Statistics for Lasik Surgery Patients. The Lasik operation can be a wonderful, life-changing option for many people whose vision is less than perfect. There are several different types of Lasik operations now available, from the original and well documented procedure to Lasik procedures done with three dimensional wavefronts, or done entirely with lasers. Each of these variations of the Lasik procedure should be discussed with the physician that is to perform the operation.
Like any surgery, Lasik does have the potential for side effects.
Sometimes reading the horror stories of the outcomes of a Lasik procedure can deter people from seriously considering such a choice. It is also true that the vast numbers of people who have a successful, trouble-free Lasik surgery tend not to report a long and detailed story of their experience, unlike those that have experienced trouble afterward.
However, it is good to know what the possible side effects of the Lasik procedure are, and also the likelihood that one of these side effects will occur for a particular patient. Just like any medicine we take, each has a possible number of side effects, but we generally assume that the likelihood of a serious side effect is small, and we take the medicine anyway. This article will hopefully put concerns of the prospective Lasik patient into perspective so that they can calmly and thoughtfully ponder having a Lasik procedure done in the future.
More than one million Lasik procedures are done in the US every year, according to the FDA. This arm of the national government has accumulated the following statistics for the most common side effects of the Lasik procedure. These statistics will also vary by the physician performing the surgery, so make sure to get as much information on the prospective Lasik physician as possible.
After Lasik surgery, 1.7 percent of patients experience some glare or sensitivity to light after the operation. This varies by patient, but this sensitivity is especially noticeable when looking at a bright light, such as a streetlight when walking at night, or other strong light and dark contrast. Another light related side effect is a halo around a light, and this occurs in 3.5 percent of Lasik patients.
The new, corrected vision can be noticed quickly by some Lasik patients, in as little as a few hours after surgery. Most patients that have undergone the Lasik procedure find the change is permanent within a few days. In 2.6 percent of clients that have had a Lasik procedure done, there is persistent visual fluctuation within at least a part of their sphere of vision.
Finally, some patients do not get a fully corrected sphere of vision after their Lasik procedure. This happens with a small number of clients, and the FDA statistics are that only 3 percent of patients have this effect. In all or nearly all cases, the physician in charge will perform an additional Lasik procedure to improve this.
This detailing of the major permanent side effects of the Lasik procedure should put any personal horror stories into perspective. Notice that none of the percentages are above 3 percent, and this should bring comfort to most prospective Lasik clients. However, it should also motivate them to look carefully at the Lasik physician’s personal record.