Pregnancy is a wonderful period and particularly so as a woman becomes even more beautiful when she is pregnant. Often it is also the time when we slow down on our day to day activities. Some women take a break from work and concentrate on their and the growing child’s health. The free time makes some women want to utilize it better. Some of them who have been planning to get LASIK to get rid of the glasses and contact lenses think this is the perfect time. Their busy schedules never allowed them to get it done earlier and now their free time gives them ideas. “Let me get it done before baby is out and I get even busier” These situations are common especially for me as cornea and Lasik surgeon and I have to deal with these from time to time. I feel and understand the issues of these women who due to their hectic and busy lives have not been able to spare time for Lasik surgery. But pregnancy is certainly not the time for any form of eye surgery unless it is an absolute emergency! During pregnancy due to hormonal alterations a lot of changes can happen in the eye for example glass power can change, corneal curvature undergoes changes and to add to that we cannot prescribe some medicines after Lasik eye surgery due to their potential harmful effect on the growing baby. Hmmm.. Let me explain more:
- Cornea curvature and eye power changes An increase in corneal curvature and mild steepening can occur during pregnancy. These changes can also develop post pregnancy when mothers are breast feeding. But the good news is that corneal curvature is reversible upon cessation of breastfeeding.
- Contact lens issues: Women who wear contact lenses should also be careful. Contact lens intolerance may occur during pregnancy as a result of a change in corneal curvature, increased corneal thickness or an altered tear film.
- Changing glass numbers Due to all these changes, the glass number may fluctuate during pregnancy or breastfeeding. In any case, it is recommended that one should wait several weeks after stopping breast feeding before taking a new glass number. Additionally, decreased or transient loss of accommodation may occur during pregnancy or within the postpartum period. What that means is that pregnant women or breast feeding mothers may experience a difficulty in reading. Eye power stability as well as corneal curvature stability is important before planning LASIK surgery. Laser vision correction involves reshaping the corneal curvature but that is exactly what is not stable during pregnancy or breastfeeding. That is why planning a LASIK surgery during pregnancy or breast feeding period is not a good idea.
Now what is a good time for Lasik
Good time to get assessed for suitability for LASIK is few weeks after stopping breast feeding. Good thing is that after LASIK surgery you can be back to your routines and work in 2-3 days.
Newer techniques- flapless and bladeless Lasik?
Yes, newer techniques of laser vision correction such as Femto Lasik (bladeless Lasik) and Smile Lasik (Flapless Lasik) have enhanced the safety, applicability, accuracy of Lasik surgery procedure and also shortened the recovery time considerably.