Possible Post Operative Complications

Lasik Complications There are many advantages to LASIK surgery, but also complications. As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks worth mentioning. It is important you weigh the potential benefits of the surgery with the risks associated with surgery. Doing so will help you minimize your "risk" when taking advantage of all lasik has to offer.

Common Side Effects
There are some common side effects typically considered mild. Many resolve within a short time following surgery or with proper treatment. Examples of common side effects include:

  • Dry eye - eye drops may help stimulate tear production and resolve this problem.

  • Glare - this may occur as halos or bursts of bright light occurring most often at night. This happens because of an irregularity occurring between the parts of the cornea operated on and those untouched by the surgeon or laser. Some patients have larger sized pupils, while most people's pupils also dilate more in the evening. This may result in a difference between the width of the area operated on and untouched, resulting in a halo effect. Many doctors can help correct this problem by utilizing newer technology. If this is a concern be sure to ask your doctor about minimizing the impact of this side effect.

  • Infection - the rate of postoperative infection is relatively low. Many studies suggest the risk is less than 1%. Some patients have a genetic condition resulting in thinning of the pupil after surgery. Most surgeons will screen for this prior to surgery.

  • DLK - roughly 2-3% of patients experience a condition called diffuse lamellar keratitis. This syndrome typically resolves shortly after surgery.

  • Corneal Abrasion - some patients may develop a small abrasion following surgery. If this does occur a surgeon can help provide comfort and promote healing within a few days.

  • Induced astigmatism - Some patients will experience astigmatism following surgery, even where they did not have this visual problem before. This may result in slightly blurred vision, and typically can be managed with a re treatment.

  • Over and under correction - LASIK is not always an exact science. Typically a surgeon will do his or her best to reshape the cornea to the desired shape, producing good vision. The amount the surgeon manipulates the cornea depends on many factors. It is possible however, that a patient may not respond to treatment as expected, and a difference may result in the result and the surgeon's expectation. An under or over correction typically results in temporary difficulty, but if permanent the surgeon may need to reinitiate the procedure to correct. Typically undercorrection occurs more often than overcorrection and is more common in patients with larger visual disturbances. To correct this problem the surgeon may recommend an enhancement procedure. You can consult with your physician ahead of time to decide your risk for this side effect.
Factors that may influence your risk for side effects include your surgeon's technique and experience, the types of instrumentation used and the calibration of the laser. This is one of the reasons it is so important to investigate your surgeon's background thoroughly, to ensure you get the best possible outcome. Remember when it comes to your vision, cheaper is not always better. Look for a well-qualified surgeon that comes on recommendation, and you should realize a small percentage if any complications after surgery.

Learn more about LASIK surgery complications and side effects on our forums!