Dr. Robert Maloney believes that a well-informed patient is key to successful vision correction surgery. He wants to be sure that you fully understand what you can expect from your procedure you choose. He wants to help you care for and preserve your eyesight in the best way possible. Here, you can find the information that you need to help you make informed choices about health care for your eyes.

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What are the important statistics for you as a patient to know, and how can you interpret outcomes? You likely want to know your chances of achieving at least 20/40 vision. This is a key number, because 20/40 vision is required to drive legally without eyeglasses or contacts. You will also want to know your chances of achieving optimal 20/20 vision.

All of the above numbers will vary according to the surgeon you choose and your prescription. For example, patients with higher degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism are more likely to need an enhancement procedure.

Statistical Outcomes According to Your Refraction

As you have learned in this book, LASIK and PRK are very similar, and the same laser is used for both procedures. So it shouldn't surprise you that the statistics are the same for PRK and LASIK: your chance of getting 20/20 vision doesn't depend on which procedure you choose. The decision of whether to have LASIK or PRK is based on other factors-which procedure is safer for your eye and which gives you the better recovery.

Your chance of achieving 20/20 vision depends on how nearsighted or farsighted you are. To use this chapter, find your most recent eyeglass or contact lens prescription and look at the first number for each eye (see "Understanding your Eyeglass Prescription" in chapter 1). This is the sphere part of the prescription. The statistics listed below, based on the sphere, give you an indication of the results to expect from wavefront-guided laser treatment by an experienced surgeon. Keep in mind that the patients in these statistics who did not achieve 20/20 vision without correction are usually still pleased with their results. They can do most things without eyeglasses or contacts, including driving a car. And when it is absolutely necessary for them to fine-tune their vision, they can still wear eyeglasses.


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