Is This a Safe Procedure?
Since the advent of laser eye surgery, over 30 million procedures have been completed worldwide. However, as with all forms of surgery, there are associated risks which, although relatively minor, are well understood and can be treated. The most commonly occurring complications are:
- Dry eyes – experienced by 30% of patients within weeks or months of LASIK surgery.
- Discomfort following surgery – the extent depends on the person, with more discomfort associated with LASEK treatment compared to LASIK.
- Irregular astigmatism- unequally curved corneal surface caused by laser correction not centred correctly on the eye or from irregular healing.
- Glare and halo effects – often experienced when driving at night, with halos, glare and starbursts usually noticed in low light conditions.
- Corneal haze – a temporary condition which mainly occurs after LASEK treatment.
- Over/under correction of the patient’s prescription – resulting in the need to wear spectacles until surgical re-enhancement is completed.
- Trauma – without the protection of spectacles, post-operative eyes can be susceptible to accidental damage from impact or rubbing. This could lead to corneal flap complications with the flap becoming dislodged after the operation.
- Retinal detachment – although rare, patients with high levels of myopia (short-sightedness) are at a increased level of risk of this problem developing.
- Epithelial in-growth – a rare condition where cells from the corneal epithelium grow under the corneal flap.
- Eye lid droop (Ptosis) – usually resolving itself within a fortnight of surgery, this condition rarely requires surgery.