Frequently Asked Questions at our Refractive Surgery and LASIK Vision Correction Center in the St. Louis Area
Mulqueeny Eye Centers offers refractive surgery, including LASIK laser eye surgery, to patients in the St. Louis and surrounding Missouri area. Our practice is led by Sean P. Mulqueeny, O.D. and also features two premier eye surgeons who specialize in LASIK and other vision correction techniques. This page is designed to answer your questions regarding general refractive surgery, LASIK and other vision correction procedures. Additionally, frequently asked questions about other topics, including a more in-depth look at LASIK, are covered in the following PDFs.
LASIK FAQs (printer-friendly PDF)
NearVisionSM CK® FAQs (printer-friendly PDF)
Visian ICL™ FAQs (printer-friendly PDF)
- What is refractive surgery? How can it correct my vision problems?
- How do I know which procedure is the best choice for me?
- How old do I have to be to have refractive surgery?
- Do I have to leave my contacts out prior to surgery?
- What happens if my vision changes in the future? Will I need to have the procedure again?
- What happens if I need cataract surgery when I'm older? Will having a refractive procedure now affect my surgery?
- Does insurance cover LASIK or other refractive procedures?
- How much can I expect to pay for a refractive procedure?
- How much does LASIK cost?
- How long can I expect my results to last?
- I wear bifocals. Will I still need reading glasses after my LASIK procedure?
- Can LASIK surgery correct astigmatism?
- Why should I choose Mulqueeny Eye Centers for my LASIK procedure?
- For more information, view our LASIK Surgery PDF
Visian ICL™ (Implantable Contact Lens)
- What is a Visian ICL™?
- Who is a good candidate for this procedure?
- Is this lens removable? Do I take it out to clean it like my regular contact lenses?
- Is there an advantage to choosing this treatment over LASIK?
- What if my vision changes?
- What is NearVisionSM CK®?
- Who is a candidate?
- How is this procedure performed?
- Are radio waves safe to use on the eye?
- Can I have CK® if I've had a LASIK procedure in the past?
What is refractive surgery? How can it correct my vision problems?
Refractive surgery is a general term for surgical procedures designed to improve or correct the focusing ability of the eye. LASIK vision correction is a popular type of refractive surgery offered at our St. Louis area practice. However, there are several other surgical options, such as PRK (ASA), and Visian ICL™ Implantable Contact Lenses — all of which can be performed through Mulqueeny Eye Centers.
A person's inability to see clearly can be caused by nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and/or astigmatism. These vision-reducing conditions are referred to as refractive error and in most cases can be corrected with laser vision correction, either LASIK or ASA. Other non-laser procedures such as NearVisionSMCK®, Visian ICL™ and multifocal lens implants may be better options for patients who are not candidates for laser treatments.
Your first step is to schedule a complimentary evaluation with our eye care professionals. During this appointment, we will assess your eye health, discuss your visual needs and expectations and make a recommendation as to which procedure is right for you.
If you are an active person, refractive surgery is particularly helpful. You will love being less dependent upon glasses or contact lenses while water skiing, swimming, scuba diving, snow skiing or enjoying another outdoor activity. Some professionals, such as firefighters and police officers, have found that being able to function without glasses or contact lenses on the job is an added safety benefit.
For more information, or to schedule your free refractive surgery consultation at Mulqueeny Eye Centers in the St. Louis area, contact the practice of Dr. Sean Mulqueeny today.
How do I know which procedure is the best choice for me?
At Mulqueeny Eye Centers, our first task as eye doctors is to work with you to determine the best procedure for you. The suitable type of refractive surgery can only be determined after considering many factors, including your lifestyle, hobbies, profession, and specific visual needs.
Your complimentary consultation is an opportunity for us to discuss with you the vision correction methods we offer, including, but not limited to, LASIK laser vision correction; PRK (ASA), NearVisionSM CK®, Visian ICL™ and refractive lens implants. During this consultation, we will also go over your visual needs and expectations for refractive surgery. This consultation exists to educate you and to determine whether LASIK (or any type of refractive surgery) is a good fit.
Individual evaluations to discuss refractive surgery are available at our St. Louis, Missouri office. We also offer free screenings in our office as well as monthly LASIK seminars which are typically held twice per month in our office. This is a great way for you to find out if you are a candidate, meet Dr. Mulqueeny, and get all of your questions answered. Contact Dr. Sean Mulqueeny today to get started on your free consultation.
How old do I have to be to have refractive surgery?
You must be at least 18 years of age and your glasses and contact lens prescription should be the same for at least one year. If your eyes are still changing from year to year, you should not have the procedure until your vision stabilizes.
There is no upper age limit for having refractive surgery. As we age, there are certain eye conditions such as cataract formation that may affect how well we see. Because Mulqueeny Eye Centers is a comprehensive eye care provider, we are able to diagnose and treat other eye conditions that may affect vision correction results for our patients. With our surgical expertise, we may recommend a variety of procedures such as cataract surgery, clear lens exchange, or LASIK laser vision correction depending on the amount of correction you require.
Do I have to leave my contacts out prior to my procedure?
Absolutely. However, the amount of time to leave your lenses out prior to your procedure depends on the type of contact lenses you wear. At Mulqueeny Eye Centers, we recommend removing soft contact lenses or toric lenses one week before surgery, and rigid lenses about three weeks before your procedure. In some cases, we can fit those who wear rigid lenses with soft lenses to decrease the time spent without contact lenses.
What happens if my vision changes in the future? Will I need to have the procedure again?
In general, most refractive procedures are considered to be permanent. However, your eyes can still change as you age which may cause a need for glasses, contacts or an additional vision correction procedure in the future.
As you get older, vision can change for a variety of reasons. For example, as people reach their mid-40s, they develop presbyopia and begin to need glasses for reading and other near vision tasks even though they still have very good distance vision. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, cataracts and other physical reasons could also cause a change.
If you find that you have experienced a vision change, we will conduct an eye health examination to determine reasons for the change in vision. At that time, we will discuss whether a retreatment or enhancement procedure is a good option for you.
At Mulqueeny Eye Centers, our goal is to keep our patients happy and satisfied, with a 20/20 level of vision throughout their lifetime.
What happens if I need cataract surgery when I'm older? Will having a refractive procedure now affect my surgery?
All of the vision correction procedures offered by Mulqueeny Eye Centers will allow you to undergo a cataract procedure should you need one in the future. It is important, however, to inform the physician performing the cataract surgery of any previous eye surgery, including refractive procedures such as LASIK, ASA, Visian ICL™'s or Conductive Keratoplasty® (CK®). Our highly trained cornea specialists have performed cataract surgery on patients after LASIK who require it and can even use LASIK or another type of refractive procedure to enhance visual results following cataract surgery.
For more information or to schedule a refractive surgery or LASIK laser vision correction consultation, contact our St. Louis office today.
Does insurance cover LASIK or other refractive procedures?
Most insurance companies view refractive surgery such as LASIK as a cosmetic or elective and therefore, do not provide coverage for this type of procedure. However, there are a select group of vision or medical plans that provide up to a 15 percent discount by choosing a participating provider. We are providers for most major medical plans and will be happy to check on your benefit for you.
Using your employers’ Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or "cafeteria plan" is great way to save money on your procedure. In fact, we recommend it! With these types of plans, you are able to use tax-free dollars to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Please check with your employer’s human resources department to see if this benefit is offered for you.
If you do not have insurance coverage, we offer affordable payment plans such as 12 months free financing and other financing options to allow you to enjoy the freedom of vision without your glasses or contact lenses today!
How much can I expect to pay for a refractive procedure?
The number one question we receive at our practice is “how much does it cost?” The cost of vision correction varies among practices based on surgeon experience and what the center includes in the fee. You will find that our fees at Mulqueeny Eye Centers are not the most expensive, nor or we the least expensive. Our goal has always been to provide the highest level of surgical expertise and the latest technology, all at a very affordable fee.
It’s only human nature to want to get the best possible “deal” regardless of what you are purchasing, but remember, quality and service are extremely important when it comes to medical care. After all, vision is one of your most important assets. It makes sense to choose your doctor by taking other aspects besides cost into consideration when making your decision.
Fees for your specific procedure will be discussed during your free consultation. The fees for all of our vision correction procedures are all-inclusive which means the fee you are quoted includes the pre-operative evaluation, the procedure using the latest technology, all of your post-operative care and any enhancements or touch-ups if needed during the post-operative period.
For more information about financing a procedure, contact Mulqueeny Eye Centers in St. Louis today.
How much does LASIK cost?
The first question most people have when thinking about LASIK, is “how much does it cost?” As you “shop around” for a LASIK provider, you will find that fees can vary greatly from one provider to another.
At Mulqueeny Eye Centers, you will find that we are not the most expensive LASIK provider in the St. Louis metropolitan area, nor or we the least expensive. Our mission has always been to provide the ultimate in the latest laser technology with surgical expertise, personal care, and attention provided to each and every patient, all at a very affordable fee. For this reason, we only offer the most advanced diagnostic and laser technology.
We feel very strongly that laser technology along with surgeon experience is vital to your visual outcome and our patients tell us they can see the difference!
Fees for your specific treatment will be discussed during your consultation. Our fees for LASIK are all-inclusive which means the fee you are quoted includes the pre-operative evaluation, the procedure using the latest technology, all of your post-operative care and any enhancements or touch-ups if needed during the post-operative period.
Please make sure to inform us of the type of vision and/or medical insurance that you carry. Some of these plans may pay a portion of or allow for a discount on laser vision corrections such as LASIK. We are providers for most vision and medical plans and will be happy to check your insurance benefits for you.
We also offer special financing and convenient payment options to make your treatment more affordable.
For more information about financing a procedure, contact Mulqueeny Eye Centers in St. Louis today.
How long can I expect my results to last?
Laser vision correction is considered to be permanent. However, your eyes can still change as you age due to physical factors, which may cause a need for glasses, contacts or additional vision correction procedures in the future. There is a very small percentage of patients who experience regression in their result during the healing period and require a re-treatment or enhancement procedure. During your evaluation, we will discuss the level of vision you can expect following your laser treatment.
We counsel all patients who are nearing the age of 40 about the change they will experience with presbyopia, the loss of near vision as they get older. For these patients, monovision is a great option and will be demonstrated during the evaluation. Monovision is a situation where we correct one eye fully for distance vision and leave the other eye with some nearsightedness for up close work such as reading or working on the computer. With this scenario, the patient gets the best of both worlds…good distance and near vision. We oftentimes fit patients with contact lenses for monovision correction prior to surgery so they can “try it out” before selecting this type of treatment prior to having LASIK surgery.
I wear bifocals. Will I still need reading glasses after my LASIK procedure?
While the vast majority of our patients do not need glasses or contact lenses following their LASIK procedure, there is a possibility that correction after LASIK will be necessary due to age-related conditions or other factors. If you are over age 40 and you had both eyes corrected for distance, you will still need reading glasses following your procedure due to presbyopia.
Presbyopia is a condition in which the natural lens in the eye loses it’s flexibility and causes difficulty with near vision tasks such as reading, sewing and computer use. In some cases, the patient may choose to set one eye for distance vision correction and the other for near or intermediate vision. This type of correction is called monovision and is a great choice for those who want it all - good distance and near vision. We demonstrate this type of result to all of our patients and often fit them with contact lenses to ensure they will be happy with the results following their procedure.
Can LASIK surgery correct astigmatism?
Yes, and today’s custom LASIK systems are better than ever in addressing astigmatism!
Astigmatism is a refractive error that results from the shape of the eye being more football-like rather than baseball-like, which causes images to be blurred and distorted. Patients with astigmatism often complain of seeing shadows or "ghost" images on the eye chart and halo's around street lights. Astigmatism treatment can be performed alone or in combination with nearsighted or farsighted treatments.
Why should I choose Mulqueeny Eye Centers for my LASIK procedure?
At Mulqueeny Eye Centers, our surgeons are top in the field and we have a highly experienced staff, with each member having 15-plus years of experience in refractive surgery. We are dedicated to helping patients achieve outstanding vision and offer several procedures to treat any eye condition. We also offer the latest technology on the market today, including premier lasers used in LASIK vision correction. If you are looking for experienced surgeons, top-notch care, advanced technology, and affordability, contact Mulqueeny Eye Centers today, so we may set up your eye care, refractive surgery, or LASIK laser vision correction consultation. We are pleased to serve the St. Louis and surrounding Missouri and Illinois areas.
Visian ICL™ (Implantable Contact Lens)
What is a Visian ICL™?
The Visian ICL™ is an implantable contact lens designed to correct the problem of nearsightedness, or myopia, permanently by focusing light correctly on the retina. The Visian ICL™ is one of several phakic lenses, meaning the natural lens of the eye is not removed, but remains in place behind the new artificial lens. The Visian ICL™ is safe and effective and can significantly improve one's eyesight dramatically after the procedure.
Who is a good candidate for this procedure?
You may be a candidate for a Visian ICL™ if you are between 21 and 45 years of age and have moderate to severe nearsightedness. In addition, there must be no significant changes to your vision in the last year and no history of eye surgery or eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or infections to the iris. Schedule a consultation at Mulqueeny Eye Centers today to determine if you are a candidate for a Visian ICL™.
Is this lens removable? Do I take it out to clean it like my regular contact lenses?
The Visian ICL™ is designed to remain inside the eye indefinitely. Unlike a regular contact lens, the Visian ICL™ is primarily maintenance free and can't be removed for regular cleaning. However, the lens can be removed by a surgeon if necessary in the future.
Is there an advantage for choosing this treatment over LASIK?
In most cases, the Visian ICL™ is able to correct a broader range of nearsightedness than LASIK, providing better results for the patients that suffer from severe myopia/nearsightedness. The Visian ICL™ corrects vision errors without removing corneal tissue and changing the shape or structure of the eye. However, it is considered a more invasive procedure than LASIK, which is why it is usually prescribed for people who are not good candidates for laser vision correction. For more information about the Visian ICL™ or to schedule a consultation for refractive surgery, contact Mulqueeny Eye Centers in St. Louis today.
What if my vision changes?
If your vision changes after a period of time, our doctors can take out the Visian ICL™ and replace it with a new one that has a different and possibly stronger power.
What is NearVisionSM CK®?
NearVisionSM CK® is a technique used to treat patients who have trouble seeing objects up close, but otherwise have good eyesight. Rather than using a laser or scalpel to bring near vision back into focus, NearVisionSM CK® uses radio waves and is considered minimally invasive. NearVisionSM CK® can result in a significant improvement in one's vision at near and intermediate distances.
Who is a candidate?
You're likely a good candidate for NearVisionSM CK® if you:
- Are over age 40
- Had great vision your whole life
- Require reading glasses to compensate for diminishing near vision
For more information about NearVisionSM CK®, or to schedule a consultation, contact Mulqueeny Eye Centers today.
How is this procedure performed?
NearVisionSM CK® is performed using a small probe that releases radio waves. The probe is applied on the outer cornea to shrink small areas of collagen, which ultimately increases the overall curvature of the cornea. At Mulqueeny Eye Centers, this is a quick, in-office procedure.
Are radio waves safe to use on the eye?
Yes. Radio waves or radio frequency energy is an advanced technique used in several of today's surgical procedures, including NearVisionSM CK®. It is safe to use on all of our patients and produces little side effects.
Can I have CK® if I've had a LASIK procedure in the past?
Yes. CK® can be used as a touch-up for under or over corrections that resulted from previous eye surgery such as LASIK. In many cases, patients who have corrected their distance vision with LASIK have chosen CK® to treat their near vision in one or both eyes.back to top