Do you, like a lot of people, wonder if LASIK is really a surgery worth having? It’s a fair question. Any surgery is at least a little nerve-wracking, and one that you think could damage your eyesight is particularly scary.
LASIK, like any surgery, has some inherent risks. No operation is 100% risk-free, and you shouldn’t trust anyone who tries to say otherwise. However, there are surgeries that are very low-risk, and LASIK is one of those surgeries.
At Davis Vision Center, we want our patients to feel that they are educated about LASIK surgery. So here’s a rundown of some of the more common risks patients may experience post-LASIK:
Common Risks of LASIK
Though LASIK surgery comes with some potential risks, it’s important to note that a high percentage of people don’t experience the complications listed below or any complications at all. So even though this list includes the most common risks of LASIK, these risks are not actually all that common. However, we feel it’s important for our patients to be informed of the common risks just in case they do experience these complications.
One of the most common risks of LASIK surgery is dry eye. You may have experienced a taste of this if you’ve spent hours at a time on a computer. It’s a condition caused by a lack of tears to keep the eyes lubricated and healthy. Dry eye is uncomfortable, but luckily, it’s very treatable.
Dry eye can be caused by several things, not just LASIK. Extended computer usage and even the climate you live in can contribute to dry eye. In some cases, the condition can be chronic. However, when people experience dry eye following LASIK surgery, it’s often a temporary condition, lasting at most a few months.
To treat dry eye following LASIK, your doctor may recommend eye drops for you to use. These eye drops will moisten your eyes and keep them healthy while your eye heals from the surgery. Though the incisions in your eyes do heal quickly after LASIK, your eyes may be sensitive for several weeks as your eyes finish healing. So if you experience dry eye, it’s important to use your eye drops regularly to protect your eyes until they’ve healed completely.
Glare, Halos, or Double Vision
Another of the relatively common risks of LASIK is problems with night vision. These problems include seeing a glare, a halo, or double vision around bright lights at night or in dim lighting. Though these are real and frustrating problems to deal with, in many cases the glares, halos, and double vision are not severe.
It’s also likely that, if you experience these complications at all, it will be only temporary. A few weeks after your surgery, you may find that these problems are lessening as your eyes continue to heal. It could, in a rare case, last indefinitely, but it is uncommon.
Flap problems can come from one of two complications connected to LASIK - either during the surgery or from post-surgery damage.
It’s rare for flap problems to occur during surgery, especially if you have a good, experienced doctor. During LASIK surgery, the corneal flap is pulled back to expose the cornea for reshaping. The corneal flap is fragile and could sustain injuries, but current technologies make that unlikely.
Post-surgery, your eyes will be sensitive for several weeks. Because of this, you need to avoid touching your eyes. Touching or rubbing your eyes after the surgery could result in the corneal flap being displaced or damaged. If this happens, you may need surgery to correct the issue.
It is possible that your corneal tissue might heal abnormally. This is something that your doctor would need to assess, and it may also require surgery to correct.
It’s important to be realistic about the results of LASIK. Many people have great improvements in their vision. But in some cases, a person’s vision may not improve as much as they hoped. Any improvement is a good thing following LASIK, but some people do still need to wear glasses after the surgery.
The most common vision change people experience after LASIK is one that almost everyone experiences at some point in their life - presbyopia. Don’t worry, it’s a lot less scary than it sounds. It just means that as you age, your eyes become less elastic and can’t process images as well as they used to. When this happens, it just means that you need reading glasses. Unfortunately, LASIK cannot prevent presbyopia.
The Realities of LASIK Surgery That Make It Worth Having
Even though the most common risks of LASIK are kind of scary, it can still be worth having LASIK surgery. The “common” risks are not as common as you might think. And most people are thrilled with the results they have from their LASIK surgery.
One of the more recent studies states that LASIK has a 96% patient satisfaction rating, making it the highest-rated elective surgery. The study also found that 90% of patients come away from LASIK with at least 20/20 vision. (Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Vol. 42, Issue 8, August 2016, pages 1224-1234).
The odds of LASIK surgery going well are extremely high. Though there are always risks involved in a surgery, it’s important to look at the possible success as well. You’ll feel much less scared going into a LASIK surgery if you know the likelihood of success AND the possible risks.
Picking the Right Doctor for Your LASIK Surgery
One of the biggest factors that can make your LASIK surgery a good experience is choosing the right doctor. This decision can affect your vision for the rest of your life, so choosing a doctor who has lots of experience and uses the latest proven technologies is the best way to go.
That’s why Dr. Davis is a great choice for your LASIK eye surgery. He’s performed over 40,000 vision correction procedures during his career, and he was one of the earliest doctors to work with LASIK when it was created. He knows which technology will give his patients the best results possible.
Dr. Davis will be happy to have an appointment with you to discuss the best options for your vision. During your appointment, feel free to ask about any common risks of LASIK that you’re concerned about, and Dr. Davis will give you any information you need. Contact us today at (801) 253-3080 to schedule your appointment.