Risks come with any surgical procedure, and as such, LASIK surgery is not without its potential risks. It’s important to the team at our eye care center that patients be aware of all potential risks of surgery. This gives them realistic expectations about the procedure and what it entails, resulting in better patient satisfaction overall.
Right now, we want to focus on one particular complication that can occur following LASIK: flap errors. By giving you this basic info, we hope to improve your overall treatment experience.
About the LASIK Surgery Itself
It helps to go over the basics of LASIK surgery first since this helps explain how flap complications can arise.
During LASIK surgery, a small flap is created in the frontal, topmost layer of the cornea. This layer is called the epithelium. Using this epithelial flap, the cornea can be reshaped and recontoured as needed to address refractive errors (i.e., myopia/nearsightedness, hyperopia/farsightedness, and astigmatism).
What are flap complications?
Flap complications occur during the healing process and essentially mean errors in the healing of this epithelial flap. This could mean an uneven corneal surface or just poor healing of the corneal flap in general. These complications can result in issues with vision as well as issues with patient comfort.
Eye Problems Caused by Flap Complications
The following issues may arise if patients experience a flap complication after they undergo LASIK surgery.
Keratectasia (Keratoconus) – The outward bulging of the eye due to the weakening of part of the cornea.
Epithelial Ingrowth – When cells from the outer portion of the epithelium grow on the inside of the epithelium.
Diffuse Lamellar Keratitis (DLK) – An impediment to healing and a potential cause of vision loss, this is inflammation that happens beneath the epithelial flap.
Irregular Astigmatism – Unevenness of the corneal surface causing blurry vision and double vision.
If you should notice any issues with your vision quality or healing experience following LASIK, be sure to contact your surgeon as soon as possible. Getting these matters addressed sooner rather than later is ideal.
Prevention of Flap Complications
The sure way to prevent flap complications from occurring is following your pre-operative and post-operative instructions to the letter. The pre-op instructions help ensure optimal conditions for healing while the post-op instructions help ensure that patients heal quickly and with low chances of serious complications.
Treating Flap Complications
Should a flap error of any kind occur, the best option for care tends to be a corrective surgery of some kind. The exact corrective procedure will depend on the nature of your flap error. These matters can be discussed in more detail during a followup visit and consultation with your LASIK surgeon.
Learn More About Your Options for Advanced Eye Care
If you would like to learn more about LASIK surgery and how it can help you have excellent vision without the aid of glasses or contact lenses, be sure to contact our eye care centers in Austin and Lockhart today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you make the best choices with regard to your overall health and wellness.