Table of Contents
LASIK Surgery stands for ‘laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis’ and is a laser-based procedure used to cure eye-related issues. The procedure involves reshaping the eye’s cornea so that light can easily pass through and reflect upon the retina for clearer vision.
Since LASIK surgery has a very high success rate, it is becoming an increasingly popular procedure for those who need to get their eye ailments cured. It can cure diseases like farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism.
Despite its huge success rate, there are risks associated with the procedure. These risks include dry eye, glare, halos, and decreased night vision. In rare cases, patients may experience more severe complications such as infections, inflammation, or cornea scarring. In such cases, it becomes important to get the surgery reversed.
Therefore, this article will focus on answering the “Can LASIK surgery be reversed?” and what criteria will influence your decision to reverse the LASIK operation.
Since the procedure involves reshaping the cornea using a laser, the procedure is mostly irreversible. In the process, tissue is removed from the eye, and the procedure becomes permanent since it is gone forever. There is a permanent change in the shape of the cornea, and thus it becomes impossible to bring it back to its previous shape. However, there are several other methods or procedures by which the effects of LASIK can be reversed or nullified.
The methods by which you can reverse LASIK Surgery effects are as follows:
1) Getting a corneal transplant
Corneal transplant or keratoplasty is the process that allows the patient’s damaged or reshaped cornea to be replaced with a donor’s cornea by matching them according to several standards. A corneal transplant is an effective surgery that helps patients regain their vision. This procedure is not popular because it has a longer recovery period, and the number of complications can be significantly more than a normal LASIK surgery.
2) Photorefractive Keratectomy
Photorefractive Keratectomy, or PRK, is the procedure in which a laser removes and reshapes the top layer of the cornea. This procedure can reverse the changes made by the LASIK surgery. However, the complications imposed by this procedure are high, and the eye recovery period is much longer than the initial LASIK surgery.
3) Enhancement procedure
An enhancement procedure is a follow-up laser surgery done a couple of months after the first to rectify any shortcomings or errors caused by the first. It improves the effects of the first surgery and is usually done after that eye has completely healed. In this procedure, the surgeon usually takes a laser and further reshapes the cornea so that the light gets reflected in the retina without obstructions. While there is a possibility that the procedure can enhance the effects of the first one, this procedure is only sometimes successful.
With the huge success rate of LASIK surgery, reversal procedures are not commonly used or heard of. LASIK surgeries are usually very effective in improving the patient’s vision, and most patients are satisfied with the results. Still, the case varies from patient to patient. Thus, the reversal procedure followed is very specific and is recommended by the health professional only in cases with complications or side effects caused by the LASIK treatment. Thus, it is essential to consider factors that might help you decide whether to get the procedure reversed.
Factors to consider before opting for reverse Lasik
Before considering a reversal procedure such as a corneal transplant or PRK, it becomes important to understand the possible risks and complications these procedures may pose. They may also be less effective in restoring vision. Another factor to be considered is the cost of the procedure. These reversal procedures are much costlier than LASIK surgery and are usually not covered by many health insurances. Thus, the cost of treatment and available funds become major factors in deciding whether to get the reversal procedure. It becomes crucial for the patients to weigh their options and consult them with their ophthalmologist.
Another factor in analyzing is the reason for getting the reversal procedure done and the intensity of the side effects or complications caused by the LASIK surgery. Apart from the cases where the side effects are so serious that it becomes impossible to see or functionality of the eye is disrupted, there are cases where the patient is not satisfied with the result of the LASIK surgery and thus wants a reversal procedure. An ophthalmologist’s opinion can help you get perspective on the decision. If the side effects or complications are not that major, the doctor might recommend some medications to help dilute the side effects. For example, if a patient suffers from dry eye after the LASIK surgery, they might not need to get a reversal procedure done, and the doctor can prescribe eye drops or other treatments to help cure the issue. If a patient experiences halos or glare, they may be able to wear special glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision.
The time in which you are considering a reversal procedure is also important. There might be cases where the patient is dissatisfied with the results of the LASIK surgery and thus wants it to be reversed. The eye may not have been completely healed a couple of days after the surgery. Thus, letting the eye heal completely becomes important before considering a reversal. In certain cases, a second LASIK surgery can help correct the minor complications the first poses. A visit to the eye doctor can help you evaluate this.
It can be concluded that LASIK surgery is highly effective and can help correct vision-related issues, but it is not typically reversible. Despite the availability of procedures like PRK or corneal transplant, the procedure may only be successful or appropriate for some patients. While there a very few cases where the surgery can go wrong and a reversal is required, it is important to analyze the risks and complications involved in getting the alternate procedures done. Discussing any queries or questions about these procedures with the surgeon before the surgery is also very important.