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What Are the Risks of Lasik Eye Surgery?

Doctor Answers (2)

LASIK is a very safe procedure but no surgery is risk free

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LASIK is a very safe procedure but no surgery is risk free.  Infection, inflammation, ectasia (weakening of the cornea), dry eye, halos are all possible.


New York Ophthalmologist

Risks of Laser Eye Surgery(Lasik or Cataract Surgery)

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I like to separate post operative difficulties, whether after Laser Vision Correction(Lasik or PRK) or cataract surgery with the use of advanced technology intraocular lenses, into two columns. The first, and mildest, are what I call the "nuisance" issues and consist of short term dry eye, glare and halo when driving at night and occasional light sensitivity. These all resolve on their own, but, sometime, I use eyedrops to speed the process along. The second group I term "doomsday" scenarios and these are very rare, but very serious. In my opinion, the most significant doomsday scenario in either Lasik or cataract surgery is the risk of infection and, even if it were to occur, either the surgeon or the patient(or usually both) would have to have made some pretty bad choices to allow an infection to get ahead of us. Examples of this are poor surgical technique(I do not allow this to happen). Another is poor compliance by the patient when it comes to taking the pre and postoperative eyedrops(one of which is an antibiotic). A third would be missed appointments by the patient that would allow an early, easily treatable infection, to become a nasty, fast moving, damaging infection. Just let me say that if you have either Lasik, PRK, Phakic ICL, clear lens exchange or cataract surgery in my practice, and you don't show up for one of your post op visits(especially day one) then we are going to find you!

In the end, most serious risks of any surgery can be avoided by good surgical technique and adherence to postop instructions. As long as a good relationship exists between the patient and surgeon, then the risks of grave complications are very low and controllable. Lasik and cataract surgery are two of the safest surgical procedures on the planet and we intend to keep it that way!

Anthony J. Kameen, MD
Baltimore Ophthalmologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.