Refractive surgeries have gained popularity over the years. Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis or what is commonly known as LASIK has been made available in the United States since 1995. From then on, advancements have taken place making it more enticing to the public.
An estimate of 1.3 million individuals subjects themselves to LASIK refractive surgery each year. There are approximately 2.6 million patients who have actually undergone the procedure. The reason for these figures is the public’s perception that LASIK is safe and effective.
Generally, LASIK’s reputation in correcting defects in vision is a good one. It has a very high success rate. A greater population of patients came out of the operation with a nearly perfect vision after a single operation. Some have improved eyesight and their dependency on wearing glasses or contacts have been minimized. Despite of this, it is still not safe to assume that your operation will be the same.
Factors Affecting the Need for Additional LASIK
You have to bear in mind that the operation’s outcome will vary depending on the technology employed, your ophthalmologist’s surgical skills, and most importantly on your current health status.
For some, the newly corrected vision will be noticed as early as a few hours after the surgery has taken place. Most patients who have undergone the LASIK operation will find the changes after a few days while it could take a year for some others.
Complications of Surgery
In terms of complications, several patients do not experience any side effects at all but there is also a number who do. Approximately 2.6 percent of patients experience a persistent fluctuation within a portion of their sphere of vision. There is also an estimated 1.7 percent who experience sensitivity to light and glaring. This sensitivity to light is more pronounced whenever a post LASIK patient looks at a bright light during the night or whenever there is a strong contrast between light and dark. Another side effect that is in relation to light is the occurrence of halo around lights which occurs to about 3.5 percent of the LASIK patients. For the cases mentioned above, an additional LASIK treatment will be recommended to eradicate the effects and gain a better result.
It will be hard to point out the precise complication or success rate for every patient. Manufacturers of LASIK equipment and the American Academy of Ophthalmology conducted research studies to find out the prevalence or incidence of complications among post LASIK patients. The results show that the percentage range of patients who experience post surgical problems is within 1% to 8%.
The Natural Course
Even contented patients may find out that their vision actually regresses a few years following the surgery. You have to understand though, that the odds of totally eliminating your need for contacts or glasses for the rest of your life will not be guaranteed. Although LASIK could successfully correct your eye’s error in refraction, you must understand that it will not stop the eye from aging. As a natural course, your eye will degenerate in approximately the same rate prior to your LASIK surgery. This is another instance when you have to undergo the operation for the second time.
Patient’s Pre-existing Condition
There are also cases when a patient’s pre-existing condition might interfere with the success of the LASIK surgery. This is the reason for undergoing a preliminary check-up. It is important that you tell your physician everything about your health and should not withhold any information. Be very honest with your eye doctor in order for him to come up with a better plan of care for you.
It will be a great factor for him to consider the tailor made steps for your particular case. Do not keep information from him since it will be vital to the success of your operation. Even if you think that what you are going to divulge may prove to be irrelevant in your surgery. The best and safest way to go is to tell everything to your doctor and he will be the one to decide whether this will affect your candidacy or not. After all, a conscientious doctor will have your best interests at heart.