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Many people don’t fully understand the details of LASIK eye surgery, even those who are undergoing or about to undergo the procedure. Don’t be someone who waits until afterwards to discover the things you should have known beforehand. Be an informed consumer, especially with something as important as your vision.

The incidence of laser eye surgery complication is minimal however, if you're considering the procedure then you need to be aware of what they are as part of your preparation process.

The percentage of people who suffer corneal infection following surgery is less than one per cent. Delayed healing will be a hindrance to recovering patients but the long term effects with proper post operative treatment are almost negligible.

In this article, we'll highlight some of the most common laser eye surgery complications.

- Under or over correction probably heads the list of complications. This simply means a surgeon can't predict accurately the response of your eyes to treatment and you will be required to continue wearing protective eye wear following the procedure. In more severe cases, further surgery could be required.

- Corneal haze is common and related to PRK(Photorefractive Keratectomy). It's considered a common aspect of the recovery process and shouldn't effect one's vision after complete recovery. Corneal haze risk is not as common with patients who undergo lasik treatment.

- An annoying complication revolves around a condition known as regression. Simply put, despite the procedure, the eye returns to it's pre-operative state and depending on the patients risk factor, may require another operation.

- The halo effect is another annoying aspect of both PRK and lasik procedures yet it can be serious in some circumstances. A halo effect is a worrying complication for patients especially for those driving at night.

- Lasik patients could be prone to a laser eye surgery complication known as flap damage. In other words, a supposed hinged flap created on the center of the cornea could unexpectedly be dis-lodged. This will present problems if it's damaged and while it can be replaced following the treatment, this is not always 100% certain.

- The flap could also become distorted to the extent it could affect to some degree a patient's best corrected vision.

While risks are always present with any type of surgical procedure, the chances of suffering any major laser eye surgery complication are extremely low.

Surgeons may be reluctant to operate on patients who are considered a risk in the pre-operative stage. While this may sound harsh it's simple logic and the patients well-being is not going to be compromised.

Types of Laser Surgery Following Cataract Surgery: Lasik, PRK, YAG Laser

The following are the pros and cons behind two of the most common misconceptions about LASIK.

1. “After the procedure, I’ll never need glasses or contacts again!”

Depending on your age at the time of the procedure and the issues with your vision that you’re trying to correct, you may or may not continue to need glasses or contacts, either immediately after surgery or possibly later on, as you age.

This is not to say that the procedure can’t be both effective and life-changing. It can be, and it generally is. The vast majority of patients who undergo the procedure report significant improvement in their vision.

It allows New York drivers to drive without glasses within days of their surgery. A small percentage require “enhancement” surgery, which is a second procedure, conducted to fix any over- or under-correction of your vision resulting from the first procedure.

Also, many people, as they age (generally between the ages of 40 and 50), develop poor vision for reading (called presbyopia). If you had LASIK surgery in New York prior to developing presbyopia, you could still need reading glasses as you get older. Presbyopia is sometimes treated with Monovision LASIK, which corrects one eye for distance vision and the other eye for close vision.

How to choose a LASIK Eye surgeon in New York

Many people wonder if they may need "Laser surgery" after they have had cataract surgery. In fact, many people actually confuse cataract surgery for "Laser surgery." Actually, modern cataract surgery does not usually involve lasers at all. Instead, a microscopic ultrasound instrument (phacoemulsification probe) is used to break-up and remove a cloudy lens in a patient's eye. After the cloudy lens is removed, an artificial intraocular lens implant (IOL) is placed within the eye. In the vast majority of cases, however, no laser is involved in this process.

There are a couple of instances where lasers may be some benefit following cataract surgery. The most common is the development of a posterior capsular opacity (PCO) which is a thin, hazy film which can grow across the remnant lens structures behind the IOL. This hazy PCO can partially block the path of light through the IOL and obscure the patient's vision causing blurred haziness or glare. PCO is actually the most common complication after routine cataract surgery. If it becomes significant enough to limit a patient's functional vision, then it is generally treated using an instrument called an Nd:YAG laser.

This type of laser has been available for several decades and is extremely accurate and successful in clearing a PCO with little to no discomfort and with minimal recovery time. The Nd:YAG laser can be very carefully aimed behind the IOL to cut away an area of the PCO creating a new clear path for light to pass through. The procedure usually takes less than five minutes.

From the patient's perspective it is actually quite easy. The doctor places a plastic "contact lens" onto your eye which holds your eye open and also allows him to focus the laser beam. He then carefully aims the laser so that it cuts a small clear circular area in the PCO. Although there are bright lights involved, the patient typically feels little to nothing. The Nd:YAG procedure has a very high rate of success for restoring vision to a high level.

Another situation that can arise is the occurrence of residual refractive error (glasses prescription) even after cataract surgery with IOL implantation. In the case of a cataract patient, the IOL can be selected to match the characteristics of the eye thus minimizing the patient's glasses. If there is any residual refractive error, the patient may choose to wear glasses or it may also be possible to use the Excimer laser to correct it. For these cataract surgery patients, there are a number of things to consider.

First, they should understand that the standard IOL cannot change its focus so it is always set to either far or near distance only, but not both. Because of that fact, standard IOL patients require reading glasses if their distance vision is made perfect or they require distance glasses if their up close vision is good. These patients should consider carefully what distances are most important to them in their daily function before undergoing any Lasik vision correction. Also, there are now newer advanced technology IOLs (AT-IOLs) which are able to restore some ability of the eye to focus at different distances. These AT-IOLs are capable of reducing the need for glasses or bifocals to a greater degree than their older standard IOL predecessors. Prior to having cataract surgery, patients should ask their surgeons if they might benefit from the implantation of an AT-IOL.

Second, there are a couple of different ways to use the excimer Laser to correct a refractive error and surgeons have different approaches and philosophies. The two basic methods are called PRK and Lasik. Lasik is the most common vision correction procedure in younger patients that have not had cataract surgery, but many surgeons favor PRK for their cataract surgery patients. I personally prefer Lasik using blade-free Lasik technology. The major difference between PRK and Lasik is the creation of a corneal flap off the front of the eye in Lasik.

You can visualize the corneal "flap" as a wall calendar where one page can be flipped up to reveal the underlying page. Similarly, the hinged flap is created on the cornea and lifted up to reveal the underlying corneal tissue. The advantage of Lasik over PRK is the significantly faster healing and visual recovery. Some surgeons prefer the ease of PRK in post-cataract surgery patients because it avoids the need to surgically create the flap. However, the most advanced blade-free Lasik technology can very easily create the flap on post cataract surgery patients. These newer instruments place much less pressure on the eye than the older bladed flap-makers and can cut a corneal flap with far greater precision and accuracy as well. So the quick healing of Lasik can easily be applied to post cataract surgery patients and avoid the slow visual recoveries that can occur in PRK.

Modern cataract surgery is a very highly successful surgery whether laser surgery is required afterward or not and, in fact, the majority of cataract surgery patients never need laser treatment of any kind. Nevertheless, patients should be aware of the possibility that they may benefit in some cases from Nd:YAG or excimer laser (PRK, Lasik). Typically, these lasers will give added visual benefit after cataract surgery but are not absolute necessities. Your surgeon should explain the reasons and potential benefits as well as risks prior to having these additional laser procedures.

Benefits of Intralase Laser Eye Surgery

lasik price

Many people don't fully understand the details of LASIK eye surgery, even those who are undergoing or about to undergo the procedure. Don't be someone who waits until afterwards to discover the things you should have known beforehand. Be an informed consumer, especially with something as important as your vision.

The following are the pros and cons behind two of the most common misconceptions about LASIK.

1. "After the procedure, I'll never need glasses or contacts again!"

Depending on your age at the time of the procedure and the issues with your vision that you're trying to correct, you may or may not continue to need glasses or contacts, either immediately after surgery or possibly later on, as you age.

This is not to say that the procedure can't be both effective and life-changing. It can be, and it generally is. The vast majority of patients who undergo the procedure report significant improvement in their vision.

It allows them to drive without glasses within days of their surgery. A small percentage require "enhancement" surgery, which is a second procedure, conducted to fix any over- or under-correction of your vision resulting from the first procedure.

Also, many people, as they age (generally between the ages of 40 and 50), develop poor vision for reading (called presbyopia). If you had LASIK surgery prior to developing presbyopia, you could still need reading glasses as you get older. Presbyopia is sometimes treated with Monovision LASIK, which corrects one eye for distance vision and the other eye for close vision.

However, even patients with Monovision are counseled to keep glasses on hand for those times when perfect distance or close vision or good depth perception (which requires both eyes) is necessary.

For most people, eye surgery reduces their use of glasses to only very specific situations and specialty vision needs, but it doesn't remove the need for corrective lenses all together.

2. "LASIK wouldn't be so common if it were risky."

LASIK is surgery, and all surgeries come with certain risks. More than one million people had the procedure in the United States in 2006, and less than 1% of those patients experienced significant complications. This means that statistically, your chances of having an experience without significant complications are very, very good.

However, given that this is surgery on your eyes, and your eyes play a vital role in your everyday life, the risks are something you want to be aware of and take into consideration when deciding what's right for you.

Possible complications range from minor (and temporary) increases in dry eye symptoms, to visually debilitating and permanent dry eye symptoms. A small percentage of patients lose vision at specific distances, which cannot be fixed with any kind of corrective lenses or follow-up surgery. Another small percentage of patients develop glare, halos, or double vision. For some, these problems are permanent, and Unfortunately, they're especially noticeable in challenging visual situations, such as at night or in fog.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, LASIK eye surgery is safe and effective for most corrections. (The worse your vision is prior to surgery, the less likely that this surgery is right for you.) Many ophthalmologists believe that the risks of long-term contact lens use may exceed the risk of LASIK, although the fact that the surgery has been around for less than 2 decades means that the long-term effects can not yet be known.

Conclusion

In general, the thing to keep in mind is that almost all LASIK patients end up with improved vision and good results. However, those who experience complications tend to be VERY unhappy (and vocal) about it, because our vision and our eyes play a central role in our lives. You don't get your money back (generally) whether your vision is better or worse after surgery.

You shouldn't let a vocal unhappy minority convince you that LASIK eye surgery is terrible, any more than you should let slick marketing campaigns convince you that it's risk-free. Carefully discuss the visual situations you hope to correct, your various expectations, and all potential risks and complications with your surgeon in a consultation prior to surgery. And, as with any major medical procedure, it's wise to get a second opinion.


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