Lowering Your Laser Eye Surgery Risks: What You Can DoAuthor: Dr. William Tullo
May 6, 2014
Laser eye surgery has become safer over the years, thanks to better technology and more experienced surgeons. Most patients experience some side effects, though, whether that’s dry eye or redness after surgery. But these tend to be temporary. Some risks, such as that of halo, could be permanent, however. Yet there’s a lot in your power to support the success of your laser eye surgery.
Here are some variables you can control.
Before laser eye surgery
Before laser eye surgery, you will likely have several providers from whom to pick. These will vary in cost, experience, protocol and the overall professional atmosphere you experience during your consultation. The provider you pick is the first determinant of your laser eye surgery success.
Your provider should be very experienced. The most experienced surgeons have been practicing for more than 20 years, and some have performed tens of thousands of procedures. You should seek out a provider who has performed thousands of procedures similar to the one you get (for instance, if you get PRK laser eye surgery, find a highly experienced PRK surgeon). He should also have any combination of fellowship, certification, professional affiliation and accolades attached to his name. The more, the merrier.
You will also want a provider who turns down a fair percentage of people for laser eye surgery. The reason is that not all people are laser eye surgery candidates, so it follows that not all people who go in for a LASIK consultation are going to be good candidates for surgery. Look for about ten to fifteen percent turn-down rate.
At the laser eye surgery consultation
At your laser eye surgery consultation, your provider is going to ask for your health history. It is very important to offer as much information as you have regarding medical conditions, prescriptions, allergies and related information not just to your ocular health but also to your general health that affects any part of your body. The person who conducts your consultation has been trained to identify flags, such as having a pacemaker or diabetes, that merit extra considerations for laser eye surgery.
Your provider may offer a couple types of procedures, such as LASIK or PRK. In addition, there are customizable types of each procedure, and LASIK can be bladeless or it might use a microkeratome blade, which is typically a less expensive option. If bladeless procedures are offered, the price difference is often worth the investment in your best possible results and a faster recovery time.
After laser eye surgery
Regular follow up visits are a part of a standard laser eye surgery procedure. Attending these is the easiest way for your doctor to ensure your healing is progressing as it should and to check for any serious complications. These are rare, but they can be caught early.
In addition to your follow up visits, your doctor will likely prescribe eye drops to take at set times in the days following your procedure. Taking these eye drops as prescribed will support healing. Follow your doctor’s orders exactly as you heal from your procedure.
Once healing is complete, regular annual eye exams to check your prescription and eye health is recommended. If you follow these steps, you can maximize your possible outcomes from your laser eye surgery.