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LASIK and Pregnancy

Posted by fasttrack on August 9, 2016

LASIK__Pregnancy.jpgLASIK vision correction is not recommended during or shortly after pregnancy. It is recommended that you postpone LASIK due to the following concerns:

Hormone fluctuations: Fluctuations in hormone levels and fluid retention can cause changes in your vision and eye anatomy. It is common to experience small changes in nearsightedness or astigmatism during pregnancy. Hormone changes during pregnancy can affect the shape and thickness of the cornea, the part of the eye that is manipulated during LASIK. These changes may not only affect the success of the procedure, but also may affect how your eye heals.

Dry Eyes: Normal patients who have LASIK often complain of dry eyes for a few months after LASIK. When LASIK is performed, the nerves that run through the cornea are severed. These nerves regenerate but it takes about 3-6 months for that to occur. During that time, the normal feedback mechanism that controls tear production is interrupted and dry eyes may occur. Hormone changes can lead to dry eyes during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Dry eyes may make your eyes uncomfortable and could delay healing after LASIK. As a result, it is best not to add complicating factors to the healing process.

Radiation: An often-overlooked reason for waiting on LASIK is the issue of radiation from the laser. This is considered an extremely small risk, but still should be considered, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is of low concern but any risk of exposure to potentially hazardous material during pregnancy should be avoided if possible.

Medications: To undergo LASIK, your eyes must be dilated. The medications administered for dilation, as well as antibiotic and steroid eye drops prescribed after LASIK surgery, could be absorbed through mucous membranes, which could be harmful to the fetus.

After pregnancy and during breastfeeding, hormones levels are still fluctuating. In Greenville, Dr. Donelson recommends waiting at least six months after discontinuing breastfeeding before scheduling LASIK surgery. Although having LASIK can be a very exciting time for a highly nearsighted individual, LASIK is still considered an elective procedure that is not medically necessary.  Waiting a few more months is usually the best approach. What is important is the state of your vision -- LASIK should not be performed until your prescription is completely stable.

To learn more about LASIK surgery or to schedule a consultation, contact Donelson Eye Associates at 864-987-0034 or donelsoneye.com