LASIK Precautions

Proper precautions and education will help the patient make an informed decision whether or not to proceed with this particular eye surgery.

By all indications, a great majority of the over 700,000 Americans per year who have opted for LASIK surgery are satisfied with their results. Nevertheless, a small but increasingly vocal percentage of LASIK patients lament their decision to try and set aside their eyeglasses for good. Suffering from complications that range from temporary and irritating to ongoing and debilitating, many wish they had educated themselves more thoroughly before they made their decision to proceed with surgery.

What information does a potential LASIK patient need to make an informed decision? And if they decide to proceed, what precautions should they take before surgery to help ensure success?

With the information respect in order to make a informed decision we say all of it matter, because as we increase our knowledge and learn more about the procedure automatically opens the door to another question, correlatively. Now in term of what precautions should they take before surgery, first of all, it is important to mention that the safety and effectiveness of LASIK procedures has not been determined in patients with some diseases, because is a long term study surgery, and so taking your own precautions, starting with your appropriate interest and education will certainly help you and your surgeon.

Please discuss with your eye doctor if you have a history of any of the following:

  1. Herpes simplex or Herpes zoster (shingles) involving the eye area
  2. Glaucoma, glaucoma suspect, or ocular hypertension.
  3. Eye diseases, such as uveitis/iritis (inflammations of the eye)
  4. Eye injuries or previous eye surgeries.
  5. Keratoconus

LASIK precautions (by surgeons)

Choosing an experienced, professional physician can help prospective patients decide whether LASIK surgery is right for them. A reputable LASIK surgeon should be comfortable providing not only the number of LASIK surgeries they have performed and their outcomes, but also the number of surgeries they have declined due to the patient being a poor candidate.

The day before surgery, the patient should stop using any creams, lotions, makeup, or perfumes. These products can increase the risk of infection by encouraging buildup of debris along the eyelashes.

At the same time surgery is scheduled, the patient should schedule a follow-up visit 24-48 hours after the surgery. Additionally, they should also arrange for a friend or family member to accompany them to the surgery and bring them home. Arranging for a few days off from work to recover is also encouraged.

Considering that most prospective patients are dependents of either contact lenses or glasses, several precautions are strongly advised from the practitioners in order to reduce risk and increase post-surgery satisfaction. Patients who wear contact lenses should stop wearing them for a period of 2-3 weeks before their initial evaluation. All contact lenses change the shape of the cornea and can result in distorted measurements and poor post-surgery eyesight. A second evaluation and measurement is advised to ensure that the cornea has fully resumed its natural shape.

LASIK Precautions (by FDA)

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that LASIK surgery benefits many, but that does not mean it is right for all, and highlights that a certain percentage of the population are simply poor candidates for refractive surgery. Indicators of being a poor candidate include physical factors such as having thin corneas, large pupils, persistently dry eyes, or a changing eyeglass prescription in a short period of time. Other poor candidates may have environmental factors such as serious involvement in high-contact sports or a job that prohibits refractive surgery. Still others have medical conditions that require the use of steroid drugs which can prevent the patient’s eyes from healing properly.

LASIK surgery questionnaire and check list

  1. Career impact - does your job prohibit refractive surgery?
  2. Cost - can you really afford this procedure?
  3. Medical conditions - e.g., do you have an autoimmune disease or other major illness?
  4. Do you have a chronic illness that might slow or alter "healing"?
  5. Eye conditions - do you have or have you ever had any problems with your eyes other than needing glasses or contacts?
  6. Medications - do you take steroids or other drugs that might prevent healing?
  7. Stable refraction - has your prescription changed in the last year?
  8. High or Low refractive error - do you use glasses/contacts only some of the time?
  9. Do you need an unusually strong prescription?
  10. Pupil size - are your pupils extra large in dim conditions?
  11. Corneal thickness - do you have thin corneas?
  12. Tear production - do you have dry eyes?

Knowing the risk and procedure limitations

  1. Over-treatment or under-treatment - are you willing and able to have more than one surgery to get the desired result?
  2. May still need reading glasses - do you have presbyopia?
  3. Results may not be lasting - do you think this is the last correction you will ever need? Do you realize that long-term results are not known?
  4. May permanently lose vision - do you know some patients may lose some vision or experience blindness?
  5. Dry eyes – do you know that if you have dry eyes they could become worse, or if you don’t have dry eyes before you could develop chronic dry eyes as a result of surgery?
  6. Development of visual symptoms - do you know about glare, halos, starbursts, etc. and that night driving might be difficult?
  7. Contrast sensitivity - do you know your vision could be significantly reduced in dim light conditions?

Page updated Sep 02, 2010

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