Are there any Risks Involved in Laser Eye Surgery?

Whilst it is true that the risks involved in LASIK (Laser Assisted in-situ Keratomileusis) laser eye surgery are not usually severe, it is also true that all surgery carries some level of danger and that the best way to minimize risks is to follow your doctor’s instructions with great care. Sight threatening complications due to LASIK surgery are rare and much of the time, any problems can be rectified with further surgery.

What are the most Common Complications and can they be reversed?

It is important that any prospective candidate for LASIK laser eye surgery is screened thoroughly to ensure that they are suitable for the procedure and once this has been established then there is not usually any need for most patients to have any concerns regarding the surgery. The risks of LASIK eye surgery are varied and one reported complication is that of dry eyes which can sometimes fail to resolve satisfactorily, this can however usually be managed with the aid of eye drops. Another complication which can sometimes resolve depending on the patients’ eye condition is that of night vision disturbance which manifests with halos of light most often seen at night.

Are there any Serious Risks?

Problems during surgery can on rare occasions result in injury to the eye, but very often this can be resolved with a further operation. The risks are often associated with the “corneal flap” which is cut into the surface of the cornea in order that the surgeon may apply the laser to the interior of the eye. This flap can sometimes be formed irregularly and the eye will then not be able to heal with ease. The corneal flap must re-adhere to the surface of the cornea and in rare cases this does not happen. Some of the most common cornel flap related problems are as follows.

  • Inflammation under the flap is referred to as “Diffuse Lamellar Keratitis” when it is beyond the level of inflammation which is normal in LASIK laser eye surgery. This inflammation can slow healing and in severe cases, cause some loss of sight. It must be treated by experienced professionals in order to maximise the chances of recovery.
  • Keratectasia or Keratoconus is a problem which occurs when the corneal flap is cut too deeply or when too much tissue is removed during surgery. This can cause the surface of the eye to bulge and cannot be treated with more surgery but will necessitate the use of contact lenses to hold the cornea in its place.

It should be remembered that most eye surgeons are highly experienced and that complications are rare; research and a good surgeon should set your mind at rest if you are looking into the possibility of LASIK laser eye surgery.