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LASIK Surgery and the Risk of Infection

LASIK Surgery And The Risk Of Infection

No matter what treatment you undergo at our Jacksonville vision center, we want you to understand every facet of the procedure. This includes everything from pre-operative preparation to post-operative recovery and risks. While LASIK eye surgery is considered one of the safest surgical procedures, there is still a small risk of infection. To better understand how infection may form, as well as what you can do to prevent or treat it, refer to the following information.

How Does Infection Form?

There is a chance of infection whenever a break in the skin occurs, and as such, any surgery that requires an incision can possibly lead to an infection. These chances are greatly minimized through a clean surgical environment, precautionary antibiotics, and proper care throughout recovery. Nevertheless, it is impossible to keep a wound free of all bacteria, meaning some level of risk will always be present.

In LASIK surgery, a small incision is made in the eye’s cornea to create a thin flap of tissue. This flap is then lifted in order for the laser to properly correct the eye’s vision before being put back into place. When infection does occur, it is on or within this corneal flap.

The Risk of Infection after Lasik

The rate of infection after LASIK treatment is much lower than in most surgeries. Studies estimate that only .03 to .09 percent of patients will experience any level of infection, with .02 percent of cases considered serious. When infection does occur, most cases can be treated quickly and simply through antibiotic eye drops or anti-inflammatory medication.

Symptoms of Eye Infection

Some symptoms of a corneal infection are also temporary side-effects of LASIK surgery. These include blurred vision, tearing, and sensitivity to light. If these are the only symptoms you are experiencing, there may be no cause for concern, as they typically subside during the early stages of recovery. However, infections also tend to result in the following:

  • Redness of the eye
  • Irritation, or a feeling that something is in the eye
  • Pain

If you experience any of the above symptoms, especially if they persist, contact your doctor for a follow-up exam.

Avoiding Infection

By consulting an experienced doctor with strong credentials, you are already greatly minimizing the risk of post-surgical complications. Dr. Maida has performed thousands of LASIK procedures and has been a pioneer in the field of surgical vision correction. After surgery, follow his specific instructions for recovery and the chance of developing any infection will be slim. In general, this involves keeping your face and eyes clean through the following ways:

  • Avoid smoke, dust, and other irritants
  • Avoid direct eye contact with water
  • Abstain from cigarettes and alcohol
  • Abstain from lotion and makeup near the eyes
  • Avoid rubbing or touching the eyes

The Benefits of IntraLase®

The risk of infection can be further reduced through the use of an IntraLase® laser, as utilized at our practice. Conventionally, corneal flaps are created with a thin blade called a microkeratome. This practice is still widely performed and continues to produce good results, but the IntraLase® technique offers even more benefits to the patient. A bladeless procedure means that the eye will not come in contact with a foreign object during creation of the corneal flap, thus keeping infection to an absolute minimum. Additionally, IntraLase® can often create a more precisely fitting flap and result in a quicker recovery. To learn exactly how this all-laser treatment can benefit you, visit our office for an initial consultation.

Schedule Your Visit

Speak with Dr. Maida for more information on LASIK surgery and what you can expect throughout the process. Contact our office to schedule your consultation with us or to ask a question.

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