Part 4: Your Vision After LASIK
Part 4 of our LASIK experience guide
In our final installment, we look at the LASIK success rate and what your options will be if your goals and expectations aren’t met after the initial procedure.
Lasik Has A High Success And Satisfaction Rate
The latest research into LASIK success rates — based on visual acuity and patient satisfaction — reports that 99 percent of patients achieve better than 20/40 vision and more than 90 percent achieve 20/20 vision or better after LASIK surgery.
Additionally, LASIK has a 96% patient satisfaction rate – the highest of any elective procedure, according to the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.
Enhancements, though rare, are most common in patients with high prescriptions. (At Grene Laser, only about four percent of all our LASIK patients may need an enhancement.)
So, what are your options if you find yourself in the four percent of patients who need an additional enhancement after the initial LASIK procedure?
You have options...
First, Let’s Clear Up Some Misconceptions
Some patients have a fear of going blind after getting LASIK. This is completely unwarranted and based on bad information. The fact is there has never been a case where LASIK was the primary cause of blindness.
Additionally, there is no such thing as a “failure rate” for LASIK. With such high success rates (mentioned above), there’s simply no data to indicate a significant complication rate.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation and misquoted material about LASIK on the internet. Blindness and failure rates are just the tip of some of the LASIK myths circulating out there.
It’s important to check sources when doing your research. Even better — speak directly to your doctor at your consultation. This is a great time to ask other questions or address any other concerns you may have too.
Side Effects Are NOT Complications
Side effects, however, can be more common. They’re a normal part of the healing process and should not be mistaken for complications.
The most common side effect is dry eye symptoms which can occur for a few months following the procedure. This affects up to 30 percent of patients and generally goes away as your eyes continue to heal. Haloes and starriness at night are other common side effects, however, these typically only last a few weeks, clearing up with continued healing.
It’s important to attend your follow-up appointments in the days and months after the LASIK procedure so your doctor can monitor your vision and eye health.
In the rare case where there is a complication, keeping your scheduled appointments will allow them to see and address things early — making it much easier to treat any issues.
What If The Expectations For Your Vision Aren’t Met After The Lasik Procedure?
If there are still any lingering vision problems — such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism — that remain after the initial procedure, the doctor may want to do an enhancement or retreatment procedure.
This is similar to the initial LASIK procedure but usually takes even less time.
Since the flap was created in the first procedure, the only thing usually needed for an enhancement is to lift the flap and perform a small correction to reshape the tissue under the flap. This generally takes just a few seconds.
Numbing drops will be administered just like with the first procedure, and the recovery process is the same.
The decision to perform an enhancement is made only after careful consideration and examination by the doctor.
Once again — just like with the initial consultation — everything will be discussed with you ahead of time, and you’ll be given the opportunity to ask questions and have any concerns addressed.
Your Lasik Success And Satisfaction Are Important To Us
At Grene Laser, if it’s decided an enhancement is needed within the first year of your initial LASIK procedure, there is no cost to you. Future enhancements are offered at a reduced rate so we provide you with quality vision for a lifetime.
If your vision changes after the first year, enhancements are still an option, depending on your corneal thickness.
Your LASIK experience begins with your free consultation. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and discover if LASIK is right for you.