I have been constantly receiving emails from people exploring the option of LASIK eye surgery. They want to look at the possibility of getting rid of their glasses. But they do not want to travel unless they are sure that laser vision correction is a safe and the right option for them. I know it is difficult to spare time from our busy schedules to travel for Lasik surgery only to be told that you are not the right candidate for Lasik surgery. I understand the dilemma surrounding the suitability for Lasik. Overall Lasik surgery has progressed a lot in the past decade with all the new options of Femto Lasik, ReLex Smile Lasik, Advanced Surface Ablation, Customized Lasik and Blended Laser vision correction. Now we can offer one or the other type of Lasik surgery to more than 90% people and only 5-10% people are truly not suitable for Lasik surgery. It is often difficult for us to determine suitability unless a detailed pre-Lasik evaluation is done. However, there are a few other common indicators which, if present then Lasik surgery should be postponed and not planned at that time. Fortunately, some of these conditions are temporary and you may become suitable for Lasik surgery in the future.
Let’s understand the commonest reasons why someone may not be suitable for Lasik surgery at that moment: –
Pregnancy and lactation: If you are currently pregnant or breast feeding the baby, then you should not plan to get your Lasik surgery right now. Pregnancy and lactation related hormonal changes can cause fluctuations in eye power and changes in corneal curvature. Some of these changes are just temporary and stabilize once the hormonal status normalizes. Eye power and corneal curvature stability are important before planning LASIK surgery. That is why planning a LASIK surgery during pregnancy or nursing period is not a good idea. Right time, to get assessed for suitability and plan a LASIK surgery, is a few months after breastfeeding is discontinued.
Changing Glass Power: It is important to ensure that your glass and contact lens power are stable and hasn’t changed in the last 1-2 years. This is something which is frequently seen in teenagers and sometimes even in young adults. That is why a minimum age of 18 is recommended. It is a rough benchmark to ensure some eye maturity and power stabilization. However, if the eye power is not stable even after the age of 18 then it is better to wait for at least a year till the last power change. Some of the conditions which cause hormonal imbalances, diabetes and sometimes due to no identifiable reasons the eye power can undergo changes. If there is a concern around a constant power change, then a detailed eye and sometimes an endocrinologist evaluation may be needed.
Poor health and active systemic diseases: Patients who are going through any illness or recovering from any major illness or surgery should not consider Lasik surgery at that time. People with uncontrolled diabetes, active collagen vascular diseases or any other condition which affects the body immunity or healing power should also postpone their Lasik surgery. It is imperative to wait for a period when all these diseases are in remission and the body is in a state of stability. One may become suitable to undergo Lasik surgery in the future.
On that note, in case you plan to travel to someplace in order to get your LASIK done, it is always a good idea to discuss about your general health related parameters with your Lasik surgeon before planning your travels to avoid a repeat visit.
Anita, an active social worker from the U.S. had visited us some time back. She had come over to be with her mother but then decided to also get a Lasik surgery done while she was here. During the consultation, it was found out she was diabetic. She had been diagnosed with diabetes just a few months ago and wasn’t aware that her current situation was not the ideal one for undergoing a Lasik surgery. After a detailed discussion and as was advised she decided to visit us once again the coming year after having followed a proper, tight, long term diabetic control to finally get her Lasik done.
In conclusion all I will say is, good health, stable hormonal status, balanced mental condition and stable eye powers are the overall general parameters that decide suitability for Lasik surgery. Even so, it is necessary to perform a detailed pre-Lasik evaluation to confirm absolute suitability of an individual for the selected Lasik before proceeding any further.