LASIK Santa Rosa, CA

If you are searching for a way to restore your eyesight and be free of glasses or contacts, consider speaking with the talented eye care doctors of the Eye Care Institute about the benefits of LASIK eye surgery! Our staff can answer any questions you have regarding LASIK, can help you determine whether you are a candidate, and can use the latest techniques to give you the 20/20 vision you've always dreamed of. Dial 707.546.9800 today to reach our Santa Rosa office.

Learn More About LASIK In Santa Rosa

Read our FAQs for answers to common questions about laser vision correction.

The only way to truly know if you are a good candidate is to schedule a consultation with us to evaluate your individual situation. Our LASIK surgeons can help you determine if the procedure is right for your vision needs.

Contact Eye Care Institute to Schedule an Appointment in Our Santa Rosa Office Location.

What Is LASIK?

LASIK eye surgery is the most technologically advanced way to reduce your dependency on glasses or contact lenses. The process involves the use of an excimer laser to reshape the cornea or the surface of the eye.

This eye surgery alters the way light rays enter the eyes to achieve focus, in much the same way they are altered throughout wearing glasses or contacts.

Note that the amount of nearsightedness that can be corrected is affected by the amount of corneal tiessue that can be safely removed from your eye.

An advantage to LASIK is that the surface cells of the cornea remain intact. This allows for faster stabilization of your vision and enhanced comfort.

How Is LASIK Performed?

Lasik Eye Surgery is a Two-step Process.

First, a Flap is Created in the Cornea With a Precise Laser Known as Intralase. The Flap is Then Gently Lifted to Move to the Second Step.

Next, an Excimer Laser is Used to Reshape the Cornea or Surface of the Eye. The Allegretto Wave Excimer Laser Sculpts Your Prescription to the Middle Layer of the Cornea. The Flap is Then Laid Back Into Where It Adheres Like a Decal, Without Sutures.

What Are the Most Important Factors in LASIK Vision Correction?

In order to ensure the best results from your procedure, your eyes need to be “back to normal”. Contact lenses actually reshape your eye somewhat. Therefore, you should allow for time without contacts—and yes, this means wearing glasses for several weeks—before your laser vision procedure. Your eye doctor can best advise you how long you should avoid wearing your contacts before your procedure.

It is also important to allow time for several appointments prior to your procedure. You should have several refractive measurements taken by your eye doctor to make sure the laser will be programmed to give you the optimal treatment

How Do I Know if I Am a Candidate for LASIK Vision Correction?

Patients who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism can most likely be treated with one of our laser techniques. The only way to truly know if you are a good candidate is to schedule a consultation with us to evaluate your individual situation. From there, we can help you to find out if this is the right procedure for your visual needs. We have the technology to quickly and easily check your current prescription and perform some important corneal measurements and mapping of the surface of your eye. There are some medical conditions that affect the advisability of having LASIK Vision Correction, which your doctor will discuss with you.

LASIK or ASA—Which is Right for Me?

While LASIK has been the most common laser procedure for several years, ASA has recently become the procedure of choice in some cases. Patients who want a procedure without creating a flap, whose corneas are too thin for LASIK, or whose occupations or vision requirements may preclude them from having the LASIK procedure, choose ASA. In the procedures outlined above, the latest generation excimer laser provides a clear advantage over the older forms of laser eye surgery performed just a few years ago.

Can LASIK at the Eye Care Institute Correct My Vision?

LASIK can be used to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness, and can now be used to correct astigmatism. By completing an Advanced Diagnostic Test, your eye doctor will be able to discuss these options with you and determine which approach might be best for you.

Are There Risks Associated With LASIK Vision Correction?

LASIK Vision Correction is a surgical procedure and thus has some risk. When LASIK Vision Correction is performed by a skilled and experienced surgeon in a professional setting, the risks are minimal. Your postoperative care with your eye doctor is critical for early diagnosis and treatment of complications so you can maintain your good vision. It is very important to follow your doctor’s postoperative instructions completely. Complications may include loss of best-corrected visual acuity, reduced contrast sensitivity, glare, dry eyes, and infection. This is not a complete list of possible side effects and complications. It is very important to discuss the potential risks with your doctor prior to consenting to surgery.

When Will I Be Able to Return to Work?

Many patients can return to near-normal activities the day after the procedure. Your eye doctor will advise you of any activities you should avoid during the immediate postoperative period. LASIK patients usually return to work in 2 days. ASA patients take a few days longer.

How Much Does LASIK Vision Correction Cost?

The fee will depend upon the type of treatment that best suits your visual needs. The fee includes all of your preoperative care, the surgery itself, and your postoperative care at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year (or more often if needed). The fee also includes any enhancements or touch-ups you may need for up two years at no additional cost.

Does Insurance Cover LASIK Vision Correction?

Most vision insurance companies still see LASIK Vision Correction as an elective procedure. A few insurance companies have added LASIK Vision Correction to their benefits. You can contact your insurance company to determine if your policy contains a LASIK Vision Correction benefit.

What About Nighttime Vision Problems After LASIK? Will This Affect Me?

Glare, halos and ghosting (which may become most noticeable at night) were not uncommon side affects of many laser procedures early on with the use of older technology. Most likely, if you did not have any glare, halo or ghosting issues before LASIK Vision Correction, you will most likely not have those issues after the procedure. Modern lasers have very much reduced this problem. Ask your doctor about your individual risk.

Does It Hurt?

LASIK Vision Correction is not painful since anesthetizing eye drops are used during the procedure. After surgery, most patients experience little or no discomfort. Your eyes may feel scratchy, watery or dry, and your vision will be foggy at first. These symptoms are temporary and are not a problem for most patients. These symptoms usually disappear within 2-3 days.

Can Both Eyes Be Treated at the Same Time?

Due to the advanced technology used to perform LASIK Vision Correction, both eyes are usually treated on the same visit, one right after the other.

Do the Results Last?

LASIK Vision Correction is considered to be a permanent procedure. However, it will not prevent any age-related conditions, such as presbyopia or cataracts. They would need to be treated in the usual manner. Some patients can experience some regression of the effect over many years.

How Much Does LASIK Vision Correction Cost?

If you look to your internet search engine to find out how much LASIK costs, you'll quickly see a relatively wide range of pricing estimates. This is why. The cost of LASIK can be influenced by several factors. These include:

  • The laser technology that is used by the doctor. There are multiple processes that may be involved in the LASIK procedure. Primarily, these are the traditional and blade-free techniques. Traditional LASIK involves the creation of a small flap in the cornea using a mechanical surgical blade. Blade-free LASIK creates the flap in the cornea using a femtosecond laser. 
  • Customization. All LASIK procedures are customized to a certain extent. However, some doctors use Wavefront technology that elevates this process. 
  • The degree of correction you need. The more correction that is needed, the more complex the procedure becomes. This can translate into a higher cost. 
  • Your surgeon's experience will also influence the overall cost of your LASIK procedure. So, while it can be tempting to take advantage of "deals" on this procedure, remember that training and experience are far more important factors when it comes to your eyesight.

Does Insurance Cover LASIK Vision Correction?

Insurance coverage for the LASIK procedure is inconsistent across various providers. Your medical insurance provider may cover some or all of the costs of eyeglasses or other ophthalmic services but not cover the costs of LASIK. This is often because insurance companies do not view laser vision correction as medically necessary. If you're curious about insurance coverage for LASIK, the best course of action would be to contact your provider directly and request detailed information regarding your benefits as they pertain to this specific procedure. That said, some vision plans, which are slightly different than a standard medical insurance plan, do cover at least a portion of the cost of LASIK surgery. EyeMed and VSP are two examples of vision plans outside of medical insurance. In this case, just like medical insurance, it is necessary to contact your provider directly for detailed information.

What About Nighttime Vision Problems After LASIK? Will This Affect Me?

Your eyes have to adjust to quite a bit of change after the LASIK procedure. Not only are there modifications to your cornea to consider, but also the creation of the epithelial flap. As this flap heals, some people experience problems with their night vision. The most common problems include seeing glare and halos or starbursts around bright lights like streetlights. Changes to night vision are usually viewed as a temporary side effect of the LASIK procedure, not a permanent change to vision. How quickly these changes resolve can vary from person to person. They may go away in a few weeks or may take a few months to subside. Conversely, you may not notice any challenge to your night vision whatsoever. While this is difficult to predict, your doctor will discuss the risk of night vision changes with you during your consultation.

Does it Hurt?

LASIK is performed using a local anesthetic that numbs your eyes. Before commencing with your procedure, we'll place a few numbing eye drops into your eyes. These work very quickly and last for the duration of your treatment. After the anesthetic wears off, your eyes may feel gritty and sore. For this reason, it is wise to go home and rest for the remainder of the day. If necessary, you can take over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to alleviate discomfort. You may also be given antibiotic drops or other eye drops to use during your brief recovery period after LASIK. These may also temporarily soothe the subtle side effects of treatment.

Can Both Eyes be Treated At the Same Time?

It's possible to have LASIK done on both eyes in the same procedure. That said, there may also be reasons to consider treating one eye at a time. For example, having one eye treated before the other gives you and your doctor time to evaluate how your body responds to this procedure and its side effects. One approach isn't necessarily better than the other. Many patients choose to have both eyes treated at once.

Do the Results Last?

The results of LASIK are permanent in that the shape of your cornea is altered during this laser procedure. However, this doesn't mean that you'll never need to wear eyeglasses in the future. Like all of your body, your eyes change over time due to the aging process. Your vision may change as a result of changes in the lens of the eyes. Also, though not immensely common, some patients experience a worsening of nearsightedness or farsightedness over time. A recent study suggests that approximately 94 percent of patients who receive LASIK continue to enjoy enduring results five years after their laser surgery.

Meet Our Laser Vision Correction Specialists!

Daniel G. Rich, MD

Dr. Rich is a Board Certified Comprehensive Ophthalmologist and Refractive Surgeon. He completed medical school and physician residency at the University of California, Davis and also studied at the University of Barcelona, Spain.

Dr. Rich was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Rich became an Ophthalmologist in 1991 and has distinguished himself in many ways. As a physician with Kaiser Permanente, he not only maintained a thriving medical and surgical practice but also became well known for his groundbreaking work as the National Medical Director for Laser Vision Correction.

Dr. Rich has become a progressive leader in the technology used in Laser Vision Correction. In 2006, Alcon Laboratories Inc., the world’s largest ophthalmic company, appointed Dr. Rich as a Clinical Advisor of Refractive Surgery, only one of two in the nation.


In 2008, Alcon appointed Dr. Rich as a Certified Training Instructor for the Allegretto Wavelight laser system.

Dr. Rich also holds the prestigious position of Associate Board Examiner with the American Board of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Rich’s excellent medical and surgical skills and his sincere concern for patient welfare have earned him a reputation as a caring and dedicated physician.

Dr. Rich is fluent in Spanish.

Nina Ni, MD

Dr. Ni attended Harvard College and Yale School of Medicine. She completed her ophthalmology residency at the world-renowned Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, followed by a fellowship in Cornea, External Disease and Uveitis at the Proctor Foundation/UCSF, where she was awarded the Claes Dohlman Fellowship Award (given to one outstanding cornea fellow in the nation annually).

Her special interests will be medical and surgical management of diseases of the cornea and external eye, cataract surgery, and complex cases involving the front part of the eye. This includes procedures such as corneal transplants, complex and premium cataract surgery using femtosecond laser technology, and reconstruction after trauma or previous surgeries.

During her training, she was privileged to run an eye emergency room, provide refractive surgery for our armed forces in Texas, and contribute to ophthalmic care for the local population in Tenwek, Kenya.

Dr. Nina Ni

Here at ECI, she has the opportunity to continue the tradition of providing eye care to those most in need. She also serves as adjunct faculty at our local Touro University, where she treasures the chance to help educate the next generation of young physicians.

Patient Testimonials:

"Good experience of laser eye surgery for narrow angles in my eyes from Dr. Alsamarae. Thank you all at eye care Institute!"

- H.C.

"Dr. Rich is awesome. I was totally blind in one eye for almost 2 years. In 10 minutes time he gave me 20/20 vision again. Great doctor, very nice guy, and The Eye Institute is incredible."

- J.M.

"I have been a patient of Dr. Daniel Rich for well over 20 years. He is a fabulous ophthalmologist. His doctor-patient interactions are comfortable. He is affable and friendly. He is also no-nonsense i.e. straight to the point. He has completed my bilateral cataract surgeries both of which went very smoothly. I strongly recommend Dr. Rich."

- K.T.

Call Our Santa Rosa Office Today For LASIK Eye Surgery!

Interested in learning more about LASIK eye surgery? Call 707.546.9800 to schedule your consultation with the Eye Care Institute today! Or, you can fill out the form in our contact page to book your personalized appointment with one of our talented eye doctors! Our practice serves Santa Rosa, & more in California.

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