Laser eye surgery has been proven over its 23 many years of existence. Over 36,000,000 LASIK procedures have been performed throughout the world, and nobody has lost a watch from getting the procedure. The danger associated with laser eye surgery is less than that associated with contact lenses, and as far as infection goes, it represents a small one-time risk, as opposed to the ongoing chance of infection with contacts.
Laser eye surgery’s safety has been experimented with and assessed by government and military organisations such as the US Navy, the Australian Army, and NASA. Their investigations show that blade-free LASIK (ie. creating a corneal flap with a femtosecond laser) is protected and approved for the SAS, Top Gun pilots and NASA astronauts.
Professional sportspeople also provide used lasek to ensure their best performance around the field. This includes sportspeople such as Tiger Woods and David Beckham, whose vision correction procedures undoubtedly enables them to perform at their peak.
Despite having such an exceptional safety profile however, laser eye surgery is still surgery, and for that reason will invariably have the possibility for complications. Such complications are usually rare and try to manageable though, that we will talk about below.
LASIK surgery is performed around the eye, an organic tissue. Though the procedure is extremely accurate, it comes with an average 3-4% risk the correction will be decent although not absolutely optimal. In these instances, It’s my job to hold out A few months to ensure the stability of the residual glasses prescription, then lift the same corneal flap created earlier to “fine tune” the procedure’s outcome. These enhancements are minor corrections, and therefore are therefore better. A great advantage of laser eye surgery is the fact that, although highly stable in the long term, should anyone experience any refraction transfer of their vision, enhancements such as these can be at just about any time in the near future.
Chance of infection:
As i’ve already explained, the speed of infection due to lasek procedures is very low, far less than infections caused by contact lenses. Corneal scarring caused by infection occurs less than this, for a price of under 1 in 20,000. Of course this occurs, it is correctible with a corneal transplant. As a corneal subspecialist, I’ve performed lots of corneal transplants, but have never had to do one because of this.
Corneal flap issues:
Blade LASIK introduced the risk of creating an abnormal flap (such as a buttonhole flap). However, blade-free (femtosecond laser) LASIK eliminates this risk altogether, and for this reason enhanced safety, it’s the only type of laser eye surgery I perform.
With blade-free lasek, inflammation under the flap can occasionally occur (this is known as diffuse lamellar keratitis), and may be managed by a rise in anti-inflammatory eye drops. If cells around the cornea grow (epithelium – a really rare occurence), they will generally absorb and disappear. When they ever proliferate, the flap could be lifted and also the offending cells removed.
Temporary dry eye phenomenon is created when the nerves from the cornea are cut, which occurs during lasek. It can take about A few months for these nerves to regenerate. During this period I’d advise replenishing the tear film with lubricating drops.
Ectasia is fortunately a very rare occurrence in which laser vision correction causes the cornea to become too pliable, and for that reason bulges forward with time. Extreme cases of ectasia happen to be corrected by corneal transplantation, however fortunately pre-operative screening of patients has increased in accuracy, meaning candidates unsuitable for lasek are nearly always identified before the procedure. Recent advances within the manner of collagen cross-linking also allows us to stop this rare complication from progressing further, and lets the patient maintain their vision while avoiding a cornea transplant. I am one of few eye surgeons in Australia who is experienced within this and may carry it out during my surgery, however haven’t needed to perform it on my own patients.
Glaring and Halos:
Following the procedure, patients sometimes see starbursts or halos around lights at night. This really is most often due to the corneal flap dehydrating and stabilising, and it is rare to determine this phenomenon persist longer than about a week.
Quality of vision:
The majority of patients believe their vision after laser eye surgery is better than their vision with glasses or contacts before the operation. There’s always a very small minority who experience visual quality less crisp than their pre-operative vision, but this case is usually rectified by laser enhancement.
Laser eye surgery’s proven and maintained track record of safety, accuracy and efficiency allow it to be the clear treatment for becoming independent from contacts or glasses. Recent advances in blade-free femtosecond LASIK takes this to new levels, and surely represents the height of eye surgery and vision correction.