LASIK Surgery Candidacy Checklist By Andrew Holzman on May 27, 2011

 Virginia LASIK

LASIK is an excellent vision correction treatment that can eliminate or reduce my patients' dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. The procedure treats myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism; these common refractive errors cause blurry vision and affect millions of people.

LASIK surgery can be performed on the majority of patients that have refractive errors. However, some patients are not suitable candidates for treatment. In this post, I review the factors that I take into consideration when evaluating potential patients during the LASIK screening process.      


FDA guidelines require that LASIK patients be at least 18 years of age; patients that are at least 18 years of age are less likely to have significant changes in their vision.

It is also important that my Virginia LASIK patients be aware that they will develop presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness, by the time that they reach their 40s. This condition results from a weakened ciliary muscle that inhibits the patient's natural focusing ability, making it difficult for patients to see near objects clearly.

Stable Refraction

If your vision prescription has changed within the last year, you are not considered an ideal LASIK candidate. Patients that undergo surgery should not experience any changes in their refractive error for one to two years.

High or Low Refractive Error

If you have very little refractive error or a high degree of refractive error, you may not be a good candidate for LASIK surgery.

Pupil Size

Pupil size can have a major effect on the outcome of the patient's laser vision correction procedure. Those that have large pupils in dim conditions may experience poor night vision, halos, starbursts, and other permanent side effects after surgery.

Corneal Conditions

Patients that have thin, scarred, or damaged corneas are not suitable candidates for LASIK surgery. However, these patients may be able to undergo alternative treatments such as PRK or the placement of permanent contact lenses (ICLs).

Tear Production

If you have poor tear production or dry eyes, LASIK may not be right for you. The LASIK procedure could exacerbate the problem and make dry eye worse.

Medical Conditions

You are not a good candidate for LASIK if you suffer from serious medical conditions such as autoimmune disease, diabetes, hypertension, or any illness that slows healing; Patients that suffer from eye conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma are also not ideal LASIK patients.


Certain medications can delay healing after surgery; if you take steroids, blood thinners, or other medications that could slow healing, you may need to halt use for a few weeks before and after surgery or consider an alternative treatment option.


Traditional LASIK surgery costs an average of $1,500 nationwide. The cost can increase based on the area of the country in which surgery is performed, the skill of the selected surgeon, and the degree of the patient's refractive error. Custom LASIK can cost up to two times as much as traditional LASIK. Since LASIK is considered an elective health care procedure, patients must pay for all costs associated with treatment out-of-pocket. My patients can pay for LASIK with credit cards or financing plans to break up the cost of treatment over a period of time. However, if the cost of LASIK is not in your budget, you may want to consider less expensive alternatives such as the use of contact lenses or glasses.

If you are interested in undergoing LASIK surgery, contact my practice today for a consultation.

Related to This

Dr. Andrew Holzman

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS

Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS, is one of the most well-respected ophthalmologists in the greater Washington, DC, area. He is regularly sought out by professional athletes, media personalities, and other doctors for laser eye surgery. Dr. Holzman is a member of several prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The American College of Surgeons
  • The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • The American Medical Association
  • The International Society of Refractive Surgery

To schedule a consultation at one of our five locations, please fill out our online form or give us a call at (703) 556-9155.

Contact Us Today

"Dr. Holzman is the best - very honest, very professional yet very friendly and personable." Ben E.

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite
Google map image of our location in 7538 Limestone Dr  Gainesville, VA

Gainesville Office

7538 Limestone Dr
Gainesville, VA 20155

Closed Today

Google map image of our location in 7930 Jones Branch Dr Ste 250 McLean, VA

McLean Office

7930 Jones Branch Dr
Ste 250
McLean, VA 22102

Open Today 9:00am - 5:00pm

Google map image of our location in 11200 Rockville Pike Ste 150 Rockville, MD

Rockville Office

11200 Rockville Pike
Ste 150
Rockville, MD 20852

Open Today 8:00am - 4:30pm

Google map image of our location in 630 Peter Jefferson Pkwy Ste 180 Charlottesville, VA

Charlottesville Office

630 Peter Jefferson Pkwy
Ste 180
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Open Today 8:30am - 5:00pm

Google map image of our location in 1801 K St NW Ste 500L Washington, DC

Washington Office

1801 K St NW
Ste 500L
Washington, DC 20006

Open Today 8:00am - 4:30pm

What is the best time for you?

Add additional time

Which location would you prefer?

Tell us a bit about yourself...

(703) 556-9155 Send a message