Although generally a very safe procedure, there are a few potential disadvantages associated with LASIK laser eye surgery. These can be caused by the surgery itself, by poor eye care after the surgery or by underlying problems which can complicate recovery.
Before we jump into the disadvantages, it’s important to define exactly what LASIK (laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is. Basically, it involves a two step process designed to correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness, or astigmatism.
First, a flap of the cornea (front of the eye) is peeled back to reveal the tissue underneath. Using a laser especially made for laser eye surgery – the surgeon will then remove some of this tissue to correct your vision problems. Results are usually immediate, and recovery is fast.
But as we’ve said, there are a few disadvantages you should be aware of. These include:
Cornea Flap Complications
Since LASIK surgery involves peeling back a flap of your cornea, there are a few risks of problems occurring. This is mainly due to the fact that the flap is extremely delicate, and any of the following can happen:
- The flap can become displaced before it is fully healed.
- The flap can wrinkle on replacement, which will distort your vision and may require additional surgery to fix.
- The flap can break off or disintegrate if treated roughly.
- Debris can be trapped within your eye in rare cases.
In general, these are the most common problems associated with LASIK surgery. However, if you choose an experienced surgeon, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Long Term Dry Eyes
Unfortunately, LASIK surgery can also damage your tear ducts, resulting in long-term dry eyes and discomfort. This is actually quite a common problem which usually lasts for a few days or weeks after surgery.
However, it can last for months. If this is the case, you may be able to use eye drops or some other treatment to ease the discomfort. In some cases, you might decide to undergo another procedure to install plugs in your tear ducts to prevent your eyes drying out as rapidly.
Under or Over Correction
In some cases, you might also be unlucky enough to experience under or overcorrection of your vision. Doctors are only human, and they do make mistakes from time to time. If this happens to you, additional surgery might be your only option.
Basically, under and over correction occur when the surgeon either doesn’t remove enough or removes too much of the underlying tissue. In severe cases, this can result in vision that’s worse than it was before the surgery.
Ultimately, all surgery has risks. LASIK laser eye surgery is no different, and there are a few potential disadvantages you should be aware of. Among other things, you might have problems with dry eyes post-surgery. Your vision could also be affected, either due to issues with the corneal flap replacement or under or over correction.
We always encourage you to have an in-depth conversation with your surgeon before committing to the procedure to make sure that you understand the risks and likely rewards.