Lasik surgery is the hugely popular procedure to correct near sightedness, far sightedness, and astigmatism. While most people are very happy with the results of their Lasik surgery, there have been some rare complications, however. The instruments used to perform the Lasik procedure are just tools. For that reason, it is imperative that consumers shop for an experienced surgeon. Choose a surgeon who is accredited, been doing the procedure more than three years, and on over 500 cases.
Of the million or more people who have Lasik surgery every year, about 1% to 5% report complications. Many of the complications are minor or correctable, but a small percentage describe their vision as worse after the Lasik surgery. On the flip side of this, 95% or more are overjoyed with their improved vision.
The F.D.A. compiles statistics about the complications of Lasik surgery. Night vision problems with halos around light sources involve 3.5% of Lasik patients. Fluctuation of vision affects 2.6% of patients. Sensitivity to light and glare affects 1.7% of those reporting, and 3% report worse vision after the procedure. All of these statistics vary from surgeon to surgeon.
The risks of Lasik are further categorized by their causes.
Wrinkles in the corneal flap are usually a minor problem. These are easily correctable shortly after the procedure. Infection is always a risk with Lasik, as it is with all surgeries. Antibiotic eye drops will be prescribed after Lasik, and follow up appointments will be scheduled to monitor proper healing. Another rare result may be corneal islands, or small areas of raised tissue. These little islands are also correctable.
In less than 1% of patients an ingrowth of surface cells may affect vision by distorting the cornea. The surgeon may have to lift the flap and remove these. But, again, this ingrowth is correctable and rare. A more dangerous condition after Lasik occurs if a small particle or foreign body gets trapped under the corneal flap. This condition is treatable, but good doctor follow up is key. Foreign bodies under the flap are sometimes the result of eye trauma. Anyone who has had Lasik and experiences an accident involving the eye should have an examination by an ophthalmologist.
Prevention of complications starts with the choice of your surgeon. Once a trusted Lasik surgeon is located, you as a patient must take responsibility for following his or her instructions in every detail. The odds of a good outcome are overwhelmingly in your favor, but realize that Lasik is “real” surgery, and complications sometimes occur. Fortunately, Lasik is one of the safest surgeries that you can have.
Ed Desmond is a small business owner, and also works as a Registered Nurse. Lasik Surgery Recent articles and resources about Lasik Surgery.