When to Seek a Second Opinion for Lasik
When to Seek a Second Opinion for LasikLasik Surgery Site
A Lasik procedure IS surgery and with any type of surgery complications are possible. It's normally the best practice to allow the surgeon who performed your surgery to treat any complications. If for any reason, you have lost confidence in your doctor's treatment, or you just feel that there might be a better solution, you should definitely seek a second opinion. There is no reason to feel uncomfortable about asking your doctor for a referral, it's a common practice; optionally, you can select another Lasik specialist for a second opinion and then inform your doctor.
Fewer Complications Today! Lasik surgery has become the most commonly requested of all the elective surgeries. Over six-million people worldwide have received Lasik and an estimated 99% of them have reported no serious complications past the normal healing period. That number used to be a bit higher. In the earlier days of Lasik, up to 5% of people who underwent the procedure reported some type of post-Lasik problem. Three factors have reduced that number to where it is today, two of these are fairly predictable. Over time there were improvements in the equipment used to perform Lasik and Lasik surgeon's have increased their skills as they became more comfortable with the equipment and with the procedure. Lasik surgeons have also increased their skills in one other area, identifying suitable patients for the Lasik procedure.
The best candidates for Lasik. The best candidates for Lasik are young (less than 44-years old) and healthy with common vision problems. Short sightedness (Myopia), the inability to see things at a distance; long sightedness (Hyperopia), problems reading or seeing things up close; and astigmatism, distorted vision caused by an abnormally shaped cornea are all problems that are correctable with Lasik, with very minor, usually short-term complications.
Not everyone is suitable. Not everyone who desires Lasik surgery is a good candidate for Lasik.
You are probably NOT a good candidate for refractive surgery if:
you are not comfortable with the risks of Lasik, as explained by your Lasik surgeon. Certain complications are unavoidable in a percentage of patients.
the possible complications of Lasik will jeopardize your employment. Some employers do not allow their employees to undergo certain refractive surgeries.
the cost of Lasik will be a problem. Lasik is less expensive now than in the past but it is still not inexpensive and most medical insurance will not pay for refractive surgery -- they consider it elective surgery.
you actively participate in contact sports; especially sports where your head might be subject to injury.
you are not an adult. No laser surgery techniques are FDA approved for persons under the age of 18.
your vision changed enough in the last year to require a change in your eyeglass or contact lens prescription. This is called “refractive instability” and it may be caused by: unstable hormone levels, certain illnesses or diseases, or side-effects of medications you are using to treat other medical conditions.
Some of the diseases and conditions that may make you unsuitable for Lasik surgery are:
Herpes simplex or 'shingles' that involve the eye area
Glaucoma or ocular hypertension
eye diseases such as uveitis/iritis (inflammations of the eye)
eye injuries or previous eye surgeries
Blepharitis (an inflammation of the eyelids)
When complications occur. When post-LASIK complications do occur, they can often be resolved with medication, laser re-treatments or enhancements of the eye. Permanent vision loss is a slight possibility as is degradation of vision from its pre-surgery condition.
The normal healing period for Lasik surgery is six months. Most complications should resolve themselves within this six month period but, in the case of a serious or particularly troublesome complication, six months may be (or at least may seem to be) far too long. A second opinion from another qualified Lasik surgeon, no matter how it is obtained, may turn out to be the key for resolving troublesome complications or it may result in an endorsement of your current course of treatment; whatever the result it should provide you with increased peace-of-mind.
There is an organization that has come into existence specifically to address the needs of patients with LASIK complications and to provide doctors with an additional source for information on Lasik complications. The organization is the CRSQA (Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance) and their online information page, ComplicatedEyes.org can be found at: http://www.complicatedeyes.org/
About The Author: Alex Matthews - the newest leader in online information publishing. For more information about this topic or/and other topics, please visit www.MoreDotCom.com
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Know the Risks of Lasik Surgery
Know the Risks of Lasik Surgery
As with all forms of surgery
, Lasik has the potential for side effects. Although these side effects are not considered life threatening, they can affect the overall health of the eye, or eyes, as well as the quality of vision. In addition, complications with Lasik are less likely to occur with a surgeon who is experienced and who has performed the procedure many times.Statistically Speaking
A study that took place in the late 1990’s showed that nearly 5% of people who underwent Lasik
surgery encountered some sort of problem
. Experienced surgeons, however, are currently reporting a complications rate of below 1% if candidates are screened and selected carefully.
complications do occur, most are resolved by re-treating the eye with lasers or by using eye enhancements. Rarely are the complications of Lasik
permanent or significant.Flap Complications
The most common form of complications associated with Lasik
is problems with the flap. The flap is what is created when the clear front covering of the eye, or the cornea, is cut and lifted to assist in the reshaping of the eye. After the reshaping is completed, the flap is replaced and serves as a form of natural bandage.
On rare occasion, this flap is cut through. This most often occurs when a microkeratome is used for this procedure rather than an IntraLase laser. In fact, IntraLase has been shown to increase the accuracy of the procedure and, therefore, reduce the number of flap complications.
If the flap is cut incorrectly, it may not adhere correctly to the surface of the eye. In addition, the flap can be cut too thinly or too thickly. When the flap is put back in position over the eye, it can start to wrinkle. These flap complications can cause the eye surface to be irregularly shaped, thereby creating irregular astigmatism and vision distortions.
Dead cells can also get trapped beneath the flap. This phenomenon
, called Diffuse Lamellar
Keratitis (DLK) or, “Sands of the Sahara,” causes the cornea to react to the presence of this foreign matter, which leads to inflammation and scarring. This can potentially lead to permanent vision loss if not treated promptly with topical steroids and antibiotics. In addition, the flap might need to be lifted and scraped in order to remove the infiltrates and the resulting growth.Irregular Astigmatism
Irregular astigmatism can also result from Lasik surgery. This complication results when the corneal surface. This happens when the laser correction is improperly centered on the eye. The symptoms of this complication include double vision, or diplopia, or ghost images. This can generally be remedied by re-treating the eye or by using enhancements.Irregular healing
of the cornea or swelling after the surgery is complete can also cause ghost images or double vision. In this case, the symptoms are likely to disappear without additional treatment once the healing process is finished.Overcorrection and Undercorrection
A person with severe visual problems
is more likely to encounter a gradual decrease in visual acuity over a period of time after Lasik. This is known as regression.
The healing response of each person receiving Lasik can also determine whether or not overcorrection or undercorrection occurred. Both of these situations can also lead to less than perfect results.
With all of these scenarios a follow-up procedure with Lasik, known as enhancement, can alleviate the problem.Keratectasia
If the flap is cut too deeply or if too much tissue is removed from the cornea during the Lasik procedure, keratectasia can occur. This condition causes the cornea, which has been weakened, to bulge. This can result in distorted vision that is unable to be corrected with laser enhancement. In this case, a rigid contact may be put in place to help hold the cornea in place.Dry Eye and Other Problems
can also occur after Lasik surgery. In addition, infection, inflammation, redness, irritation, and visual distortion can occur. Some patients report seeing glares or halos around objects that are brightly lit at night. The Lasik treatment zone being too small can cause these complications, because it is unable to accommodate the larger size of the pupil while in a lowly lit area.As surgeons become
more and more skilled with performing Lasik eye surgery and technology continues to advance, the likelihood of developing complications from this innovative procedure decreases.
Lasik Eye Surgery in Review
Lasik Eye Surgery in Review
is the acronym used to describe Laser
in Situ Keratomileusis. It is a special type of refractive laser eye surgery
that can only be performed by ophthalmologists. The surgery is intended to help correct poor vision.Development
Dr. Jose Barraquer created a procedure that was the first step toward the development of Lasik
in 1970. At this time, he created a microkeratome
, which was used to change the shape of the cornea
and to cut the thin corneal flaps. This procedure was called keratomileusis.
In 1990, Dr. Lucio Buratto of Italy and Dr. Ioannis Pallikaris of Greece developed Lasik surgery
as it is known today. This was accomplished by combining Dr. Barraquer’s technique with photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK. PRK is a form of laser eye surgery that permanently changes the shape of the anterior central cornea by burning off a small amount of eye
tissue from the corneal stroma. Today, this procedure alone is not preferred because it takes longer for patients to recover from surgery and is more painful than Lasik.
The combination approach, however, was shown to have a lower number of complications and to be more precise in correcting vision. Dr. Stephen Slade and Dr. Stephen Brint first performed the procedure in the United States in 1991. That same year, German doctors Thomas Neuhann and Tobias Nuehann completed the first automated Lasik surgery
Before beginning Lasik surgery
, the surface of the corneas must first be examined using a computer controlled scanning device. This serves to determine the exact shape of the cornea
. Low power lasers are then used to create a topographic map of the surface of the cornea. This allows the surgeon to also determine the degree of astigmatism, if any, as well as other irregularities that might be present in the cornea’s shape.
This information helps the surgeon determine how much corneal tissue needs to be removed, and from where. Generally, the patient is also prescribed antibiotics beforehand. This helps to minimize the risk of developing an infection after the procedure is completed.
In addition, Lasik
patients who wear contact lenses are encouraged to stop wearing the contacts
for days, or even weeks, prior to the surgery. This is because the cornea needs to absorb oxygen in order to fully function. Low-oxygen permeable contact lenses reduce the ability of the cornea to absorb oxygen. This can result in blood vessels growing into the cornea in a process called corneal neovascularization. This condition can cause an increase in the inflammation of the area and lead to a longer healing time. It can also cause additional discomfort during surgery.The Procedure
The patient remains awake and fully functional throughout the entire procedure. Usually, a mild sedative is used, along with anesthetic eye drops. The surgeon will then use lasers to make all of the necessary incisions. As this takes place, the computer system keeps track of the patient’s eye position at a rate of 4,000 times per second. In this way, it can redirect laser pulses to maintain precise placement of the laser.
Using a blade or a femtosecond laser
, the surgeon cuts a flap in the cornea, but leaves a “hinge” on one end. The flap of corneal lining is pulled back to uncover the stroma, which is the middle portion of the cornea. Using an excimer laser, the surgeon reconfigures the corneal stroma by effectively vaporizing tissue. This procedure does not, however, damage the adjacent stroma.Post Surgery
Lasik surgery does have potential complications, though these are fairly uncommon. Some potential complications include: dry eyes, halos or starbursts around light sources, over or under correction, sensitivity to light, double vision, wrinkles in the “flap,” debris under the “flap,” induced astigmatism, and epithelium erosion.
Many of the potential complications occur as a result of the flap detaching from the rest of the cornea. For this reason, most doctors recommend going home to sleep after the surgery
, as this will decrease the likelihood that it will become detached completely. In addition, it is possible to develop an infection under the corneal flap.Lasik eye surgery
is an innovative procedure that utilizes cutting edge technology. But, care should be taken to learn all of the potential risks, both short term and long term, associated with the procedure before having it done.
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