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A Guide to Laser Vision Correction

Dr. Robert Maloney believes that a well-informed patient is key to successful vision correction surgery. He wants to be sure that you fully understand what you can expect from your procedure you choose.

He wants to help you care for and preserve your eyesight in the best way possible. Here, you can find the information that you need to help you make informed choices about health care for your eyes.

Contemplating Laser Eye Surgery

Issues to Discuss with your Doctor

The following factors represent areas of controversy in terms of whether a patient is a good candidate for LASIK. Some eye doctors recommend avoiding LASIK surgery, while others believe that decisions need to be made on a case-by-case basis. If you have any of these conditions, discuss them with your eye surgeon.

  • Unusually large pupils. One of the potential side effects of LASIK is glare or seeing halos around lights at night. If you have unusually large pupils, more light enters your eyes at night. Some doctors believe that this extra light causes more glare and halos. A number of major studies have now shown that this is not the case, that there is little if any correlation between pupil size and night vision. More and more doctors are coming to agree with us that pupil size is relatively unimportant to your candidacy for LASIK.
  • Nursing mothers. Some doctors are concerned that vision may change while a mother is nursing. This is not our experience. If more than two months have passed since delivery, you are a candidate for LASIK. However, if you are nursing and do have the surgery, we recommend you don't take any oral sedatives, like Valium, that your doctor routinely offers, because they will get into your breast milk.
  • Pacemakers. Some pacemakers that are more than twenty years old can be affected by electromagnetic fields emitted by equipment like the excimer laser. Patients with older pacemakers can still have LASIK, but they may require that a technician be present to oversee the pacemaker. Newer pacemaker models are unaffected by the laser.
  • Autoimmune diseases. These diseases are caused by an abnormal attack by your immune system on the natural, healthy cells of your body. Certain autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are rarely associated with corneal melting, or dissolving, in patients who have eye surgery. These conditions can also cause severe dry eye. In general, we find that if you have an autoimmune disease but are under age sixty-five and don't have severe dryness, you may be a candidate for LASIK.
  • The use of certain prescription medicines. Some doctors believe that certain prescription medicines impair healing. These prescription drugs include Accutane, used to treat severe acne; amiodarone, prescribed to treat irregular heartbeat; and oral steroids, often used by individuals with severe allergies, with asthma, or with inflamma tory diseases such as arthritis and lupus. Tell your eye doctor about any prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking.
Finding the Right LASIK Surgeon »

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