Surgery almost always comes bundled with risks. This is true with any forms of surgery. Understanding these risks, including the factors affecting them and how to reduce them, could help a prospective patient deal with, decide about and prepare for the procedure better.
How to Reduce Risks
The use of top-of-the-line surgical equipment and cutting-edge features coupled with the service of a skilled and experienced surgeon almost guarantees a very successful operation. However, in the field of medicine, the result would be also dependent on how the patient prepares for the procedure and how he takes care of himself after the procedure.
The patient plays a very vital role in the success of the operation. The task of minimizing the risks starts with the preparation before the operation and continues even after the eye fully recovers.
Although there are known risks associated with LASIK surgery, it can be significantly minimized with proper preoperative consultation and appropriate postoperative care. Understanding the risks and how to eliminate them could absolutely help make the patient feel better and be more confident about the operation. Hence, it is essential to take time to read through the guidelines.
Red Eyes, Irritation and Discomfort
Some common side effects experienced by nearly everyone who has undergone LASIK surgery are irritation, redness of the eye and mild discomfort. It is also common to experience sensitivity to bright light. These things tend to appear almost immediately after the procedure, but are oftentimes temporary. Such complications typically disappear after a few days or weeks as the eye slowly recovers.
To help speed up the recovery process, patients could use prescribed medicines along with proper care of the eyes. Moreover, a prospective LASIK surgery patient needs to undergo thorough check up with the ophthalmologist to ensure that the eye is at its best condition prior to the operation, which is critical to help it recover faster.
To optimize the eye’s health, people who have been wearing contact lenses for a few months or years have to use special gas-permeable lenses. Better yet, they should stop using contact lenses altogether weeks or months before the scheduled operation. This is because the use of artificial lenses could affect the natural membranes of the eye, which is generally responsible for the eye’s nourishment. If this membrane is not in good condition, then recovery could take longer time.
Complications of the Flap
Compared to other laser eye surgeries, LASIK keeps the epithelial membrane that covers the cornea. Since this membrane provides natural nutrients for the eye, keeping it promotes faster recovery.
However, creating and replacing the corneal flap has possible complications, too. For instance, a misplaced corneal flap could cause aberrations. This could be a permanent condition and might require total removal of the membrane in order to address the problem.
Luckily, the years of enhancing the procedure found a way to attend to this concern. The help of technologically-advanced, computer-aided surgical equipment minimizes the risk of incorrectly placing the flap. The surgeon’s experience also lessens the risks. As for the patient, he needs to make sure that the flap is not touched, moved or displaced while it heals. The use of protective eye shield or goggles would help avoid the possibility of touching the flap whether intentional or not.
While recovering, the eye is very susceptible to infections. Some surgeons would require patients to take antibiotics after the procedure to help lower the risk of infection. The use of eye drop solutions is another effective supplement.
Patients also need to make sure that his environment is sanitary. Dusts and dirt can hamper the eye’s recovery. At the same time, the gears used on or around the eye including bandages or eye wears should be sterilized. The eye should not be touch directly or by bare hands.
Over-correction and Under-correction
The surgical procedure entails reshaping the cornea through the use of laser technology so as to fix vision problems. Inappropriately shaped cornea could result to either over-correction or under-correction.
These cases are less common but human error could lead to incorrect shaping of the cornea. Experience and training of the surgeon helps minimize these mistakes so it is best to choose the ophthalmologist that you can truly rely on.
The use of computer-aided equipment also helps in identifying the ideal shape of the cornea. Some equipment could map the cornea in fine details so that the surgeon could correctly plan and re-shape it. These pre-operative preparations require the patient’s cooperation as it may take several sessions to ensure that the eye condition has been correctly diagnosed.
Over- and under-correction can be corrected with a follow-up procedure depending on the status of the cornea. In certain instances when the cornea is too thin to be reshaped, follow up surgery might not be an option. Instead, the patient will be advised to use contact lenses.
Other Factors Affecting the Risks
People with special medical conditions and those with advanced age or are pregnant are especially susceptible to risks. To assess an individual’s condition and determine the risks that could come with it, patients are advised to see an ophthalmologist to discuss the matter with.
While LASIK surgery comes with risks, it does not have to be something the patient has to be very worried of. With the help of technological advancement and with accurate examination, some of these risks could be fully eliminated.
However, it is still best for the patient to prepare for the operation as well as take care of his or her eyes after the procedure to get the best result.
Finally, always get the expert service that you can trust when choosing your surgeon. Remember that no matter how good or advanced the equipment is, it could only be as good as its user. Professional assistance is the key for patients to understand what to do and what not to before and after the surgery. You need to get the services only from an expert with good reputation if you want optimal success of the operation.