One of the most disturbing aspects of Refractive Surgery is the complete lack of ability for a prospective patient to be correctly screened. Most people are under the illusion that clinics and surgeons are capable of completely and thoroughly screening patients for surgery and that the technology exists to perform these screenings.
Intraocular pressure inside the eye pushes constantly against the back surface of the cornea. In a healthy eye, the collagen bands of the cornea provide support to withstand these forces. LASIK surgery involves cutting a corneal flap, which severs collagen bands that never reconnect. After creation of the flap, the surgeon uses a laser to remove corneal tissue, further thinning the cornea. Together, flap creation and laser ablation reduce stress-bearing thickness of the cornea, leaving the cornea permanently weakened.
Dry eye is the most common complication of LASIK. (1) FDA clinical trials demonstrate 20% of LASIK patient experience worse or significantly worse dry eyes six months after LASIK. (2) Symptoms of post-LASIK dry eye include pain, burning, stinging, and scratchiness. Dry eye after LASIK is due to surgically-induced disruption of processes involved in maintaining a healthy, normal tear film.
We are opposed to LASIK on both eyes in the same day because it denies patients the opportunity to assess the surgical outcome and quality of vision in the first eye before risking the fellow eye. Moreover, bilateral LASIK places patients at risk of complications and possible vision loss in both eyes. The FDA LASIK website warns: “Although the convenience of having surgery on both eyes on the same day is attractive, this practice is riskier than having two separate surgeries”. (1)
So, you’re thinking about LASIK or some other form of surgical vision correction – PRK, LASEK, etc. You owe it to yourself to do your homework, and considering the fact that you’re reading this article, we say, “You’re on the right track!” Everybody’s eyes are different, so let’s look at some hypothetical cases. Most answers apply to all forms of corneal refractive surgery. We’ll also examine common myths.
The term “refractive surgery” applies to surgical procedures intended to correct the refractive error of the eye and reduce or eliminate the need for corrective lenses. Refractive surgery includes all forms of vision correction surgery such as RK, PRK, LASIK, and LASEK — which involve reshaping the cornea — as well as some types of intraocular lens implants.