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Lasik Surgery Risks: Just How Serious Are They?

Mar 1, 2008
Any medical procedure will have associated risks and complications.

Lasik surgery is no different. In general, risks tend to be far lower than with other types of surgery, but they're still there.

Since lasik surgery is elective, it's important to fully consider all the risks before making the decision to get the surgery.

Before opting to have the surgery performed, you should consider the following risks and discuss them carefully with your physician:

-Vision Loss: Occasionally, lasik surgery can result in permanent vision loss. While this is very rare and tends not to be serious when it does occur, vision loss is certainly a threat.

-Night Time Vision: Occasionally vision at night will be affected, and patients can get side effects such as double vision or halos.

Eyesight in other weather conditions such as rain can also be affected, again with double vision, halo or glare.

-Perfect "20/20" vision is not a likely outcome: sometimes the lasik surgery may not be performed correctly, and sometimes follow-up procedures may be required. In some cases, corrective lenses may still be needed after the surgery. And if you already use reading glasses, lasik surgery may not eliminate the need to wear them.

-Dry Eye Syndrome: Lasik surgery could potentially impact your tear-producing capability. This could result in permanent discomfort and you may need long-term treatment or more procedures.

-Results May Vary: Depending on the exact eye condition you have, lasik surgery may not be appropriate for you and may not provide the best results. Results may also fade with time.

-Lasik Surgery Is New: Lasik surgery has only been performed for less than a decade. The jury is still out on whether it has serious long-term effects or not, and its permanent safety is unknown.

If you're overly concerned with lasik, one alternative is Monovision. Some eye surgeons offer this. Originally it was used primarily for contact lens wearers; the technique uses one lens to correct distance vision and the other lens to correct near-sightedness.

If you decide to try this, you should wear contact lenses to test it first as the technique is certainly not right for everyone.

If you have Monovision performed on both eyes, you should start with one eye first so that the doctor can estimate chances of success and see how well the first surgery worked.

Overall, lasik surgery is very low risk compared to many other elective procedures, but you should still use caution and consider all the above points with your doctor before opting for lasik.
About the Author
Ian Spellfield advises patients on the best way to find proper Lasik Surgery Cincinnati and how to manage lasik surgery risks.
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