Risks and complications of laser eye surgery
Before undertaking any medical procedure it is important to understand the associated risks and limitations so you can make an informed decision. We understand the concerns you have for your eyes’ health and hold your safety in the highest priority. Please feel free to talk with any of our specialised laser surgery staff about any of your concerns.
The chance of having a serious vision-threatening complication is less than 1% at LASERSIGHT, due to our experience and the sophisticated equipment we use. Many concerns relate to the eyes’ natural adjustment and either self correct over time, or can be fixed with further enhancement procedures.
Undercorrection And Overcorrection
Initial overcorrection is usually expected and regresses as the cornea stabilises. Both under and overcorrection can be rectified with an enhancement.
Incidence of significant overcorrection: 1-3%.
Incidence of significant undercorrection: 2-3%.
Regression is an individual healing characteristic and refers to the tendency of your eye to move towards its original refraction following LASIK procedure. If regression does occur, an enhancement may be necessary.
With LASIK the regression experienced is minimal and is accounted for when planning your procedure.
Decrease In Best Corrected Visual Acuity
A small number of patients experience a slight loss of visual sharpness following LASIK refractive surgery. In most cases the sharpness returns over 6 months.
Incidence for myopia: 1% or less.
Incidence for hyperopia: 2% or less.
Serious flap complications are rare. Incidence: 1 in 800.
Sensitivity to glare may be a concern with LASIK. Night glare is more common and may last up to 3 months.
Incidence of significant glare: 1 in 1000.
If there is a pre-existing dry eye problem, LASIK surgery can exacerbate this for the first three months after surgery. Some people need to use lubricating eye drops for the first 3 - 6 months.
Incidence: Varies with age being more problematic in older females.
Discomfort is rare but may include mild irritation, sensitivity to glare, watering and dry eyes. These symptoms are usually short term.
1 in 50 experiences a scratchy sensation or mild discomfort.
1 in 500 experiences severe discomfort or even pain for the first 4-6 hours after surgery.
Post-Operative Corneal Haze
Healing haze is the term for the collagen protein that develops on the surface of the eye following refractive surgery. Almost everyone develops trace degrees of haze, usually during the first few weeks and it rarely affects vision.
Incidence of serious haze:
less than 1 in 2000.
Antibiotic eye drops are used during the procedure and for the week following the procedure. Infection is extremely rare.
Incidence of infection:
The worldwide statistic is 1 in 5000.
LASERSIGHT has had only one infection in over 70,000 procedures.