LASIK Surgery Complications; Treatable

LASIK treatment, like any other surgery, can in rare cases cause some complications. Since its invention in 1988 in the US, LASIK surgery is widely known, used and accepted worldwide as it rarely brings serious problems. Selecting a reputable eye surgeon is the single best thing you can do to ensure successful outcome of your surgery and in case of complications, he can address them properly. As part of your LASIK consultation and pre-operative exam, your doctor will thoroughly evaluate the health of your eyes to rule out chronic dry eye, thin corneas, unusually large pupils and other factors that might affect your LASIK surgery outcome. Even with these precautions some serious problems like not so clear vision and dry eyes may occur.

Some of the possible complications of LASIK surgery are - dry eye, under-correction and over-correction, regression, flap complications, epithelial ingrowth.

Dry Eyes
During surgery some nerves of the cornea, able to produce tear, may dry up causing dry eyes. In one recent study, 20% of LASIK patients experienced chronic dry eye that persisted for six months or more after surgery. Though some corneal nerves regenerate over time and dry eye symptoms usually decrease within a few weeks to a few months after LASIK, some patients will have persistent dry eye problems. Symptoms of dry eye include discomfort, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision. However, it can be treated with proper medical care.

Undercorrection and overcorrection
In some LASIK patients┬┤ eyes may respond unpredictably to laser energy or may heal in an unusual fashion, leading to such problems. Retreatment rates for undercorrection and overcorrection is not satisfying. The eyes of some LASIK patients may respond unpredictably to laser energy or may heal in an unusual fashion, leading to a significant undercorrection or overcorrection of their nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Though this is disappointing to both the patient and the surgeon, undercorrection and overcorrection can usually be resolved with a re-treatment (enhancement).

Regression: Long-term studies with follow-up periods of 10 years or more have shown LASIK results to be very stable for most patients. However, in some cases there will be a mild loss of vision correction over time.

The first step of LASIK is creating a flap of corneal tissue. This is done with a bladed instrument called a microkeratome or with a laser. Flap complications: it includes incomplete flaps that are partial flaps, usually caused by a malfunction of the microkeratome. Buttonhole flaps: this occurs when the flap is cut too thin, creating a hole in the center of the flap. Free cap: this is the term used to describe when the hinge of the flap is cut off and nothing remains to keep the flap attached to the eye.

Such problems however can be solved by consulting the doctor in right time. Also, the new technologies play a role here in reducing complications. However it has not been quantified yet.

As a part of the treatment, the patients have to sign a consent form in which the probable dangers of the treatment are described. However, no surgery can be taken lightly, so patients are advised to discuss the doctors about the probable complications and solutions.It is better not to hope that the vision will be totally clear after the treatment. However, patients can hope to be less dependent on glasses. To conclude, one should consult the doctors before going for the surgery.
Source: LA Chronicle

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