Common side effects of laser eye surgery

Laser eye surgery is one of the most commonly performed elective surgical procedures in the world. With thousands of treatments taking place all around the world each year, the complication rate of surgery is lower than 4%.
Here at Optegra, we do everything we can to keep the risks of laser eye surgery to an absolute minimum. With our team of more than 150 of the world’s best ophthalmic qualified surgeons, you’re in the best possible hands.
In some cases, you may find that you have side effects after your laser eye treatment, but this is usually just temporary. Common side effects of laser eye surgery are as follows:


Vision not as expected

This is not technically a side effect in all cases, as it often has more to do with the patient’s expectations. Every individual responds differently to laser eye surgery, healing at different rates and producing varied results. Some patients find that even after surgery and once their eyes have healed, they still require glasses to carry out some tasks like reading and driving.
This is because, while surgery will improve the performance of the eye, factors such as age do occasionally have a limiting factor on the results. Our surgeons are very careful to make sure that all patients understand this before opting for surgery. While laser eye treatments do have remarkable effects on vision, the aim is often to reduce the dependence on glasses rather than remove it completely.
If you’re not happy with the results of your surgery, sometimes it’s possible to have a top-up treatment to improve your vision further. However, this is done on a case-by-case basis and is something you can discuss with your doctor in the aftercare period.
It is important to remember that the overwhelming majority of patients are extremely happy with the results and go on to enjoy the multiple benefits of better eyesight.


Flap complications

During a LASIK procedure, the surgeon creates a small flap in the cornea, before reshaping the cornea with an Excimer laser to correct the patient’s vision. In a tiny minority of cases, there are complications with this flap and the way it heals. After treatment, water in the eyes, rubbing or a sudden jolt can cause an interruption in the healing process or can cause the flap to dislodge.
Using modern laser eye surgery techniques, the likelihood of flap complications is very small, and in the unlikely event of complications, Optegra’s state of the art technology allows for a quick and satisfactory resolution. We also offer procedures which are much less likely to result in these types of complications, including LASEK and ReLEx SMILE surgery.


Dry eyes

In the period after surgery, you may experience dry eyes, which can cause some irritation. The temptation is to try and rub or scratch your eyes, which may cause an interruption to the healing process. That’s why your Optegra surgeon will prescribe you eye drops to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. After a few weeks, you should find that the dryness goes away as your eyes start to get back to normal.


Glaring and halos

In the month after laser eye surgery you may find you experience some glaring or halo-type effects in your eyes. This is a natural part of the eye’s healing process and will usually mostly disappear within a month of having treatment. Within three months it will usually have stopped altogether and is unlikely to cause a long-term problem.


Eye infection

As with any kind of surgery, there is always a risk of infection. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to choose a high quality eye hospital where best practice is followed to keep risks to an absolute minimum. It is also recommended that you avoid showering or using make-up in the days both before and after surgery. This will greatly reduce the already small risk of infection.


Minimising risk

With any kind of surgery, it’s important to understand the risks and what to expect. Our surgical and care teams will fully brief you on what to look out for in terms of side effects. You will be seen the day after surgery by your own surgeon and will continue to receive aftercare and follow-up appointments as needed, to ensure the recovery is going according to plan.
Even if you are one of the 4% or fewer who experience some kind of complication, the vast majority of cases either resolve naturally or can be treated with some minor intervention.
By following your surgeon’s advice both before and after the procedure, and reporting any concerns as quickly as possible, you can help to reduce risks even further. This, combined with Optegra’s world-class surgeons and up-to-date clinical environments, can help to keep your laser eye surgery as safe and straightforward as possible.  

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