How Safe Is LASIK?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How Safe Is LASIK?

LASIK has been very appealing for many patients who have wanted to be free of the hassle of eyeglasses and contact. Yet, LASIK is surgery and so patients want to really understand the facts about LASIK safety before proceeding. The two main factors that can and instrumentation used to perform the treatment and even more so, the skill and experience of the LASIK Surgeon.

Long Term Track Record
Eye Surgery for the Laser Vision Correction of nearsightedness was first performed in the United States upon Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the Excimer Laser on October 20, 1995. The Excimer Laser was specifically FDA approved for LASIK in 1998. So as of 2011, Laser Eye Surgery for Laser Vision Correction has been performed for over 15 years and the LASIK procedure has been performed under FDA approval for just over 11 years. It is estimated that some 22 million patients worldwide have had LASIK and LASIK is considered one of the most successful and safe types of eye surgery performed. In skilled, experienced hands nearsighted patients can expect to achieve 20/40 vision more than 98 percent of the time, and uncorrected vision of 20/20 or 20/25 in more than 90 percent of cases. Instances of loss of best corrected vision are rare with vision loss worse than 20/40 occurring in about only 3 per 1,000 cases and serious complications, such as infection or corneal damage, occur even more infrequently in fewer than 1 in 1,000 cases.

Safety is the Hands of the LASIK Surgeon
FDA approval does not indicate that a Lasik Surgeon is going to provide a thorough evaluation and consultation, indicate or imply that LASIK Surgeons will provide a complete review of the possible risks and complications of LASIK-nor does it imply that a LASIK Surgeon will use the appropriate screening and decision criteria to be sure that a patient is in fact a good candidate for LASIK or any Laser Eye Surgery for that matter.

That is why choosing a LASIK Surgeon is the most important decision a patient makes in deciding to have LASIK and is a significant part of making LASIK a safe and effective procedure. You should not choose a LASIK Surgeon based on slick advertising or low price. You should choose a LASIK Surgeon based on reputation in the community, the length of time they have been performing LASIK and the comfort and rapport established during your consultation. While the equipment used may provide a slight advantage or disadvantage in safety, it is ALWAYS the skill and experience of the surgeon that contributes the most to the overall safety of Laser Eye Surgery for the correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK please feel free to schedule a consultation with Corneal Specialist & LASIK Surgeon Leslie Doctor, M.D. by calling Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113.