The Potential Risks and Complications of LASIK Surgery

One of the most popular options out there for improving vision is LASIK surgery. By undergoing LASIK, patients will be able to see clearly without the assistance of glasses or contact lenses, allowing for extra freedom when it comes to leisure activities and recreation. Already, millions of people all over the world have benefited from LASIK.

Even though LASIK has proven safe for many people, there are risks associated with LASIK that patients need to consider before they decide to undergo the procedure. In order to give patients realistic expectations about the surgical process, the team at our eye care center would like to cover some of the basics regarding the potential complications of LASIK.

How common are complications from LASIK?

Complications follows LASIK surgery are relatively rare, and many of them can actually be avoided through carefully screening a patient in the consultation process.

Issues with the Corneal Flap

During LASIK surgery, a flap is created in the cornea in order to reshape it with a laser. There are times that the corneal flap can become folded or heal improperly, affecting vision and resulting in discomfort as well. Common problems associated with corneal flap issues include irregular astigmatism, diffuse lamellar keratitis or DLK (inflammation of the corneal flap), and keratoconus (outward bulging of the surface of the eye).

Issues with the corneal flap can be addressed with a corrective procedure. The exact procedure will be determined during your consultation and will depend on the nature of the flap issue.

Infection of the Eye

Infection is a potential risk in any surgery, and LASIK is no exception. The infection may occur during the creation of the corneal flap or during the early stage of healing.

Thanks to modern LASIK surgery techniques, the chances of infection during the procedure are very low. Potential infection while healing from LASIK can be avoided by following your surgeon's instructions for post-operative care, which include not touching or rubbing the eyes and avoiding showers and swimming.

Undercorrection or Overcorrection of Vision

Sometimes during LASIK, the results wind up being significantly less than optimal. In these instances, patients notice that their vision may be undercorrected or overcorrected, resulting in blurry near vision or distance vision. This is caused by poor corneal shaping during the LASIK procedure.

In many cases, these undercorrection and overcorrection issues can be addressed through a corrective LASIK surgery, though sometimes patients will require corrective lenses after their surgery has been performed.

Persistent and/or Severe Dry Eye

One common side effect of LASIK is dry eye syndrome, which typically lasts several weeks. In very rare instances, patients may suffer from severe dry eye after surgery for years and years.

In order to address short-term attacks of dry eye, patients are advised to carry liquid tears on them at all times and to avoid smoky or dusty environments. The ideal way to avoid long-term dry eye is to follow all post-operative instructions to the letter.

It should be noted that patients who experience dry eye before they undergo LASIK will not be permitted to undergo the procedure. This is a safety precaution to prevent such serious, long-term issues with dry eye.

Learn More About Advanced Eye Care and Vision Correction

If you would like to learn more about LASIK surgery as well as your many other options for advanced vision correction, be sure to contact our Maryland eye care centers in Annapolis, Columbia, and Towson today. The entire team here looks forward to answering all of your questions so that you can make informed decisions about all of your eye care needs.