The NICE Report And LASIK

Nice Report

If you've always dreamed of having great peepers, your dream may be closer than you think. Thanks to modern technology, new forms of laser surgery continue to emerge, allowing doctors to perfect surgical techniques and offer patients better eyesight than ever before.

NICE And Laser Surgery
Recently NICE, short for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, provided new guidance for surgeons conducting laser eye surgery to treat refractive errors (which include near and farsightedness).

The purpose of the report and study was to determine whether treatment of refractive errors is safe. Most people with refractive errors currently receive eyeglasses or contact lenses as their primary modus of treatment. In March of 2006 however, NICE provided the following guidelines for laser eye surgeons:

  • Laser eye surgery appears safe for patients carefully selected by competent and qualified physicians.
  • Clinicians interested in using laser eye surgery must understand the benefits and risks of surgery. Some of the risks that must be shared with patients include the risk that that patient may develop new visual disturbances or the risk that surgery may not correct visual problems entirely.
  • Patients should be carefully monitored for outcomes following surgery so long-term data on patient outcomes may be collected and examined.
  • Opticians and eye surgeons performing surgery must ensure they have adequate training and experience before offering their services to clients.
  • All surgeons operating should ensure they adhere to ethical standards and standards of craftsmanship when engaging in surgery.
The types of surgery considered for purposes of this study included LASIK, PRK or photorefractive keratotectomy and LASEK surgery.

While surgery does appear safe for most undergoing laser procedures, it is important that today's laser eye surgeon be up-to-date on the latest technology. Surgeons also have an obligation to fully inform patients of the risks associated with surgery and the benefits. It is important patients weight the benefits and risks of surgery prior to embarking on any type of corrective procedure.

Many people's eye problems can be easily corrected using traditional means including eyeglasses or corrective lenses. BUT, thanks to modern technology, those willing to undergo surgery stand a good chance of having their site restored to perfect or near perfect vision. Some patients undergoing traditional procedures, including LASIK, are at risk for complications.

Make sure you fully inform yourself of the risks before agreeing to any type of surgery and you are far more likely to experience a positive outcome.

Learn more about the NICE report and LASIK eye surgery on our forums!