Bilateral LASIK

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)

Most LASIK surgeons prefer to perform LASIK on both eyes simultaneously because of the financial benefits to themselves. In a survey of members of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), 91% of LASIK surgeons who responded did not offer patients the option of having surgery on one eye at a time. (2)

“I consider it particularly appropriate that simultaneous bilateral laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is subjected to serious questioning. One can only marvel at the naive trust by patients in modern medicine and in their surgeons and the similarly naive convictions of surgeons that simultaneous bilateral LASIK is what the patients need… It is not purely a safety issue; simultaneous bilateral surgery violates the principles of informed consent. Nobody can deny that experience with the first eye will render the patient better informed for consenting to the procedure being performed on the second eye.” (3)
– Klaus D. Teichmann, MD

References

    1. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/SurgeryandLifeSupport/LASIK/ucm061354.htm
    1. Leaming DV. Practice styles and preferences of ASCRS members – 2003 survey. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2004 Apr; 30(4):892-900.
    1. J Cataract Refract Surg, Volume 26, Number 10 Vol. 26, October 2000.