Are there risks involved with laser eye surgery?

Posted: Dec 16 2018

Are there risks involved with laser eye surgery?

Laser eye surgery is a very successful procedure, with very low risk that you will experience any serious complications. At OCL, only 1% of patients need any additional treatment.

The benefits of laser eye surgery are amazing, but are there any risks involved? If you’re considering laser vision correction, it’s important to understand the potential risks so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment. That said, it’s extremely unlikely that you will experience any serious complications.

What the statistics say

If you’re worried about risks or side effects, it can help to take a look at the facts and figures around laser eye surgery risks. Here are some statistics to consider:

  • More than 95% of patients are happy with the results of their laser eye surgery, according to the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
  • Less than 1% of laser eye surgery patients under the care of one of our surgeons have needed an additional procedure to fine tune their vision. This can happen when the initial surgery doesn’t quite perfect a patient’s eyesight. (Worldwide, the figure is 8%.)
  • Fewer than 1 in 5,000 patients experience more serious problems that require a corneal transplant procedure. The likelihood of this happening to you is lower than 0.0002% – and the corneal transplant can usually restore a good level of vision.
  • In comparison, 1 in 3,000 contact lens wearers will experience a serious corneal infection resulting from contact lens use.

The figures show that while laser eye surgery does come with risks, they may be smaller than the risk of carrying on with contacts. If LASIK goes wrong, the problems can almost always be fixed with further treatment.

You may find it useful to read the laser eye surgery patient leaflet from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, which explains the facts about laser vision correction – and how the risks compare with contact lens use.

Possible complications

The most common LASIK side effects are minor and temporary, occurring during the first few days and weeks after surgery.

You may experience dry eyes, which can be treated using artificial tears.
Your vision may take a while to settle down, and you may experience blurriness, halos and other visual issues in the recovery period after surgery. You will have regular check-ups during this time, to make sure your recovery is on track.

There’s a raised risk of eye infection after surgery. This can be treated with antibiotic eye drops.
If you still have any concerns about laser eye surgery going wrong, it’s important to discuss these with your surgeon, so that you can make the right decision about your treatment.

Reduce your risk of LASIK complications

It’s natural to think about what will happen if laser eye surgery goes wrong, but you can keep the risk to a minimum by choosing a trusted surgeon with a track record of good results. By following your surgeon’s advice and taking care of your eyes after the procedure, you stand an excellent chance of a happy outcome.

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