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Lasik Complications

What is LASIK eye surgery and what are the complications that patients may experience?

LASIK is a surgery that works by reshaping the cornea or the front surface of the eye in patients who are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism. Although most patients will experience a significant improvement in their vision within a few hours after the LASIK is performed, complications can occur, sometimes immediately and sometimes years later.

What are some of the complications that LASIK surgery can create:

The complications resulting from LASIK surgery include:

- Over correction or under correction of the visual error
- Induced astigmatism due to a surgically created distorted cornea
- Issues with the LASIK flap
- Loss of vision which cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses
- Halos, double vision, glare and corneal haze
- Poor vision at night and in low light environments
- Chronic dry eyes, burning and ocular pain (corneal neuropathy)
- Post LASIK corneal ectasia which can occur many years after the LASIK was done
- Epithelial ingrowth ( epithelial cells that exist on the cornea surface getting underneath the LASIK flap and then begin to grow).

How are LASIK complications treated?

The great majority of post LASIK patients that we see suffer from chronic dry eyes, corneal ectasia, a compromised vision due to “higher order aberrations” ( glare, halos, double vision). We correct these complications using computer designed scleral lenses that are designed to vault over the compromised cornea. A well designed and fit scleral lens will not touch the cornea but will vault over the cornea and come to rest on the white portion of the eye known as the sclera. The space between the back surface of the scleral lens the front surface of the cornea is filled with saline solution. In other words, the front surface of the eye is always in a moist environment. A well designed scleral lens replaces the distorted, compromised cornea as an optical surface. Its like giving the patient a new cornea without surgery.

The function of a well fit scleral lens is three fold:

1. The protect the cornea.
2. The allow the compromised corneal tissue to heal.
3. To provide excellent vision while at the same time create a comfortable, nurturing environment for the ocular surface.

The photos above shows eyes that underwent refractive surgical procedures including Radial Keratotomy and/or LASIK surgeries. These patients all lost quality vision and ocular comfort due to these surgeries and are now wearing scleral lenses over these eyes

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