Does surgery hurt?
The surgery does not hurt. Depending on the type of procedure, some patients may experience mild discomfort after surgery. This can be relieved with medication. Patients who have PRK generally report more discomfort than with other vision correction procedures.
What are the risks / side effects?
While there are risks associated with any surgery, the risks associated with vision correction surgery are extremely low. Some side effects can be felt by the patient during the healing process (for example, dry eyes, halo effect of lights at night, light sensitivity), but these effects almost always go away once the eyes have completely healed. Your doctor will fully explain the risks and side effects during your consultation and how they can be treated if they occur.
How long will the correction last?
The vast majority of patients who need low to moderate corrections have normal vision (near 20/20) after surgery. Refractive surgery does not prevent progressive myopia, and every effort is made to confirm that the vision is stable before performing a vision correction procedure. Also, as we age, we all will eventually need some form of vision correction (usually reading glasses or bifocals). People who have had vision correction surgery will also need similar kinds of corrections.
Can both eyes be done at the same time?
In most cases, laser and lens procedures allow both eyes to be done at the same time. The preferences of the patient as well as the recommendations of the surgeon are considered on a case-by-case basis.
What is monovision?
This is a condition where one eye (usually the dominant one) is corrected fully for distance vision and the other eye is corrected for a small amount of nearsightedness. This can provide reasonably good distance vision and near vision without the need for glasses. This can be especially useful for people that have reached the point where they would need reading glasses if both eyes are fully corrected for distance.
When can I drive?
Once your eyes have reached the Alberta legal driving measurement (20/50 with both eyes, or 20/30 with one eye) you will be able to drive. This usually happens within a day or two with most surgeries, and up to two weeks with PRK.
When can I return to work?
Most people can return to work within two to four days. If you have PRK (and have both eyes corrected at the same time) you should plan on being away from work for 7 – 10 days. If you choose PRK and can’t be away from work that long, you can choose to have one eye done at a time and likely continue working without interruption.
How long will I be on medication?
This depends on how long patients take to heal, what procedure they have had, and the level of correction. Generally, the need for medication gradually lessens and is taken for one week up to several months.
Can I wear contacts afterwards?
Generally, if you were able to wear contacts before surgery, you will be able to wear them after surgery. But most people do not need to wear contacts following surgery.
Can I have surgery after the age of 50?
Generally, people over 50 will still need reading glasses after surgery. With patients over the age of 65 we generally recommend Refractive Lens Exchange. However, this will be determined and discussed during your assessment.
Can I still have cataract surgery at Gimbel Eye Centre?
Yes – we still offer cataract surgery services.
Does Alberta Health still pay for my cataract surgery?
Yes – cataract surgery is still insured by Alberta Health and Gimbel Eye Centre surgeons continue to provide insured services. You will not pay for your cataract surgery itself.
Is Dr. Gimbel retired? Is he still doing cataract surgery?
Dr. Gimbel is NOT retired, and he is STILL PERFORMING CATARACT SURGERY, as well as many other refractive surgery procedures. In fact, his cataract surgery quota is one of the largest in the Calgary region, and his waiting list is usually 18 months.