Kaiser Permanente Laser Vision Correction
Phone: tel:+18883300665

LASIK FAQs

When you’re well-informed about a medical procedure, you’re better able to make decisions that are best for you — and you feel more confident, too. Your vision is precious, and at Kaiser Permanente, we want you to feel good about LASIK and laser eye surgery. The providers at our San Francisco, Sacramento, Walnut Creek, and other Northern California offices have answered just about every question imaginable when it comes to laser vision correction, and we’ve shared some of the most common ones here.

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To get started with Kaiser Permanente laser vision correction, request your consultation online or call us at (888) 330-0665.

Do I need to be a Kaiser Permanente member to receive laser vision correction services?

Kaiser Permanente vision correction services are available to everyone. You do not have to be a Kaiser Permanente member to see a Kaiser Permanente provider for laser vision correction. Whether you are a member or non-member, you will receive the same level of high-quality care at the same price.1

What does the fee cover?

Laser vision correction at Kaiser Permanente is comprehensive. Our price includes:

  • A comprehensive clinical consultation, including corneal mapping, pachymetry, dilated and non-dilated refractions, eye pressure measurement, and assessment of laser vision correction candidacy
  • Professional surgical fee
  • Laser center fee
  • 12 months of postoperative care
  • Perioperative medications

Learn more about cost and payment options.

In Their Own Words...

One month out of LASIK – and things are AMAZING! I can’t believe how well I can see.”

— Michelle, LASIK patient in San Francisco Read More Patient Testimonials

Who performs the surgery?

Our Northern California board-certified refractive surgeons and ophthalmologists perform your surgery. When you trust your eyes to Kaiser Permanente laser vision correction services, you can trust that an experienced team of professionals will lead your care. Overall, our refractive surgeons:

  • Have many years of ophthalmic and refractive surgery experience
  • Have additional expertise ranging from cataract surgery to corneal transplants
  • Are board certified in ophthalmology
  • Perform thousands of eye surgeries every year
  • Have performed thousands of laser vision correction surgeries on patients who include fellow physicians and Kaiser Permanente employees

Additionally, some of our refractive surgeons have teaching or surgical privileges at some of the nation’s top academic institutions, including Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco.

What is laser vision correction?

Also known as refractive surgery, laser vision correction refers to elective operative eye procedures that use a laser to reshape the cornea and change the way light is focused or refracted by the eye. The goal is to reduce your dependence on glasses or contacts.

How does laser vision correction work?

The most common laser vision correction procedures are done with an excimer laser. The excimer laser is a computer-guided cool laser that corrects vision by reshaping the cornea to improve the way light is focused or refracted by the eye. 2 major procedure types are available for treating low or moderate levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism: Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and surface ablation (PRK or LASEK). The excimer laser works in about 60 seconds, and the entire procedure lasts for about 15 minutes from start to finish.

What happens during LASIK?

During a LASIK procedure, your surgeon applies a drop of anesthetic to your eye and uses a femtosecond laser to create a flap in your cornea. Your surgeon carefully lifts the flap and uses an excimer laser to contour the internal corneal layers. After the cornea has been reshaped, the flap is returned to its original position. Because of the cornea’s extraordinary natural bonding qualities, it heals quickly. No sutures are required.

What is surface ablation (PRK or LASEK)?

During surface ablation, your surgeon removes the outermost protective layer of the eye, called the epithelium. Your surgeon then uses the excimer laser to contour the front layers of the cornea. Surface ablation is typically associated with a lengthier healing process and more discomfort than LASIK. However, surface ablation requires less instrumentation and avoids the risks associated with creating a corneal flap.

Can laser vision correction correct presbyopia?

Presbyopia occurs in most individuals around the age of 45 years. The condition develops because the lens inside the eye loses its ability to change shape and allow near focusing. People compensate for presbyopia by using bifocals and reading glasses. Although there is no surgical cure for presbyopia, its symptoms can be reduced with monovision. Learn more about presbyopia and other vision conditions on our Understanding Your Vision page.

What is monovision?

Monovision is a condition in which one eye is slightly myopic, or nearsighted, and one eye is corrected to provide good distance vision. The nearsighted eye focuses well on close objects and can be used for reading or similar activities. The distance-corrected eye can be used for driving, sports, or other activities that require distance vision. Monovision can be a good compromise for people dealing with presbyopia.

What is Wavefront?

Wavefront is an advanced technology for laser vision correction that uses the most sophisticated understanding of optics to achieve your goals of vision without the need of glasses or contacts. Wavefront software has enabled people to maintain good vision in dim and dark environments as well as brightly lit ones. Thus, people who elect Wavefront laser vision correction don’t suffer from night glare and halos that can make even 20/20 vision seem less sharp.

What is Femtosecond Laser (IntraLase)?

Traditionally, refractive surgeons mechanically created the corneal flap using a device called a microkeratome. Femtosecond laser replaces the microkeratome with a computer-guided laser that gently separates the layers of the cornea with gas bubbles which are precisely focused into the cornea. For appropriate candidates, it can enhance the safety and accuracy of your procedure.


1 Kaiser Permanente members typically have coverage for medically necessary eye examinations, which are generally conducted at Kaiser Permanente facilities. Otherwise, services described here are provided on a fee-for-service basis. These services are separate from your Health Plan benefits and are not provided or covered by Kaiser Permanente Foundation Health Plan, Inc. Clinical services are provided by providers or contractors of the Permanente Medical Groups. Results of services vary among patients and cannot be guaranteed. The Permanente Medical Groups, Kaiser Permanente Foundation Health Plan, Inc., and Kaiser Permanente Foundation Hospitals have a financial interest in the provision of these services. For specific information about your Health Plan benefits, please see your Evidence of Coverage.

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