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Laser Eye Surgery Risks and Side Effects

Is LASIK Safe?

LASIK eye surgery has become a routine, relatively low-risk procedure with excellent success rates since the procedure was FDA approved in 1996. Today, most patients walk away with 20/20 vision after the procedure, but – as with all medical procedures – it is important to make an informed decision.

LASIK Risks & Benefits: What are the side effects, pros and cons?

Close up of a Man's eyes

Before deciding whether to have vision correction surgery, you should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of LASIK. Your LASIK surgeon should also always go over the risks with you during your LASIK consultation.

Here are some LASIK complications cited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which evaluates the safety of LASIK in the United States:

  • Some LASIK patients lose the ability to see some of the small letters near the bottom of an eye chart after LASIK surgery, even with the help of glasses or contact lenses.
  • Some patients develop glare, halos, and/or ghost images that can seriously affect vision.
  • Some patients do not see as well in situations of low contrast, such as at night or in fog, after LASIK, compared with their vision with glasses or contact lenses before LASIK.
  • Most LASIK patients can see 20/20 without glasses or contacts after surgery, but some may require an additional care due to an under-correction or over-correction of their vision.
  • Some LASIK patients are unable to produce enough tears to keep their eyes moist and comfortable after surgery. Dry eyes are uncomfortable, can cause redness, and can cause intermittent blurry vision and other symptoms. These symptoms can be permanent.
  • For some farsighted patients, results may diminish with age. The level of improved vision after LASIK surgery may decrease with age.
  • Long-term data are not available. The safety and effectiveness of LASIK surgery over the long-term is not known.

While a small percentage of patients may experience symptoms during the healing process, they should can be managed by working closely with your surgeon – and, if needed, treated to help you achieve your ideal vision.

Benefits of LASIK

However, recent studies (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-sponsored “Patient Reported Outcomes with LASIK (PROWL)” and an evaluation of available scientific literature worldwide on advanced LASIK, “Modern LASIK Outcomes: A Review”) have shown overwhelming success:

  • Patient satisfaction rates of up to 98 percent.
  • Nearly 100 percent of patients achieve at least 20/40 vision, with more than 90 percent achieving 20/20 vision.
  • Less than 1 percent of patients lost two or more lines (on the eye chart) of best corrected visual acuity (BCVA).

Call 1-800-309-2020 today to schedule a comprehensive consultation so we can determine the LASIK procedure that is right for you!