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Home » Eye Library » Vision Surgery » LASIK Risks and Complications

LASIK Risks and Complications

LASIK is the most common refractive eye surgery, partially due to the fact that the risks and complications are low. The majority of patients don’t experience any long term complications as a result of the surgery. Nevertheless, as with any surgical procedure there are some risks, however rare they are and it is important to know them and to discuss them with your eye doctor or surgeon prior to undergoing the surgery.

Side effects of LASIK

There are a number of side effects that are somewhat common immediately post-op and in some instances can last longer – sometimes indefinitely. Those include:

Dry Eyes

About half of LASIK patients experience dry eyes, which are usually a temporary side effect that resolves within 3-6 months after the surgery. Your doctor will likely prescribe artificial tears in the days and weeks following the surgery which should be continued as long as the symptoms persist. Because of this, it is usually recommended that patients with a history of chronic dry eyes opt for another type of refractive surgery such as PRK, another style of laser refractive surgery with reduced risk.

Eye Infection or Irritation

While not common due to the eye drops and checkups prescribed post surgery, there is a chance of developing an eye infection. If this does occur, it can be treated with antibiotic eye drops, anti-inflammatories or sometimes may require other treatment such as oral antibiotics. If you are experiencing symptoms of an eye infection such as redness, pain, discomfort, discharge or any change in vision, see your eye doctor immediately. As a precaution, it is imperative to follow your surgeon’s instructions for your post-operative care including prescription medications and doctor’s visits.

Vision Issues

Following surgery, you may experience certain vision issues such as such as poor night vision, double vision, halos around lights or glare. These side effects are common and can last up to a few weeks, but typically go away. Some patients report a lasting reduction in vision in low light conditions and may require vision aids for seeing better at night.

Other risks of LASIK include surgical errors, many of which can be corrected by a follow-up surgery. These include:

Overcorrection or Undercorrection

The key to vision improvement in LASIK is accurate reshaping of the corneal tissue. If too much is removed or not enough is removed, your vision will remain imperfect and when possible may require a follow up procedure to obtain the clear vision being sought.

Flap Complications

Perhaps the greatest risk involved in LASIK is the accurate creation and healing of the flap of the cornea that is lifted to reshape the underlying tissue and replaced after. If the flap in the cornea is not made accurately, cut too thick or too thin and not carefully replaced back on the eye, it can cause complications in the shape of the eye surface and therefore clear vision. Studies indicate that these complications occur usually in under 6% of cases and the experience and skill of the surgeon play a large role.

There can also be complications in the healing process of the flap which include infection or excessive eye tearing.

Vision Loss

There is a chance, albeit small that the surgery can result in a loss of vision or reduction in visual clarity due to complications with the surgery.

It is quite rare for any permanent damage or vision loss to occur as a result of LASIK and usually any vision problems can be corrected by a follow-up procedure. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks, so it is important to reduce your risks by finding an experienced surgeon and carefully considering your suitability for the surgery in the first place.

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Updated Covid-19 Policies as of 05/21/2021

As COVID-19 information continues to change through updates from the CDC and the State of Washington Health Department, we feel a need to maintain a safety structure for those patients who have not been vaccinated as well as those that have. Because we are a medical office, we feel there is a strong need to ensure that everyone feels safe in this environment.

In an effort to maintain social distancing and patient safety, we ask the following:

*Please do not bring any family or friends with you during your appointment.

*If you need a driver, we ask that they wait in your vehicle or enjoy downtown shopping.

*For pediatric exams, we ask only one parent to come with the child or children if scheduled at similar times.

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*Optos retinal scans are highly recommended at this time. This allows us to evaluate your ocular health with more distance. Dilation drops may not be needed at your visit when using this technology. Please consider this elective service for your next comprehensive exam.

*Eyewear visits in the optical department are currently by appointment only. This is to maintain distance and allow for proper cleaning between patients. Our skilled opticians will bring you eyewear to fit your style, desires and needs. We ask that you do not browse on your own.

*Feel comfortable trying on the frames the opticians bring you as each frame has been thoroughly cleaned.

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Our mission at Edmonds Vision Center is to provide the highest standard of care to individuals of all ages, with the latest technology and outstanding customer service. You and your entire family are welcome at Edmonds Vision Center. We value your eye health!