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Possible LASIK Complications

By David Gross on February 28, 2013


Merrillville, Hobart LASIK RisksPatients that undergo LASIK surgery are always advised about the potential risks and side effects that may occur after treatment. While side effects, such as discomfort and sensitivity to light, are common and subside within a few days or weeks, LASIK risks are far less likely to occur. At our Merrillville and Hobart vision center, our LASIK patients rarely experience complications as a result of surgery. Prior to scheduling a LASIK surgical appointment, we thoroughly screen each patient to ensure that they can safely undergo the procedure and are not at a higher risk of developing LASIK complications. However, we do educate our patients about the potential risks of LASIK surgery, which include:

Flap Complications

During the initial step of LASIK surgery, incisions are made in the outer corneal layer to create a three-sided flap. The flap is opened to expose the inner tissue of the cornea for reshaping. Once the cornea has been reshaped with an excimer laser to correct myopic, hyperopic, and astigmatic errors, the flap is closed. Over the next few months, the incisions will heal, sealing up the flap. Unfortunately, in a small percentage of patients, the flap does not heal properly, resulting in flap complications. Flap complications occur when:

  • The flap is not created properly
  • The flap does not adhere to the cornea
  • The flap is wrinkled
  • The flap becomes dislodged during the healing process
  • The flap does not heal normally
  • There is abnormal epithelial growth under the flap (epithelial ingrowth)
  • There is uncontrolled inflammation under the flap (Diffuse lamellar keratitis or DLK)

When LASIK flap complications occur, the patient may experience poor vision and require additional treatment.

Overcorrection or Undercorrection

It is possible for surgeons to overcorrect or undercorrect a patient's vision. If the patient does not achieve 20/20 vision with the first LASIK treatment, an enhancement treatment may be needed to improve results.

Permanent Dry Eye

Dry eye is a common side effect of LASIK surgery. Dry eye after LASIK results because the sensitivity of the nerves is temporarily reduced. This inhibits the eye's ability to detect the need for tear production. At Deen-Gross Eye Centers, we recommend that our Merrillville and Hobart LASIK patients use lubricating eye drops after LASIK surgery to keep the eyes comfortable.

Rarely, dry eye persists for months or even permanently after LASIK surgery. Our surgeons screen patients to determine if they are at risk for dry eye before we perform treatment.

Eye Infection

LASIK, like all surgeries, increases the patient's risk for infection. Any time an incision or cut is made in the protective layers of the body, it makes patients more vulnerable to infection. We prescribe antibiotic eye drops, and urge patients to avoid touching or rubbing the eyes during the healing period, to reduce the risk of an eye infection after LASIK surgery.

If you are interested in undergoing LASIK surgery, we invite you to schedule an appointment at Deen-Gross Eye Centers. We will perform a comprehensive LASIK screening and answer any questions you have about the LASIK procedure.

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