LASIK Safety.

LASIK is ranked among the safest of all medical procedures, however there is the possibility of complications, even if rare.

LASIK Complications

The FDA reports that LASIK complications have occurred in less than 2% of over 12 million cases. It’s important to note that this statistic includes the earliest procedures in the 90s when LASIK technology was in its infancy and that these complications are all confined to quality of vision, not safety of vision.

“Something happening to my eyes…” is a natural fear but statistically is not a concern with LASIK.

The most commonly reported quality of vision issues after LASIK have been:

  • sensitivity to light,
  • halos around light sources,
  • visual fluctuations
  • dry eyes

It is also worth noting that most if not all reported complications were the result of a rushed or inadequate exam process, and/or a rushed procedure.

How To Minimize Any Possible Risk

  • Ask your surgeon about his technology and personal track record. With the advent of newer technology, and advances in Custom LASIK, night-vision effects have been almost completely eliminated.
  • Select a surgeon who insists on a comprehensive and thorough exam process so that only good candidates are approved for surgery. LASIK isn’t for everyone and a professional independent surgeon will not compromise on quality of outcome – he has his own personal reputation to protect.
  • Dry eyes can occur after LASIK, especially in the first weeks after the procedure while the eye tissues heal. Your surgeon should advise you of this and explain how it is solved.

Still, there is a natural and inevitable fear of anything affecting our eyes, and that stress can be far worse than any physical problems. Patients list the following as the most reassuring factors that helped them come to a stress-free decision about having the procedure:

  • Every question was answered frankly and fully. The doctor encouraged his patients to ask about anything that was a concern, no matter how minor or trivial it might’ve seemed – and answered every question.
  • The doctor’s experience. The baseline for a LASIK surgeon is around 5,000 LASIK procedures performed personally, but obviously the more the better. Some centers advertise tens of thousands of procedures performed under their corporate logo – but not by the surgeon who will perform your procedure. Ask how many procedures have been performed personally by the doctor who will treat you.
  • The doctor’s involvement each step of the way. Some surgeons, especially in large, production-line type centers, won’t see the patient except for the few minutes of the actual procedure. Other surgeons insist on getting to know the patient beforehand. This is an important factor not only in terms of the doctor’s commitment but a major point of reassurance for the patient.

The best assurance of a comfortable procedure and the kind of vision outcome you want is by choosing your surgeon carefully – and not exclusively by price. LASIK can provide excellent vision for decades and you don’t have to ‘discount’ your vision or your peace of mind to receive the best standards of service and care.