For most people, Lasik eye surgery dramatically improves their eyesight eliminating the need for glasses or contacts.
Still, some people experience problems such as halos and further deteriorating vision.
Held hostage by his own eyes, Frank Scalise looked to Lasik for visual freedom.
In the surgical procedure, a flap is made in the cornea, then laser energy is applied deep within to reshape the cornea and improve sight.
Available literature indicates 95% of Lasik patients are satisfied with their surgery, leaving a dissatisfied 5%.
Unfortunately Frank fell into that minority.
The halos and the starbursts and stuff like that. It wasn't crippling, but it was uncomfortable, he says.
His deteriorating vision that sent him back for a second Lasik a few years later.
It had gotten to the point where I would need glasses again, he says.
Dr. Sandra Belmont is a Clinical Associate Professor of Opthamology At NYU Medical School.
She has performed more than 15,000 lasik procedures over a span of 15 years.
She says despite the ads you see and promises made, lasik is not for everyone.
Patients who are not good candidates for Lasik are patients with a thin cornea, an irregularly shaped cornea, patients that have dry eye going into the procedure, she warns.
The FDA is in the midst of a three year study on patient quality of life following Lasik surgery.
Since the surgery was first offered laser technology itself has evolved, allowing doctors to customize treatments based on individuals eye and not just his or her prescription.
The laser technology over the past 20 years has improved dramatically so that the complaints about halos and starbursts have been decreased dramatically, says Dr. Belmont.
There is now new hope for people who may not do well with lasik thanks to improvements to an earlier laser vision procedure called a PRK.
It does not require making a flap in the cornea.
It negates the dry eye scenario, explains Dr. Belmont.
After two Lasiks by two different doctors, Frank still had significantly stronger vision in his left eye than is right.
He consulted Dr. Belmont who advised a PRK and made the correction.
I'd say my vision is good, he says now.