LASIK and Pregnant or Breastfeeding Patients

By Gordon Wong, OD on January 30, 2014

LASIK and Pregnant or Breastfeeding PatientsIn order to achieve optimal vision and overall wellness, it's crucial that the right vision correction surgery is performed at the right time. If a surgery is performed without considering timing, a patient's overall vision will not be its best. This is particularly true with regard to LASIK, as there are very rigid qualifications for candidacy that have to be considered. Apart from age, stability of prescription, and corneal health, it's important that LASIK patients not be pregnant or nursing.

Our team of optometrists would like to take a moment right now to consider some of the basics when it comes to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and LASIK surgery. You may be surprised how important it is to take these matters into consideration prior to any surgery being performed.

Vision Changes and Pregnancy

When a woman is pregnant, hormonal changes will occur that will lead to certain changes in her body. Beyond changes in hair growth and the acuteness of the various senses, women will likely notice some fluctuations in overall vision quality. These changes in vision may be minor, but they are enough to be noticeable.

Because of these fluctuations in vision during pregnancy, LASIK is not recommended. Performing LASIK during this time means increased chance of overcorrection or undercorrection of vision. Waiting until after pregnancy is the best option.

Concerns Regarding the Development of the Baby

In addition to concerns regarding the overall quality of the LASIK results, we need to seriously consider the overall health of the developing child as well. Medications are administered to the LASIK patient as part of the treatment process, and we are unsure what effects these medications may have on a fetus.

To ensure the safety of the mother and the child, LASIK surgery should only be performed after pregnancy.

Vision Changes Persist After Pregnancy

Even immediately after giving birth, laser eye surgery may not be recommended. It takes times for a woman's hormones to normalize after pregnancy, so vision the issues may persist for some time. It's ideal to wait a bit after the pregnancy until hormone levels even out and the woman's vision has returned to what it was prior to pregnancy.

Nursing and Health Concerns with Breast Milk

If a woman is nursing, LASIK is still not a good idea. Any medications provided during the surgical treatment process will wind up in the breast milk in some fashion, and it's unclear what potential health effects the medications will have on the child being nursed. LASIK should only be performed after breastfeeding has ceased.

When can a woman finally undergo LASIK surgery?

This can vary from patient to patient, but a woman should be fine to undergo LASIK roughly two menstrual cycles after pregnancy or after breastfeeding has been completed. When you meet with your laser eye surgeon for a consultation, you will be able to learn more about these matters.

Learn More About Laser Eye Surgery

For more information about LASIK surgery and how it can be of great benefit to you and your vision, be sure to contact our La Jolla optometrists today. We will go over all of your eye care options in greater detail and help you make the best possible decisions about your overall health, wellness, vision.

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