FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
TOP > FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Regarding reservations for appointments
- Q: I am thinking about undergoing the suitability examination...
- A: Suitability examinations can be booked on the website or details can be discussed over the phone.
- Q: Which days are appointments available?
- A: Availability of examination dates and times will change day to day. Clinics are open all year and open times are from 10:00 am to 20:00. Please contact our staff for details.
- Q: I am visiting Japan from overseas...
- A: Shinagawa LASIK Center has rules and guidelines for overseas travellers visiting Japan for a short amount of time and would like to undergo a LASIK treatment. Please contact our clinic staff for details.
- Q: Are there any side effects from LASIK treatment?
- A: Immediately after the treatment, you may feel some irritation which is called "foreign body sensation". This means that you may feel that "something" (eg: an eyelash), is in your eyelid. Also, feeling dryness is normal as well. Some difficulty seeing in low light conditions is normal as well. Vision will return to normal as the healing progresses and some time has passed.
- Q: Are there risks of blindness?
- A: LASIK is a treatment which removes the upper layers of the cornea and does not have any effects on the internal parts of the eye. Also in 1995, the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) approved use of an excimer for refractive treatments and also the MHLW (Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare) tested and approved excimer lasers in 2000. Millions of treatments are performed worldwide each year and there are no reported cases of blindness.
- Q: Is it possible for a disease to be caused to the eye(s) from surgery?
- A: The risks of contamination during a LASIK procedure are quite low, as sanitization is maintained in each operation room using air filters to clean the air and collect fine particles. At Shinagawa LASIK Center, we regularly schedule cleaning inspections and maintenance. All patients should follow the instructions from the staff and doctors for post-operative care to avoid complications.
- Q: I am concerned about long term problems, several years in the future.
- A: Doctors from various countries around the world have shared data from examinations and clinical studies and LASIK is reported to be a safe treatment to correct refractive errors. With the reported findings of the safety and effectiveness of LASIK, several millions of patients around the world have undergone LASIK treatment with many having their treatment performed over 10 years ago.
- Q: What is the possibility of the flap moving or displacing?
- A: Living a "regular" lifestyle should not cause the flap to move or displace, but immediately after the treatment day (depending on type of treatment) it is possible for the flap to move if the eyes were to be rubbed or bumped. To avoid this scenario, eye protection will be provided (or can be purchased) especially for concerns during sleep. Please avoid impacts and rubbing the eyes during the first month post-treatment. "Feelings" of the flap being displaced, moved and foreign body sensation (feeling of something like an eyelash, is in the eye) are common sensations. Please feel free to contact our staff if you have any questions or concerns.
- Q: Can an infection occur?
- A: Some redness and discomfort can occur, but these symptoms will not affect the outcome of the treatment. Infections are very rare, but please contact our staff if you have any concerns.
Regarding the Results
- Q: How long will it take to notice results of the treatment?
- A: Immediately after most treatments, the vision will be blurry and foggy. 2-3 hours after, vision should be similar to the "target visual acuity" which is discussed during the counselling process at our clinic. Some irritation, itchiness and tears are normal for the first several hours post-treatment.
- Q: What level of visual improvement can I expect after treatment?
- A: Depending on the condition of the eye, the visual target is different between each patient. In general, the vision through glasses and/or contact lenses should be considered as a great visual result. Please discuss with our doctors about any concerns after the treatment.
- Q: Can vision return to a state before treatment?
- A: Vision cannot completely return to the original vision.
In rare cases, if the eyes/vision is abused, the progression of myopia can occur. If a second treatment is possible, a second treatment can correct the refractive error.
*If a second treatment is required, several visits to the clinic for examinations and consultations with our doctors will be required. Several conditions, such as the current and remaining corneal thickness, will be important for our doctor to safely determine if a second treatment should be performed. Please review the guidelines of the aftercare services for details.
Regarding the Suitability Examination
- Q: What kind of tests will be taken for the suitability examination?
- A: Our clinics will be required to do examinations of refractive errors, visual acuity & astigmatism , corneal thickness, curve/shape of the cornea, intraocular pressure, ocular fundus (in the back of the eyes) lens and retina. The result of these examinations will allow our doctors to determine what type of treatment would be most suitable. This examination process is required to undergo any type of treatment at the Shinagawa LASIK Center. A consultation with our doctor and counselling with our staff is also important for patients to discuss and ask questions.
- Q: Can contact lenses be worn?
- A: Wearing contact lenses can leave impressions on the eye which can affect the data required during the examination and surgery. Therefore, following the guidelines and stop wearing contact lenses before visiting our clinic will be mandatory (this includes disposable lenses). After the suitability examination, please keep in mind that limitations for contact lens use will need to be followed before the treatment date.
Type of contact lenses duration to stop wearing contact lenses Soft contact lenses
myopia (near sighted)
hyperopia (far sighted)
3 full days before the examination date astigmatism (toric lenses) 1 full week before the examination date bifocal / multifocal 1 full week before the examination date monthly type (Extended use type) 1 full month before the examination date other than 1 month type 2 full weeks before the examination date Hard contact lenses myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism 2 full weeks before the examination date bifocal / multifocal 2 full weeks before the examination date monthly type (Extended use type) 1 full month before the examination date other than 1 month type 3 full weeks before the examination date Orthokeratology
- 3 full months before the examination date
*When changing from one type of contact lens to another, please follow the guideline with the longer term shown above.
*For example, when switching from hard contact lenses to soft types, please follow the guideline for hard contact lenses and stop wearing contact lenses for 2 full weeks.
- Q: Are there any precautions for the day of the examination?
- A: Make-up can be used on the day of the examination, but please keep eye make-up light. Please avoid over-drinking the day before visiting our clinic for examinations and treatments. Our clinic recommends being well rested before clinic visitations.
*A pupil dilation will be required as part of the suitability examination. After the examination, the pupils will continue to be dilated for about 5 to 6 hours. Near vision will be blurry and lights will appear very bright, so we recommend not to drive and to use public transportation.
- Q: Will anesthetics be used?
- A: Anesthetic eye drops will be used. They will prevent irritation during the examination process. Anesthetics in the form of a needle injection is not required.
- Q: Is there a possibility that I may not be suitable for LASIK?
- A: The statements below are possible reasons for not being suitable:
■ Not enough corneal thickness
■ Sickness / Disease related to the eye (eg: cataract, keratoconus, retinal related symptoms)
■ Currently pregnant or nursing (due to taking antibiotics)
* In some cases, lack of corneal thickness, keratoconus may be suitable for other treatments such as Phakic IOL, ICRS (Intrastromal Corneal Ring Segments) or Crosslinking may be an option to replace LASIK. Please consult with or staff and doctors after the suitability examination for more details.
- Q: What if I have dry eyes?
- A: If you have dry eyes due to eye fatigue or wearing contact lenses, treatment will most likely be possible. The doctor will need to check the data and condition of the patient's eyes to be able to make an assessment. Please undergo the examination and consult with our staff and doctors for details.
- Q: What should I bring on the day of the suitability examination?
- A: Please bring your Japanese national health insurance and identification document(s).
Regarding our Treatments
- Q: What are the differences between a LASIK treatment using a microkeratome and femtosecond laser?
- A: How a flap is created is the main difference between the two. A microkeratome is a blade which vibrates while creating a flap. A femtosecond laser uses a laser to add more precision and is computer controlled which can create thinner flaps with less risk and complications.
- Q: Will anesthetics be used?
- A: Similar to the suitability examination, anesthetic eye drops will be used. They will prevent irritation during the examination process. Anesthetics in the form of a needle injection is not required.
- Q: Are there any precautions I should understand before treatment?
- A: Similar to the suitability examination, please follow the guidelines and stop wearing contact lenses accordingly (see chart shown above). From the treatment day to the next day checkup appointment, please avoid using any cosmetics, hair styling products and fragrances (perfume, cologne, body spray, etc). Please avoid wearing clothing which produces static electricity easily such as wool or other clothing with long fibers. After the treatment vision will appear "misty/cloudy" for several hours, so please avoid driving or riding a bicycle and use public transportation (train, bus, taxi).
- Q: Do I need to stay at the clinic overnight?
- A: Staying at the clinic is not necessary and also not possible as our clinics do not offer overnight accommodations.
- Q: What should I bring to the clinic on the treatment day?
- A: Please sign and bring all documents (eg: informed consent form) and also your Shinagawa LASIK Center medical ID card.
Regarding Post-treatment care and precautions
- Q: Should I avoid going to work?
- A: Going to work the day after the treatment is possible. Please avoid physical outdoor work for 2-3 days.
Guidelines between jobs may differ. Please consult with our staff for details. Initially night vision may be affected, so please avoid driving at night.
- Q: When can I start wearing cosmetics?
Patients may start using makeup the next day after the treatment (avoid makeup around the eyes only).
Use from 3 days post-treatment is permitted, but avoid for 1 week if possible.
*Guidelines between treatments may differ. Please consult with our staff for details.
- Q: When can I start bathing or showering?
- A: Please do not take a bath, wash your hair or face after the treatment. Wiping the face with a damp towel, but without touching the eyes is permitted. Showering from the shoulder and downward is permitted. Please avoid having water make contact with the eyes. After the next day checkup and with the approval from our doctor, bathing and washing the face and hair will be possible. Please avoid sweat and soap from entering the eyes during the first week post-treatment.
- Q: Should I avoid eating food and drinking alcohol?
- A: There are no eating restrictions. Drinking alcohol is permitted from the 3rd day after the treatment.
- Q: My eyes feel itchy.
- A: Please avoid rubbing the eyes for the 1st month until the strength of the flap becomes more stable. If your eyes feel itchy, please use the prescribed eye drops.
- Q: When can I start driving or riding a bicycle?
- A: Most patients will notice better vision the next day. The pace of visual recovery will be different between each person and the type of treatment undergone. Driving during the daytime is possible from the next day, but please avoid driving at night for the first week. Please use your own discretion.
- Q: When can I start doing sports and physical activities?
- A: Light exercises and sports (eg: golf, jogging) may begin 1-week after the treatment. Aggressive and physical sports/activities should be avoided during the first month.
- Q: May I take the post-operative examinations at another clinic?
- A: Post-operative checkups at our clinic is recommended, but for patients living far from our clinics or are moving to another country, please inform our staff about your plans. Please take note that fees at another clinic will not be covered by Shinagawa LASIK Center.
- Q: Can I pay in monthly installments or take a loan?
- A: Although loan services are available through banks and financial institutions, in many cases each person will require permanent residence visa in Japan or married to a Japanese citizen, Japanese bank account, proof of income (genzenchōshū-hyō, 源泉徴収票) and several years' experience working at the same company. High proficiency in reading, writing and spoken Japanese will also be required.
Please be prepared to pay in cash, Japanese debit or credit card. Shinagawa LASIK Center accepts major credit cards such as Visa, American Express and Master Card. Please feel free to ask our staff for details if you have any further questions.
- Q: The fees seem lower compared to other clinics, why is that?
- A: In order to attract many patients to our clinics and medical services, our clinics have lower fees by lowering margins and marketing costs. As a leader in the field of refraction correction, we offer the best and appropriate treatments at a range of reasonable fees.
- Q: Can I use Japanese national insurance?
- A: LASIK and other similar refractive treatments are categorized as an elective surgery. Depending on the details of some personal (life) insurance policies, LASIK may be covered in some instances. Due to privacy laws, our clinic and staff cannot assist with this information. Please contact your insurance provider for details.
- Q: Are there any age restrictions?
- A: Legally in Japan, 20 years old is the age becoming a mature adult. Patients under the age of 20 years old will require consent from a parent or legal guardian living in Japan. Also, our clinic may decline to perform treatments on patients over the age of 66 years old.
Please contact our staff if you have any other questions.
- Q: When can I have double eyelid (cosmetic) surgery?
- A: Patients can undergo double eyelid surgery 3 months after a refractive correction treatment. If a patient has undergone double eyelid surgery recently, refractive treatment can be performed 1-month after double eyelid surgery.
- Q: Can I receive a Medical Certificate for record purposes?
- A: A Japanese Medical Certificate （診断書） can be prepared for a fee of 9,000 yen.
Please notify the staff if a medical certificate is needed as soon as possible. Several days may be required to create the medical certificate. If an English version is required, please contact our staff for details. Please keep in mind that an English version will require more time to create.