The Risks of LASIK Surgery
By Gordon Wong, OD on July 01, 2013
Surgeries of all kinds involve a certain amount of risk no matter what the procedure may be. That goes for major surgical procedures as well as comparatively minor ones such as LASIK surgery. When you meet with an optometrist or an eye care specialist, you can learn about all of the risks of refractive surgery in greater detail.
Right now, we'd like to just cover some of the basics so that you understand just what's at stake during LASIK surgery. This will give you more realistic expectations about the entire treatment process.
About LASIK Surgery
During LASIK surgery, a small flap is made on the surface of the cornea, known as the epithelium. Through this epithelial flap, a laser is able to reshape the cornea and improve the way that the light passes through the eyes and focuses on the retina.
LASIK Risk - Infection
Infection is a potential risk following many surgeries, which is why it's imperative that patients follow surgeon instructions to maintain clean and sanitary conditions.
LASIK Risk - Undercorrection and Overcorrection
One possible risk of various laser eye surgery procedures is overcorrecting vision or undercorrecting vision. Generally these problems can be addressed with prescription lenses, only requiring secondary surgery for major overcorrection or undercorrection.
LASIK Risk - Folds and Wrinkles in the Corneal Flap
Folds or wrinkles of the corneal flap may occur during the healing process. These can be handled with relative ease by our eye doctors during a visit, and thankfully these problems only occur in fewer than 1 percent of patients.
LASIK Risk - Corneal Ecstasia
Corneal ecstasia is a condition in which the cornea is weakened during the LASIK surgery and bulges outward in the months after surgery, resulting in vision problems. This complication is usually treated through a corneal transplant.
LASIK Risk - Diffuse Lamellar Keratitis (DLK)
A dangerous complication, DLK refers to situations where foreign substances become trapped beneath the corneal flap following LASIK surgery resulting in pain, visual aberrations, and blurred vision. The condition tends to reveal itself in the weeks after surgery, though it can sometimes occurs years after the procedure should a patient experience eye trauma.
Reducing the Risks of LASIK Surgery
It's imperative that patients follow their surgeon's instructions for pre-operative and post-operative care to the letter. This greatly reduces any chances of complications in the immediate healing period and down the road.
Considering LASIK Alternatives
Patients who are not good candidates for LASIK or are concerned about potential complications should rest assured that there are many different alternatives to LASIK surgery. This includes other refractive surgeries that offer results comparable to LASIK or non-surgical solutions such as prescription glasses and contact lenses.
During your consultation with our team, we will be sure to go over all of your options for vision correction and enhancement so that you can make the best and most well-informed decision about all of your options for improving your eyesight and well-being.
Find Out More About Vision Correction and Eye Care
If you would like to learn more about LASIK and how it can be of great benefit to you, be sure to contact our La Jolla eye care center today. The entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible vision and total wellness.
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Dr. Wong and his staff have proven to be the best eye doctor that I have ever visited. He is extremely thorough and up-to-date professionally. He gives you plenty of time. I never feel rushed.Kathrine Holladay