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What Are the Risks of LASIK Surgery?

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Updated January 22, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Human Eye, Eye Surgery, Normal Eye Anatomy, Human Eye With Anatomic Labels,

Normal Eye Anatomy

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Question: What Are the Risks of LASIK Surgery?
I'm considering having LASIK surgery. What risks should I be concerned about?
Answer: No surgery is without risks, and LASIK surgery is no exception. In addition to the general risks of surgery, LASIK surgery has very specific risks that patients should consider before having the procedure.

Some patients choose to have surgery on only one eye until they determine how they will respond to the procedure.

Your unique risk level can only be determined by a qualified eye surgeon. Risks will vary between surgical procedures and with the degree of correction required, your age, your general health, any eye conditions you may have including the shape of your eye. Most patients experience minimal side effects.

Short-Term Risks of LASIK Surgery:

Long-Term Risks of LASIK Surgery:

  • Corneal scarring
  • Light sensitivity
  • Color changes in the white of the eye
  • Scratchy feeling in the eye
  • Change in corneal shape, which may make wearing contacts impossible
  • Chronic dry eyes

Vision Risks After LASIK Surgery:

The following vision risks of LASIK may be permanent, or may improve over time.

  • Blindness
  • Decrease in contrast sensitivity (fuzziness)
  • Night driving difficulties
  • Halos around lights
  • Glare
  • Overcorrection (may be treated with an additional surgery)
  • Undercorrection (may be treated with an additional surgery)

Sources:

LASIK eye surgery. Medline Plus. National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007018.htm

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