By Jill Brennan
Considering LASIK eye surgery? The LASIK Vision Institute claims that they have done over half a million procedures to date, and almost everyone knows someone who has had the laser eye surgery. The surgery can especially help if you have astigmatism and cannot wear contacts, or have to have custom eyeglasses. However, being optimistic about the results does not make the possible complications disappear. As with any surgery–especially new surgeries with no long-term data–there are complications.
Reliable Information Source
LASIK eye surgery has helped hundreds of thousands of people, but what the doctors gloss over are the percentage of patients who experience complications. Patients may lose ability to see in low-contrast situations (such as at night or in the fog), may be over- or under-treated, may develop dry eye syndrome, the results may diminish over time, and a small percentage of patients lose partial or full vision. Because this is a new technology (the first laser eye surgery procedure was approved in 1998), the long term effectiveness of LASIK is not known, and many doctors do not have adequate training in the machinery.
Before making the decision to go through a LASIK eye surgery, you should research and understand the problems that can occur and the procedure. There are many ways to do this, including going on-line or calling your doctor. Records of bad LASIK eye surgery and studies of surgical vision correction are easily available and may help you to make the decision.
While you may find a lot of anecdotal evidence on-line, Internet research may not give you accurate information. Make sure you know who is posting the information (if you go to a LASIK website, you’ll probably have to search very hard for the complications).
Consulting a doctor may also be useful, but also be aware that some doctors are interested only in the money they receive. If you want more reliable, more unbiased, sources speak with relatives and friends that have undergone a LASIK eye surgery. People you know will be happy to share with you both the problems and the successes.
What Can Go Wrong?
The consequences of a bad LASIK eye surgery can be very serious, devastating, and difficult to live with. One of the most serious consequences is the complete loss of eye sight. One wrong move made by the doctor and or faulty equipment can leave you with worse vision than when you arrived at the doctor’s office. Also, infection or other post-operative complications can lead to loss of eye sight.
One of the most important phrases in our consumer culture is ‘Let the Buyer beware!’. No where is this more important than in medical procedures. Informing yourself, reliable sources such as health organization, family, friends, and doctors, about the safety of the procedure before making the decision is a smart idea.
Even if LASIK eye surgery is widely used, and–if successful–can be beneficial, there is no guarantee you will not have a bad LASIK eye surgery, and the effects can be devastating and life-long.
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