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Lasik Risk

Risks of Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, and P-IOL.

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Eyes are as unique as fingerprints. Every individual's Lasik risk is equally unique.  

Anyone considering custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, or any refractive surgery needs to come to grips to a very simple fact: This is microsurgery on your eyes. There is risk with Lasik. It may be relatively small, but there is no perfect surgery. There are no perfect doctors. There are no perfect techniques or technologies. And don't forget that there is no perfect surgery candidate. In medicine, "safe" is a relative term.

There are no guarantees, however Lasik has passed extensive scrutiny from public health agencies, medical professionals, and in the case of surgical devices, and the FDA. Procedures that have been available for some time have the added advantage of extensive data and improved techniques. A 10-year study found Lasik to be stable, safe, and effective by medical standards with relatively small risk.

There are absolute and profound risks. This is surgery. Each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages, but here are some of the general risks. Ready to be scared?

  • You can die. To date, no deaths have been reported as a direct consequence from the most common refractive surgery techniques, but you could be the first.
  • Loose visual acuity to the point of function blindness.
  • Inability to drive at night due to blinding halos and/or starbursts emanating from light sources.
  • Visual acuity worse than before surgery.
  • Continuous fluctuation of visual acuity.
  • Inability to correct visual acuity even with glasses.
  • Overcorrection, undercorrection.
  • The inability to wear contacts.
  • Ocular infection and subsequent damage.

These are some of the possibilities of what can go wrong. You need to also look at the probability of something actually going wrong. There are a gazillion things that can kill you every day, but the probability is much different than the possibility. The probability of serious long-term complications is less than 0.5% (Lasik complication details), but they do exist. Do not take your decision to have refractive surgery lightly, but also consider the reasonable likelihood of any of these problems occurring.

Most important; read your informed consent completely, understand it fully, and do not diminish the importance of your eyesight.

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.

Personalized Answers

If this article did not fully answer your questions, use our free Ask Lasik Expert patient forum.

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"Consider and Choose With Confidence"TM

A few of the communities where Lasik doctors are certified by USAEyes :