LASIK is one of the safest surgical procedures in modern medicine, but like all surgery, it does have risks. These risks are extremely unlikely, and most are treatable by an experienced surgeon. The potential for complications is the main reason why you want to find a surgeon dedicated to your eye care and dedicated to having a long-term relationship with patients through and beyond the standard six-month follow-up.
This page contains descriptions of the basic risks associated with LASIK, but many people find this information easier to understand when explained in person. For a personal discussion about the LASIK procedure, including its risks and complications, please call 888-514-2020 or email Armin Vishteh, MD today and schedule a free consultation.
What Are the Risks?
LASIK offers incredible benefits for almost all patients, but a small number of people do experience complications.
- Loss of visual acuity
- Visual symptoms: glare, halos, and double vision
- Undertreatment or overtreatment
- Regression of effect
- Dry eyes
- Farsighted patients may lose quality of results
Most complications are temporary or treatable. Some complications are more likely for people with certain types of visual errors or variations in eye anatomy.
How Common Are Complications?
Lasers have been approved for LASIK since 1998, which is when our best data about risks and complications begins. It’s possible we don’t fully understand the scope of complications, but the current data suggests these complications are extremely uncommon.
Overall, studies suggest that complication rates occur in less than 1% of cases at 1 year or more after surgery. However, short-term side effects are much more common. About half of LASIK patients will experience some side effects during the first 3-6 months after surgery. By far the most common side effect is dry eyes, which can be managed using eye drops. Other short-term complications will naturally work themselves out as your vision stabilizes. At about six months, we can decide whether you will benefit from retreatment. About 4% of patients benefit from enhancement.
The FDA also notes that a doctor’s experience can have a significant impact on your risk of complications, and urges patients to select surgeons with care. See How to Choose a LASIK Surgeon for tips on finding the right doctor for you.
Talk to a Doctor and Take Time to Make a Decision
If you are considering LASIK, it’s crucial that you take advantage of a doctor’s insight. Come prepared to a consultation with a list of questions, and make sure you ask them all. Feel free to call back if additional questions occur to you. A practice that won’t take the time to answer your questions before the procedure will not take the time to help you when you need it later. Never agree to a procedure until you have had time to talk to the doctor who will be performing it.
Please contact Armin Vishteh, MD today for a free consultation at our offices in: Rancho Cucamonga, Burbank, Santa Monica.