Last Updated on July 26, 2023 by Emma White
Lasik eye surgery is not recommended during pregnancy because it can affect the corneal shape due to changes in hormones and fluid retention. Lasik eye surgery is a popular procedure that can correct refractive errors, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness.
However, pregnancy can cause hormonal changes that can affect the shape of the cornea, leading to changes in vision. Moreover, the fluid retention during pregnancy can also influence the accuracy of measurements taken before lasik surgery. Due to these factors, lasik eye surgery is not advisable during pregnancy, and most surgeons recommend waiting at least three months after childbirth to undergo the procedure.
Meanwhile, pregnant women can use glasses or contact lenses to correct vision issues, and consult with their ophthalmologists to determine the safest options for their eye health during pregnancy.
Understanding Lasik Surgery
Can You Get Lasik While Pregnant?
Pregnancy is a time of profound change in a woman’s body, making it a crucial time to monitor one’s health and well-being. If you’re considering lasik eye surgery to correct your vision, it is essential to know whether lasik is safe during pregnancy.
Here, we’ll explore the critical facets of lasik surgery, its various types, and some potential risks and complications associated with it.
What Is Lasik Surgery?
Lasik stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, an eye surgery that has been in use since the 1990s. It is a refractive surgery that reshapes the cornea to improve visual acuity, making the image focus sharply on the retina. Lasik reduces the dependency on glasses or contact lenses that people with myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism have.
How Does It Work?
In lasik, a laser is used to create a flap on the surface of the cornea, which is then folded back. The laser then reshapes the underlying corneal tissue to correct the vision. After the laser treatment is complete, the corneal flap is carefully returned to its original position, where it adheres naturally without the need for sutures.
Different Types Of Lasik Surgery
Several lasik variations exist.
- Wavefront-guided lasik- a computer creates a three-dimensional model of the eye to guide the laser’s reshaping process. This process improves the surgery’s accuracy, allowing for better visual outcomes.
- Bladeless or femtosecond lasik- a laser is used to create the corneal flap instead of a microkeratome, a small blade used to create the incision in traditional lasik surgery. This procedure minimizes the possibility of flap-related complications.
Potential Risks And Complications Associated With Lasik Surgery
As with any medical procedure, lasik has some potential risks and complications.
- Undercorrection or overcorrection- lasik may not correct your vision as much as you hoped.
- Dry eye- lasik can make your eyes feel dry, itchy, or gritty for a few days.
- Corneal flap complications- in rare cases, the flap made during lasik surgery may not heal correctly, leading to complications that require further treatment.
- Night vision disturbances- some patients may experience glare, halos, starbursts or double vision at night after lasik.
- Infection or inflammation- lasik requires cutting the cornea. Even though the chances of getting an infection are minimal, it’s still a potential side effect.
- Pregnancy- it is not advisable to undergo lasik surgery during pregnancy due to hormonal changes that could affect your vision.
Lasik surgery is a popular, safe, and effective way to correct vision problems. However, pregnant women should be cautious and postpone lasik until after they give birth. Remember to discuss any vision concerns or lasik surgery options with your doctor to ensure the best outcome for your visual needs.
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Pregnancy And Eye Changes
Lasik surgery is a popular option for correcting vision problems, but many wonder if it’s possible to get lasik while pregnant. If you’re pregnant and considering lasik, it’s important to understand how pregnancy can affect your eyes and the surgery itself.
Common Eye Changes During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can cause a variety of changes in your eyes, including:
- Dry eyes: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can result in less tear production, leading to dry and uncomfortable eyes.
- Blurred vision: As your body retains fluids during pregnancy, it can cause swelling in the eyes and changes in your vision.
- Eye floaters: Hormonal changes can also cause changes in the vitreous, the gelatinous substance in your eye, leading to the appearance of floaters.
- Changes in prescription: Due to hormonal changes and fluid retention, many women experience changes in their eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions during pregnancy.
How Pregnancy Can Affect Lasik Surgery
Lasik surgery involves reshaping the cornea of your eye to correct refractive errors. During pregnancy, hormonal changes can cause changes in the cornea’s shape and thickness, making it difficult for lasik surgeons to obtain accurate measurements. As a result, many lasik surgeons will advise against undergoing the surgery while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Additionally, while lasik surgery is generally safe and low-risk, there is always the possibility of complications. Because pregnancy is a sensitive time for both mother and baby, any potential complications could be riskier than in a non-pregnant woman.
While lasik surgery is a viable option for correcting vision problems, it’s not recommended for pregnant women. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect the accuracy of measurements taken during a lasik consultation, making it difficult to know if you’re a suitable candidate for the procedure.
Additionally, any potential complications could pose a significant risk to both mother and baby. If you’re considering lasik surgery, it’s best to wait until after your pregnancy and breastfeeding journey is over to ensure the safety and success of the procedure.
Can You Get Lasik While Pregnant?
Pregnancy comes with a lot of physical changes, including hormonal changes that can affect your eyesight. This raises questions about whether it’s safe to undergo lasik surgery while pregnant. The good news is that lasik surgery is possible during pregnancy, but there are several factors to consider beforehand.
Factors To Consider Before Getting Lasik Surgery During Pregnancy
Before you decide to undergo lasik surgery while pregnant, here are a few factors to consider:
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect vision and result in myopia, which is why it’s crucial to confirm whether your vision has stabilized before undergoing lasik surgery.
- The use of numbing eye drops and antibiotics during the surgery could affect fetal development.
- The immune system is suppressed during pregnancy, making the recovery process after lasik surgery slower than usual.
- Lasik surgery during pregnancy could potentially cause dry eye syndrome, a common eye condition that results in mild discomfort, and blurry vision.
Guidelines And Recommendations For Lasik Surgery During Pregnancy
Here are some guidelines and recommendations that you should be aware of if you choose to undergo lasik surgery during pregnancy:
- It’s essential to wait at least 3 months after giving birth before undergoing lasik surgery to ensure vision stability.
- Consult your obstetrician and lasik surgeon to evaluate the potential risks and benefits associated with the procedure during pregnancy carefully.
- If you must have lasik surgery during pregnancy, try to schedule the procedure during the second trimester, as it’s the safest time for the fetus.
- Make sure your surgeon uses the safest lasik technique during the procedure to avoid excessive pressure or damage to your eyes.
- Avoid using topical antibiotics or eye drops after the surgery since they can pass into breast milk.
Alternatives To Lasik Surgery During Pregnancy
If you’re pregnant and want to improve your visual acuity without undergoing lasik surgery, there are some alternative options to consider:
- Contact lenses can correct vision issues without any harm to the fetus. However, they require good hygiene practices and regular check-ups.
- Prescription glasses are another option that doesn’t carry any risks to the baby but may not be as convenient as contact lenses for some people.
- Vision therapy is a non-invasive treatment that involves exercises and other visual aids to improve vision.
Pregnancy doesn’t rule out the possibility of lasik surgery, but you should carefully consider the potential risks and guidelines before making a decision. As always, consult your doctor and surgeon to evaluate your options.
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Frequently Asked Questions On Can You Get Lasik While Pregnant?
Is It Safe To Get Lasik While Pregnant?
No, it is not safe to get lasik while pregnant. The hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause changes to the shape and thickness of your cornea, which is the part of the eye that is reshaped during lasik surgery. This can result in an inaccurate measurement for your lasik procedure and cause unpredictable results.
Can You Get Lasik While Breastfeeding?
No, it is not recommended to get lasik while breastfeeding. Although there is no evidence of any negative effects on breast milk, it is important to ensure that the baby does not ingest any medication or medication metabolites that may be present in the breast milk.
When Is It Safe To Get Lasik After Pregnancy?
It is recommended to wait for at least three months after pregnancy and breastfeeding have ended before undergoing lasik surgery. This will allow any hormonal changes to stabilize, and your eyes to return to a stable state. It is also important to consult with your eye doctor and obstetrician before undergoing lasik surgery to ensure that it is safe for you.
Are There Any Alternatives To Lasik For Pregnant Women And New Mothers?
Yes, there are alternatives to lasik for pregnant women and new mothers. Contact lenses and prescription glasses can provide an effective solution for vision correction during pregnancy and postpartum. Additionally, refractive lens exchange (rle) or phakic intraocular lens implants may be options for those who are not eligible for lasik surgery.
It is important to consult with your eye doctor to determine the best option for you based on your specific needs.
Lasik surgery and pregnancy don’t go hand in hand. Though lasik has a fast recovery period, it’s essential to wait until after giving birth to undergo the procedure. Health risks for the baby and the mother are always priority, and no potential outcome should jeopardize that.
Moreover, lasik surgery requires medication and aftercare that may not be suitable during pregnancy. It’s necessary to discuss your situation with your trusted eye doctor and obstetrician before making any decisions. Always prioritize your health and the growing child inside you.
Remember that vision changes during pregnancy may be a temporary problem, and managing it appropriately is essential. Follow up with your healthcare providers consistently and adhere to recommendations given. Finally, if lasik is something you desire, it’s worth waiting for after delivery to ensure safety for both you and the baby.