What are Common Eye Laser Surgery Risks?

Thomma Grindstaff
Thomma Grindstaff
Under-correction of vision is a common eye laser surgery risk.
Under-correction of vision is a common eye laser surgery risk.

Like any surgical procedure, eye laser surgery carries with it certain risks. Common eye laser surgery risks include over-correction and under-correction of vision. In some patients, results of eye surgery only last on a temporary basis. Other risks include dry eyes and anomalous visual effects. At worst, laser eye surgery can pose the risk of loss of vision.

Any kind of eye surgery comes with a certain amount of risk for complications.
Any kind of eye surgery comes with a certain amount of risk for complications.

After a single laser eye surgery, patients sometimes experience either over-correction or under-correction of vision. These problems can usually be fixed by a subsequent surgery. When the results of laser eye surgery need refinement, the second procedure is called enhancement surgery. A subsequent surgery can't be performed until the eyes have completely healed and the patient's vision has stabilized from the first surgery, a process that can take up to six months.

Unwanted visual effects are a common risk of laser eye surgery.
Unwanted visual effects are a common risk of laser eye surgery.

The results of laser surgery aren't always permanent. After having surgery, the vision of some patients slowly reverts back, often over the course of many years, to its pre-surgical state. At that point, these patients might elect to have the eye surgery performed again. Patients at the greatest risk for this situation are those who are farsighted.

Eye laser surgery risks can include unwanted visual effects. Some patients experience sensitivity to light or glare after eye surgery, while others suffer from differences in how each eye refracts light, or differences in how each eye perceives the sizes of objects. Other patients develop double vision and a tendency to see halos surrounding light. If these visual effects occur, they often persist to some degree and never wholly subside.

Surgery risks include over-correction and under-correction of vision.
Surgery risks include over-correction and under-correction of vision.

One of the most common eye laser surgery risks is dry eyes. In many instances, the symptoms go away relatively soon, but in some patients, the symptoms get worse. Such patients suffer from eye redness, burning, itching and chronic eye pain. For relief, they can use eye medicine that helps stimulate the production of tears. Severe cases might require the insertion of a plug made of collagen into the area where the eyes drain so that they can retain adequate moisture.

Some patients suffer from post-operative problems with corneal flaps. These eye laser surgery risks can include deterioration of the flap or misalignment of the flap. Sometimes patients who suffer from mild misalignment of the corneal flap can resolve the issue by getting plenty of sleep to let the flap heal. Flap deterioration and flap misalignment, however, can both require further surgery to correct.

The worst of the eye laser surgery risks is loss of vision. If a patient loses vision following eye surgery, the complication is usually related to something that went wrong during the operation, such as mishaps with surgical equipment or accidental alteration of the shape of the cornea. Other eye laser surgery risks that can cause loss of vision include scarring and infection.

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    • Under-correction of vision is a common eye laser surgery risk.
      By: mehmetcanturkei
      Under-correction of vision is a common eye laser surgery risk.
    • Any kind of eye surgery comes with a certain amount of risk for complications.
      By: blueringmedia
      Any kind of eye surgery comes with a certain amount of risk for complications.
    • Unwanted visual effects are a common risk of laser eye surgery.
      By: Monkey Business
      Unwanted visual effects are a common risk of laser eye surgery.
    • Surgery risks include over-correction and under-correction of vision.
      By: astoria
      Surgery risks include over-correction and under-correction of vision.