LASIK Complicates Future Cataract Surgery

Clouding of the natural lens inside the eye (cataract formation) is part of the natural aging process. Extraction of the clouded natural lens followed by intraocular lens (IOL) implantation is commonly performed in older individuals. In preparation for cataract surgery, the surgeon measures the corneal surface to calculate the power of the IOL. Changes to the cornea after LASIK cause inaccurate measurement of IOL power, which may result in a poor visual outcome after cataract surgery. LASIK patients who develop cataracts should discuss this issue with their cataract surgeon and also seek a second opinion.

The role of laser refractive surgery in acceleration of cataract formation is controversial. Topical steroids routinely prescribed after LASIK may hasten the onset of cataracts.