LASIK - What You Need to Know

 LASIK, PRK, and other corrective vision surgeries have the potential to provide patients with truly great vision. However, like any other surgical procedure, there are potential risks and adverse events and it is impossible to give guarantee of perfect vision for all patients. You should know that the risks of LASIK, include but are not limited to dry eye, halo effect, glare, double vision, starbursts, and the possible need for glasses or contact lenses even after surgery. LASIK can be a great surgery for many people, but it is not a perfect surgery for everyone.

Think about it: your eyes are your most precious sense and the primary way that you interact with the world. And surgery on your eyes requires significant homework, planning, research, thought, and consideration ahead of time. Give your eyes the respect that they deserve and make an informed decision as to your potential benefits, the risks involved, the potential adverse events, the alternatives, and whether LASIK is right for you. Do not feel rushed or pressured to make a decision. You’ve lived this long with glasses or contacts, so waiting a bit longer in order to do more research should not be an issue.

A good, neutral starting point may be the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) official website which you can find here: http://www.fda.gov/LASIK

The FDA is a part of the United States government and they approve medical devices like eye lasers in addition to drugs and food. The FDA approved lasers that are used in LASIK and PRK have gone through this process and have been deemed safe for the appropriate patients, but not without risk.  The risk information that is on all FDA-approved labeling for all lasers includes the "risks of dry eye syndrome, which can be severe; the possible need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery; visual symptoms including halos, glare, starbursts, and double vision, which can be debilitating; and the loss of vision.”

Don’t be scared of this information – rather, be informed and educated. When you see me for your consultation, please ask a ton of questions and make sure that you understand everything. Similarly, I will ask questions of you to ensure that you’ve actually done your homework. The best patient is a well-read and informed patient. And the best doctor is one who will treat you like family and give you only what he would want for his own eyes.