LASIK Eye Surgery

  • Medical Author:
    J. Bradley Randleman, MD

    Dr. Randleman received his BA degree from Columbia University in New York City. He earned his MD degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his residency training at Emory University, serving as Chief Resident in his final year. He then completed a fellowship in Cornea/External disease and refractive surgery at Emory University.

  • Coauthor: John F. Payne, MD
  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Laser Eye Surgery Slideshow Pictures

Quick GuideLASIK Eye Surgery: Better Vision with Laser Surgery

LASIK Eye Surgery: Better Vision with Laser Surgery

Am I a good candidate for LASIK?

Refractive surgery is not for everyone. In addition to having a complete eye exam to find out if you are a candidate for surgery, there are certain questions you should ask yourself before considering LASIK or other refractive procedures.

  • Am I willing to accept a low but real risk of surgical complications? Even though modern LASIK is extremely safe with rare complications, there are still times when unavoidable complications occur that can negatively affect your vision.
  • Does my career allow me to have LASIK? Although there are now very few organizations that prohibit their employees or members to have refractive surgery, if there is any doubt, then it is important to ask your employer, professional society, or military service whether or not it is allowed for you to undergo refractive surgery.
  • Has my vision been stable long enough to have LASIK? While minor changes in your prescription are not uncommon from year to year, if your prescription continues to get progressively stronger (for example, more myopic, more hyperopic, or more astigmatism) each year, then you may not yet be a good candidate for refractive surgery.
  • Do I have any health conditions that make me a poor surgical candidate? Certain advanced autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, may influence postoperative healing.
  • Do my recreational activities make me a bad surgical candidate? There is a lifelong risk of LASIK flap dislocation if there is significant trauma to the eye, so people who participate in contact sports such as boxing, martial arts, or wrestling are not likely not be a good candidate for LASIK. In these instances, other refractive procedures, especially surface ablation, may be more appropriate choices.
  • Am I too young or too old to have LASIK? There are no hard and fast rules about the appropriate age to have LASIK. However, patients under age 18 are rarely stable enough for LASIK, and older patients may begin to develop cataracts or other eye health issues that preclude them from undergoing LASIK. Again, the best way to determine these things is have a complete eye exam.
  • Do I have keratoconus? Keratoconus is a corneal disease resulting from decreased corneal strength that can be detected as an abnormal curvature on testing. Patients that have evidence of keratoconus are not candidates for LASIK or surface ablation, but new technologies may become available for these individuals.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/14/2015

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