Foreign body after LASIK

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Foreign body after LASIK

Postby cqmman » Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:01 pm

Hello,

This is a repost of a post I made at a different forum.

My wife had LASIK a few weeks ago and when she went back for a
check-up, they thought she had infammation in one eye.

On the subsequent visit (after taking different drops), it turns out
that it is a foreign body in the eye. Apparently, this is reasonably
common and nothing to worry about? She doesn't have any discomfort or
anything, but I was wondering if anyone else has any experience of
this?
cqmman
 
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Postby LasikExpert » Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:03 pm

Much depends upon the exact nature of the foreign body. What it is, it's location, how the cornea is reacting, if it is interfering with vision quality, etc.

If the foreign body is or becomes problematic, the surgeon will lift the Lasik flap, flush the area under the flap with copious amounts of balanced salt solution, manually remove anything that should not be there, and reposition the flap. This can be done at any time, even years later if necessary. The flap heals, but not like a cut on your arm. The interface always exists. See Lasik Flap Healing for details.

If a flap lift is necessary, your wife's eye will be anesthetized so she won't feel anything more than she did with the original surgery. Patients have reported more discomfort for 1-3 days after a flap lift than with initial surgery, but this is not always the case.

If the foreign body is not interfering with vision quality, it is likely that the doctor will recommend not bothering with a flap lift and monitoring the situation. People have all sorts of things in their eyes. As an example, technicians who operate MRIs, which use strong magnetic fields, will commonly disqualify anyone who has been a machinist or mechanic for any length of time because their corneas commonly have embedded metal fragments. The patient is unaware, but the magnets would know.

If the cornea recognizes whatever this is as a foreign body, then the response can be problematic. The cornea will "attack" the foreign body and this can cause inflammation, hazing around the foreign body, discomfort, and poor vision. If the cornea attacks, a flap lift will undoubtedly be recommended.

None of these problem scenarios will likely happen quickly. This is not a situation where you need to always remain within one hour of an emergency room. It is nothing as emergent as that, but if your wife's vision suddenly changes you want to contact your refractive surgeon immediately.

As for the incidence of foreign bodies under the flap, Lasik opponents will tell you there is always "junk" under the flap. Technically that could be considered correct because anything that is not the cornea is "foreign" and the air in the operating suite is not filtered sterile. Real foreign bodies that might actually be problematic are rarely reported. I can find no study
that indicates a rate of occurrence. The National Library of Medicine shows 13 case reports (single patient incident) of foreign body under the Lasik flap, but you really cannot divide 13 into 5 million to come up with an accurate percentage of occurrence.
Last edited by LasikExpert on Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Glenn Hagele
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Postby cqmman » Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:04 pm

Thanks for that, and Glen. The surgeon is not worried, but as you suggest I will keep an eye on it. The informative (and to the point) responses were much appreciated. You guys do good work here.

Cheers
cqmman
 
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Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:57 pm

Postby LasikExpert » Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:05 pm

I'm glad to be of service.
Glenn Hagele
Volunteer Executive Director
USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
LasikExpert
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Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 6:43 am
Location: California


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