Gulf Coast Eye Care

LASIKSurgery & Recovery

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LASIK in Tampa Bay, FL

Your Lasik Eye Surgeons In Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, and Palm Harbor, Florida

LASIK is a popular laser vision correction surgery that can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism in order to reduce or eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses. The team of eye doctors at Gulfcoast Eye Care includes experienced LASIK surgeons who specialize in personalized vision correction and advanced LASIK techniques.


How Does LASIK Work?

The technical name for LASIK is Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis. LASIK eye surgery is a refractive surgery, which means that it corrects refractive errors. Common refractive errors are myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. A refractive error occurs when the shape of the eye does not allow light to focus correctly. LASIK surgery works to correct vision in a two step process. In the first step, the eye surgeon creates a very thin flap in the cornea, which is the surface of the eye. In the second step, a laser is used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue in order to correct the shape of the eye so that it can focus properly. After the cornea has been precisely reshaped, the corneal flap will be returned to its initial position and will act as a natural bandage as the eye heals. There is no need for stitches of any kind since the flap is self-sealing.

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Dr. Manning Answers Common LASIK Surgery Questions


While many LASIK Surgery procedures are performed with a microkeratome, a mechanical blade device that creates the flap, Dr. Michael Manning instead performs the “all-laser” or “bladeless” option for LASIK surgery. Using the Visumax Femtosecond laser, the surgeon creates a corneal flap through delivery of rapid, painless pulses of light. The femtosecond laser is very precise in creating the corneal flap, which may result in improved surgical accuracy with superior visual outcomes for the patient.


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Jonathan Young,
LASIK Patient

Is LASIK surgery right for me?

LASIK has improved quality of life for many of our patients. You could be a candidate for LASIK eye surgery, if you:

  • Are at least 18 years of age
  • Have healthy corneas
  • Have had a stable eyeglass or contact lens prescription for two years
  • Wish to reduce your dependence on eyeglasses and contact lenses

People with certain medical conditions and women who are pregnant or nursing are not candidates for LASIK procedure. The best way to determine if LASIK is right for you is to schedule an Eye Analysis at Gulfcoast Eye Care. During this visit, one of our experienced LASIK eye surgery specialists will meet with you to perform preoperative testing and discuss with you candidacy, risks, alternatives, and expected outcomes. Your doctor will assess a number of factors with you, including your age, the health of your eyes, your overall health, anatomical variations of your eye, and your vision goals to determine if LASIK is an option for you. This advanced evaluation typically takes approximately 90 minutes. LASIK surgery can correct a range of myopia (nearsightedness with prescriptions up to -12.00), but patients with chronic dry eye, thin corneas, or severe hyperopia (farsightedness with a prescription above +6.00) may not be ideal candidates for LASIK.1 Even if you are not a candidate for LASIK, you and your doctor could decide that PRK, Implantable Contact Lenses, or Refractive Lens Exchange, might be a better option for you.


If you would like to get a general idea as to whether you may be a candidate for LASIK, please take our free, online LASIK Candidacy Quiz.

What to Expect on THE
Day of Your LASIK Eye Surgery

When you arrive at our laser vision center for your treatment, you should expect to stay for approximately 90 minutes, although the actual laser surgery only take about 10-15 minutes. You will need to have someone with you to drive you home after the procedure. At the beginning of your appointment, we numb and prepare your eyes with a series of eye drops. An eyelid holder is then used to prevent you from blinking during the procedure. You will lie comfortably in a reclining position while your LASIK surgeon performs your surgery. Depending on the type of LASIK you select, there may be two different lasers used. One is a femtosecond laser used to prepare the cornea for treatment and the second is an excimer laser used to reshape the cornea. Because the eye is fully anesthetized, you should not feel the laser performing the treatment.

LASIK Recovery

Our LASIK team will advise you about what eye drops you should use and how often to use them during your healing process. You will be given a kit with the drops and instructions along with eye shields for you to wear while sleeping during the first week. During the first 12 to 24 hours, you may feel slight discomfort, sensitivity to light, and a scratchiness or foreign body sensation. These symptoms are generally improved with use of moisturizing eye drops as well as an over-the-counter pain reliever.

You will be scheduled for a postoperative visit the day after your procedure to check your results and ensure your eyes are healing correctly after LASIK. Patients typically return to work two days after their LASIK procedure.

LASIK Results

LASIK results are almost immediate and you can expect to experience improved vision the day after your procedure. Each LASIK patient is unique and individual results vary, but studies show that more than 90% of LASIK patients experience vision within the 20/20 range, with 99% enjoying vision better than 20/40.2 One of the major advantages of LASIK is that the corrections made during surgery are permanent, which allows patients to enjoy reduced reliance, and possibly even total freedom, from eyeglasses or contact lenses for many years. With this in mind, it’s important to note that future changes inside the eye can still occur over time, which can have an effect on your vision. For example, as you age you may encounter conditions such as presbyopia or cataracts, which would require additional treatment to correct. It is also possible to experience a change in the natural lens of your eye that affects vision and may be treated with a LASIK enhancement procedure to make adjustments for new refractive errors. A recent study shows that over 98% of patients who have had LASIK eye surgery are satisfied with their results.3

1Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 2016 Aug;42(8):1224-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2016.07.012


Benefits of LASIK from Gulfcoast Eye Care

Gulfcoast Eyecare Glasses or Contact Lenses FREEDOM

Swim, boat, exercise, or travel with less worry! LASIK patients can enjoy carefree adventures with less dependence on glasses or contact lenses.

Tampa Personalized Eye Care LIFESTYLE

We are committed to personalized care that provides each patient with the vision treatment option that best matches their day-to-day routine, no matter what your profession or activity level.

Glasses and Contact Lenses in Tampa Time Savings

Streamline your morning routine and pack a little lighter without the hassle and inconvenience of glasses and contact lenses.

LASIK Lifetime Savings Cost Savings

LASIK is a good investment when you consider the lifetime savings that are possible when you reduce or eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses.

Gulfcoast Eye Care LASIK Technology Advanced Technology

We invest in state-of-the-art equipment to provide optimal treatment, including custom & topo-guided vision correction with the Nidek EC-5000 excimer laser.

Tampa Highly-Skilled Eye Doctor Experience

Our highly skilled LASIK surgeon Dr. Michael Manning is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and has helped many patients achieve improved vision.

LASIK Eye Surgery
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between traditional LASIK and All-Laser LASIK?

The difference between traditional LASIK and “All-Laser” or “Bladeless” LASIK is the method by which the LASIK flap is created. In “All-Laser LASIK”, a femtosecond laser device called a laser keratome, is used to create a corneal flap for LASIK surgery. This is a newer method to create a corneal flap than the traditional method of using a microkeratome, a mechanical device with a moving blade. There is no absolute agreement among all eye surgeons on the better choice for flap creation. Dr. Manning and many other surgeons believe that the computer-controlled laser provides superior precision as compared to that of a hand-held mechanical blade. This provides greater safety and control of flap size and thickness.


Yes, you will need to be awake in order to focus on a red blinking light within the microscope during the procedure. This helps to ensure that your treatment will be centered over your pupil. Patients sometimes inquire about general anesthesia, but it is not recommended for LASIK. Your eyes will be numbed for your LASIK procedure.

What happens if my eye moves during the procedure?

At Gulfcoast Eye Care, we utilize the most advanced lasers for laser vision correction. These lasers have sophisticated eye-tracking features that can detect and compensate for even tiny movements of the eye. In making these adjustments continually throughout your procedure, the laser beam is guided to remain centered precisely over the treatment area. In this way, the exact treatment is delivered precisely where it is intended to provide the highest level of comfort, precision, and safety.

Can I have both eyes treated at the same time?

Yes, most patients undergoing LASIK or PRK prefer to have both eyes treated on the same day for the sake of convenience. This is a decision that is best discussed between you and your doctor.

With PRK, the eye surgeon first removes the surface layer of cells by using a softening solution or the laser and then applies the laser to sculpt the underlying corneal tissue to achieve the desired correction. Upon completion, a bandage contact lens is placed for comfort and the surface layer then heals back in place over the next 72 hours. In LASIK, a flap with a hinge on one side is created in the cornea either with a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. The flap is then lifted and the excimer laser is applied to sculpt the underlying corneal tissue to achieve the desired correction. The flap is then repositioned and reattaches with the natural hydrostatic forces of the cornea so that no stitches are needed.

Both procedures have minimal discomfort with the main sensations being a pressure-like sensation with the placement of the eyelid speculum and while the flap is being created with LASIK. After LASIK, there are generally a few hours or more where the eye has a scratchy, foreign-body sensation and sensitivity to light. In contrast, PRK generally has a period of 3-4 days during which this sensation may last. The visual recovery is generally more immediate with LASIK however both procedures generally achieve the same desired result.

Why do I need to stop wearing contact lenses prior to my LASIK preoperative testing?

Contact lenses can change the shape of your cornea, similar to how a watch band that you have been wearing can make an imprint on the skin of your wrist. If your eyes are measured too soon after taking out contacts, several of the tests could give inaccurate results that could affect your outcome.

If I am pregnant or nursing, how long must I wait to have LASIK?

You must wait a minimum of six weeks after you are no longer pregnant or breastfeeding. Even then, we must assess that some of the changes or fluctuations that can occur with your cornea during pregnancy are no longer taking place so that you may receive your best possible result.

If I have had a previous eye injury, can I still have Laser Vision Correction?

A complete eye examination is necessary to determine whether you may still be a good candidate despite a prior eye injury.

If I have “lazy eye” or amblyopia, can I still have Laser Vision Correction?

Amblyopia, sometimes called “lazy eye”, is a condition of incomplete visual development in a person with otherwise healthy eyes. If you have amblyopia, Laser Vision Correction generally cannot improve your vision to a level that is better than your best-corrected vision with your corrective lenses. To establish realistic expectations of what Laser Vision Correction may achieve in your amblyopic eye, you should discuss this further with your eye doctor.

Is LASIK Safe?

LASIK is FDA approved and is widely regarded as a safe procedure with a low rate of complications.4 Some of the most common side effects associated with LASIK, such as blurry vision or dry eyes, are usually temporary and will typically go away soon after surgery.5 According to the American Refractive Surgery Council, surgical complications occur in fewer than 1% of LASIK surgeries.6

What are the potential risks of LASIK?

All surgical procedures carry some risk of complications or side effects. Potential risks of LASIK include overcorrection, undercorrection, dry eyes, and temporary double vision or halos.7 The team at Gulfcoast Eye Care has a track record of success and prioritizes patient safety at all times.

How much does LASIK Cost?

LASIK at Gulfcoast Eye Care is fully customized for each patient. The price of a LASIK procedure can vary depending on your individual vision needs, and will be discussed during a consultation appointment.

Is LASIK covered by insurance?

Generally, insurance companies view LASIK as an elective procedure and therefore do not cover the cost of LASIK. Very few insurance companies offer LASIK discounting with participating providers. We offer special LASIK savings promotions as well as great financing options.

Will I have to wear an eye patch after LASIK?

No. You will be given post-LASIK instructions that include some eye shields to wear at night or when sleeping immediately following your LASIK procedure. The purpose of these is to prevent you from rubbing your eyes.

How soon after LASIK surgery can I drive?

You should avoid driving immediately after surgery while you are still under the influence of relaxing medications. You may resume driving as soon as you feel comfortable with your vision. The majority of patients are able to drive on their own on the day following LASIK. Following PRK, it may take 4-5 days to feel comfortable that your vision is clear enough for driving.

Can I scuba dive following Laser Vision Correction?

Yes, you may scuba dive as soon one week following your procedure once your LASIK surgeon clears you.

When can I wear eye makeup after surgery?

It is best to wait one week prior to wearing eye makeup. To decrease your risk of infection, it is a good idea to purchase new mascara.

How do I proceed? What is my next step toward LASIK?

Please contact Gulfcoast Eye Care today at 727-895-2020 to speak with a surgical counselor. Our counselors are available Monday through Friday 8:00AM – 5:00PM. We would be happy to schedule an Eye Analysis for you. This will help us identify the procedure for which you are the best candidate.

1 American Refractive Surgery Council. Does My Eyeglass Prescription Qualify for LASIK? Available Accessed January 24, 2020.
2 American Refractive Surgery Council. What Is the LASIK Success Rate? Available: Accessed January 24, 2020.
3 Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 2016 Aug;42(8):1224-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2016.07.012
4 American Academy of Ophthalmology. LASIK — Laser Eye Surgery. Available at: Accessed January 24, 2020.
5 Mayo Clinic. LASIK eye surgery. Available at: Accessed January 24, 2020.
6 American Refractive Surgery Council. LASIK Complication Rate: The Latest Facts and Stats You Should Know. Available: Accessed January 24, 2020.
7 Mayo Clinic. LASIK Eye Surgery. Available: Accessed January 24, 2020.


1. Choose Your Location
2. Select Day & Time
3. Tell Us About Yourself

Wondering if LASIK is right for you? Schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced LASIK surgeons.
We can answer any questions, evaluate your eyes, and discuss all available options to ensure you get optimal treatment
for your vision needs and lifestyle.

We offer both in-office appointments and virtual visits for your convenience

If you cannot find a convenient time that works for you or you would like to speak with a patient services representative,
please call us at 727-485-9461.

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St. Petersburg

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