Complications and Risks of Lasik Surgery

There are risks to all surgeries, and lasik surgery is no exception.  However the use of specialized lasers, advanced technology and experienced surgeons has minimized these risks to a point where complications occur very, very infrequently.

Most people are concerned about the loss of vision due to surgery.  It is quite rare for people to experience anything but vision improvement after lasik surgery.   Your surgeon will try to achieve as close to perfect vision for you.  If that does not happen there are enhancement procedures that can be performed post-op that will get you closer to your goal of 20/20.

Virtually all people, however, are freed from the need for glasses and contacts.  If you are over 40, you may need reading glasses.  This is not due to an unsuccessful surgery but presbyopia which is a condition that affects people as they age.   Your doctor may be able to treat this condition and eliminate the need for reading glasses with an additional surgery once your eyes have healed completely.

Infection is a risk of surgery.  You will be given eye drops which contain an antibiotic to prevent infection which you should administer daily according to your surgeons instructions.

You should avoid touching or rubbing your eyes to allow your eyes and the corneal flap to heal completely.  Disturbing the healing process may result in a fold in the eye flap which can be corrected at a later date.  This is an unnecessarily complication that can be completely avoided simply by following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions.

Some patients report eye dryness which is treated with medicated eye drops to restore the eye’s moisture balance.  If you experience halos around lights at night, know that this is normal and the glare should dissipate with time – usually in four to six months.

There is a risk that your eye, after it is completely healed, will be over-corrected or under-corrected.  Usually, this does not affect your ability to see to drive or perform daily tasks.  If it does, then you can elect to have an enhancement procedure done after several months that will adjust the correction.

A post-operative condition called diffuse lamellar keratitis is a rare condition that can develop after surgery.  If this condition presents itself, your doctor will detect it during your next day, post-op appointment.  It is easily treated and is another good reason why you should adhere to your post-op appointment schedule with your doctor.