Lack of Rehabilitation Options for LASIK Complications

In the marketing of LASIK, surgeons often seem as if they are selling used cars instead of surgery. If only LASIK patients with bad outcomes could simply buy new parts for their eyes, or trade-in their poorly performing eyes for new ones. When weighing risks and benefits of LASIK, consider that rehabiliation options for most complications of LASIK are limited.

LASIK-induced dry eye may be treated with a variety of regimens such as warm compresses, artificial tears, punctal occlusion, and prescription eye drops. These therapies treat the symptoms but don't cure the underlying problem. Glasses or soft contact lenses cannot correct loss of visual quality and optical aberrations after LASIK. Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses may be a patient's only option for visual rehabiliation, but may not be tolerated due to LASIK-induced dry eye. In extreme cases of vision loss after LASIK, a corneal transplant may be required.

Glasses and contact lenses are portrayed in LASIK ads as burdensome and life-limiting. But the inconvenience of these safe, effective methods of vision correction are inconsequential compared to potentially permanent, debilitating LASIK complications.