Can LASIK Surgery Be Performed Twice?
LASIK surgery is known for having an extremely high success rate. Around 98% of LASIK patients report satisfaction with their LASIK results after the first surgery. However, the other 2% of LASIK patients may experience vision regression due to undercorrection or changes in the eyes as they age. These issues can easily be corrected during a second LASIK surgery.
Why Does Vision Regression Happen After LASIK?
Although rare, LASIK patients may experience some regression in their vision after surgery. This means that, even if results were amazing immediately following surgery, their vision slowly returned (either partially or fully) to their pre-LASIK vision. This can happen very soon after surgery or a few years later, and can be caused by many things. In these circumstances, a second LASIK surgery is often called a “touch-up surgery” or a “LASIK enhancement”.
The first reason this may happen: undercorrection. If your vision was not properly corrected during your first LASIK surgery, it may take a second surgery to achieve the results you were hoping for. Undercorrection is rare, but be sure to report any changes in your vision to your eye doctor.
Another reason some patients need an enhancement surgery is that their eyes naturally change over time. During your initial LASIK consultation, you may recall that you needed to have a stable prescription for at least a year before undergoing LASIK. This is the reason. If your eyes are not fully developed at the time of surgery, you risk skewing LASIK results as your eyes change over the next few years. Of course, our bodies are unpredictable. This can occasionally happen to a person who got LASIK after having a stable prescription. In these cases, a LASIK enhancement surgery can get you back to the vision you want.
One more reason a person may experience vision regression after LASIK is the all-too-common vision problem called presbyopia. This condition affects almost anybody over the age of 40. Presbyopia causes patients to experience blurry near vision, even after LASIK. Because presbyopia affects the lens and not the cornea, this condition cannot be corrected through LASIK enhancement. There are other treatment options for presbyopia.
Who is a Candidate for LASIK Enhancement?
While LASIK enhancement is safe and successful, not everyone can safely undergo a second corneal surgery. The only way to know for sure is if you attend a LASIK consultation at our Los Angeles office. However, as a general rule, anyone who has developed eye diseases such as dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, or any corneal dystrophy in the time following their LASIK surgery is typically ineligible. The same goes for anyone who has sustained extensive injury to the cornea that would cause scarring.
Also, patients who experienced overcorrection (meaning too much corneal tissue was removed during the initial surgery) cannot have a LASIK enhancement. Doing this could compromise the integrity of the cornea, making it weaker and more prone to dystrophy.
Is The Procedure Different Than The First?
The LASIK enhancement surgery is not very different from initial LASIK surgery. The only difference is that the corneal flap will be reopened using a specialized tool, not a laser. The treatments will still happen using an excimer laser. It will still be as painless as the first procedure, and the recovery time is just about the same.
Interested in LASIK enhancement surgery? Contact our office in Los Angeles to schedule your LASIK consultation. Our highly skilled and experienced LASIK surgeons are here to help you achieve your vision goals. Call today!