Lasik Q & A

When One LASIK Surgery Isn’t Enough

LASIK surgery offers potential patients a high success rate and low risk of complications, but no procedure can promise perfection every time. Having a properly trained surgeon helps, and so does screening for ideal patients. The patients can help by educating themselves, disclosing all pertinent medical information, and caring for their eyes properly during the recovery period. Still, a small risk remains. The most common complications resulting from LASIK surgery are over and under correction, and near and farsightedness. An additional surgery, often called an enhancement surgery, may be necessary to correct these additional defects.

If it is determined that you would benefit from an enhancement surgery, they are usually scheduled for approximately three months from the original surgery. This allows your eyes to heal fully and reduces the risk of inflammation or infection. This also ensures that the visual disturbances are not temporary side effects. It is normal to experience a huge improvement in vision within 24 hours of the surgery and then smaller less noticeable improvements until your full potential is reached. Give your eyes time to heal, adjust, and reach that full potential before considering a second surgery. If you are still dissatisfied with your results, discuss it with your original surgeon. Not everyone will come out of LASIK with 20/20 vision, and some aberrations have lower success rates than others. If you see well without contacts or glasses, it is unlikely that your vision can be improved any more significantly. Furthermore, not everyone is eligible for enhancement surgery.

The word enhancement may be confusing to some patients that associate it with certain other cosmetic surgeries. You will not have abilities beyond that of a normal eye, but you will be enhancing your vision to the best of the procedure’s ability. For some patients, even a second surgery will not result in 20/20 vision, and enhancement surgeries have the same risks as the initial LASIK surgery, so if your vision has improved significantly, it might be wise to count your blessings and avoid additional cost, risk, and stress. Your surgeon should be available to help you assess the potential benefits and risks of a second surgery, but ultimately the choice is yours.

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