Can You Have Lasik More Than Once?

The realm of ophthalmology has made leaps and bounds in the past few decades, with LASIK eye surgery standing out as a beacon of hope for those wishing to correct their vision permanently. 

Since its FDA approval in the late 1990s, millions have turned to this procedure to correct refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. 

However, a common question that surfaces among prospective and former patients alike is: Can you have LASIK more than once?

The answer is both simple and complex. Yes, it is possible to undergo LASIK surgery more than once, a process often referred to as LASIK enhancement. 

However, whether you should, depends on various factors including the health of your eyes, the thickness of your cornea, and the reason for the repeat procedure. 

This blog post aims to shed light on the intricacies of undergoing LASIK more than once and what patients should consider.


Understanding LASIK and Its Longevity

LASIK, or Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, is a popular refractive surgery designed to correct vision issues such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. By reshaping the cornea, LASIK improves the eye’s ability to focus, potentially eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses.

The results of LASIK can be life-changing, providing clear vision and newfound freedom from corrective eyewear. However, one of the questions that frequently arises is about the longevity of these results. Can your eyes change after LASIK, necessitating the procedure again?


Reasons for Considering Second LASIK Surgery

1. Regression

In some cases, patients may experience a regression in their vision quality. This can occur months or even years after the initial procedure and is typically due to the eye’s natural healing process or age-related changes. 

When significant regression compromises vision, a second LASIK procedure, often referred to as a LASIK enhancement, may be considered to refine the correction.

2. Residual Refractive Errors

Although rare, some patients might not achieve their desired visual outcome after the first LASIK surgery due to under-correction or over-correction of their refractive error. 

If the discrepancy is significant and affects daily activities, an enhancement procedure might be warranted to fine-tune the initial results.

3. Changes in Vision

As we age, our eyes naturally undergo changes that can impact our vision. 

Presbyopia, the age-related loss of near vision, is a common condition that typically begins in a person’s 40s and can affect those who have had LASIK surgery. While LASIK does not prevent presbyopia, patients might opt for additional procedures to improve their near vision or correct other changes that occur over time.

4. Lifestyle Changes

Significant lifestyle changes, such as jobs that strain the eyes or new sports activities, might require adjustments in vision correction.

5. Enhancements Are Part of the Plan

For some individuals, particularly those with a high prescription, the surgeon may plan a staged approach to LASIK from the outset. This involves an initial correction followed by a planned enhancement after the eyes have stabilised.


Considerations Before a Second LASIK Procedure

1. Corneal Thickness

One of the critical factors determining the feasibility of a second LASIK procedure is the thickness of the cornea. LASIK involves removing a small amount of corneal tissue to reshape the eye. If the cornea is too thin, undergoing another procedure could compromise the structural integrity of the eye, leading to complications. An ophthalmologist will measure corneal thickness to ensure it’s safe to proceed with an enhancement.

2. Eye Health

Overall eye health is paramount when considering any refractive surgery. Conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, or corneal diseases can affect the outcome of a second LASIK procedure. A comprehensive eye examination will help determine if any underlying issues need to be addressed before considering further surgery.

3. Realistic Expectations

It’s essential to have realistic expectations when considering a second LASIK procedure. While many patients achieve improved vision, achieving perfect vision without glasses or contact lenses isn’t guaranteed. Discussing potential outcomes and risks with an experienced ophthalmologist can help set realistic expectations.

4. Interval Between Surgeries

Typically, surgeons recommend waiting at least 3 to 6 months after the first LASIK procedure before considering an enhancement. This waiting period allows your vision to stabilize, providing a clearer picture of whether a second surgery is necessary.


The Procedure for a Second LASIK Surgery

If deemed a suitable candidate, the process for a second LASIK surgery is similar to the initial procedure. The surgeon will use a laser to gently lift the corneal flap created during the first surgery and reshape the underlying corneal tissue. The flap is then repositioned, and the eye begins its healing process. Recovery from a second LASIK surgery is typically quick, with most patients noticing an improvement in their vision within a few days.


Risks and Considerations

While LASIK retreatment can be successful, it’s not without risks. Possible complications include dry eyes, halos, glare, and, in rare instances, loss of vision. Choosing a skilled and experienced surgeon can minimise these risks. It’s also crucial to have a detailed discussion about the potential benefits and drawbacks before proceeding with a second surgery.


Alternatives to a Second LASIK Procedure

If a second LASIK procedure is not advisable or if you’re looking for other options, there are alternatives:



Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a type of laser eye surgery that, like LASIK, reshapes the cornea. It’s often considered for patients who may not be ideal candidates for a second LASIK procedure due to thinner corneas.


Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

RLE involves replacing the eye’s natural lens with an artificial one to correct vision. It’s typically recommended for older patients who might also be dealing with cataracts.


Glasses or Contact Lenses

In some cases, returning to corrective eyewear for certain activities or opting for progressive lenses might be the best solution.


Making the Decision

Deciding to undergo LASIK a second time is personal and should be made with careful consideration of the potential risks and benefits. Consulting with a trusted eye care professional who can provide personalised advice based on your unique situation is essential.



Undergoing LASIK more than once is possible and can be a viable option for individuals experiencing changes in their vision or those seeking further refinement after their initial procedure. However, careful consideration and thorough evaluation by a qualified ophthalmologist are crucial to ensure the best outcome. With the right approach and realistic expectations, a second LASIK procedure can help patients continue to enjoy the benefits of clearer vision.


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