Lasik is a laser eye surgery that has helped millions of patients improve their vision. Many patients suffering from myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism experience relief from the need for corrective eye wear. A quick procedure with a minimal recovery period, many people are turning to this procedure for the best in vision correction.
This is not suitable for everyone. Among many elements contributing to candidacy are age, overall health and the condition of the eyes. Women who are pregnant or nursing, may need to postpone laser eye surgery in order to avoid unnecessary complications. Learn more about the limitations of this surgery for women who are pregnant.
Lasik Surgery and Refractive Instability
The goal of laser eye surgery is to pinpoint and correct unwavering refractive errors. As a result of natural hormonal changes, women who are pregnant or nursing commonly experience vision fluctuation. In addition to hormonal changes, vision may also be affected by corneal pressure due to fluid retention. Refractive instability during pregnancy and lactation hinders the ability of the surgeon to determine actual vision problems.
Under the environment of fluctuating vision, an inaccurate assessment of your refractive state can result in an inaccurate Lasik procedure. Patients who elect to undergo this operation while pregnant or nursing may experience overcorrection or undercorrection once hormonal balance returns to the body. In addition, the recovery process will involve periodic vision changes as the eye adjusts to the procedure. But it’s impossible to identify whether vision fluctuation occurs as a result of pregnancy and breastfeeding, or laser eye surgery.
Dry Eyes and Pregnancy
Pregnancy can also cause dry eye conditions. In fact, most women find it too uncomfortable to wear contacts during pregnancy. Dry eye conditions can pose additional difficulties during recovery from laser eye surgery. People with dry eyes experience longer, more troublesome recovery periods.
Lasik Surgery and Medications During Pregnancy
Prescribed medications are another concern for potential Lasik patients who are pregnant or nursing. As part of the process, patients are required to take antibiotics and steroid eye drops before and after the laser eye surgery. Many patients also receive mild sedatives as a calming agent during the procedure. As a result of entering the bloodstream, your baby will be exposed to these medications.
There are no hard facts about the risk of medications associated with Lasik for patients who are pregnant or nursing. However, possibility presents an essential precaution. As an elective procedure, the surgery can easily be postponed in order to avoid unnecessary complications for you and your baby.
Pregnancy and Postponing Lasik Surgery
Patients who are pregnant, nursing or trying to conceive should postpone vision correction until vision has stabilized. If you are pregnant, it is best to wait at least two months after you have stopped breastfeeding. Women electing not to breastfeed should postpone Lasik for a few months after giving birth, allowing enough time for hormonal balance to return. Patients should also wait six months to conceive following laser eye surgery.