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When Should a Patient Not Have LASIK Eye Surgery

By September 19, 2016September 27th, 2016No Comments

When Not to Opt for LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK  is a tremendous tool for surgeons like me who work in the field of ophthalmology. It offers immediate improvement for the patient. LASIK is a game changer for many people suffering from a variety of visual problems.

But there are patients who are not suited for this procedure for a myriad of reasons. I am one of them! In fact, at a recent free seminar hosted by Abrams Eye Institute, a potential Lasik candidate asked me directly why I am wearing glasses instead of having Lasik.

In this blog post I will explain which patients – such as myself – should not have LASIK and then offer a possible alternative.

As a doctor, patients seek out not only my surgical skill but my medical opinion. It is my duty as a physician to advise them on which procedure I think they should have. Equally important is my responsibility to tell them which surgical procedures they should not have. One of my philosophies as a doctor and an ophthalmologist is to match the right patient with the right procedure. I will not perform a surgery that is not in the patient’s best interest.

An example of someone is who is not a good fit  is a person who has a thin cornea. If someone with a thin cornea has LASIK they are at risk of developing Corneal Ectasia, a group of conditions, most notably keratoconus, but can also be related to irregular astigmatism that can develop after a patient undergoes refractive surgery. In both cases, the cornea can continue to bulge, leading to a worsening of vision for the patient. I have a thin cornea with a high astigmatism therefore I am not a good candidate.

People are not good candidates if their job requires night vision. A pilot is a good example of someone who is not a fit. This is because LASIK can sometimes cause a glare. I would never want to perform a surgery that would prevent someone from doing their job.

Finally, patients with cataracts are not good candidates for LASIK because their prescriptions are constantly changing. Therefore LASIK is not a permanent solution.

For patients who fit in any of these categories, the best solution is to to have early cataract surgery. This will give them the same positive result as LASIK and offer a permanent improvement for their visual issues.

If you were considering LASIK but are not sure if you are a good candidate, call our office at 702-304-9494. I will be happy to meet with you and go over your options. I promise I will never recommend a surgery that will not help you over the long term.

Jack Abrams MD