What Lasik Surgery Results Can I Expect

Lasik surgery results are becoming more and more predictable. But no one will guarantee any specific results from any surgery. Lasik is performed more frequently than any surgery in the U.S. As such, you can expect to find a surgeon who has plenty of experience.

According to the Eye Surgery Education Council (ESEC) the goal of refractive surgery to expect to need corrective lenses far less than you do now. And for most patients that’s no need, whatsoever.

Recovery and Healing

Depending upon the type of laser surgery you have done your Lasik surgery results will vary during recovery. You can expect to see improvements within a week. Many patient see improvements in as little as one day.

Procedures that use flaps, such as Lasik, custom Lasik, Lasek, Epi-Lasik, and all-laser-Lasik tend to heal faster than PRK. They also have a shorter recovery period of just a few days.

Of these, Lasik (including custom Lasik) tends to have the fastest recovery and healing time. Lasek and Epi-Lasik are the next fastest to heal, respectively. While all-laser-Lasik heals bout the same as Lasik, the flap tends to heal better than a knife-cut flap.

You can usually return to work within a few days. The range is from one day to a week. Some people can drive the next day. For best results most surgeons discourage driving until the flaps reattach.

Anticipated Lasik Results

With over 1 million Lasik surgeries performed annually statistics are progressively more accurate.

Some of the Lasik surgery results that you might experience are:

  • Vision improves over a period of one day to a few weeks.
  • 20/20 vision has been achieved by about 56% of all Lasik patients.
  • 20/40 or better vision has been achieved by over 90% of all Lasik patients.
  • The best results are achieved by patients with the smallest need for correction.
  • Up to 97% of Lasik patients would have surgery again. 90-97% of patients were satisfied with their results, even if they didn’t achieve 20/40 vision.
  • Nearsighted patients’ vision tends to continue improving over six months.
  • Very nearsighted patients’ vision goals are more likely to improve to 20/40 than 20/20.
  • Farsighted patients’ vision recovers more slowly than nearsighted patients’ vision.
  • Loss of contrast sensitivity or crisp vision, termed “Lasik 20/20” is common.
  • Some patients experience poor night vision, glare, starbursts or halos. These usually diminish or disappear within several months, but some patients report permanent effects.
  • Conventional Lasik can increase higher order aberrations (HOA).
  • Wavefront guided Lasik tends to increase HOA less than conventional Lasik does.
  • Lasik surgery results for other laser surgery uses can be very different than from correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

  • PresbyLasik goals are to achieve a functional balance between distance vision and near vision.
  • Monovision Lasik is designed to achieve clear near vision in one eye and clear distant vision in the other.
  • Enhancements, or follow-up treatments are performed in 8-17% of cases. Many of these are patients who needed more correction that was best achieved in two steps.
  • Factors Affecting Satisfaction

    One of the most important elements of patient satisfaction is pre-surgery expectations. Patients who have a realistic understanding of what Lasik can and can’t achieve for them tend to be among the most satisfied.

    Lasik 20/20 might cause problems for people who do fine detail work. The loss of contrast or crisp vision can impair your ability to continue in a career or hobby. You need to weigh this risk carefully before choosing laser eye surgery.

    While 97% of patients express satisfaction with their Lasik surgery results the 8-17% who need enhancements might seem contradictory. But it’s not. Corrections for people who are more nearsighted are more difficult to predict than for those who are less nearsighted. Eye surgeons often decide to under correct and give the cornea a chance to heal. It is easier to determine the remaining correction needed to achieve best vision.

    Also, there is an unpredictable amount of “regression” than can occur. This is more common with farsighted corrections. Regression is when the cornea heals with a small change back toward its original vision. Some enhancements are done to correct regression.

    If you have wavefront-guided Lasik, you should know that the diagnostic data won’t allow under correction. Wavefront has the capacity of measuring HOA that other methods can’t measure. It tends to try to correct those, as well.

    Ultimately, choosing the right eye surgeon will play the biggest role in the Lasik surgery results you achieve. His skill in choosing the best procedure for you is as important as his skill in doing the procedure.


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