Thursday, October 20, 2011

How Safe Is LASIK Surgery?

“For anyone thinking about Laser Eye Surgery for vision correction such as LASIK it is worthwhile to know about the safety of these Laser Vision Correction procedures," said Corneal and LASIK Surgeon Ravi Shah, MD at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine. LASIK has a solid overall track record of safety but the safety of LASIK depends on a number of factors. “By far the most important factors that can affect LASIK safety are the laser and instrumentation to be used to perform the treatment and even more so, the skill and experience of the LASIK Surgeon,” commented Dr. Shah.


Laser Eye Surgery for the Laser Vision Correction of nearsightedness was first performed in the United States upon Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the Excimer Laser on October 20, 1995. The Excimer Laser was specifically FDA approved for LASIK in 1998. “So as of 2011, Laser Eye Surgery for Laser Vision Correction has been performed for just over 15 years and the LASIK procedure has been performed under FDA approval for just over 11 years,” said Dr. Shah.

Properly selected patients with realistic expectations who are nearsighted generally achieve 20/40 vision more than 98 percent of the time and uncorrected vision of 20/20 or 20/25 90 percent of the time. Vision loss to a level less than 20/40 is quite rare after LASIK , occurring in about only 3 per 1,000 cases and serious complications such as infection or corneal damage occur even more infrequently, in fewer than 1 in 1,000 cases. There is more to safety than simply the laser device itself.

Safety is the Hands of the LASIK Surgeon

FDA approval does not guarantee that a LASIK Surgeon is going to provide a thorough evaluation and consultation, nor does not indicate that LASIK Surgeons will provide a complete review of the possible risks and complications of LASIK or imply that a LASIK Surgeon will use the appropriate screening and decision criteria to be sure that a patient is in fact a good candidate for LASIK or any Laser Eye Surgery for that matter.

With regard to LASIK safety choosing a LASIK Surgeon is the most important decision a patient makes in deciding to have LASIK Surgery. This choice is a meaningful factor in making LASIK a safe and effective procedure. You should not choose a LASIK Surgeon based on slick advertising or low price. You should choose a LASIK Surgeon based on reputation in the community, the length of time they have been performing LASIK and the comfort and rapport established during your consultation. While the equipment used may provide a slight advantage or disadvantage in safety, it is ALWAYS the skill and experience of the surgeon that contributes the most to the overall safety of Laser Eye Surgery for the correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

The best way for you or someone you know to find out if they are a good candidate for All Laser Bladeless LASIK is to have an evaluation, examination and consultation at Eyecare Medical Group. Please feel free to schedule an appointment by calling us Toll Free at 888.374.2020.