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News & Blog

Laser Eye Surgery Risks

LASIK Eye Surgery

19th September, 2012  

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As with all surgical procedures, laser eye surgery does have risks involved. There is a very low chance of complications occuring, however as, according to the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, complications occur in less than 5% of cases. Regardless of this fact, it is still important to understand the risks involved before going ahead with the procedure.

Probably one of the more common risks is dry eye after surgery. This is more common in LASIK eye surgery that uses a blade, as corneal nerves are damaged during surgery when the flap is cut. A deeper flap will cause more damage, and make the dry eye more severe, which is why many clinics also have the option to create the flap using a laser. The laser creates a shallower flap resulting in less damage and less of a chance of having dry eye.

Luckily, the damage is not permanent. As the eye heals after surgery, dry eye should be reduced. This can happen within a few days, or in some very rare cases can take up to six months or even a year to heal. Of course, dry eye is very uncomfortable, but eye drops or artificial tears can be purchased to help alleviate the discomfort a little.

Some people may also suffer from halos after the procedure. As with dry eye, these should reduce with time. Halos will usually appear around reflective or bright objects. This is more prominent at night time, when the pupil is larger, and is more likely to affect people with naturally larger pupils.

Other than waiting for halos to reduce over time, some people may find certain types of eye drops can lessen the effects, and so can a pair of night driving glasses. Both of these work in the way of making sure the pupil does not become too much larger whilst driving at night. Leaving an interior light on in the car whilst driving can also have the same effect. Glare is another possible complication similar to halos. Both are more common with corrections for higher prescriptions and can be treated in similar ways, either over time or with eye drops being the best solutions.

Epithelial ingrowth is when epithelial cells grow underneath the flap created in LASIK eye surgery. The epithelial is the surface layer of the cornea. Epithelial cells can sometimes be implanted in the ‘interface’, which is where the flap meets the corneal bed (underneath the flap.) Some forms of epithelial in-growth can lead to vision impairment if left, so in those cases surgery may be required.

Another risk to be aware of is infection of the cornea. Again, this is a very rare risk, with chance of infection being similar to the chance of getting an infection from wearing contact lenses, with the risk being reduced with LASIK.

Of course, if you choose the right clinic, the chance of any of these risks occurring to you is reduced. Make sure you choose a reputable clinic, with high quality, fully qualified surgeons. Whether you’re looking for a practitioner in London, Glasgow, Cardiff, or anywhere else, Laser Surgery Eyes can help you to find some of the best quality surgeons, so get in touch with us today and we will put you in touch.

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