Universal Effects of LASIK Surgery
Success of LASIK is measured by the Snellen eye chart without regard for 'side-effects' or long-term consequences. The long-term consequences of LASIK were not well known when LASIK first received FDA-approval. Today, literally thousands of medical studies about LASIK appear in the body of scientific literature, many of which reveal universal adverse effects of LASIK surgery. Medical studies which employ microscopic examination of post-LASIK corneas find decreased keratocyte density and a spectrum of structural and functional changes in 100% of eyes. The flap never completely adheres to the underlying corneal bed and may be accidentally dislodged indefinitely. LASIK separates the stronger anterior cornea and removes corneal tissue, leaving only the weaker posterior cornea to support the intraocular pressure (IOP) of the eye. This may result in progressive forward bulging of the cornea (ectasia) requiring corneal transplantation even years after otherwise successful LASIK.
Corneal nerves which signal the tear glands to produce tears are damaged during LASIK and may never return to normal densities and patterns. Patients may suffer chronic dry eye after LASIK.
The altered corneal surface after LASIK causes complications for future cataract surgery, often resulting in poor vision or repeat surgeries. Structural changes to the cornea after LASIK result in inaccurate measurement of IOP, exposing patients to the risk of vision loss from undiagnosed glaucoma.
Loss of visual quality (increase in higher order aberrations) is an expected outcome of LASIK, even with the latest technology. LASIK for myopia increases the need for reading glasses after the age of 40 by changing the eye's focus from near to far.