When to Seek a Second Opinion for Lasik.
A Lasik procedure IS surgery and with any type of surgery complications are possible. It's normally the best practice to allow the surgeon who performed your surgery to treat any complications. If for any reason, you have lost confidence in your doctor's treatment, or you just feel that there might be a better solution, you should definitely seek a second opinion. There is no reason to feel uncomfortable about asking your doctor for a referral, it's a common practice; optionally, you can select another Lasik specialist for a second opinion and then inform your doctor.
Fewer Complications Today! Lasik surgery has become the most commonly requested of all the elective surgeries. Over six-million people worldwide have received Lasik and an estimated 99% of them have reported no serious complications past the normal healing period. That number used to be a bit higher. In the earlier days of Lasik, up to 5% of people who underwent the procedure reported some type of post-Lasik problem. Three factors have reduced that number to where it is today, two of these are fairly predictable. Over time there were improvements in the equipment used to perform Lasik and Lasik surgeon's have increased their skills as they became more comfortable with the equipment and with the procedure. Lasik surgeons have also increased their skills in one other area, identifying suitable patients for the Lasik procedure.
The best candidates for Lasik. The best candidates for Lasik are young (less than 44-years old) and healthy with common vision problems. Short sightedness (Myopia), the inability to see things at a distance; long sightedness (Hyperopia), problems reading or seeing things up close; and astigmatism, distorted vision caused by an abnormally shaped cornea are all problems that are correctable with Lasik, with very minor, usually short-term complications.
Not everyone is suitable. Not everyone who desires Lasik surgery is a good candidate for Lasik.
You are probably NOT a good candidate for refractive surgery if:
1) you are not comfortable with the risks of Lasik, as explained by your Lasik surgeon. Certain complications are unavoidable in a percentage of patients.
2) the possible complications of Lasik will jeopardize your employment. Some employers do not allow their employees to undergo certain refractive surgeries.
3) the cost of Lasik will be a problem. Lasik is less expensive now than in the past but it is still not inexpensive and most medical insurance will not pay for refractive surgery -- they consider it elective surgery.
4) you actively participate in contact sports; especially sports where your head might be subject to injury.
5) you are not an adult. No laser surgery techniques are FDA approved for persons under the age of 18.
6) your vision changed enough in the last year to require a change in your eyeglass or contact lens prescription. This is called “refractive instability” and it may be caused by: unstable hormone levels, certain illnesses or diseases, or side-effects of medications you are using to treat other medical conditions.
Some of the diseases and conditions that may make you unsuitable for Lasik surgery are:
• Herpes simplex or 'shingles' that involve the eye area
• Glaucoma or ocular hypertension
• eye diseases such as uveitis/iritis (inflammations of the eye)
• eye injuries or previous eye surgeries
• Blepharitis (an inflammation of the eyelids)
• large pupils
• thin corneas
• Dry eye
When complications occur. When post-LASIK complications do occur, they can often be resolved with medication, laser re-treatments or enhancements of the eye. Permanent vision loss is a slight possibility as is degradation of vision from its pre-surgery condition.
The normal healing period for Lasik surgery is six months. Most complications should resolve themselves within this six month period but, in the case of a serious or particularly troublesome complication, six months may be (or at least may seem to be) far too long. A second opinion from another qualified Lasik surgeon, no matter how it is obtained, may turn out to be the key for resolving troublesome complications or it may result in an endorsement of your current course of treatment; whatever the result it should provide you with increased peace-of-mind.
There is an organization that has come into existence specifically to address the needs of patients with LASIK complications and to provide doctors with an additional source for information on Lasik complications. The organization is the CRSQA (Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance) and their online information page, ComplicatedEyes.org can be found at: http://www.complicatedeyes.org/
This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease".
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