Do you plan to get LASIK surgery done but are apprehensive about the side effects. Read on to understand more
LASIK is a popular elective surgery and most patients have a great LASIK experience and spectacular results. However, a small percentage of patients may experience problems, most of which are transient and part of the healing process. Listed here are some of the risks of LASIK that are a big deal and are not transient.
Sub Conjunctival Haemorrhage
The suction rings used to make the lasik flap can cause red blotches to appear on the white part of the eye at the time of surgery. These resolve completely in a couple of weeks.
The most commonly encountered risk is a slight target miss where LASIK greatly improves your vision without glasses but it is not perfect. In this scenario your vision is good but use of glasses with a small number would make it even better. This great improvement could be considered a victory or a disappointment depending on your desire for perfection.
Stability of LASIK
One of the risks of LASIK is that your eyes change after your procedure and you need glasses again or an enhancement to your LASIK. Myopia occurs and progresses as your eye grows longer than ideal. There are two basic types of myopia - Myopia that progresses during puberty and one that progresses in the later years. When your eye stops growing, myopia stops progressing. If LASIK is performed after your eye has stopped growing then the results usually last until cataracts develop in your senior citizen years. The formation of cataract can cause some myopia to return, but this can be corrected at the time of cataract surgery.
LASIK patients tend to be healthy with good immune systems so infection is rare. Antibiotic drops are used post operatively to further decrease the chances for infection. About one out of every 5,000 patients still develops an infection. Usually these are easily treated with topical antibiotics, but can result in corneal scarring if discovered late or if the microbes are resistant, underscoring the need for good hygiene and for keeping all post-operative appointments.
LASIK Flap Complications
LASIK requires the creation of a thin flap in the cornea. This flap is lifted, the eye is treated, and the flap is repositioned. Within seconds, the eye secures the flap by hydrostatic pressure. The flap becomes more secure over time as collagen fibres tie down the edges of the flap. Complications can arise in creating the flap or with trauma post-operatively.
The initial flap can be too thin, too thick, damaged, or irregular. If the flap created is not acceptable, the surgery can usually be postponed and the vision corrected with a different technique on a separate day.
If you inadvertently hit your eye the day of surgery, the flap can become wrinkled. If this is affecting your vision, your doctor will smoothen it back as uncorrected flap irregularity of any kind can permanently decrease the quality of your vision. For this reason, the first post-operative visit is particularly important, as it is easiest to correct flap irregularities earlier rather than later.
Please also read our upcoming blog article for more risks of Lasik