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