When Is a LASIK Enhancement Needed?Author: Dr. William Tullo
July 9, 2018
In most cases, LASIK eye surgery leads to good results, with minimal complications. In some cases where quality of your vision decreases over time, or your results don't match the original treatment expectations, a procedure called a LASIK enhancement may be required. After proper clinical examinations by our doctors, he or she can explain to you how a LASIK enhancement could help your experience. If needed, a LASIK enhancement is a quick, minimally invasive procedure which can address the potential issues with your vision after laser eye surgery. The rate of patients who need enhancements is low, but it's important to speak with your LASIK surgeon if you feel that an enhancement is needed.
LASIK Enhancement: What Is It, and When Is It Needed?
Fluctuations in vision quality can be a normal part of the early recovery process for LASIK, especially in the first weeks after surgery. Your surgeon will keep a close eye on your recovery through follow-up visits, to make sure that your recovery is progressing as expected. Some patience is required to ensure that you receive the maximal treatment benefits, but vision tends to stabilize relatively quickly after surgery. Once the initial recovery period is complete, there are a few signs that can tell you if an enhancement might be necessary:
- Are you having difficulty driving at night, or performing other tasks that require a high degree of visual precision? If these symptoms persist after the customary recovery period, it may be time to speak with your LASIK surgeon about an enhancement procedure.
- Is your vision substantially blurry for more than three months after having LASIK eye surgery? Persistent blurred vision after you have recovered from laser eye surgery may be a sign that an enhancement is needed.
- Do the results of your procedure not match the original treatment expectations? It's crucial to speak with your surgeon about what results to expect before your procedure, because every patient is different. Understanding what to expect beforehand can help avoid surprises, and give you a point of comparison to decide whether it's time to talk to your surgeon about an enhancement after the healing process is complete.
- While the need for a LASIK enhancement is a relatively uncommon occurrence, it's a good idea to speak with your laser eye surgery team about their enhancement policy before having surgery. Some providers do not charge an extra fee if an enhancement is needed, but enhancement policies can vary significantly between different providers.
- In some cases, due to the needs of the individual patient, an enhancement may not be recommended after surgery. There are other ways to deal with visual changes that may arise. If you're unable to have a LASIK enhancement for any reason, speak with your surgeon about the other options available.
When an enhancement is needed, the good news is that the enhancement procedure is very similar to the first LASIK procedure. In fact, it even uses the same excimer laser to provide this quick procedure, which typically requires only minimal corrections compared to the original LASIK treatment.
The recovery process is also similar, and your laser eye surgery team will provide detailed instructions for how to take care of your eyes after your enhancement is complete. It is important to follow your laser eye surgeon's instructions as closely as possible, to avoid complications and achieve the desired outcome. While the need for a LASIK enhancement is rare, understanding the process is an important step in preparing for laser eye surgery.