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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Laser Eye Surgery Risks And Complications

In order to understand the complications, there has to be a simple understanding of the procedure of Lasik eye surgery. Lasik eye surgery involves the cutting of a small flap in the front covering of the eye or cornea. The flap is lifted so that the laser may reshape the eye and then the flap is replaced as a type of bandage.

The flap is cut using a type of bladed instrument called a “microkeratome” or else with a laser. The surgeon’s preference determines what technology is used. Using a laser to perform this portion of the procedure allows for more precision and, therefore, fewer complications are likely to arise.

Now, if the flap is not cut correctly it may fail to form properly to the surface of the eye. The flap might also be cut too small or thin, which would cause wrinkling upon the attempt to adhere the flap to the surface of the eye. These complications can lead to an irregularly shaped eye surface and in time may lead to astigmatism or blurry vision.

Vision Loss

After the procedure, a very small percentage of all patients experience a vision loss which cannot be corrected with glasses, contacts or a second surgery. This is a very rare, but very serious laser eye surgery risk.

Debilitating Visual Symptoms

Some patients experience halos, glare or double vision after surgery. This causes serious night vision problems. Even if they have a good vision on the vision chart, they may not see well at night, in fog or in other situations of low contrast. They may even see worse in these situations than they did before treatment.

Under Treatment or Over Treatment

This is a very frequent laser eye surgery risk. Only a small percentage of patients obtain 20/20 vision after surgery without glasses or contacts. You may need additional treatment to enhance vision, but this is not always possible. Even if you used to wear very weak prescription glasses before treatment, you may still need glasses or contact lenses afterwards. If you used to wear reading glasses before, you might still need them after surgery.

Severe Dry Eye Syndrome

Another laser eye surgery risk is to develop serious dry eye syndrome. After surgery, your eyes might not be able to produce enough tears for keeping moist. This not only produces discomfort, by can also reduce quality vision due to permanent blurring and other problems. This eye condition may be permanent. It is usually treated with intensive eye drop therapy, but other procedures can also be used.

Results Diminishing with Age

Another laser eye surgery risk is for results to decrease over time, especially in patients with farsighted vision. If your manifest refraction (an exam with lenses before using dilating drops) differs from your cyclopegic refraction (another exam with lenses after applying dilating drops), the chances of getting this side effect are higher.

For newer technologies, there is not enough research data available. As some of them have been developed only a few years ago, long-term effectiveness and safety cannot be determined yet. Even though they are more advanced, they might have some unknown long-term side effects.

As with any surgical procedure, there are a variety of complications. Care must be taken to select the right Lasik eye surgeon for your specific needs and also to decide of Lasik eye surgery is the right procedure for you. The most important factor in successful surgery is to find an experienced surgeon, who will monitor your follow up care, and be there with you if you find yourself having any of these complications.


Things To Consider Before And After Laser Eye Surgery

Before Surgery

If you have already taken the decision of undergoing laser surgery, first get your eyes evaluated by a doctor to know whether you make a good candidate at all. In case you wear contact lenses, stop wearing them at least two to three weeks before the consultation to get the right measurements.

Inform the doctor about all your medical history and the medications you are currently on, and the medicines you are allergic to.

After the initial examination is over, the doctor will let you know whether you are good candidate and what you should expect before, during and after the surgery. At this stage, you also ask the doctor questions to clear al your doubts and queries.

On the day before surgery, stop applying the cosmetics like creams, lotions, makeup or perfumes, as the residue of these cosmetics increase the chances of infection. Doctors generally ask to keep the eyelashes clean by scrubbing for a period of time.

An important thing is to arrange for a companion who would accompany you or drive you back to your home after the surgery is over. This is because, after surgery you will be under nerve soothing medication, that will impair your driving ability and also your vision may be slightly blurred just after the surgery.

After surgery

Immediately after the surgery the common sensation that most people experience is an itchy feeling, as if something has gone inside your eyes. The patients tend to rub their eyes in reflex, but be careful not to rub them. Your vision may be slightly hazy and your eyes may water. In some rare cases patients feel pain in their eyes. You may also experience sensitivity to light but that only lasts a matter of a few days. If things do not improve within a week, consult the doctor. You have to revisit your doctor within forty eight hours and the doctor will remove the eye shield, in addition to testing your vision. For at least six months, you have to see the doctor at regular intervals.

At this stage you will be prescribed eye drops to prevent infections. For some time you have to keep away from putting on make up and also refrain from swimming and hot baths.

It is a matter of three to six months for your vision to stabilize after surgery. The most important point to remember is if you notice any unusual symptoms, go to the doctor without any delay, otherwise it may lead to loss of vision.


About Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery is a medical procedure consisting of the use of laser for reshaping the surface of the cornea. It is used to improve shortsightedness, long sightedness or astigmatism. The first information on laser eye surgery dates back from over twenty years ago, and the FDA approved excimer laser eye surgery in 1995.

During laser eye surgery, an excimer laser, controlled by a computer is used to remove tiny amounts of corneal tissue. The aim of the procedure is to restore normal vision, eliminating the need for glasses or contacts. Although laser surgery has risen in popularity in the past few years, only about 20% of ophthalmologists have been trained to use it.

In one type of laser eye surgery, the outer layer of the cornea, also called epithelium, is removed and an excimer laser is used to reshape underneath tissue. This procedure is called photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).

In a newer procedure, a microkeratome is used to cut a flap in the corneal tissue, which is then lifted and an excimer laser is used to reshape underlying tissue. In the end, the flap is put back to its place. This type of laser eye surgery is called laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). Nowadays, it is more commonly used than PRK.

What Happens During Laser Eye Surgery Procedure

The surgery should take less than 30 minutes. You will lie on your back, reclining in a chair, or on a table. You may be given a sedative before the procedure, to help you relax.

Local anesthetic eye drops are used before the surgery. The procedure takes a few minutes per eye. The actual time when the laser is used for reshaping the corneal tissue is generally less than a minute. An instrument called a lid speculum will be used to hold your eyelids open. A ring is placed on your eye, and the cutting instrument is attached to the ring. A microkeratome, the cutting instrument, is used to cut a flap in your cornea. A laser is positioned over your eye, and you will be asked to stare at the light. This light is to help you keep your eye fixed in one spot when the laser comes on.

Once your eye is in the correct position, the doctor will turn the laser on. Pulses of laser energy vaporize the corneal tissue, and then the flap is placed back into position

You will need to wear an eye shield for protection after the procedure. This will prevent you from rubbing your eyes, and protect your eye from being accidentally hit or poked until the flap has healed.

After laser eye surgery, you should expect some minor discomfort. However, you should be able to see, although not very clearly. You won’t be able to drive on your own, so you need to have someone drive you home or take a cab. You should see your doctor within the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery, and then at regular intervals for about six months. You will have to wait for up to two weeks before using make-up, creams or lotions, to prevent infection or irritation. You should also avoid swimming and hot tubs for about 6 weeks.

Although you should see well the day after surgery, your vision will continue to improve over the next several months. As the eye heals, your vision will continue to improve. It is important to keep all your follow-up appointments with your doctor, to make sure that everything is going according to plan.