“99% of laser eye surgery patients will have vision that is good enough to pass the Australian driving test after having the procedure, without the need to wear glasses.”
The majority of laser eye surgery procedures produce excellent outcomes and most patients are delighted with their results. 99% of laser eye surgery patients will have vision that is good enough to pass the Australian driving test after having the procedure, without the need to wear glasses.
A worldwide study carried out by the American Society Of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in 2008 confirmed that more than 95% of the 16 million people who had undergone LASIK were pleased with the improvement with their vision. However, there will be times when a second ‘enhancement’ procedure will be required to deliver the best visual result.
Naturally, everyone has a specific prescription and a number of issues may affect the degree of visual success following laser eye surgery. They include:
After LASIK, a patient’s vision is monitored over a period of time (up to 6 months) to see how their eyes are performing. For most people, their vision shows an immediate improvement although it can take time to stabilise – it usually takes a few weeks (in some rare cases, a few months).
If after a period time there is less than fully sharp vision in specific circumstances, an enhancement might be the answer. No study has revealed exactly which patients, or how many, require an enhancement after surgery, but some estimates suggest it might account for around 5% in total.
Generally, enhancements tend to be higher for those who are far-sighted, have high degrees of refractive error or experience a slightly abnormal healing response.
If your eyes have a lower level of refractive error pre-operatively, then you are likely to have a more accurate vision result after surgery.
Yes, in most cases, it is a simpler, quicker procedure because the surgeon won’t need to lift the corneal flap as in the original surgery.
For an enhancement, only minor corneal re-shaping using a laser is usually required. In the vast majority of cases, only one enhancement procedure is necessary to achieve the desired vision correction result. Only in unusual circumstances is more than one enhancement required.
What should be understood is that the need for an enhancement isn’t indicative of having “problem” eyes, or a lack of skill on the part of the surgeon. It is just something that can’t always be predicted before laser eye surgery and, while it does mean further vision correction, the vast majority of enhancement surgery is very successful – taking your vision from very good to excellent.
Sometimes, after discussion with your surgeon, you may decide that you don’t want an enhancement, especially if your vision is greatly improved, and if it is only noticeable in certain, demanding light conditions. For those occasions, you may be happy to wear spectacles. It’s a personal choice.
This can depend a great deal on where you go for your laser eye surgery – at Vision Eye Institute, we perform enhancements at no charge for up to two years from the date of surgery – it’s seen as part of completing the vision correction process, but this is not the case throughout the industry.
Naturally, the best advice is to enquire what all the likely costs for your laser vision correction might be during your initial consultation.
LASIK can successfully correct even high degrees of near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. For the vast majority of people, the result after laser eye surgery is life changing and they can see much better after the procedure than when they had relied on either their glasses or contact lenses.
However, the eye is an organic tissue and therefore is not 100% predictable. A small percentage of people may find that they need an enhancement after laser eye surgery. Even in these cases, they would generally be able to perform your regular reading, driving, and other everyday tasks, without the need to wear glasses.