Understanding Possible LASIK Risks,
Complications & Side Effects in Portland, Maine

LASIK is surgery. The LASIK Surgeons at Eyecare Medical Group take their obligation and commitment to patient well being very seriously and feel it is important that each and every patient considering LASIK take the time to fully understand the possible risks, complications and side effects of LASIK. We will be reviewing these with you at your consultation in order to make certain that you have the opportunity to ask any and all questions and be sure that you are comfortable with how these might apply in your individual situation. We will take meticulous care before, during and after your LASIK surgery to minimize or avoid any risks, complications and side effects.  HOWEVER, LASIK is surgery and it is important for you to understand the limitations and possible complications of Laser Vision Correction. The following is an overview list of the possibilities:

Loss of Best Corrected Vision-While not common, it is possible that some patients can lose lines of vision on the vision chart that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery as a result of treatment. Ask us about the frequency or likelihood of this happening in your particular situation in our surgical experience in performing more than 10,000 Laser Vision Correction procedures since 1996.

Adverse Visual Symptoms- Some patients developed glare, halos, and/or double vision that could seriously affect nighttime vision, particularly in the early years of laser vision correction. Even with good vision on the vision chart, some patients could not see as well in situations of low contrast, such as at night or in fog, after treatment as compared to before treatment. This can still occur in certain situations. We take every precaution to avoid these complications including careful evaluation of pupil size and using the advanced technology Wavelight Allegretto® Wave Excimer Laser to create a spherical aberration optimized corneal shape during your treatment. LASIK is surgery and it can still happen. Ask us about the frequency or likelihood of this happening in your particular situation in our surgical experience in performing more than 10,000 Laser Vision Correction procedures since 1996.

Dry Eye Symptoms-Some patients may develop mild, moderate or even severe dry eye symptoms. As a result of Laser Vision Correction, your eyes may not be able to produce enough tears to keep the eye moist and comfortable. Dry eye not only causes discomfort, but can reduce visual quality due to intermittent blurring and other visual symptoms. Rarely, this condition may be permanent. Eye drop therapy with artificial tears and/or Restasis® eye drops may be necessary, as well as the use of tiny punctal plugs. Other procedures may be required. We take every precaution pre-operatively to avoid these issues including careful evaluation of your tear film quality and quantity. We may actually treat you for dry eye symptoms before your surgery in order to prevent these symptoms from ever occurring. Ask us about the frequency or likelihood of this happening in your particular situation in our surgical experience in performing more than 10,000 Laser Vision Correction procedures since 1996.

Results May Not Be As Good With Very High Prescriptions-We will carefully review with you your expectations of laser vision correction and help you figure out whether you may still require glasses or contacts after the surgery. We may actually recommend alternative vision correction procedures such as lens implant surgery if we feel that you may not achieve your personal goals with LASIK surgery. Ask us about the frequency or likelihood of this happening in your particular situation in our surgical experience in performing more than 10,000 Laser Vision Correction procedures since 1996.

Full Correction for Some Farsighted Patients May Diminish Over Time-For some farsighted patients, results may diminish with age-If you are farsighted, the level of improved vision you experience after surgery may decrease with age. This can 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). We take every precaution to avoid this by carefully considering the manifest refraction, the cycloplegic refraction and calculations for treatment to be performed. We may actually recommend alternative vision correction procedures such as lens implants for vision correction if we feel that you may not achieve your personal goals. Ask us about the frequency or likelihood of this happening in your particular situation in our surgical experience in performing more than 10,000 Laser Vision Correction procedures since 1996.

Somewhat Limited Long Term Data-Laser Vision Correction has only been available in the United States since 1995. The first laser was approved specifically for LASIK eye surgery in 1998. Therefore, the long-term safety and effectiveness of LASIK surgery much beyond 15 years or so is not known.

Monovision Risks-Monovision is one clinical technique used to deal with the correction of near vision and presbyopia, the gradual loss of the ability of the eye to change focus for close-up tasks that progresses with age. The intent of monovision is for the presbyopic patient to use one eye for distance viewing and one eye for near viewing. This practice was first applied to contact lens wearers and more recently to LASIK and other refractive surgeries. With contact lenses, a patient with presbyopia has one eye fit with a contact lens to correct distance vision, and the other eye fit with a contact lens to correct near vision. With LASIK, a presbyopic patient has one eye operated on to correct the distance vision, and the other operated on to correct the near vision. In other words, the goal of the surgery is for one eye to have vision worse than 20/20, the commonly referred to goal for LASIK surgical correction of distance vision. Since one eye is corrected for distance viewing and the other eye is corrected for near viewing, the two eyes no longer work together. This may result in poorer quality vision and a decrease in depth perception. These effects of monovision are most noticeable in low lighting conditions and when performing tasks requiring very sharp vision. Therefore, you may need to wear glasses or contact lenses to fully correct both eyes for distance or near when performing visually demanding tasks, such as driving at night, operating dangerous equipment, or performing occupational tasks requiring very sharp close vision (e.g., reading small print for long periods of time). Some patients cannot get used to having one eye blurred at all times. Therefore, if you are considering monovision with LASIK, make sure you go through a trial period with contact lenses to see if you can tolerate monovision before you have the surgery performed on your eyes. We want to make sure that you meet the driver's license requirements with monovision. In addition, you should consider how much your presbyopia is expected to increase in the future. We will discuss when you should expect the results of your monovision surgery to no longer be enough for you to see near-by objects clearly without the aid of glasses or contacts, or when a second surgery might be required to further correct your near vision.

Bilateral Simultaneous Treatment-We routinely perform LASIK on both eyes at the same time. However, you may choose to have LASIK surgery on one eye at a time. Although the convenience of having surgery on both eyes on the same day is attractive, in certain instances this may be riskier than having two separate surgeries. If both eyes are treated at the same time or before one eye has a chance to fully heal, you and your doctor do not have the advantage of being able to see how the first eye responds to surgery before the second eye is treated. Another disadvantage to having surgery on both eyes at the same time is that particularly for PRK, the vision in both eyes may be blurred after surgery until the initial healing process is over, rather than being able to rely on clear vision in at least one eye at all times.

Even the best screened patients under the care of most skilled surgeons can experience serious complications.

During Surgery-A malfunction of a surgery device or other error, such as a poorly formed flap of cornea may lead to discontinuation of the procedure or irreversible damage to the eye. Ask us about the frequency or likelihood of this happening in your particular situation in our surgical experience in performing more than 10,000 Laser Vision Correction procedures since 1996.

After Surgery-Although quite rare, some complications, such as migration of the flap or inflammation or infection, may require another procedure and/or intensive treatment with drops. It is remotely possible that even with aggressive therapy; such complications may lead to temporary loss of vision or even irreversible blindness. Ask us about the frequency or likelihood of this happening in your particular situation in our surgical experience in performing more than 10,000 Laser Vision Correction procedures since 1996.

Under the care of an experienced doctor, carefully screened candidates with reasonable expectations and a clear understanding of the risks and alternatives are likely to be happy with the results of their laser vision correction procedure. At Eyecare Medical Group we will take every precaution and the time necessary to educate you and answer any questions that you might have in order to help you meet your personal vision correction goals.

If you, a family member or friend, wish to learn more about LASIK Eye Surgery or to schedule an FREE Consultation please call Eyecare Medical Group at 207-828-2020.

Eyecare Medical Group provides LASIK Eye Surgery in Maine and is conveniently located for patients from Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine. Please call our Maine Eye LASIK Center at Eyecare Medical Group Toll Free at 888-374-2020 for a Free LASIK Eye Surgery Consultation.

For a complete review of Laser Eye Surgery including LASIK, LASIK risks, LASIK complications, contraindications to having LASIK, possible LASIK problems and LASIK side effects you may visit www.fda.gov or www.seewithlasik.com. As with any type of surgery individual results may vary.

Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine is conveniently located for patients with Cataracts interested in
Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants (IOL), LASIK, Diabetic Eye Problems, Macular Degeneration (AMD), Glaucoma,
Diseases and Surgery of the Retina & Cornea including Retinal Detachment & Cornea Transplants.