LASIK surgery corrects many visual problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. A unique combination of variables can affect the visual outcomes of LASIK surgery. While the vast majority of LASIK procedures are effective, some patients may be good candidates for a LASIK enhancement to refine the result of their procedure. Fewer patients may be a candidate for a LASIK enhancement several years after their initial surgery to correct changes in their vision.
The need for enhancement varies depending on the amount of correction attempted with the first LASIK procedures. Factors affecting visual outcomes include the individual characteristics and health of the cornea, which is the clear front surface of the eye that an eye doctor reshapes during LASIK surgery. The severity of a refractive error, which occurs when the eye focuses light improperly, affects the visual outcome of LASIK. Whether a patient is nearsighted, farsighted, or has astigmatism can play a role. Age, the risk for dry eyes, and individual expectations are also factors.
If necessary, LASIK surgeons typically perform enhancements within three to six months of the first surgery. This allows time for stabilization, as vision can fluctuate for several weeks or months after LASIK.
The LASIK enhancement procedure is similar to the primary LASIK surgery. The eye doctor administers numbing drops into the eyes then lifts the corneal flap created in the first surgery. Next, the eye doctor uses a laser to reshape the underlying cornea and replaces the flap.
Recovery from LASIK enhancement is similar too. You will receive eye drops and other medications to keep you comfortable, reduce your risk of infection, and promote healing. Your vision should improve gradually over the first few days following the procedure.
Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK enhancements. To determine if LASIK enhancement is right for you, your eye doctor will use the same tests and procedures to re-evaluate your corneas used before your first surgery. Your eye doctor will also determine if your cornea is thick enough for a second procedure.
If you want to learn more about LASIK enhancements or LASIK surgery in general, as well as see if you are a candidate, call our team for a LASIK consultation at (309) 243-2400 today or sign up for one of our Free LASIK Seminars.