Saved From LASIK

Posted on forum 8/12/2011

My current situation can also be summed up by the title of this topic [THANK YOU--because of this website I decided NOT to do LASIK]. I had recently got the point of my life where I decided that I could do better than glasses and seriously considered having LASIK, having heard only of the positive benefits of it up to that point. I made the appointments and had the two assessments, the first with the laser technician and the second with the surgeon. All the tests were performed including the Wavefront mapping and vision test and was told because of my low myopia, small pupil size and thick cornea I would be an excellent candidate for the procedure. So I made the appointment for the surgery in two weeks time and was given the information sheet to take home to read and sign before the date of surgery.

Part of the information sheet was the section on "possible risks". It went through all the usual glare, dry-eyes and infection/inflammation risks, saying that in most cases these are only temporary and can be minimised by using eye drops. The last part really got my attention though, which mentioned the "very rare" complication of keratectasia. This had me worried as it also said that its treatment could require a corneal transplant. As this was definitely not just a temporary side-effect, I googled the term to find out more about it. What I found really opened my eyes to the very real risks of LASIK surgery.

From there, I learned more and more about the procedure and all of its negative side-effects, the things that the flashy brochure I was given neglected to mention. The fact that the corneal flap never completely heals and is left at only a fraction of its original integrity. The fact that permanent post-LASIK dry eyes for some people is a debilitating condition. And also, the very real possibility of permanently compromising my night vision. As I need to drive home from work at night, this was very concerning. Also through sites like this one, I found out that my near vision could be damaged as well, something that the surgeon never really mentioned apart from saying that I would still require reading glasses from age 45 or so "as normal". As I rely on my uncorrected near vision for a lot of my hobbies, I decided that all the risks just didn't justify the supposed benefits of LASIK and I called to cancel it and carry on life with my trusty old glasses.

I now know that even having the most experienced surgeon and the clinic with the most modern laser, it just isn't worth the risk of future costly eye-related problems to have LASIK performed at all, and I will also be recommending to any friends or colleagues I know who are considering it to avoid it. I'm actually ashamed with myself now for even considering it as I'm usually very careful to do my research before considering ANYTHING. To all those that are now suffering from and regretting having laser correction surgery, you have my sincerest sympathies and I look forward to the day when it is finally banned, or at least much stricter regulations put in place that inform patients about EVERYTHING that could go wrong in unambiguous terms. Hopefully then, no sane person would choose to have it done to them.