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Lasik Eye Surgery - Laser Eye Surgery - Pros, Cons and Alternatives



If you have seen the headlines lately reminding people of Lasik eye surgery side effects you are probably rethinking any thoughts you had about getting this laser eye surgery.  Lasik is the most commonly known vision corrective eye surgery but there are several other options that people with eye problems can choose from.  These include a simple laser eye surgery and implantable lenses.


Getting an education and the right information before you make a decision is very important.


All eye surgeries have risks.  It's important to find an eye surgeon who doesn't specialize in just one type of eye surgery but is able to go over all the options with you and not try to fit you into what is the most expensive surgery or lead you in the wrong direction for other reasons.


Generally the surgical procedure takes place in a treatment center or eye clinic. Some cities are meccas for laser eye surgery - Houston, San Diego and Chicago but Lasik is available all throughout the US.  There are even clinics that specialize in correcting Lasik eye surgical procedures that went wrong or ended up with serious complications.


There is an older laser surgery that was a commonly used eye surgery prior to the popularity of Lasik. It's improved because of some new type of software that is being used with it. It is called surface ablation, or another name for it is wavefront-guided PRK, (photorefractive keratectomy.) What's most important is that it doesn't require cutting a flap into the cornea, the eye's clear covering, like Lasik does, a cut widely considered that procedure's riskiest step.


Many eye surgeons that they are now using more surface ablation than they have been and are doing less Lasik surgery.


Surgeons are responsible for about 16 percent of PRK surgeries out of about 600,000 laser vision correction surgeries that are performed every year.  That's more than 6 percent even during the peak of Lasik's popularity in the late 1990s.


Because other alternatives to Lasik have little or no advertising they have fewer patients.


Testimony in May 2008 before the FDA reminded people that Lasik has many risks. These include vision loss, painful dry eye, night-time glare and other types of night-vision problems. Although serious complications can be rare, involving a small percentage or fewer patients, it is estimated by the FDA that about five percent of patients aren't satisfied with the results.


Because there is so much marketing in television and in the newspapers and other print media it makes eye patients think that clear eyesight is a guaranteed outcome.


Although Lasik a surgical procedure not a product it's being marketed as a product.


The truth is about one in four eye surgery patients who seek Lasik and then has a battery of pre-surgery tests is told they are a poor candidate. This could be because the cornea is too thin, or it could be that the pupils are too large, or maybe their nearsightedness is too severe.  Sometimes their expectations are just not realistic. But it's not known how many patients get screened properly and some may go ahead with the laser eye surgery anyway.


Some patients are better off staying with their eyeglasses and contact lenses.


Lasik eye surgery involves peeling back a flap in the surface of the cornea zapping the underlying layer in order to reshape the cornea. This is to ease the eye patient's either nearsightedness or farsightedness. The newest version of Lasik is considered safer. It makes ultra-thin flaps by using a second laser not the original disposable blade.