By Anthony Nappi, OD / Published February 6, 2024 / 4 min. read
LASIK eye surgery is one of the most popular elective procedures in America. Millions of people have gotten laser eye surgery to correct their vision, and the LASIK success rate is over 90%. LASIK boasts one of the highest post-procedure satisfaction rates, with most people saying they are glad they had it done.
Let’s dive into the risks, safety records, and efficacy of LASIK vision correction surgery.
How Risky is LASIK?
Like any surgical procedure, LASIK comes with risks. There is a risk that the procedure won’t be completely effective, resulting in vision that isn’t fully corrected. Vision problems, though rare, have been reported after surgery. There are also risks of complications such as infection or injury to the eye.
Some people experience minor discomforts and laser eye surgery side effects such as dry eyes or pain immediately following the procedure. These issues are often temporary.
Overall, however, these complications are unlikely. Most people come out of LASIK without any lasting problems.
LASIK Failure Rate
Overall, the LASIK failure rate is very low in terms of vision correction. Most people who undergo LASIK have noticeable improvements in their vision within days after the procedure. According to a study published in 2019, 99% of participants had a vision of 20/40 or better and 70% had a vision of 20/20 or better after LASIK.¹
The study revealed that only 2.5% of patients needed additional LASIK procedures. The people who underwent a second procedure had similar vision improvement rates as those who had success with the initial treatment.
LASIK Failure Count
The risk of LASIK going wrong and leading to complications is also very low. The 2019 study found that less than 1% of patients had complications from LASIK. According to the Refractive Surgery Council, there are no reports of the LASIK procedure being a primary cause of blindness.²
You can reduce your risk of complications from LASIK by working with a certified, experienced doctor. Your doctor will ask you about your medical and vision history and your LASIK goals. They will also evaluate whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. You might be disappointed to hear your doctor say that LASIK is not right for you, but your eyes are too valuable to take risks with them.
Is LASIK 100% Effective?
No surgical procedure is 100% effective. However, LASIK has one of the highest success and satisfaction rates of any elective procedure, with 96% of LASIK patients reporting high satisfaction after treatment. Effectiveness studies show that 70% to 90% of LASIK patients achieve 20/20 vision or better after treatment.
Even people who don’t achieve “perfect” vision after LASIK are pleased with their results. They often have dramatic improvements from what their vision was before. The improvements are usually enough to allow people to stop wearing glasses or contacts, which is often the main goal of LASIK.
LASIK Age Limit
There is no upper age limit for LASIK. LASIK is approved for adults over the age of 18, though most experts agree that it’s best to wait until you’re over 21 to get the procedure. That’s the age when vision stabilizes. If you have LASIK before then, your eyes may change, and your previous LASIK may no longer correct your vision.
Your doctor can tell you if LASIK is appropriate for your age and health status.
Is LASIK Eye Surgery Worth it?
If you are healthy enough to undergo LASIK and your doctor agrees it’s the best procedure to correct your vision, the benefits most likely outweigh the risks. LASIK has a long record of safe and effective medical outcomes. Most people who undergo LASIK do not experience lasting complications, and they have significant improvements in their vision.
Another factor to consider before deciding on LASIK is cost. Because it is considered elective, insurance does not cover vision correction surgery. You will have to pay the full LASIK eye surgery cost yourself.
Any elective procedure is a personal choice. You may have special concerns, health conditions, or personal experiences that make LASIK more of a risk than you want to take. You can discuss your concerns and questions with the doctors at BDP Lasik. We can help you decide if LASIK is the right procedure for you.
To discuss LASIK and whether it’s right for you, contact us today.
1. The British Journal of Ophthalmology: “Eighteen-year prospective audit of LASIK outcomes for myopia in 53 731 eyes.”
2. Refractive Surgery Council. “Is LASIK Safe? What You Need to Know.”