Laser Eye Surgery has been around for more than a decade now and has been quite in trend ever since it was discovered. Apart from a permanent solution for the glasses and contacts, Laser treatment comes with a number of benefits. Today, with approximately half of the population wearing lenses and spectacles to support their vision, Laser Eye surgery is the only way to get a convenient and stress-free life without frames hanging upon the nose.
But like each surgical process comes with its own merits and demerits, Refractive surgeries, too, come with certain risks. Although, if handled the right way; one can easily get away with these risks and problems associated with Lasik processes.
In this blog, you will learn about a few underlying risks associated with Laser Eye surgery and how to avoid them or minimize its effects. Let’s get started:
1) Corneal Ectasia
In very rare cases, counting for about 0.2%, the patient suffers from Corneal Ectasia, post Lasik surgery. This problem happens by over-removal of the corneal tissue during the Lasik Surgery. As a result, the entire structure of cornea weakens leading to bulging of the cornea.
This type of problem occurs in generally those cases where either a high amount of nearsightedness needs correction or when the patient’s cornea is thinner than the average.
How to Avoid Ecstatic Cornea?
• Precise measurements and calculations are made prior to the treatment by the surgeon to estimate how much corneal tissue should be removed to fully treat the patient’s myopia.
• Also, detailed measurements must be taken before processing with the treatment of the curvature of both front and back surface of the cornea to identify different cases. This process is called ‘Corneal Topography’ helpful in assessing abnormalities with the patient’s eye.
2) Dryness and Redness of Eye
This is majorly considered as a temporary phenomenon but could stretch for a longer period of time depending on cases to cases. Patients can suffer from dryness and red-eye post their operation if their evaluation or testing before the treatment was not done properly.
What typically goes behind the drying of Eye is the superficial nerve endings placed on the corneal surface need to be healed and regenerated. This regeneration could take about 6 to 12 weeks’ time during which, the patient suffers from the problem of dryness and redness of the eye. This is because tear production is minimized and the cornea becomes numb.
If the patient continues to suffer from dryness in the eye for a longer period of time, this means that there exists an unidentified problem which has not been diagnosed properly before the surgery.
How to Avoid Dry or Red Eye?
The patient must be properly evaluated before the treatment. He must make sure that all dry tests have been performed accurately by a skillful and experienced doctor before going for the surgical operation.
The patient must get himself checked for Meibomian Gland Disease. Meibomian glands are situated in the eyelids and responsible for producing oils for quick drying up of tears. The patient can consider taking re-esterified Omega 3 supplements before the Laser surgery.
The patient must keep his eyes lubricated using the preservative eye drops after frequent intervals post the surgery.
Perform some eye exercises, look around, and keep the eyes shut for a while after every 25-30 minutes of sitting in front of a computer screen.
3) Eye Infections
Infection is a common risk in almost all surgical operations. However, there is very low risk involved for infection post the Lasik surgery.
How to Avoid Infections?
• Check for the air quality and the kind of environment in which the surgery is to be conducted. Check with the staff whether the air in the operation theatre is HEPA filtered and at what rate.
• Check for the kind of antibiotics used during the preoperative preparation period and the actual surgery. Patients with different medical histories must check if they are allergic to a specific salt or antibiotic used during the process.
4) Flap Complications
The probability of occurrence of flap complications in patients is extremely low for about 1 in 1000 patients. Laser surgery is a process of creating a thin hinged flap wrapped around the cornea and shaped by the laser for permanent vision clarity for the patient.
These complications include partial flaps, irregular fragmented flaps, buttonholes, etc.
How to Avoid Flap Complications?
• Ask the operating surgeon or the clinic if they use the Intralase laser for creating the corneal flap during the Lasik surgery.
• Know about the credibility and track record of the operating surgeon; how many cases have they handled, how many were successful, patient references, the surgical tools used by them, etc.
5) Halos and Dual Vision
Halos is a problem which is experienced by every patient post the surgery for the initial few weeks and is quite normal. This happens as a consequence of scattered light caused by the fluid present in the newly treated cornea.
However, if the problem still persists in patients, it becomes a serious concern and will require immediate attention. The extended problem may be as a result of induced aberrations by lasers or if the surgery was not centered accurately.
How to Avoid Halos and Dual Vision?
• The patient must ensure that his pupil size is calculated under dark or dim light for the accurate measurement.
• The patient must visit a reliable operating center having avant-garde technologies and equipment for best possible treatment.
• One must check with the surgeon if he has experience in handling Laser Eye Surgical cases before and has deep knowledge about high order aberrations.
• The patient must be knowledgeable enough and check with the surgeon if he will receive an aspheric profile for treating the Cornea.
Be Prepared From the Very Beginning!
Half of the risks get eliminated if you get your eyes treated by an experienced surgeon having prior experience of successfully handling cases. You must check their track record and credibility before choosing them for your Laser treatment.
Secondly, make sure your operating surgeon is equally capable of doing a successful surgery as well as providing you with the right consultation. In addition to the surgeon, the center of your surgery should be well-equipped with the latest tools, diagnostic technology, and most importantly, trained staff that has an in-depth knowledge to conduct the testing and other processes.
Read Also: (What is the most advanced laser eye surgery available?)
On a personal note, be prepared yourself. Do your research and educate yourself of the pros and cons of the treatment because you make up your mind to do it. Laser Eye surgery is a life-changing treatment, make sure you have the hang of it before entering the operation theatre!