Is LASIK Eye Surgery Safe?
The Facts About LASIK Safety (Medically Reviewed August of 2023):
Yes, LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) eye surgery is universally considered safe and has a high success rate. It is the world’s most popular elective procedure with over 20 million pairs of eyes treated as of July, 2023. The surgery involves reshaping the cornea using a laser, which can significantly improve vision. While there are risks and potential complications associated with any surgical procedure, serious complications are rare.
At LASIK.com, we are committed to providing you with accurate information based on the latest published medical journals, studies and research. Our dedication to delivering trusted facts and statistics has made us a reliable source in the optometry world. When it comes to LASIK eye surgery safety, you can trust us to provide you with comprehensive insights backed by scientific evidence.
How Safe is LASIK Eye Surgery?
LASIK laser eye surgery has garnered high patient satisfaction rates. According to the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) annual meeting report published in 2016, the findings revealed that up to 98 percent of patients were satisfied with the procedure.
Patient satisfaction with LASIK laser eye surgery is very high, with up to 98 percent reporting satisfaction.
What is the LASIK Eye Surgery Success Rate?
- Nearly 100 percent of patients achieved at least 20/40 vision
- More than 90 percent of patients achieved 20/20 vision.
- Less than 1 percent of patients experienced a loss of two or more lines of best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) on the eye chart.
- According to the <SOURCE> This elective surgical procedure boasts a remarkable complication rate of less than <1% making it one of the lowest complication rates among all elective procedures.
- Transforming lives with near-perfect outcomes, LASIK treatment has patients singing its praises at a staggering 96% satisfaction rate.
- LASIK Eye Surgery boasts a success rate of at least 96%. And, in some cases, that number jumps to an impressive 99%.
- With LASIK Eye Surgery, you have a 99% chance of achieving 20/40 vision or better and a 90% probability of reaching 20/20 vision
How Many People Have Received LASIK Eye Surgery?
Since it’s inception in 1989 it is estimated that 16 million people have been successfully treated. This number has been rapidly increasing as LASIK has become more affordable as ever and more advanced and trusted technology.
Is LASIK Approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration)?
LASIK eye surgery lasers have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe and effective procedure for vision correction. The FDA closely regulates medical devices, including lasers used in LASIK surgery, to ensure their safety and efficacy.
To obtain FDA approval, LASIK laser systems undergo rigorous testing and evaluation to demonstrate their safety and effectiveness in correcting specific refractive errors. The FDA reviews clinical data and conducts inspections of manufacturing facilities to ensure compliance with strict quality standards.
The FDA approval process involves comprehensive assessments of the lasers, surgical techniques, and associated devices used in LASIK surgery. This scrutiny aims to minimize risks and ensure that the benefits of LASIK outweigh any potential complications.
It is important to note that FDA approval does not guarantee a risk-free procedure or eliminate the possibility of individual complications. However, FDA approval provides reassurance that LASIK surgery has undergone thorough evaluation and meets established safety and effectiveness criteria.
When considering LASIK surgery, it is advisable to choose a surgeon who utilizes FDA-approved laser systems and follows established protocols to uphold patient safety. By selecting an experienced surgeon and adhering to proper preoperative evaluation and postoperative care, you can enhance the likelihood of a successful outcome.
FDA and LASIK.com:
At LASIK.com, we prioritize patient safety and the highest quality of care. We exclusively use FDA-approved equipment for LASIK surgery, ensuring that our patients receive treatment with advanced and thoroughly tested technology. This commitment reflects our dedication to providing safe and effective vision correction procedures.
Our network of experienced surgeons consists of specialists who have undergone extensive training in LASIK surgery. They possess the necessary expertise and skill to perform precise and successful procedures. Our surgeons are well-versed in the latest advancements in refractive surgery and stay updated with evolving techniques and best practices.
By utilizing FDA-approved equipment and working with trusted surgeons who specialize in LASIK, we uphold the highest standards in patient care. This approach allows us to offer reliable and predictable outcomes, enhancing patient satisfaction and visual outcomes.
When you choose LASIK.com for your LASIK surgery, you can trust that our surgeons are not only qualified but also deeply knowledgeable about the procedure. They thoroughly evaluate each patient to determine their eligibility for LASIK and customize the treatment plan to suit their unique visual needs.
Our commitment to patient safety extends beyond the surgical procedure itself. We provide comprehensive preoperative evaluations to assess the suitability of each patient for LASIK. This includes a thorough examination of the eyes, reviewing medical history, and discussing any preexisting conditions or concerns. Furthermore, our postoperative care protocols ensure that patients receive appropriate guidance and support during their recovery.
At LASIK.com, we understand the significance of FDA approval and the importance of working with trusted surgeons who specialize in LASIK. We strive to provide a safe and positive experience for our patients, combining advanced technology, expert surgical skills, and personalized care.
What Vision Problems does LASIK Surgery Correct?
LASIK eye surgery is the world’s most popular elective procedure designed to correct various vision issues. It is widely accepted and considered safe and effective in treating:
- Nearsightedness (myopia): This condition causes distant objects to appear blurry, while close objects remain clear.
- Farsightedness (hyperopia): Farsighted individuals may experience difficulty focusing on nearby objects, resulting in blurred vision.
- Astigmatism: Astigmatism causes blurred or distorted vision due to an irregularly shaped cornea or lens.
What Are the Side Effects of LASIK?
The side effects of LASIK eye surgery can vary from person to person, and not everyone experiences them. Here are some common side effects that can occur after LASIK:
- Temporary Discomfort: It is common to experience mild discomfort, such as itching, burning, or a foreign body sensation in the eyes, immediately after LASIK surgery. This usually subsides within a few days as the eyes heal.
- Vision Disturbances: Some individuals may experience temporary changes in vision, such as blurry vision, hazy vision, or difficulty with night vision. These disturbances usually improve within a few days or weeks but can persist in rare cases.
- Light Sensitivity: Following LASIK, you may be more sensitive to bright lights, glare, or sunlight. Wearing sunglasses or avoiding bright lights can help alleviate this sensitivity, which typically resolves within a few weeks
- Itchy or Scratchy Eyes: The eyes may feel itchy or have a scratchy sensation during the healing process. Avoid rubbing your eyes and follow the post-operative care instructions provided by your surgeon to minimize discomfort.
- Dry Eyes: Dryness of the eyes is a common side effect of LASIK. It can cause symptoms like a gritty sensation, redness, burning, or excessive tearing. These symptoms usually improve over time but can persist in some cases. Artificial tears or prescribed eye drops can help manage dry eyes.
- Halos and Vision Fluctuations: Some individuals may experience halos or glare around lights, particularly at night. Vision fluctuations, where your visual clarity may vary throughout the day, can also occur. These side effects are usually temporary and tend to resolve as the eyes heal.
It’s important to note that the vast majority of patients who undergo LASIK experience improved vision and are satisfied with the results. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. It’s essential to discuss the potential side effects and risks with your eye surgeon before deciding to undergo LASIK. It’s encouraged to schedule a free consultation where they can provide you with a personalized assessment of your situation and help you make an informed decision.
What Are The Risks and Potential Complications of LASIK Eye Surgery?
While LASIK eye surgery has a strong safety profile, it is important to be aware of potential risks associated with the procedure. By understanding these risks, you can make an informed decision about your eye care. Here are some risks you should be aware of:
- Dry Eye: Following LASIK, some patients may experience temporary dryness in their eyes. This occurs due to a decrease in tear production, which usually resolves within a few weeks or months. Artificial tears and other recommended treatments can help manage this temporary condition.
- Reading Glasses – Monovision: LASIK can sometimes result in a need for reading glasses, especially in patients over the age of 40. This is due to a natural age-related decline in near vision called presbyopia. Monovision is a technique used to address this issue, where one eye is corrected for distance vision, and the other is corrected for near vision. It allows patients to see clearly at both distances without relying on reading glasses.
- Halo: Some patients may experience halos around lights during nighttime vision. This optical effect is temporary and usually resolves as the eyes heal. It occurs due to slight irregularities in the cornea’s surface, which can scatter light.
- Night Glare: Similar to halos, night glare can occur in certain lighting conditions, causing sensitivity to bright lights at night. Like halos, this effect is temporary and tends to diminish as the eyes heal.
- Contraindications: Not everyone is a suitable candidate for LASIK eye surgery. Factors such as thin corneas, unstable prescriptions, or certain medical conditions may disqualify individuals from undergoing the procedure. It is crucial to have a comprehensive evaluation with an experienced eye care professional to determine your eligibility.
- Under Corrections: In some cases, the desired vision correction may not be fully achieved, leading to a residual refractive error. This can happen due to various factors, such as the individual’s healing response or the complexity of the prescription. If undercorrection occurs, enhancements or further treatments may be necessary to achieve the desired visual acuity.
- Overcorrections: Occasionally, an overcorrection may occur, resulting in a slight overcorrection of the original refractive error. Overcorrection can be managed through enhancements or further treatments to fine-tune the vision correction.
- Regression: In rare cases, some patients may experience a regression of the initial correction over time. This means that the eyes gradually return to their preoperative refractive state. Enhancements or further treatments may be required to restore and maintain clear vision.
- Vision Changes: While extremely rare, there is a minimal risk of experiencing a significant changes in vision as a result of LASIK surgery. These risks are typically associated with severe complications, such as corneal infection or flap-related issues. However, advancements in technology and rigorous screening processes have significantly reduced the occurrence of such risks.
What is the Success Rate of LASIK?
LASIK eye surgery has consistently demonstrated high success rates and patient satisfaction. According to recent studies published in reputable medical journals, over 95% of LASIK patients report satisfaction with their outcomes. The percentage of patients achieving 20/20 vision or better after LASIK ranges from 85% to 95%.
Conditions that Could Increase Complication Risk?
Certain conditions or factors may increase the potential risks associated with LASIK eye surgery. These conditions include:
- Severe Dry Eye: Individuals with severe dry eye may have compromised tear film and ocular surface, which can impact healing and recovery after LASIK surgery. Managing dry eye before undergoing LASIK can help minimize complications.
- Thin or Irregular Corneas: LASIK involves reshaping the cornea, and individuals with thin or irregular corneas may have limitations in the amount of tissue that can be safely removed. In such cases, alternative procedures like PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) may be recommended.
- Large Pupils: Patients with large pupils may be at a slightly higher risk of experiencing night vision symptoms, such as halos and glare, following LASIK. Proper evaluation and discussion with your surgeon can help determine the best approach to minimize these risks.
- High Refractive Errors: Individuals with high degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism may have a higher risk of experiencing residual refractive errors after LASIK. Additional treatments or enhancements may be necessary to achieve optimal results.
- Certain Autoimmune Disorders: Individuals with autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, may have an increased risk of complications following LASIK surgery. It is important to disclose your medical history and any existing conditions to your eye care professional during the consultation.
- Pregnancy or Breastfeeding: Hormonal changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding can affect vision stability. It is generally advisable to postpone LASIK surgery until hormonal levels stabilize to ensure accurate assessment and optimal outcomes.
How to Prepare for LASIK?
To ensure the best possible outcome and minimize risks, proper preparation for LASIK is essential. Here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Cease Use of Contact Lenses: Your eye care professional will provide specific instructions regarding how far in advance you should discontinue contact lens use. This period allows your corneas to return to their natural shape, ensuring accurate preoperative measurements.
- Provide Complete Medical History: Inform your eye care professional about any medications, allergies, or preexisting eye conditions. Certain medications, such as those affecting tear production or thinning blood, may need to be temporarily discontinued or adjusted before the surgery.
- Arrange Transportation: On the day of the procedure, you will not be able to drive yourself home, as your vision may be temporarily impaired. Arrange for a trusted companion to accompany you and drive you home after the surgery.
- Avoid Eye Makeup and Creams: On the day of the surgery, refrain from using any eye makeup, lotions, or creams. These products can interfere with the surgical process and increase the risk of infection.
What to Expect During LASIK?
LASIK surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, and the actual surgery takes only a few minutes per eye. Here is a general overview of what to expect during the LASIK procedure:
- Anesthetic Eye Drops: Before the surgery, anesthetic eye drops will be applied to numb your eyes. This ensures that you experience minimal discomfort during the procedure.
- Creation of a Corneal Flap: A small flap is created on the cornea, either using a microkeratome (a precision surgical instrument) or a femtosecond laser. The flap is gently lifted to allow access to the underlying corneal tissue.
- Reshaping of the Cornea: An excimer laser is used to precisely remove a predetermined amount of corneal tissue, reshaping the cornea to correct your specific refractive error. The laser operates with high precision and can reshape the cornea with remarkable accuracy.
- Repositioning of the Flap: Once the corneal tissue has been reshaped, the corneal flap is carefully repositioned onto the treated area. The natural suction of the cornea helps hold the flap in place, eliminating the need for stitches.
- Post-Operative Instructions: After the surgery, your surgeon will provide specific post-operative instructions. These instructions may include using prescribed eye drops to aid healing and prevent infection, avoiding strenuous activities that could put strain on the eyes, and attending follow-up appointments for monitoring and evaluation of your progress.
Who to Trust When Getting LASIK?
When considering LASIK eye surgery, it is crucial to choose a qualified and experienced ophthalmologist or refractive surgeon such as LASIK.com’s Trusted Surgeons. Look for professionals who are board-certified and have a proven track record of successful surgeries. To make an informed decision, consider consulting with multiple specialists from our network to gather different perspectives and ensure a comprehensive assessment of your unique case.
At LASIK.com, we prioritize your safety and well-being. We strongly encourage you to seek guidance from one of our qualified eye care professionals who can assess your individual needs and provide personalized advice based on your specific eye health and visual requirements.