surgery is generally considered when your vision impacts your activities of daily living, making it more difficult to perform everyday tasks. You may want to consider having cataract surgery if you are having more difficulty driving at night, reading, cooking, shopping, working, watching TV or using the computer due to your vision. We will review a questionnaire with you during your examination to properly evaluate how much your vision is impacting your daily life.

 

How will cataract surgery affect my vision?

The goal of cataract surgery is to correct blurred vision caused by the cataract. Dr. Patterson performs cataract surgery through a tiny incision in the cornea. This incision can be made by either a blade or femtosecond laser. There is usually no discomfort or bleeding. The cataract is broken up with ultrasound or femtosecond laser and removed from the eye. After the cataract has been removed, Dr. Patterson will insert a new artificial lens implant called an intraocular lens (IOL), which will remain in your eye permanently. The corneal wound is self-sealing and routinely no sutures are used. Cataract surgery will not correct other causes of blurred or decreased vision, such as glaucoma, diabetes, or age-related macular degeneration.

Examination for Surgery

Dr. Patterson will personally perform a dilated eye examination even if you have already been evaluated by your optometrist. To start your visit, a technician will record your full medical history and perform a variety of measurements to determine your best corrected vision. Dr. Patterson will perform the actual physical examination of your eyes to detect eye disease or conditions that may affect your surgery or your eyesight after surgery. After determining the need for surgery, Dr. Patterson will discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with you.

Where is the surgery performed?

You do not have to go to the hospital for this procedure. Cataract surgery performed in a surgery center is far less expensive and much more convenient and safer than in a hospital. The Cataract and Laser Center is located on the lower level of Eye Centers of Tennessee in Crossville. This facility is the area's only comprehensive outpatient surgical center completely dedicated to eye surgery.

What should I expect on the day of the surgery?

You do not have to change clothes. The anesthetist will review your medical history as well as monitor your vital signs before, during and after the procedure. We usually give oral sedation to help you relax. An IV is not routinely required, but can be started anytime if needed or desired. Your eye will be dilated and numbed with eye drops. In the operating room, an instrument will comfortably hold your eyelids open during the surgery. You will not feel the need to blink because your eye will be numb. The procedure generally takes less than 10 minutes and your total stay will be about 2 hours.

Usually the eye is not patched. Most patients leave about 15 minutes after the surgery, but you may feel some effects of the sedation for several hours. Patients often go out to eat on the way home. It is normal for the vision to be blurry the evening of surgery. Your eye may also be a little scratchy or watery, like a grain of sand is in it. We ask that you take it easy the evening of surgery, but you may do activities such as reading or watching TV as long as no discomfort is noticed. Most patients return to their normal activities the very next day.

Do you want to enjoy life without depending on glasses after surgery?

It is possible that you may need to wear glasses after your cataract surgery, even if you did not wear them before surgery. Your vision after surgery depends on the choices you make before surgery. This decision will significantly impact the quality of the rest of your life, so it is important that you understand the difference.

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Still have questions? Please call us to speak to one of our experts or send us a message.