3 Terrible Lasik Surgery Complications

Tom at RealSelf on 30 Mar 2011 at 12:00am

If you're like me and pondering Lasik eye surgery, you start with the most negative thoughts and work your way to happy one's.

In spite of knowing that Lasik is rated as "worth it" by 83% of our Lasik community members, I can't help feeling anxious about the risks.

When the Ophthalmologists on RealSelf were asked about the 3 worst Lasik risks, NY eye doctor Emil Chynn shared his opinion of possible eye surgery complications:

1. Blindness

Lasik Eye Surgery Picture

No poll needed, this is every Lasik patient's greatest fear. You go in with blurry vision, come out with none.  

Dr. Chynn states that this is "VERY RARE", but references a case where an Italian woman with atherosclerosis had laser eye surgery and the blood didn't return in her eye after the LASIK suction ring was removed.

Temporary blindness, Chynn explains, may occur because during Lasik surgery "you have to pump the pressure up in the eye to about 6x normal in order to cut a good flap, as you can't cut an accurate flap in a floppy eye. The pressure is actually higher than your blood pressure, so the eye stops perfusing with blood, and you go temporarily blind."

2. Flap damage

I hadn't even contemplated if you got hit in the eye after Lasik, that the flap could come back up (a lasik operation involves creating a thin flap on the eye). Sometimes these flaps get "torn off and winds up on the ground, and you either have to clean it off and sew it back as best as you can, or you can't find it and the person sees badly for the rest of their life. Every LASIK surgeon has seen this if he's practiced for enough years," explains Dr. Chynn.

3. Botching the Prescription

If the doctor incorrectly sets the laser for your vision repair need, you can end up with the wrong correction. Dr. Chynn speaks the truth, saying, "this is like really bad."

Some additional Lasik risks to consider: dry eye and reverting back to your bad eyesight.

Regardless of how remote or real the risk from surgery, I find myself using the RealSelf community to gain confidence in the decision. I've enjoyed reading about other's experiences and the answers shared each day by our Lasik medical experts.

Photo Credit: Dr. Cary Silverman