|No direct studies have determined if cannabis is problematic for Lasik or similar refractive surgery techniques.
The use of cannabinoids (related terms: cannabis, marijuana,
marihuana, hashish, hashich, haschich, cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol,
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), dronabinol, nabilone, levonantradol) when receiving refractive
surgery like conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, or Epi-Lasik does not seem to be directly contraindicated, but a patient
should undoubtedly refrain from use for at least two months before
surgery and until the end of the recovery period.
Cannabis As Medicine
Cannabis has been considered a medicinal agent for thousands
of years and across many cultures. It reached a position of prominence
within Western medicine in the nineteenth century and then became
bogged down with legal controls early in the twentieth century.
Recreational cannabis exploded into popular culture in the 1960s
and has remained easily obtainable on the black market in most countries
ever since. Many US states have decriminalized marijuana for personal or medicinal use. According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health, marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States.
A examination of peer reviewed medical journals finds more than 70 properly
controlled studies evaluating the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids.
For each clinical trial, the country where the project was held,
the number of patients assessed, the type of study and comparisons
done, the products and the dosages used, their efficacy and their
adverse effects are described. Cannabinoids present an interesting
therapeutic potential as antiemetics, appetite stimulants in debilitating
diseases (cancer and AIDS), analgesics, and in the treatment of
multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Tourette's syndrome, epilepsy
and glaucoma. It appears from a review of these studies that the
use of cannabis concurrent with refractive surgery is not problematic,
however no direct evaluation to any refractive surgery technique has been performed.
Marijuana users often experience a cottonmouth and dry eye. This happens as a result of vasodilation, or expanding blood vessels. Vasodilation happens automatically when THC is introduced to the body.
The amount of tissue removed from the cornea by the Lasik excimer laser is based, in part, upon the moisture content of the cornea. A dry cornea will lose more tissue per laser pulse than a moist cornea. This level of moisture content cannot be well managed with artificial tears. It is possible, even probable, that a person whose eyes are dried from marijuana use at the time of surgery may experience too much tissue being removed and Lasik overcorrection. Additionally, it is common for a patient to experience dry eyes after Lasik. Lasik induced dry eyes combined with cannibas induced dry eyes may complicate Lasik surgery and recovery.
Absence of Evidence
In the absence of a study indicating the use of marijuana is
okay with Lasik, it is reasonable to refrain from its use for a long enough period of time
before surgery that any elements would disperse, and until full
recovery from surgery. If a surgery related complication were to
occur, the patient would not have the added concern of a negative
interaction with the medications or treatments necessary to resolve
Looking For Best Lasik Surgeon?
If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional
or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, or any refractive surgery procedure, we recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization.
Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Doctor.
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