- Frequently asked questions
- About Lasik
- About Cataract Surgery
- About Phakic IOL
Can you prescribe glasses and contact lenses？
Is my medical consultation fee covered by insurance？
It will be covered by Japanese health insurance so that please present the card to the reception every visit.
Those who do not have Japanese Health Insurance, will be charged total medical expenses. Some of the cases will not be covered by Japanese Health insurance, please ask your doctor. We accept only Japanese Health Insurance. Who do not have it, you have to pay medical fee at your own expense. To make refund of your private insurance, please claim by yourself.
Do you accept credit cards？
Yes, we accept VISA, Master, AMEX and JCB. Your signature on the back of your credit card is required.
Are you able to provide any other languages service other than English？
At this moment, only English is available.
I want to do blood examination or other examination only, is it possible？
The need for medical exams will be decided and ordered by our doctor. Please have a consultation first.
Can you perform surgery for myopia and astigmatism？
There is a surgery for treating myopia but first, we have to make a diagnosis according to several examinations.Please book for your consultation.
Can I hear the result of exam by telephone？
No we do not provide the result by phone or mail. Your examination result will be explained by the doctor at the consultation.
I forgot to bring my Japanese Health Insurance card, can I see the doctor？
Yes, you can see the doctor but you will be charged total medical expenses.
Can I have the receipt in English？
We are sorry, that we only publish a Japanese receipt.
How can I get my medicines? Does the prescription have expiration date？
You can get at any insurance dispensaring pharmacy with the prescription. This is valid for four days including the date of issued.
Can you issue a certification for non-Japanese insurance company？
Yes we can. If you need a formal medical certificat ion, it will cost 6,000 JPY. If you only need the name of your disease, we will not charge you extra.
How can I make an appointment？
Who can benefit from LASIK？
LASIK can be beneficial to all those who suffer from myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Candidates should have a strong desire to be less dependent on corrective lenses, should establish realistic expectations and should also understand the risks associated with the surgery.
Who cannot undergo LASIK surgery？
There are a number of factors that doctors must evaluate before determining the eligibility for LASIK. Some doctors deem certain preexisting conditions to be contraindications to the procedure and will not perform surgery if you have them. Sometimes, there are factors that preclude a patient from being an ideal candidate for LASIK surgery. In many cases, a surgeon may still be able to safely perform the procedure, given that the patient and physician have adequately discussed the risks and benefits and have set realistic expectations for the surgical results.
If I am not eligible for LASIK, are there other options available to me？
LASIK is one type of refractive surgery available to patients. Although you may not be eligible for LASIK, you may be eligible for a different procedure. You would need to discuss your options with your ophthalmologist.
Can I have LASIK performed on both eyes at the same time？
You can have bilateral simultaneous LASIK (both eyes are operated on at the same time). In fact, the practice is rather common. However, in some circumstances, surgeons or patients will determine that it is best to maintain a time gap before performing surgery on the other eye in order to evaluate the results. Hyperopic LASIK patients do not experience the rapid visual recovery that myopic patients do. Therefore, some surgeons prefer to operate separately on their eyes. Patients should discuss their options with their ophthalmologist.
If I undergo the procedure on both eyes one at a time, what will my vision be like in between the first and second surgeries
There are a number of different options to help patients deal with their vision between procedures. Some patients who do not have bilateral surgery will begin wearing contact lens in the eye that has not undergone surgery. This practice gives them an opportunity to use both their eyes simultaneously. However, the contact lens will need to be removed at least 3 days prior to the second surgery. Others function by using the operated eye immediately without use of a contact lens in the other eye. This solution may work for nearsighted patients with a moderate refractive error (less than 6 diopters). A patient with a refractive error above 6 diopters who does not wear a contact lens may be unable to use both eyes together due to the large difference in refractive error between the eyes. Removing one lens from a pair of glasses is usually not useful. Doing so could cause double vision and eye strain.
What results can I expect from the LASIK procedure？
LASIK improves the uncorrected vision (vision independent of corrective lenses) in most patients who undergo the procedure. Over 90% of patients with low - to - moderate myopia will achieve 20/20 vision. However, there are no guarantees that you will have a perfect vision, and patients with high myopia (more than -6D) and high hyperopia (more than +4D) should expect differently. People who are most satisfied with the results of laser correction possess realistic expectations of what their vision will be like after surgery.
Will my vision be as crisp after the LASIK procedure？
Patients need to understand that the 20/20 vision after LASIK might be different from the 20/20 vision with corrective lenses. Some people describe the images they see postoperatively as not being as “crisp” as those seen through glasses or contact lenses.
How long will it take for me to be able to see well, and how long will it take for me to have my best vision？
Fast visual recovery characterizes this operation. Most patients achieve good vision on the day of surgery and find that their eyes feel fairly normal within a day. However, vision can continue to improve, and the best vision can take as long as 2 to 3 months. If necessary, adjustments to the surgery called enhancements can be performed. Patients who undergo hyperopic LASIK often need to wait longer to be able to see clearly. Typically, they are unable to see with intense clarity for one or 2 weeks, with best vision being achieved several months postoperatively.
Are the results of LASIK surgery permanent？
LASIK is a surgical procedure that permanently removes the corneal tissue to reshape the eye in order to improve refraction. The physical results are permanent. However, one should be aware of the fact that the condition of the eyes can change with time and that LASIK does not affect a number of visual conditions associated with age. For example, LASIK does not prevent presbyopia or affect this condition once it does occur.
If I undergo the LASIK procedure and my vision changes later in life, can it be repeated？
Depending on the cause, retreatment may be a viable solution to vision changes later in life, and other treatment options do exist. You would need to consult your ophthalmologist to determine the cause of the change and determine which option is best for you.
Does the LASIK procedure hurt？
Patients are given a topical anesthetic (eye drops) to numb the eye; therefore, they do not experience pain during the procedure. When the surgeon applies the vacuum ring, the patient experiences a sensation of pressure just before his or her vision fades for a few seconds. The microkeratome (the instrument used to create the flap) and the laser do not cause any pain or discomfort. For several hours after the procedure, many patients complain of a mild burning sensation, which is similar to the burning effect experienced while swimming in chlorinated water. Therefore, patients are encouraged to nap for the first 2 to 3 hours after the LASIK procedure is performed. This uncomfortable feeling usually subsides after the first few hours.
What type of anesthetic is used for LASIK？
The procedure is carried out with a topical anesthetic (eye drops) to numb the eye. Patients may be given a small amount of oral sedative to help them relax.
How safe is the LASIK procedure？
According to several studies, there is approximately a 2% intraoperative and 3-5% postoperative complication rate. Most of these complications do not result in the loss of 2 or more lines of best corrected visual acuity or interfere with long - term vision. The rate of severe complications should be substantially less than 1%. It is important for patients to understand that LASIK is a surgery and that a small incidence of complications is to be expected.
Will my eyes look different after LASIK？
No. Your eyes will look exactly the same.
How long has LASIK surgery been performed？
LASIK has been performed internationally for approximately 10 years. It was first performed in clinical trials in the U.S. in 1995. It is important to note that the major components of the procedure have a long history. Ophthalmologists have been reshaping the cornea for over 50 years, creating a protective layer of tissue for over 35 years, and using the excimer laser since the 1980s.
Life after surgery
How long will I be out of work after undergoing LASIK？
It depends on your occupation. Certain jobs that require intense clarity of vision (for example, dentistry and surgery) may be difficult to perform for one or 2 days. Most patients can return to work the next day, assuming their vision is adequate for their job. However, some people may feel fatigued for a day or so following surgery.
Can I drive immediately after undergoing LASIK？
Patients may experience some discomfort and/or blurred vision for a few hours after surgery. Some patients receive a sedative prior to surgery. Therefore, you cannot drive home after the procedure, and you should plan not to drive for at least 24 hours.
Can I play sports after undergoing LASIK？
You can resume most normal activities immediately after surgery. However, for at least one week you will need to avoid activities that would cause perspiration to run into your eyes. You should wear safety glasses while playing contact sports, regardless of surgery. However, if you do not routinely wear safety glasses, your surgeon may recommend wearing them for at least one month after LASIK. You will also need to avoid activities such as contact sports and swimming for one month. It is important to talk to your doctor about limitations on activities after LASIK.
Will I need to wear glasses or bifocals once my eyes have healed？
Most patients who undergo LASIK do not need to wear glasses. However, patients above 40 years old may need to wear reading glasses. This is caused by the normal aging of the eye known as presbyopia. However, patients can choose their focus distance. Some patients may need minimal prescription for some activities. Patients using bifocals may need the reading glasses after LASIK.
Will my eyes be dry after LASIK？
Some patients seeking LASIK treatment have an underlying dry eye syndrome that remains undiagnosed. There appears to be a correlation between preoperative dry eye syndrome and developing more pronounced dry eye symptoms postoperatively. Therefore, many doctors conduct tests for diagnosing dry eye syndrome prior to making their decision regarding eligibility of candidates.
After LASIK, what will my vision be like at night or in low light？
Most patients do not notice a change; however, some patients may notice a glare, halo, or starburst around objects in dim or low - light conditions. For the vast majority, these symptoms are temporary. However, others may continue to experience them for several months or longer. Although these symptoms do not necessarily interfere with visual acuity, as it is measured by an eye chart, for some patients, the experience can interfere with their activities.
To what extent will vision be restored after cataract surgery？
Without the haze and glare due to cataracts, patients will have improved vision after surgery. Patients with a preexisting astigmatism may have some troubles with vision after surgery because of the residual astigmatism, which may be corrected by LASIK a few months following cataract surgery.
Prior to undergoing cataract surgery, is it possible for patients to verify how well they will be able to see after the surgery？
The impaired vision due to the opacity from cataracts prevents patients from being able to check how well they will be able to see after surgery.
Will there be any pain during or after surgery？
Patients may feel some discomfort from the eye being opened widely, touched, or pressed against, but otherwise should experience virtually no pain under anesthesia during the surgical procedure. Some patients may feel a slight pain or a foreign matter sensation once the anesthesia wears off after surgery. Although the level of pain varies from person to person, in general, there is rarely any pain that would raise concerns.
What are the potential complications？
Immediately after surgery, patients may temporarily feel slight pain, a foreign matter sensation and some sting, which will resolve within a few days. In addition, subconjunctival hemorrhage (bleeding of the white of the eye) or blurriness may persist for two weeks to one month. There may also be elevated intraocular pressure and an opaque lens sac (capsule). Rare complications include infection, uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye), endophthalmitis (swelling of the intraocular cavity), macular degeneration (loss of tissue in the center of the retina), expulsive hemorrhage, and loss of endothelial cell count, among others.
Will the cataract recur after cataract surgery？
During cataract surgery, the surgeon removes only the opaque lens, with the capsule left intact, within which the intraocular lens is implanted. Called a secondary cataract, the capsule may become opaque after surgery, reducing the patients’ ability to see well. Such opacity, however, can be eliminated by laser, thereby restoring vision.
How long will intraocular lenses last？
Made of long lasting and biocompatible material, intraocular lenses used in cataract surgeries do not have to be replaced or otherwise maintained.
Life after surgery
Can patients undergo other surgeries after receiving cataract surgery？
Patients may receive any type of surgery.
What are the precautions immediately after cataract surgery？
To avoid infections caused by bacteria entering through the wound, patients are advised to take or instill the prescribed medication as instructed. Avoid face washing and shampoo for about a week. Also, wear protective glasses to prevent any impact to the eye. Before getting used to the postoperative vision, patients should also refrain from doing any work that would put strain on the eyes.
How long will it take for vision to stabilize after cataract surgery？
Vision will stabilize in approximately one month for monofocal IOLs and approximately three months for multifocal IOLs.
Will cataract surgery put any restrictions on life styles？
Avoid any sports activities for at least one month. Wear goggles when swimming. Consult a physician before engaging in any intense sports activities.
Will eyeglasses be needed after surgery？
The power of your existing eyeglasses will no longer be appropriate after surgery. If the implanted monofocal IOL is set for distance vision, a patient will have problems with near vision and will need a new pair of eyeglasses after the condition of the eye stabilizes, which may take anywhere from one to three months depending on the type of lens and the condition of the eye. Although multifocal IOLs allow patients to see both far and near well enough without eyeglasses for most daily routines, performing intricate detailed work would still require eyeglasses.
After cataract surgery, will patients still be able to undergo LASIK to correct their residual nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism？
Once their vision stabilizes, patients may undergo LASIK to correct residual nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.
Once diagnosed with a cataract, should patients undergo surgery without delay even if the cataract is minor？
If poor vision, haze, glare and other symptoms affect the daily life of patients, they should probably undergo surgery as soon as possible.
Will cataract surgery also treat presbyopia？
Monofocal intraocular lens (IOLs) and multifocal IOLs are available for implantation following the removal of a cataract. Monofocal IOLs provide only a single focus point. Therefore, if the implanted lens is set to focus on distant objects, near vision will be blurry, thus requiring the aid of reading eyeglasses. Although multifocal IOLs allow patients to see both far and near well enough without eyeglasses in most daily routines, performing intricate detailed work would still require eyeglasses.
What are the differences between monofocal IOLs and multifocal IOLs？
Monofocal IOLs have only a single focus point, whereas multifocal IOLs provide two focus points: far and near.
Is the multifocal IOL suitable for anyone having cataract surgery？
A pupil size that is too small under bright conditions will interfere with the lens’ ability to offer both near and far vision. However, monofocal IOLs are suitable for patients with the same pupil size.
Will patients who have received a LASIK or phakic IOL procedure be able to undergo cataract surgery？
Yes, however, the phakic IOL would have to be removed prior to cataract surgery.
Can a monofocal IOL implanted in a previous cataract surgery be replaced with a multifocal IOL？
Whether it can be replaced depends on the conditions of the IOL and the capsule, which can be examined after pupil dilation. Such a replacement procedure is possible within a few months following cataract surgery.
Approximately how many days after the initial exam can surgery take place？
Following the initial exam, patients need to visit the clinic once more for an exam to determine the power of the lens. Surgery can take place as early as two weeks thereafter depending on the type of lens. For multifocal IOLs that also treat astigmatism concomitantly, the wait may be up to two to three months.
How many visits to the clinic are required after cataract surgery？
Postoperative exams are scheduled at one day, one week, one month, three months, six months, one year after surgery and once annually thereafter. Nevertheless, depending on the condition of the eye, additional clinical visits may be required.
Can patients go home on the day of the surgery？
All surgical procedures performed at our clinic are outpatient surgeries.
How long is the surgical procedure？
Before surgery, patients receive eye drops for pupil dilation (approximately 1.5 hours). Once in the operating room, patients will go through the disinfection procedure and receive the surgery (approximately 20 minutes). Patients can go home following a 30-minute rest after the surgery.
Is it necessary for someone to accompany patients on the day of surgery？
Having an escort is recommended because, at the minimum, it has a calming effect on the patients. Also, since driving after the surgery is not possible, patients should not drive to the clinic on the day of surgery unless their escort plans to do the driving.
Can the operation be performed on both eyes at the same time？
Even if a patient has bilateral cataracts, the operation will be performed on one eye at a time to prevent concurrent complications to both eyes.
How long will it take for vision to stabilize after phakic IOL surgery？
Your vision may become hazy on the day of surgery due to some inflammation and the drugs used during the surgery. Although vision generally becomes better within approximately a few days to one week, normal vision may take anywhere from approximately one to three months to stabilize, depending on the individual. Additionally, the incision made to allow lens insertion may result in temporary astigmatism. Therefore, you may not be able to see well for two to three weeks after the surgery.
To what extent can one expect his or her visual acuity to recover after phakic IOL surgery？
A visual acuity close to the preoperative corrected visual acuity (glasses- or contact lens-aided vision) can be expected, although it may be slightly lower in some cases.
How long could visual acuity be maintained？
Physiologically, the progression of nearsightedness or astigmatism cannot be stopped. Your visual acuity may deteriorate despite receiving phakic IOL procedure, but it will not deteriorate below what it was before phakic IOL procedure.
Is there pain during phakic IOL surgery? What about after phakic IOL surgery？
During the surgical procedure, patients are under anesthesia and feel virtually no pain. Patients may, however, experience some discomfort from the eye being opened widely, touched and pressed against. Once the anesthesia dissipates after the surgery, some patients may feel a slight pain or a foreign-body sensation. Although the pain varies from one person to the other, it rarely reaches a level that would cause concern.
What are the potential complications？
Phakic IOL surgery is basically a safe surgical procedure, like cataract surgeries. Immediately following the surgery, you may temporarily experience some minor pain, foreign-body sensation or stinging sensation, which will disappear within a few days. Additionally, sub-conjunctival hemorrhage (bleeding of the white of the eye) or blurriness may last for up to two weeks to one month. There may also be elevated intraocular pressure and dislocation of the lens. Rare complications include cell adherence to the lens and glare at night.
Is there any risk of infection？
To allow the insertion of the phakic IOL, an incision is made. Because bacteria may enter through the wound before it fully closes and cause infections, patients should be careful not to touch the eye with unsanitary hands. Patients should also administer the prescribed antibiotics as instructed to prevent any infection.
Will the phakic IOL move or become dislocated？
Unless the eyes are struck with a powerful force, lenses rarely become dislocated during normal daily routines. Another surgery would be required to reset a dislocated lens. Please contact our clinic if you experienced any sudden change in vision.
Could the phakic IOL break in the eye？
Even forcefully rubbing the eye will not damage the lens. Although a powerful impact to the eye can damage the lens, no such damage has ever been reported.
Will the phakic IOL become cloudy? Is any maintenance required？
The lens will not become cloudy because it does not come in contact with the ambient air. The lens is implanted at a site where aqueous humor circulates to carry away any deposits. Therefore, no maintenance is required.
Is it alright to leave the phakic IOL in the eye for the rest of a patient’s life？
There is no problem because phakic IOLs are made of the same long-lasting and biocompatible material as used in the IOLs for cataract surgeries.
Will there be any problems after 10 or 20 years？
Phakic IOLs are safe lenses that have been used in Europe since 1986 and approved, following a large number of clinical trials, in September 2004 in the U.S. by the FDA, a regulatory authority equivalent to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Minamiaoyama Eye Clinic has nearly 10 years of track record on these lenses. Although this is not enough to draw a conclusion on the 20-year durability, there is a low possibility of problems occurring.
Who are candidates for phakic IOL surgery？
Suitable candidates are patients who cannot undergo LASIK or PRK due to severe nearsightedness, farsightedness or insufficient corneal thickness for LASIK, or those who cannot undergo a laser refractive surgery due to keratoconus or other disorders.
What conditions or disorders are incompatible with phakic IOL surgery？
Those who have low visual acuity attributable to reasons other than refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism), who have an ocular disorder (e.g., cataract or glaucoma), or who have a very low number of corneal endothelial cells, are unsuitable to receive this surgery.
Will phakic IOL treat astigmatism？
Lenses for treating astigmatism are available for the concurrent treatment of nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Which of the two types of phakic IOL, anterior chamber lens or posterior chamber lens, is better？
The appropriate type of lens depends on the shape of the eye and the degree of refractive error. Each type has its own characteristics; neither is considered superior to the other.
Life after surgery
What action should be taken when foreign matter gets into the surgically treated eye？
Do not attempt to remove it in an unreasonable manner; instill eye drops for dry eyes to flush it out or simply allow it to flow out by itself along with tears.
Is it alright to rub the eye？
Please be mindful to avoid rubbing the eye right after the surgery because the wound may not have completely closed.
How long after phakic IOL surgery is makeup allowed？
Although facial makeup is allowed after the follow-up exam a day after surgery, please avoid any eye makeup for one week after the surgery.
When can one resume work after phakic IOL surgery？
Please stay in a restful environment for two or three days after the surgery and consult with a doctor before engaging in any strenuous job outdoors.
When can one resume sports after phakic IOL surgery？
If the postoperative recovery proceeds without problems, after a month, one may swim or participate in sports that do not subject the eye to any direct impact.
Will people around me notice the implanted lens？
Intraocular lenses are generally unnoticeable. They are visible, however, at a very close range.
Will patients who underwent phakic IOL surgery be incompatible for other surgical treatments or have other problems in the future？
Phakic IOLs would have to be removed prior to any cataract surgery or some other types of surgery.