LASIK eye surgery is one of the only ways to permanently correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It’s an incredible medical development that our ancestors would have probably regarded with as much amazement as a flying car. However, some people are very apprehensive about the procedure. In today’s blog post, our Raleigh LASIK surgeon will discuss some of the risks of eye surgery, and how concerned potential candidates should be.
LASIK Eye Surgery Success Rates
It may surprise you to learn that LASIK has a remarkably high success rate. As of 2019, over 96% of LASIK patients successfully achieved 20/20 vision or better, according to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. When one compares that with other common surgeries, such as appendectomies (with an 88% success rate) and stomach ulcer removals (with a 75% success rate), it’s easy to see that LASIK is actually a very safe procedure.
Understanding “Unsuccessful” LASIK Surgeries
It is important to understand that an “unsuccessful” LASIK procedure, in most cases, means that the patient’s vision has not been restored to the desired level. The patient may require an enhancement or “touch-up” procedure; or they may have to continue to wear glasses or contacts. “Unsuccessful” is not a code word meaning that the patient was blinded or injured. It usually means that the patient will require re-treatment or symptom management.
Can I Go Blind From LASIK?
This topic is subject to some debate, and it is difficult to find a consensus. Some optometrists insist that no cases of blindness have ever occurred from LASIK, while other publications such as Consumer Reports state that 1% of surgeries result in total vision loss. However, there is very little disagreement over the fact that LASIK-caused blindness is extremely rare. If we accept the opinion that 1% of surgeries cause blindness, and consider that more than 700,000 LASIK procedures are performed each year, it’s easy to see how low the odds are.
Here’s another way of looking at it: If you currently wear contact lenses, you are actually at much higher risk to be blinded from a corneal ulcer or eye infection than from laser eye surgery. However, most contact lens wearers rarely consider their contact usage as risky or dangerous. Laser eye surgery is just the same way. Yes, things can go wrong, but it is extremely rare that they do. To most ophthalmologists and eye surgeons, LASIK is no more dangerous than contact lenses.
Consider LASIK in Raleigh NC? Call our Raleigh Eye Doctor
All surgeries come with risks. However, you can significantly reduce these risks and increasing your chances of achieving the best possible results by choosing a skilled, experienced LASIK eye surgeon in Raleigh. Our optometrists will carefully determine if you are a good candidate for vision correction surgery, and inform you of all the risks, side effects, and other factors you should take into consideration. To request an appointment, click here.