Is LASIK Safe?
One of the most common questions patients have about LASIK continues to be, “Is LASIK safe?” The answer to this question is a definite YES! They will then follow up with, “Is LASIK safe for my eyes?” The only way we can answer this question is with a thorough LASIK evaluation. The doctors at Summit Eye Center are available to perform this evaluation.
First, what evidence do we have that LASIK is safe?
The rate of safety for LASIK ranks among the highest of any medical procedure today. Both the safety and benefit of LASIK have been documented in a large number of scientific journals and clinical studies. In fact in the first ten years after LASIK’s FDA approval in 1998, there were over 300 published, peer-reviewed clinical studies.
Since those early days of LASIK over 20 years ago, the procedure has improved and evolved. There are three primary reasons for this.
• The technology has become more sophisticated and precise
• Surgical skill and technique has evolved
• Selection of patients who are good candidates for LASIK has improved as a result of improved diagnostic technology
The great success rate of LASIK has lead some to commoditize the procedure. We all need to remember that LASIK is surgery and, as with any surgery, there are risks. The risk of a serious complication with LASIK is under 1 percent.
The most common symptoms patients experience as part of the healing process with LASIK are glare and halos around lights and dry eye. As one gets further away from their surgery date, these symptoms typically fade. These are not sight-threatening complications.
The U.S. military trusts the safety and efficacy of LASIK enough to approve it for their active personnel. This allows those in service to have the quality of vision required for various operations in a variety of conditions without the dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses. These situations include piloting a fighter jet. The U.S. Department of Defense even conducted its own research regarding LASIK and service personnel’s ability to perform their duties in the various environments they may experience.
Although most simply want to see better without the need for glasses and/or contact lenses, the fact the military trusts LASIK is a testament to its safety. It allows one to be confident that LASIK will provide them with great vision when needed in their daily lives. This may be getting up in the middle of the night with a newborn, watching a child’s t-ball game or driving at night.
Second, is LASIK safe for me?
To answer this question it is important to have a thorough evaluation with an eye doctor specializing in LASIK and other vision correction procedures. This evaluation will take about 2 hours.
During this evaluation, measurements of over 1000 data points within your visual system will be obtained. Your vision will be tested both before and after dilation. The doctor will carefully evaluate the anatomy and health of the eye from the front surface, including the tear film, to the back of the eye. Then there will be a discussion if you are a candidate for surgery of what surgical option is best to improve your vision for your unique needs and eyes.