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Can You Get LASIK Twice? How Many Times Can You Get LASIK?

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“Yes, it’s possible to undergo LASIK surgery more than once; this known as a LASIK enhancement or LASIK retreatment. The most common reason is a change in prescription which is typically not because the surgery lost it’s effect, or ‘wore out’, but due to changes in other parts of the eye such as the lens. A second LASIK procedure can improve your vision.” – Dr. Tom Tooma, M.D., Founder & Medical Director

If your vision has changed since your LASIK procedure, it is important to have a consult with your eye doctor or seek another opinion from another LASIK surgeon regarding the advisability of having a LASIK enhancement. You should consider all the potential risks and benefits of the procedure before making a final decision.

How Many Times Can You Get LASIK?

“Generally, there is no cap or a specific number of times a person can undergo LASIK eye surgery. The main factor in determining if you are a LASIK enhancement candidate typically depends on the health of your eyes, the stability of your vision, your corneal thickness, your corneal topography, and the reason for considering a second procedure.” – Dr. Tom Tooma, M.D., Founder & Medical Director

98% of people of who have LASIK get 20/20 vision, making it unlikely to need an enhancement.

Less than 2% of people who have LASIK need an enhancement during the first year after LASIK, and less than 5% need it during their lifetime.

Why Would You Get LASIK Twice?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that it takes about three to six months after a LASIK surgery for your eyes to fully heal and for your prescription to stabilize. For this reason, you should wait at least that long before considering a LASIK enhancement surgery.

After your eyes have healed and your prescription has stabilized, you may consider a Lasik enhancement for the following possible reasons.

1. Regression: In some cases, after the initial LASIK surgery, you might experience a change in your vision over time due to factors such as changes in the eye’s structure, most commonly your lens. That happens not because the Lasik procedure ‘wore out’, but because, in a small number of people, these lens changes do change your vision. This can be easily addressed by performing lens-based surgery such as a Refractive Lens Exchange. Early cataracts can also cause changes in your vision and can also be addressed by cataract surgery.

2. Residual refractive error: Sometimes, after the first LASIK surgery, there might be a residual refractive error, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism. This can be easily addressed by performing a Lasik enhancement.

3. Aging Changes in the eye: most people, after their early to mid-forties, will have difficulty reading and will start needing reading glasses or bifocals/progressive glasses. This will happen whether you have had Lasik or not. This condition is called – presbyopia. If you had LASIK in your twenties or thirties, before the development of presbyopia, you may consider an enhancement surgery called Monovision LASIK to reduce or eliminate your need for reading glasses. With monovision, one eye is optimized for distance and the other eye is optimized for near vision. We sometimes refer to this as Blended Vision, since both eyes ‘help’ each other for distance and near vision.

4. Complications: Although rare, complications can occur after LASIK eye surgery. If there are complications from the initial procedure that affect your vision, a second LASIK procedure might be necessary to address them.

It’s essential to consult with your eye doctor or LASIK surgeon to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for a second LASIK eye surgery. Your surgeon will assess your eye health, current vision prescription, and any other relevant factors to help you decide whether a Lasik enhancement will be safe and effective.

Additionally, they will discuss the potential risks and benefits associated with undergoing another LASIK eye surgery.

A LASIK enhancement may not be ideal for everyone. Instead, you may wish to wear reading glasses or a light prescription to correct minor visual disturbances. Discuss your options with your surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for LASIK enhancement and if it is the right choice.

What Are the Risks of Getting LASIK Enhancement?

“As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and side effects. Fortunately, the risk is extremely small. Most of these negative side effects will improve with time.” – – Dr. Tom Tooma, M.D., Founder & Medical Director

Potential complications include the following:

·   Halos, glare, dry eyes, loss of contrast. Most of these symptoms will improve with time. If not improved, most can be effectively treated

·   Epithelial Ingrowth and Ectasia: The Review of Ophthalmology warns that epithelial ingrowth and corneal ectasia are possible complications of a LASIK enhancement that involves lifting the corneal flap. Epithelial ingrowth is a condition whereby epithelial cells (the outermost layer of the cornea) grow under the flap and will need to be removed surgically. Epithelial Ingrowth repair is generally safe and effective in correcting the condition.

·   Bulging: Corneal ectasia: Ectasia is a rare condition (one in several thousand procedures) that can occur after primary LASIK, or after a Lasik enhancement.  Ectasia may occur if the cornea is too thin, if the patient rubs their eyes vigorously, or because the patient was not a candidate for Lasik in the first place. The risk of this condition can increase with LASIK enhancements, the American Academy of Ophthalmology warns.

Accurate corneal tissue thickness measurements and corneal topography (contour maps) are imperative to determine if it is safe to proceed.

Learn more about LASIK eye surgery or find an eye clinic location near you.

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