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Wonderful LASIK, is it?
Hi there,

            This is a topic that I have put a great deal of research into. I'm going to try and show the facts as I believe they are, if you really want to get to the bottom of Lasik you have to go find the scientific journals and scour them as I have. This information is out there, but you won't find it on some slick lasik advertisement.


Lasik is no where near as safe as surgeons will lead you to believe and now that some facts are starting to get out many of these lasik surgeons are starting to leave the practice and move to other laser ablation techniques.

Your eye will never ever ever ever (ad infinum) heal, ever. Your flap will always be suseptible to tearing, especially from a blow sideways to the eye. The best numbers that the limited research can provide is eventually the inside of your eye will regain 2% of its origional strength and the outside layer will recover to 12% (I can't remember this number perfectly, my mind also wants to say 8%).

Surgeons also make creative "lies" about their results. As most eye doctors seem to do, they only measure your refractive error. This is getting better as they look at the surface of your eye with a corneal topography and can see when they've totally screwed up, but you can get 20/20 "perfect" vision and be utterly crushed by blinding sideaffects (common examples are: glare, halos, night time vision, double vision and so on). From what I hear in personal stories, it is more profitible for the surgeon to kick you out the door and take in a new patient than it is to help you with your train-wreck vision. Not all practices are like this though so if you decide to do this pick very very wisely.

There is no practical difference which way the flap is hinged, new lasers that track your eyeball movement don't work 10% as well as they claim and many surgeons turn off those features as they interupt the surgery a disconcerting number of times because of movement in your eye. Machines are often poorly calibrated and poorly maintained. Surgeons do not sterilize their surgery rooms. If any debris is trapped under the flap things can go bad fast. This surgery is not suitable for high refractive errors, as you would need to sacrifice too much tissue in the eye and jepordize its safety.

Surgeons exagerate the quality of their lasers. Go to the FDA website, you can get some no bs studies there on the success rates of various lasers.

Now there is emerging a new type of 'microkeratome" on the market. Instead of cutting the cornea with a microkeratome, which is not as accurate as surgeons will tell you it lasers the flap into your eye. This technology has not shown promise and it does increase the risk or haze formation. Another thing I should mention to you is that the device used to hold the eye still during this part of the procedure compresses your eye flat. Pressures are known to increase many fold causing increased incidence of floaters (big ones, not little ones) as well as other things, including overall structural weakness of the eye.

Now, as most people seem to speak of lasik surgery, but use it to refer to all types of refractive surgery I will cover some more types for you.

Radial Keratotomy/Diamond Microsurgery:

If your surgeon tells you that you are not a canditate for any surgery, save for this one, this is god telling you that you can not have refractive surgery.

RK features unpredictable results, changing refractive errors and a ridiculously high level of side effects. You will never be able to withstand high or low pressures either.

Now that being said this surgery did start out extremely positive. It started in Russia with a very good success rate because the doctors were not fixated on profit. They were willing to split the pie and stick to their one task, doing it to perfection instead of our current jack of all trades doctors.

Long story short: this is an extremely old, unreliable techniqiue that no self respecting surgeon would perform.

LASEK/PKR/EPI LASEK/Surface ablation techniques:

The close cousin to LASIK and the flap surgeries, surface ablation works in an almost identical manner, except the laser is applied to the surface of the cornea without a flap being made. This is making a big comeback in recent years as people are realizing the dangers of lasik. These techniques are documented to have a greater risk of the refractive error returning, greater discomfort and a greater probability of haze forming.

These techniques are not suitable for patients with high refractive errors, the higher your refractive error the greater the risk for haze development. Some surgeons use Mitomycin C on your eye to keep haze from forming. This practice is not fully researched yet. It does appear that it stops haze from forming in some patients, however it also kills alot of the stuff it touches in your eye.

Now this surgery spares your eye the looming threat of the lasik flap, but it comes at a high price. In the process of ablating your eye the Bowman's membrane is irreversibly destroyed. It will never grow back. The Bowman's membrane it thought to contain a fair potion of your eye's ability to filter out high energy radiation. the side-effects of sacrificing this membrane are not fully researched.

There are other surgerys out there like inacts, or phyiscally placing a lens infront or behind your iris, but I believe these techniques are far too new to even be considered.

Believe me, I wanted this surgery to be the miracle solution it is touted to be and it can be, but the risk factors are simply too large for me to ignore. I would say that if you needed this to pursue a dream job or something of that nature then the choice is up to you. If you are only looking to get rid if your glasses, this is a serious gamble considering the limited benefit you can derive from it.

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Messages In This Thread
Wonderful LASIK, is it? - by ROL - 02-12-2007, 12:07 AM
Re: Wonderful LASIK, is it? - by David - 02-12-2007, 01:44 AM
Re: Wonderful LASIK, is it? - by ROL - 02-12-2007, 03:14 AM
Re: Wonderful LASIK, is it? - by Urban - 02-12-2007, 07:06 AM
Re: Wonderful LASIK, is it? - by bkowalski - 02-13-2007, 10:47 AM
Re: Wonderful LASIK, is it? - by ROL - 02-13-2007, 06:08 PM