CNN Reports on LASIK
April 24, 2008 CNN reported on the FDA study that will follow hundreds of LASIK patients to find out why while the majority of patients are satisfied there is a small percentage of patients with significant side effects such as dry eye, night vision complaints or blurred vision. While some side effects like dry eye may be only temporary in most patients after LASIK, the FDA advises potential patients to carefully read the information provided by their surgeon to make an informed choice about whether to have surgery.
CNN quoted Dr. Steven Shallhorn from the US Navy’s refractive surgery program who pointed out that there have been refinements to LASIK in recent years that may offer crisper vision. One of those refinements has been the development of wavefront guided corrections which is available on lasers such as the Visx S4 IR.
Some of the 25% of people wishing to have LASIK are not good candidates, but for some of them Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) may be a good alternative. PRK may be a safer procedure because it does not require a flap and does not affect the corneal tissue as deeply, but there is more discomfort in the first few days and recovery make take up to a week. For many patients the added safety may be worth the time needed for recovery. It is important for anyone considering LASIK or PRK to read all the materials provided at the pre-operative evaluation and to discuss any questions with their surgeon before surgery. Most people who undergo laser vision correction are satisfied with their results.