Considering LASIK? Advice for Patients

By Elisabeth Leamy, Correspondent, The Dr. Oz Show

Posted on | By Elisabeth Leamy

If you decide to go forward with LASIK eye surgery, be an educated patient. After all, you only have one set of eyes and they are one of your precious five senses! Here's advice on how to proceed with caution.

Read more about The Dr. Oz Show's investigation about the potential risks of LASIK surgery here.

1. Assess the risks versus benefits. Critics say the LASIK complication rate is about 20%, if you include complications like dry eye pain and night vision difficulty. Supporters say 95% of LASIK patients are satisfied, which means 5% are not. The truth may lie somewhere in between. Since LASIK is an entirely elective procedure, decide whether that range of potential risk is acceptable to you. It is not possible to know whether you will be among the patients who are thrilled with their LASIK results or one of those who has long-term difficulties.

2. Consider doing one eye at a time. Because it is impossible to know for sure whether you will have a good LASIK result, one option is to have LASIK performed on only one eye at a time. That way, if you have a bad result, at least you are still left with one good eye. During the time period when each eye has a different prescription, you simply wear a contact lens in one eye or use glasses that have just one corrective lens. Even the FDA endorses this precaution, saying, "Although the convenience of having surgery on both eyes on the same day is attractive, this practice is riskier than having two separate surgeries... If both eyes are treated at the same time... you and your doctor do not have the advantage of being able to see how the first eye responds to surgery before the second eye is treated."

Article written by Elisabeth Leamy
Dr. Oz Show correspondent