The Clearview Blog
Debunking the Myths: Are LASIK Complications Common?
May 8, 2014
Are LASIK complications common? We’ll get straight to the point: they’re not. According to various studies, between 92-98% of LASIK procedures are successfully completed. According to a study published by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, not only is the success of the LASIK procedure itself high, but the patient satisfaction rate sits at whopping 95.4%.
At a reputable LASIK clinic, patients are carefully selected, considered, and monitored before and after their procedures. Safety comes first. If the ophthalmologist decides a patient is not suitable for a LASIK procedure, it will not be performed. These decisions are made in order to minimize the patient’s risk and ensure safety.
These facts don’t stop horror stories from floating around the Internet and between inner circles of friends. Complaints of irreparable blindness, pain, poor night vision, and halos around lights are commonly cited. These worries perpetuate the belief that LASIK is an experimental and unsafe procedure, which is not true. The fact is that although complications may arise in any type of surgical procedure, they are extremely uncommon.
Research, research, research.
You should research various doctors and clinics before you choose one that you trust. Consider your doctor’s qualifications, the technology they use, and their standing in the medical community. You should make sure your doctor keeps up with the latest LASIK advancements before making a commitment.
Everywhere around us, technology is improving and innovating faster than we can bat our eyes. This is true with LASIK technologies as well. For example, LASIK once required the use of a blade in order to complete the procedure. Now it’s entirely bladeless allowing for greater control in flap creation along with greater comfort for the patient.
Lasers used in surgery now also include eye trackers, which follow the patient’s eyes and adjust the laser accordingly. With this development, the patient has the freedom to shift their gaze without the worry of ruining their procedure.
To minimize side effects like halos and poor night vision, Wavefront technology allows the ophthalmologist to build a 3-D model of the eye, allowing for more precise shaping of the cornea.
These advancements allow for greater precision, control, and success in completing the LASIK procedure. Clearview Vision Institute only uses 4th generation lasers, which are among the latest in LASIK technology.
LASIK doctors are constantly learning new techniques and practicing the tried and true methods. They have to be open to growth in order to succeed. Clearview Vision Institute’s medical director, Dr. Kranemann is a multinational lecturer and frequent contributor to respected medical journals, such as the American Journal of Ophthalmology. These contributions allow him to stay up to date on all the latest advancements in the professional LASIK world.
If you don’t qualify for LASIK, you won’t get it. Doctors evaluate your eyesight, age, corneal thickness, other medical conditions, and more when you go in for a consultation. They make sure you’re physically and emotionally ready for LASIK. This strict procedure minimizes your risk and allows your ophthalmologist to be prepared should complications arise.
Debunking the Fear
You’re still terrified of LASIK aren’t you? You don’t trust that a doctor is using the latest technology or is constantly learning new ways to keep you and your vision safe during a procedure. You even have trouble believing well-known facts about LASIK being safer than contact lenses. Well, let’s take a look at the most common complaints and fears.
One of the biggest concerns for LASIK patients is the potential of irreparable blindness or diminished vision as a side effect. This is a worst-case scenario. Fortunately, of all the complications, this is also the least likely to occur. Doctors are prepared for complications and have a back-up plan.
Often LASIK complications arise from the creation of a flap that covers the cornea after the procedure and allows for a faster recovery. When this procedure is completed without this flap, it is called PRK. If something goes wrong with your LASIK procedure, doctors often have an opportunity to switch to PRK without affecting you.
When LASIK is performed, numbing eye drops are applied in order to prevent pain. After the surgery, pain may persist, and doctors prescribe pain medication or eye drops if needed. LASIK is more commonly described as mildly uncomfortable by patients rather than painful. The quick recovery time also prevents pain from being a serious concern. Most patients are able to return to work or their regular lifestyles the day following their procedure.
If you are experiencing pain after your procedure, tell your doctor. The sooner they know something doesn’t feel quite right, the sooner they will be able to resolve any potential concerns.
Old LASIK technologies resulted in night vision complaints from LASIK patients. Patients often saw halos around lights or were unable to see as clearly at night. Since LASIK procedures went bladeless, LASIK patients rarely experience a decrease in night vision. These complaints are carried over from the beliefs about older LASIK techniques and never quite faded.
This is a legitimate complaint. It is probably the most common LASIK side effect. Thankfully, it is much less frightening than complete loss of vision or pain, although it may be an annoyance.
Dry eye syndrome is completely manageable. Some ways to manage this problem is to take frequent breaks when using electronics, always stay hydrated, and use eye drops. You should be practicing most of these habits regardless of a LASIK procedure.
Evaluating Your Situation
Your LASIK doctor should re-evaluate your status after your procedure with several follow-up appointments. Usually, LASIK procedures require follow-ups 24 hours to 1 week, 1 month, and 1 year after your procedure. These follow-up appointments are just as important as your procedure as they help the doctor evaluate any concerns you may have, potential complications that have arisen, and to mitigate any risks.
If LASIK still makes you nervous, but you yearn for clear vision, contact Clearview Vision Institute. We take your vision personally, and we understand the fear and nervousness that naturally comes with a big decision such as opting for LASIK surgery. We can answer any questions you have and help you feel comfortable about LASIK before you even begin considering the procedure.