LASIK is an elective operation, reserved for patients who want to reduce or eliminate a dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses. Unlike obvious cosmetic procedures, such as a face lift or breast augmentation, LASIK is not cosmetic, since it improves the function of the eye. In its purest and most successful form, LASIK can be life changing. It can quickly transform a patient who searches for the soap if it drops in the shower, or searches to see in the mirror when getting a haircut, into someone who can drive a car unaided by glasses or contacts for the first time in his or her life.
This scenario is repeated thousands of times every day around the world, making LASIK one of the most popular elective procedures performed on the human body in the world. So how can so many doctors say that LASIK is safe and effective when The Dr. Oz Show talks about unhappy patients?
That is because you can’t argue with science, and science shows that serious LASIK complications are rare. Study after study conducted in the decades since LASIK was first approved by the FDA have shown that the vast majority of patients — as high as 95% — are satisfied with the results of their LASIK procedure. Millions of people around the world have experienced the dramatic improvement in vision that LASIK can offer. These include soldiers, astronauts, pilots and others whose jobs depend on good vision. LASIK is not a cosmetic procedure; it is a procedure that patients can choose to alleviate a vision disability.
Continuous improvements in laser technology and surgical techniques have made LASIK safer and more effective year after year, and there are now new and better treatment options for many of the non-permanent side effects. Patients today need only to look to recent data to help decide if LASIK is right for them.