When LASIK is “Iffy”
Submitted by Dr. Dean Dornic on Sun 09/18/2011 - 11:51
Some patients are great candidates for LASIK: they have an eyeglass prescription associated with a high success rate, they have no contradictory conditions and they have reasonable expectations. Other patients may not be a candidate for vision correction surgery and another, third group of candidates may be described as “iffy”. We’ve seen a number of these patients over the years. Many are seeking a second opinion or may have some misconceptions about LASIK eye surgery and need to be educated on why they are not ideal candidates.
The unfortunate truth is that LASIK cannot correct every vision malady. There are some prescriptions that cannot corrected with final good optical quality and there are some eyes for whom LASIK is not suitable and can even be dangerous. Most reputable LASIK providers will not offer surgery to patients when it is clearly contraindicated. Of course, there are various shades of gray. Some eyes may have a reasonable chance of having good results from LASIK but may not be ideal. Now suppose you are a “LASIK-only” provider dependent on high volume in order to be financially viable. Chances are you will be tempted to offer LASIK to a patient with less than perfect credentials under the assumption that the odds are in your favor.
But what if you were the patient? Wouldn’t you want to know that you were a less than ideal LASIK candidate and be interested in hearing about other procedures offering a safer side-effect profile and higher success rate? Today there are numerous options, besides LASIK, that are available to reduce dependence on glasses. Some of these options include PRK, OmniLase, Implantable Contact Lenses, and Refractive Lens Exchange. To insure you are offered all available vision correction options, our advice is to seek the opinion of a surgeon offering various procedures. Listen carefully to the risks and side effects of each option. If LASIK is “iffy” you might just want to cross it off your list and choose a procedure more suitable to you and your particular vision problem.