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Are the results of LASIK permanent?

23/3/2016

 

Another frequently asked question is that if the results from LASIK surgery are permanent; the short answer is yes. The first LASIK procedure was done in 1989. To date, several millions of cases have been done worldwide, mostly with good results. Research studies have shown the results to be stable as long as established treatment protocols are followed. It is also the general consensus of eye surgeons and researchers worldwide that these results are likely to remain stable in the future.

However, there are exceptions.

Unstable results have occurred when the amount of cornea tissue sculpted exceeded recommended treatment guidelines. Occasionally, unstable results have occurred because of treatment of eyes with undiagnosed keratoconus. Keratoconus is a condition characterised by cone-shaped thinning of the cornea. Its presentation is often subtle in the early stages and can only be diagnosed with specialised instruments.

Before you undergo a LASIK surgery, you should also keep in mind that for in patients with very large refractive errors, results are generally not as good. Be sure to manage your expectations and have a thorough discussion with your doctor. In some cases, you may still need glasses or contacts after a successful surgery.

Additionally, results may diminish with age for some farsighted patients. This may occur if your manifest refraction (a vision exam with lenses before dilating drops) is very different from your cycloplegic refraction (a vision exam with lenses after dilating drops).

Reference:

What should I expect before, during and after surgery? U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/SurgeryandLifeSupport/LASIK/ucm061270.htm