Some Patients Face Greater Risks From LASIK

Lasik risks

Every year millions of people undergo traditional refractive surgery or LASIK procedures. Most patients experience superb results, improving their vision to 20/20 or better in many cases.

However, LASIK surgery is not without it's risks. In fact, roughly one out of every 2,000 patients will experience worsening vision because of LASIK, in part due to an eye disease or other condition that flares following surgery.

Is LASIK The Right Surgery For You?
For most patients LASIK is a fast and very easy surgery. However, for others LASIK surgery is not even a possibility. One of the most important steps you must take as a patient is interviewing a competent physician to rule out any risk factors you may have for a poor LASIK outcome.

While many patients look like they have normal eyes, on further examination a qualified physician may discover an abnormality. An example may include a thin cornea. Since the lasik procedure thins and reshapes the cornea, surgery on someone with a thin cornea may prove very risky. The odds of coming out of surgery with near perfect vision are not always as high if you have a condition like this.

Some patients in fact, with thin corneas may come out of LASIK surgery with visual disturbances or swollen and bulging eyes.

Certain eye diseases, including those that thin the cornea, sometimes progress much more quickly following invasive procedures like LASIK. This can cause a host of problems for patients.

How do you determine if you have a thin cornea? You can't do it on your own. An eye doctor must do a pachymetry test, typically using ultrasound waves, to measure your corneal thickness. This tool is very important for LASIK physicians, as it can rule out patients that are not well-suited to surgery.

A clinical exam is not enough when it comes to your eye health. Make sure you interview your doctor and investigate what types of screening they will conduct before surgery. This can save you the unnecessary complication of having surgery when it will increase a pre-existing eye disease or problem.

PRK And Related News
The good news is there are treatment options for those with thin corneas and other corneal abnormalities or diseases. One option is PRK surgery. This is a type of refractive surgery where the outer layer of the cornea is removed rather than folded back. While the results are not as immediate as LASIK surgery, they are quite good. Most patients fell the wait associated with surgeries like PRK is well worth it to protect their eyesight in the long-term.

Ask your doctor if you are a good candidate for LASIK or other procedures like PRK. Remember that surgeries like PRK may have a longer recovery time, but they can save your eye from permanent visual disturbances. At most many patients recover within a one to two week time period. Not such a bad time to ensure the health of your eyes.

Learn more about the risks of LASIK surgery complications on our forums!