The Risks Of Lasik Eye Surgery

Though LASIK eye surgery has become a common and successful procedure for thousands of patients each year, you should familiarize yourself with the potential side effects before deciding whether it’s the best option for you.

The Risks of the Vision Correction Operation
LASIK is a relatively new technology and has only been monitored by the Food and Drug Administration since 1998. Some of the long-term effects of the surgery are still unclear.

Known risks of LASIK surgery include:

  • Astigmatism, resulting from uneven tissue removal
  • Complications like infection and swelling around the cornea
  • Diminishing results over time in far-sighted patients
  • Decreased vision in low contrast situations, such as at night
  • Development of visual impairments such as halos, glare and double vision
  • Loss of sight or blind spots due to the surgery
  • Only moderate success in surgery due to under or over treating, in which case you could still need glasses or contacts post-surgery
  • Permanent dry eye syndrome.
  • Condition-Specific LASIK Eye Surgery Risks
    Certain types of LASIK surgery have distinct risks for post-op complications. These situations include:

  • Bilateral simultaneous treatment, where both eyes are operated on in one procedure, often puts the patient at higher risk for complications. An added difficulty is the lack of a normally functioning eye during the recovery period.
  • Monovision LASIK surgery, where one eye is corrected for near vision and the other for far vision, is commonly prescribed for aging adults with presbyopia.
  • Who is at Risk for Side Effects?
    While no one can absolutely predict how a patient will react to LASIK eyes surgery, certain cases tend to have statistically higher rates of side effects.

  • Certain eye characteristics, such as thin corneas or deep set eyes, make a patient more prone to complications.
  • Patients with an impaired healing ability, such as autoimmune diseases, are more likely to develop infections and complications due to slow or incomplete healing.
  • Patients with chronically dry eyes may suffer even more from the condition since LASIK surgery causes dry eyes, at least temporarily.
  • The surgery is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, as vision can fluctuate during this time.
  • Consider the relation between refractive vision problems and LASIK to decide whether the risks are worth the benefits in your situation.