At Houston LASIK & Eye, eye doctors are upfront about what patients can expect from LASIK. They explain that the procedure has a high success rate, but some will need to have more than one procedure. The award-winning, Houston-based clinic says that some patients may require enhancement or touch up surgery to achieve their desired level of vision.
Who is at risk for a secondary procedure?
At a Ninth Ocular Surgery News Symposium in 2001, Dr. Stephen S. Lane named patient dissatisfaction as the most common reason why a patient may seek retreatment. However, the number of dissatisfied patients is very small. Based on the study conducted by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in 2008, that’s only about 5% of the total number of patients who undergo laser eye treatment every year.
Presence of primary procedure-related complications is another top reason for seeking a secondary procedure.
Do I need an additional laser eye surgery?
The goal of LASIK is to make you see acceptably well without wearing eyeglasses or corrective lenses. However, results vary from person to person. Visual outcomes are determined by a number of factors, including:
- The health or strength, shape, thickness, and stability of your corneas: Your eye surgeon will perform a thorough eye screening to determine if you’re a good candidate.
- The type of refractive error that you personally have: Laser eye surgery can address nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. A clinical study conducted by Dr. Peter S. Hersh and his team shows that patients with residual astigmatism and high refractive errors are at a higher risk for a secondary surgery. The study was published in April 2000 issue of Ophthalmology.
- Age of patient: In the same study, Hersh and his team saw that patients older than 40 years had a 14% retreatment rate in one year. In comparison, patients aged 18 to 40 had a retreatment rate of 5% to 9%.
- Dry eyes: During laser eye correction, the cornea is reshaped to improve vision. However, the process of creating a corneal flap and removal of corneal tissue may also affect the tear film. As such, many patients report experiencing dry eyes post-surgery. To treat dry eyes, your eye doctor may prescribe medical eye drops or bio supplements. Dry eyes can cause your vision to regress to the original prescription so it’s highly important to work with your surgeon to correct Houston LASIK & Eye explains that some patients may require enhancement or touch up surgery to achieve their desired level of vision after LASIK.
I’m not satisfied with my new vision. Can I have an enhancement?
Many patients experience better vision the day after their surgery. However, it’s not unusual to experience fluctuations. It takes two to three months before postoperative vision to stabilize. During this period, your eye doctor will monitor your progress. If you continue to have vision-related problems after three months, you may need a retreatment. Your doctor will conduct a thorough evaluation again. Among the things to check is corneal thickness. It should be thick enough to retain strength and structural integrity after a second procedure.