As with all surgeries, laser eye surgery is not without risks. When most people think of laser eye surgery, they think of LASIK focal correction surgery. However, lasers are used in a variety of different eye surgeries including LASEK, PRK, and nonfocus correcting surgeries. This article will deal with laser eye surgery risks in general.
The first possible problem that could result from laser eye surgery is infection caused by the surgery itself. Though every effort is made to keep this from happening, it is still possible to have post-operation infection. Usually this is not serious and can be treated with medications.
A laser is pure light at a given frequency. For this reason it is usually hot and the heat can cause scar tissue that can certainly hinder vision in a variety of ways. If this becomes a problem, most scar tissue can be removed with further surgery.
Some have experienced extreme pain following surgery because some dust particle or, more seriously, some type of bacteria gets into the open wound. Hopefully this problem will only be temporary, but it can still cause pain. It may also cause blurry vision.
One of the greatest problems following laser eye surgery is disappointment. The surgery simply did not measure up the highest expectations of the patient. A patient has invested a lot of money and taken a risk that this is a good investment. However, he or she soon finds out that he faces new problems, perhaps even greater than those he had before. “Why did I ever go ahead with this? Why wasn’t I content with my lot in life?” he asks himself. This problem is amplified when the surgery actually makes his vision worse! If the surgery was designed to correct nearsightedness, for example, perhaps he now needs even stronger glasses or contacts. Yet he is still out the several thousand dollars it cost. This is both disheartening and frustrating. Sometimes additional surgery can correct the problem, but this is even more expense.
The most common complaint following laser eye surgery is a condition called dry eye. Tears do not form as before to lubricate the eye. This produces pain and requires the person to manually lubricate his eyes every few minutes. It is a condition far more demanding than keeping track of his eyeglasses or contacts.
To keep these risks in perspective, perhaps one to three percent of patients who have had laser eye surgery face complications of some sort. In other words, it is a pretty good bet that nothing will go wrong. But this is not a guarantee. Carefully consider these and other possible post-surgery complications before proceeding with laser eye surgery.