Frequently asked questions

How do I know if I’m a candidate?

The first step in the LASIK process is to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure. At your free consultation, we will perform a comprehensive exam to determine if LASIK is the best option for you. In general, we can treat nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. Typically, we prefer the LASIK patient to be at least 18 years old, have health corneas, and stable vision over the past twelve months. LASIK is not recommended for people with certain eye disorders such as cataracts, dry eye, end stage glaucoma or women who are pregnant or nursing.

What happens on the day of my procedure?

LASIK is an outpatient procedure that usually takes less than 15 minutes. We ask that patients arrive 45 minutes prior to their procedure. Patients are given the option of taking a mild sedative to reduce any pre-operative anxiety, along with having anesthetic drops placed in the eyes. At this time Dr. Paveloff will go over any last minute questions.

After being escorted to the laser room, a lid holder will used to gently and comfortably hold the eyelids open during the procedure. The first step of the two step LASIK procedure involves creation of the corneal flap. Dr. Paveloff uses the state-of-the-art IntraLase laser to create a corneal flap individually tailored to your eye. Once the flap is created, patients are positioned under the Visx S4 IR laser and asked to focus on a blinking light for less than one minute. Dr. Paveloff will view the eye through a surgical microscope to ensure that the patient is fixating properly. He can pause at any time. The right eye will be treated first followed by the left eye. Once the procedure is completed, patients are escorted to a quiet room to relax for 15-20 minutes. Dr. Paveloff will then recheck the eyes to ensure that the flap is in good position. Patients are then given post-operative instructions along with protective eye shields, and can return home to rest for the next 4-6 hours.

Is LASIK painful?

Routinely there is only mild discomfort during the LASIK procedure. Most patients say the entire process was much easier than they had anticipated. 

What happens if I move my eyes during LASIK?

The Visx S4 IR laser is equipped with eye-tracking technology. The laser will simply pause the treatment if a patient moves their eyes during the procedure.

Will I be given local or general anesthesia?

LASIK is an outpatient procedure. Each patient receives anesthetic eye drops and the option of taking a mild sedative.

How soon can I go back to work and regular activities?

Most patients return to work and can typically drive to the one-day post-operative visit the very next day.

Are there any risks?

As with any medical procedure, there are certain risks. These, along with the benefits, will be thoroughly discussed before making the decision to have LASIK.  Dr. Paveloff’s surgical experience and use of the latest technology combine to minimize any risks.

What criteria should I evaluate when considering LASIK?

Price should be the last consideration after all …these are your eyes. We recommend that anyone considering LASIK meet with the surgeon at the consultation. The surgeon should answer any questions and enable the LASIK candidate to make a fully informed decision. We also recommend comprehensive research prior to having LASIK and selection of a surgeon who combines the latest technology with a high level of surgical experience.

How is Paveloff Vision Center different from centers advertising low priced LASIK?

  1. Technology

    Dr. Paveloff has the only center in Santa Barbara with IntraLase. This state-of-the-art technology allows Dr. Paveloff to perform “bladeless, all-laser LASIK. The procedure is individually customized to each patient and safer and more precise than ever before.

  2. Personalized Care

    Dr. Paveloff meets with each individual at their LASIK consultation. This enables patients to have their questions answered and make fully-informed decisions. Laser centers emphasizing low prices typically charge additionally based on the patient’s prescription, astigmatism, etc. Also, patients often do not meet the surgeon until the day of the procedure at these “discount laser centers”. 

What is the difference between LASIK with a microkeratome and LASIK with IntraLase?

The first step of the LASIK procedure involves creation of a corneal flap. For several years, this flap was created using a device called a microkeratome. The microkeratome cuts a flap in the cornea with a thin blade. Some surgeons continue to use this technology.

However, in 1999 the IntraLase laser became available and has enabled surgeons to precisely tailor the corneal flap to each individual. The IntraLase laser creates row of microscopic bubbles beneath the surface of the cornea and allows Dr. Paveloff to gently lift the corneal flap. “Bladeless, all-laser LASIK” is considered by many to be safer and more precise than traditional LASIK with a microkeratome.