Despite its excellent safety profile and nearly unequalled record of success, LASIK eye surgery, like all surgical procedures, has some associated risks. While serious complications are extremely rare, and most side effects are mild and temporary, patients should nevertheless be fully aware of all possible risks, no matter how remote, before dedicating themselves to undergoing the procedure. At Maida Custom Vision in Jacksonville, LASIK flap complications are virtually unheard of; yet, we make sure that our patients understand that such complications can occur. We also provide them with a comprehensive list of clear post-operative instructions that will help to ensure that flap complications do not occur.
Why Do Flap Complications Occur?
The creation of a flap in the outermost layer of the cornea is what distinguishes LASIK from other forms of laser refractive surgery, such as PRK and LASEK. This means that flap complications are a potential risk of all forms of LASIK. However, these complications are slightly more common when LASIK is performed using the handheld microkeratome blade. While this blade is extraordinarily precise and safe, it is operated by hand; therefore, there are bound to be slight imperfections with the resulting corneal flap. In general, these imperfections do not interfere with LASIK results or lead to complications of any sort. Nevertheless, there is a somewhat greater risk of jagged edges, uneven depths, and other issues that could contribute to flap complications.
At Maida Custom Vision, we minimize the risk of flap complications by replacing the traditional microkeratome with an even more accurate, computer-guided laser. The revolutionary IntraLase® system removes the element of even slight human error, resulting in corneal flaps that have perfectly straight edges, with strong hinges and uniform depths. Although using the IntraLase® system to create corneal flaps does not eliminate the possibility of flap complications, it reduces them dramatically. Considering that conventional LASIK using a microkeratome is already an extremely safe surgery, bladeless LASIK represents one of the absolute safest surgical procedures in the history of medicine.
You Can Help to Reduce the Risk of Flap Complications
Regardless of the technique used to perform LASIK, patients play an important role in preventing flap complications. After LASIK surgery, it is of utter importance that you follow the post-operative instructions provided to you by Dr. Jerry Maida to the letter. These instructions may include advice tailored specifically to your case, but will almost certainly include avoiding:
- Rubbing your eyes
- Wearing eye make-up
- Lotion around your eyes
- Getting water, especially streaming water, directly in your eyes
- Contact sports
- Dust and dirt
You will be given protective eye shields to wear during sleep for the first week after your surgery; this will prevent you from accidentally rubbing your eyes at night. Itchiness and irritation can be soothed through the use of artificial tears. It is imperative that you follow all of the post-operative instructions given to you as doing so will help to ensure a safe, comfortable, speedy recovery free from flap complications.
Learn More about LASIK Flap Complications
To learn more about LASIK flap complications and how they can be avoided, please contact our laser vision correction center today.