Can You Get LASIK After Retinal Detachment Surgery?
Determining Whether Laser Vision Correction Is an Option for You
Many prospective LASIK patients who have had retinal detachment surgeries in the past have questions about whether they can safely undergo LASIK. The answer is not a simple yes or no, as each patient’s unique medical history will be the primary factor in determining whether they are a LASIK candidate. There are also degrees of retinal detachment—for example, if only a very small part of your retina is detached you may not even have any noticeable symptoms. This is one reason why a number of comprehensive eye exams are performed before determining your LASIK eligibility.
What Is Retinal Detachment?
According to the National Eye Institute, retinal detachment occurs when your retina—a layer of light-sensitive tissue in the back of your eye—is pulled away from its normal position. This detachment can occur for many reasons, and you may be at higher risk if you have had a prior eye surgery or eye injury, or if you have had a retinal detachment in the past. One of the most common causes is aging. Some symptoms of retinal detachment are:
- A new occurrence of floaters in your vision
- Seeing flashes of light in one or both eyes
- Experiencing a shadow—like a curtain falling—on the sides or middle of your vision
Retinal detachment is considered a medical emergency, so it is very important to see your eye doctor immediately if you suspect that you have any of the symptoms.
LASIK for Patients With Past Retinal Detachment
LASIK cannot be used to treat or correct retinal detachment. However, some patients who have had retinal detachment procedures in the past and are fully healed can still benefit from LASIK surgery to correct their vision. There are cases where scarring from severe retinal detachment may cause your eye doctor and LASIK surgeon to advise you against undergoing LASIK.
We recommend starting by having a discussion with your primary eye doctor and then scheduling a consultation with the LVC team. Together, we will assess your unique eye health and medical history to determine whether you are a strong candidate for LASIK.