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What is LASIK?

What is LASIK?

Laser-Assisted-In-Situ Keratomileusis, better known as LASIK, is a type of eye surgery that uses lasers to reshape the front surface of your eye — the cornea — to permanently correct your vision and significantly reduce or eliminate your need to wear glasses or contact lenses. TLC San Antonio is one of the leading providers of LASIK surgery, thanks to the expertise of our experienced team led by LASIK expert Dr. Oday Alsheikh.

Eye Conditions Treated With LASIK Surgery

What is LASIK surgery used for? There are 3 main conditions that LASIK eye surgery can effectively treat:

Myopia: more commonly known as nearsightedness, where you can see objects that are nearer to you better than objects that are further away

Hyperopia: or farsightedness, where you can see objects that are further away from you better than objects that are nearer to you

Astigmatism: where objects appear distorted, fuzzy, or blurry at any distance

Meet Your Board Certified Eye Surgeons

Dr. Oday Alsheikh

As our Medical Director, Dr. Alsheikh is committed to using the latest technologies to give his patients the best possible outcomes. He was raised in Houston and received his medical degree from Texas Tech Health Science Center. Dr. Alsheikh also completed a corneal fellowship at the University of California in San Diego.

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Dr. Nancy Guzman

Dr. Guzman is our Clinical Director and is responsible for ensuring the highest standards of safety and comfort for all our patients. With a Bachelor of Biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Doctor of Optometry from Indiana University School of Optometry, Dr. Guzman is proficient in comprehensive eye care.

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Dr. Fernando Trujillo

Dr. Trujillo was born in Medellin, Colombia, and later moved to the United States to pursue his education in eye care. He is known for his caring and compassionate bedside manner and for his breadth of experience with refractive surgery (LASIK and PRK) and corneal transplantation. He completed an ophthalmology residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

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How Does LASIK Surgery Work?

First, numbing eye drops will be applied to your eyes so you don’t feel any pain or discomfort, and you will be offered anti-anxiety medication. Next, your eye surgeon utilizes a laser to create a flap on your cornea and carefully lifts it to access the inner layers. Your vision will become momentarily blurry at this point. The next stage involves your eye surgeon carefully using invisible pulses of cool laser light, which are controlled by a computer, to reshape the inner layers of your cornea. The laser light is carefully targeted with the help of an eye-tracking device that ensures pinpoint precision.

Once your eye surgeon has finished reshaping your cornea, they will close the flap, making sure it lines up with its original position. An eye shield is then placed over your eye to protect it while it heals while also preventing you from rubbing it.

You may experience some discomfort immediately after your surgery; however, this usually only lasts for the first few hours after surgery and we recommend that you take a nap during this time to give your eyes a rest. Over the counter pain medications (ibuprofen or acetaminophen) will help to relieve irritation.

Types Of LASIK

There are 3 main types of LASIK:

Bladeless LASIK

also known as all-laser LASIK, which uses lasers to create the flap in your cornea instead of a specialized surgical blade called a microkeratome

Custom LASIK

which uses wavefront technology to provide your surgeon with additional information about the way light travels through your eyes — this results in more precise guidance on how your cornea should be reshaped to correct your vision

Topography-guided LASIK

which is the very latest innovation in LASIK and uses advanced technology to get more detailed information on the structure of your cornea, which helps your eye surgeon further customize your LASIK treatment.

At TLC San Antonio, our experienced eye doctors will talk you through each of these options so you can make the right choice for your vision.

TLC LASIK surgery – San Antonio, Tx

If you’re interested in LASIK surgery in San Antonio, TX, you’ll be in good hands when you come to TLC San Antonio. Our dedicated team of eye doctors and clinical staff are waiting to help you achieve the dream of clearer vision. Give us a call to start your vision transformation journey today.

Am I a Good Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery?

One of the most common questions we get asked when people first contact us is “do I qualify for LASIK?”

The first step we take is to invite patients to visit us for a free LASIK consultation, so our expert eye surgeons can perform extensive pre-operative testing, scans, and measurements of your eyes to ensure you are a good candidate for LASIK. These include a comprehensive eye exam to measure your prescription, a thorough check of your eye health, as well as discussing your lifestyle and expectations with LASIK surgery.

During this consultation, our eye surgeon will also be able to determine if you are a candidate for laser eye surgery, and if so, which procedure is most appropriate for you. You can learn more about this here.

Other factors your LASIK eye surgeon will take into consideration during your consultation include:

Your Age

Your eyes are still changing shape as you age, so it’s important that your vision has stabilized before having corrective eye surgery to ensure the best possible vision throughout your life. LASIK is recommended for people who are at least 18 years old and who have had a stable prescription for a minimum of 2 years.

Your Health

LASIK is not recommended for those with certain health issues or eye diseases, such as uncontrolled diabetes or keratoconus, and it is also not recommended for those with certain retinal and optic nerve diseases.

Patients should notify their eye doctors of any medication or other condition that compromises the immune system. In addition, be sure to tell your eye doctors about all medications you are taking.

Lasik candidates should not be pregnant or nursing when undergoing the LASIK procedure. Hormones may affect the stability of your prescription, so pregnant women should wait until after their pregnancy to pursue LASIK surgery.

Corneal thickness also plays an important role in determining candidacy for LASIK. Your LASIK surgeon will carefully analyze your corneal thickness prior to your LASIK procedure to make sure it is safe for you to have the procedure.

Your LASIK surgeon and eye doctor will always work together to identify, control, monitor and in some cases treat specific pre-existing conditions that may enable you to qualify for LASIK.

Your Prescription

LASIK eye surgery works best for people who have a stable prescription that hasn’t changed for at least one year.

We know every patient has a unique prescription, and some will fall outside the limits of LASIK surgery, which means you may not qualify for it. If you do not qualify for LASIK surgery, we may be able to offer alternative vision correction surgeries including ICL, PRK and RLE.

Post LASIK Care

Many patients feel comfortable after a short nap following their procedure. For the first week after LASIK, it is required that patients wear plastic eye shields while sleeping to prevent any unconscious eye-rubbing. It is important not to rub your eyes during the early healing stage.

After the LASIK procedure, many patients are surprised at how quickly their eyesight returns. Recovery tends to be fast, with most patients returning to their regular daily routine within a week of surgery.

However, follow-up care is as important as the procedure itself. Post-LASIK care ensures proper healing and comfort. Use the tips below to stay on track and receive the most out of your LASIK surgery experience.

  • Schedule Follow-Up Appointments: Be sure to schedule all follow-up appointments with your eye doctor for the first three months after your LASIK procedure. Annual eye exams will still be necessary following laser vision correction to ensure the continued health of your eyes.
  • Follow Your Doctor’s Directions: Follow-up visits with your primary eye doctor are critical and allow for individualized changes according to your healing response.

After LASIK Follow-Up Care Timeline:

  • The first week: Your doctor will prescribe eye drops to reduce the risk of infection, inflammation, and to prevent dryness.
  • The first few months: Your doctor will monitor the healing process and make sure that your eyes are comfortable and seeing well.

Returning to Normal Activities After LASIK

Many patients return to work within a day or two after their LASIK procedure. Be sure to follow the restrictions below. Otherwise, as long as you follow your doctor’s instructions, you should be free to resume all of your normal activities.

  • Your doctor will tell you when it is safe for you to drive following surgery, typically after one day.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes for at least the first week after LASIK surgery.
  • Read in moderation for the first few days after your LASIK procedure.
  • Do not wear eye makeup for one week.
  • Do not rub your eyes for at least 1-2 weeks after you have LASIK
  • Do not rub your eyes for at least 1-2 weeks after you have LASIK. After that, gentle rubbing is allowed. As always, vigorous rubbing can be harmful.
  • Do not exercise for one week.
  • Avoid swimming and hot tubs for one week after your procedure.
  • Avoid gardening and dusty environments for one week.
  • Avoid contact sports that could result in an eye injury for one month.
  • Smoking is allowed, but the smoke may irritate your eyes.

PRK Recovery

Like LASIK, PRK eye surgery corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The time it takes to perform the surgery is the same as LASIK, but as because the PRK procedure is performed differently, the recovery time can take slightly longer. Individual healing times vary for each person, so be sure to discuss this with your surgeon.


At TLC San Antonio, we aim to combine exceptional clinical standards with competitive pricing, giving you the best value for LASIK surgery in the country.

Free Consultation

We offer a FREE initial LASIK consultation to help you get started with thinking about your vision correction treatment options. The initial consultation also helps patients to decide on a LASIK provider.

LASIK Eye Surgery Cost – More than just the price.

LASIK eye surgery cost is about much more than monetary value. When considering LASIK surgery prices, you might be tempted to choose the cheapest provider, but doing so could risk your chances of a successful outcome. Cheap surgery often means a less experienced surgeon, older equipment, and therefore, less advanced technology – all of which may increase the risk of an undesirable outcome

The Price of Excellence

By coming to TLC San Antonio, you can trust our highly skilled surgeons and our surgical team to provide excellent care before and after surgery. You’ll also be able to benefit from the latest surgical technology and diagnostic testing in a safe and comfortable environment. This inevitably comes at a price; however, we strongly believe that it’s always worth investing in your vision.

Finance Options

We understand that not everyone can pay for LASIK surgery up front, so we offer a variety of ways to make it more affordable for you. You can find out more details on our LASIK financing and insurance page.

LASIK Surgery Price Breakdown

There are several things that should be considered when looking at the cost of LASIK treatment. Along with the procedure itself, additional factors that contribute towards the final cost include:

  • the type of LASIK surgery you are undergoing
  • all post-operative care
  • LASIK touch-ups
  • the surgeon who is performing your surgery

With all of this in mind, our quality providers will provide a more personal approach, leading to less chance of complications and a faster recovery time for you.

With TLC San Antonio’s bundled pricing you can rest assured there won’t be any surprises along the way.

LASIK Savings Calculator

Starting age:
Number of years between purchasing new glasses:
Average cost of prescription glasses and lenses:
Boxes of contacts purchased in a year:
Cost of a box of contact lenses:
Lifetime costs

Frequently Asked Questions

Custom LASIK involves using a wavefront analyzer, which enables your surgeon to create a highly customized procedure unique to your individual eyes. The laser vision correction procedure can result in patients seeing more clearly than with conventional LASIK.

This is another frequent LASIK question. Many LASIK patients see well the day after their procedure and may resume most of their normal daily activities soon after. Some patients with higher prescriptions may recover more slowly, although the speed of visual recovery depends on personal healing patterns. Most patients notice dramatic visual results in their vision within the first few days after their LASIK procedure.

As with any elective surgical procedure, there are risks associated with the laser vision correction procedure. Fortunately, the chances of having vision-reducing complications have been shown to be minimal. Millions of people have had excellent results from laser vision correction.

Some potential LASIK complications include conditions such as dry eyes, complications in making the corneal flap, night glare (halos), under- or over-correction and loss of best-corrected vision.

These risks will be discussed fully with you prior to the procedure, when you are asking all of your LASIK questions. Proper preoperative LASIK screening ensures that the surgeons only proceed with the procedure when it is medically advisable. You will also receive diligent post-operative care that helps identify and address any potential healing complications.

The best way to prevent LASIK complications is to choose a LASIK surgeon who is experienced and well respected in the community and in their field.

Custom LASIK uses a tool called the wavefront analyzer to accurately measure the way light travels through your eyes. The resulting data is programmed into the laser, which then treats your eyes based on highly individualized measurements. Custom LASIK allows the surgeon to avoid increasing higher-order aberrations, which are tiny imperfections in the eye. These aberrations have significant effects on your quality of vision, and have not been addressed with contacts, glasses or conventional LASIK.

Conventional LASIK can still be a good choice for many patients, though most will prefer the higher level of customization, less risk of glare and halos, and better chance of achieving 20/20 vision that Custom LASIK can provide. Your doctor can answer these and other LASIK questions, help you understand your various options and decide which laser vision procedure is right for you.

The actual LASIK procedure is performed in exactly the same way in both conventional LASIK and Custom LASIK. However, pre-operative testing for conventional LASIK and Custom LASIK differs greatly. The wavefront analyzer used with Custom LASIK brings a whole new level of knowledge and accuracy to the LASIK surgeon.

Laser vision correction has proven overwhelmingly successful in reducing dependency on glasses and contact lenses, though the degree of improvement varies among individuals. How well and how quickly your visual acuity (sharpness) improves depends on your healing and the severity of your prescription. Although TLC San Antonio cannot promise patients perfect vision, most LASIK recipients with mild to moderate prescriptions achieve 20/20 vision or are within one to two lines of 20/20 vision on an eye chart. This means they no longer need glasses or contacts to drive, play sports, watch movies and TV or participate in career fields requiring excellent vision such as police work and fire departments.

Clinical studies have shown that Custom LASIK can improve not only what you can see but how well you can see it. Many Custom LASIK patients have reported that they can see better than ever before. Custom LASIK addresses the unique imperfections in each person’s vision, making it less likely that surgery will result in an increase in glare or halos.

Your pre-procedure LASIK consultation with your doctor is the perfect time to ask LASIK questions. S/he will help determine the range of your probable outcome based on your particular prescription, healing profile and expectations.

More than two million LASIK procedures have been performed at TLC Laser Eye Centers. The results and research gained from more than two million LASIK procedures performed at TLC Laser Eye Centers allows TLC Surgeons to continually fine-tune their techniques, more effectively forecast post-surgery results and counsel new laser vision patients.

Best of all, TLC stands behind its patients’ distance vision results for life. The TLC Lifetime Commitment® program ensures no-charge enhancement procedures for life for qualified nearsighted patients should an enhancement ever be needed in the future. This commitment will be honored by any TLC San Antonio location in North America.

Your eye doctor is your best resource for determining which procedure is best for you. Custom LASIK is recommended for most patients due to the superior visual results it produces. Schedule a free LASIK consultation with your TLC-affiliated optometrist to determine which procedure best fits your individual needs. This is also a good opportunity to get answers to any other LASIK questions you may have.

The price of a LASIK procedure is highly sensitive to the type of technology recommended for your specific condition. Generally, Custom LASIK is more expensive than its conventional version because Custom LASIK is performed using some of the most advanced technology in the vision industry. The procedure combines the technology of the wavefront analyzer with the precision of a computerized laser and the skill of your respective surgeon. The fee you pay at TLC includes all of your pre- and post-operative care. Financing options and various insurance discounts may be available to you.

Doctors are involved in all three phases of your laser vision correction procedure: the pre-procedure LASIK consultation, the laser vision procedure itself and your post-procedure care.

There are two doctors involved in the overall LASIK procedure: your LASIK surgeon and your own TLC-affiliated eye doctor. Your surgeon performs the procedure at TLC San Antonio while your eye doctor provides pre- and post-operative care.

The doctors who work with TLC, including your own eye doctor, have been educated in all aspects of laser vision correction. Although TLC-affiliated surgeons are renowned for their training and expertise, the outcome of your laser procedure also depends upon the proper pre-operative and post-operative care that is delivered in conjunction with your surgery.

We recommend you consult with your own eye doctor because of his or her familiarity with your eyes, your history and your future care. If you don’t have an eye doctor, we can help find one in your area. We work closely with your eye doctor to provide you with the best possible care and the best possible visual results. This team-based care is just one reason why more than a million people have trusted TLC for their LASIK surgery.

TLC San Antonio has access to the latest laser vision correction technologies, including eye trackers and scanning lasers. All TLC Laser Eye Centers in the United States and Canada use only FDA-approved lasers to gently reshape the cornea during LASIK. These excimer lasers use cool, computer-controlled beams of ultraviolet light.

The best LASIK technology for your individual case is determined during your personal TLC LASIK consultation and is dependent on such things as your prescription, thickness of your cornea, size of your pupil and ocular anatomy.

Most laser vision correction patients find LASIK surgery to be slightly uncomfortable but not painful. One good way to learn more about how it might feel is to talk to someone who has had LASIK, such as a friend, relative or a staff member at the doctor’s office. For most LASIK patients, the feeling of anxiety and the fear of the unknown is actually worse than the LASIK procedure itself. Anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye just before LASIK surgery begins, and you may also be given a mild sedative to help you relax. After your LASIK surgery, your eye may feel a foreign body sensation or irritation for a few hours, but most patients are quite comfortable after taking a short nap. You will be given drops for your eyes to counteract any dryness you may experience in the days following the surgery.

You’re in Good Hands with Our Doctors

We are dedicated to giving all of our patients the best experience possible. We’re here to put your mind at ease; with our experienced ophthalmologists and state-of-the-art technology, we can guarantee you’ll receive the most professional, reliable, and personalized treatments in San Antonio.