If you’re thinking about LASIK surgery, chances are you’ve done quite a bit of research. Knowing exactly what you’re getting into is very important, especially when it comes to medical procedures. While LASIK surgery is extremely safe, incredibly effective and surprisingly quick, there is still some risk involved. Rather than gloss over it, our mission is to make sure our patients are as informed as they can be before walking into our office!
Our goal here is not to scare anybody into rethinking their choice. The truth is, LASIK complications are exceedingly rare. And even when they do occur, the vast majority of side effects and complications after LASIK surgery either go away on their own or are easily fixed via a follow-up procedure.
So, what are the risks associated with LASIK? How common are they? And, why do they happen in the first place?
How Common Are LASIK Complications?
As stated above, very rare. For seasoned and ethical LASIK surgeons, complication rates sit below 1 percent. Always ask your prospective LASIK surgeon what their practice and personal LASIK complication rates are. This will tell you whether or not you should look elsewhere for your procedure.
Our Manhattan LASIK surgeons are among the best in the country. With thousands of procedures under their belts, and the happy patients to prove it, it’s safe to say that you can trust Stahl. We will go over your risks in depth during your consultation, and recommend other procedures if LASIK is not for you.
Why Do Complications Happen?
To understand the risk involved with LASIK, it’s important to understand why complications happen in the first place.
Before you undergo LASIK surgery, you must first go through a LASIK consultation. During this consultation, an eye doctor will determine whether or not you are suitable for LASIK. They will run a series of tests, check your visual acuity, and ask you questions about your health and medical history.
During your LASIK consultation, it is extremely important to be open and honest when your doctor asks questions about your health. This can truly make a huge difference when it comes to your LASIK outcomes. Lying to your doctor is never advisable. Even if you do lie, your doctor will be able to tell the health of your eyes during the eye exam. Moral code aside, there is a reason why you need to disclose anything notable about your health before undergoing LASIK surgery. Your doctor will use this information to weigh the risks and benefits of operating on you.
If you have any condition or health history that would make LASIK too risky for you, chances are you will not be allowed to undergo the procedure at that practice. It is typically not a good idea to get LASIK if you:
- Are under the age of 21
- Are pregnant or nursing
- Have diabetes or another autoimmune disease
- Have keratoconus, corneal scarring or another corneal condition
- Have dry eye syndrome
- Have glaucoma
- Have a family history of some of these disease
- Have had previous eye injury or eye disease
While most eye doctors will refuse to operate on patients with the above risk factors, there are some doctors who will. This is where you start to see a higher complication rate. If you are denied by several LASIK surgeons only to find one willing to do it, chances are it still isn’t a good idea.
A good LASIK surgeon will never operate on a patient who exhibits too many risk factors. Always do your research on your prospective LASIK doctor! Be sure they have a good reputation in their communities, are board-certified and highly experienced! Never put your vision in the hands of a doctor that you are unsure of.
Most complications that severely impact vision after LASIK are avoidable with proper after-care and follow up procedures.
The Question You’re All Thinking: Can LASIK Make Me Blind?
To date, there have been no cases of blindness associated with a LASIK procedure in and of itself. Nothing about the lasers or methods used during LASIK surgery have made a person blind.
That being said, there are conditions that can be triggered by LASIK. Some of these conditions can result in vision loss or even blindness. These conditions include retinal detachment and infection, and vision loss is avoidable with immediate care. If you notice any problems with your vision after LASIK surgery, notify your ophthalmologist immediately!
What Are Some Other LASIK Complications?
The most common side effect after LASIK surgery is dry eye. The symptoms include dry, itchy, red eyes. Dry eye can sometimes cause eye pain and the feeling of something in the eye. These symptoms happen to almost every patient, and will typically go away after a few weeks. Some patients, however, may experience this for an extended period of time. Your doctor will be able to recommend treatments for this.
Visual aberrations are also possible. Visual aberrations include glare and halos around light, starbursts, loss of contrast sensitivity, night vision issues and double vision. These symptoms can be caused by haze, an irregular fold of the corneal flap, oversized pupils, and under or overcorrection. These can all be fixed with a secondary surgery.
Want to know more about your risks after LASIK surgery? Or are you equipped with the knowledge you need to take the plunge? Schedule your FREE LASIK consultation in Manhattan today to start your journey to clear vision! With years of experience and a high LASIK success rate, you will find no better practice in NYC than Stahl Eyecare Experts!