Interested in Lasik surgery but you’re expecting soon? Lasik surgeons in Los Angeles recommend waiting until after the pregnancy and when you’re done with breastfeeding before undergoing the procedure. While Lasik’s incredible 95% success rate proves its safety, hormonal changes during pregnancy can get in the way of optimal results. To understand why laser eye surgery is discouraged for expectant mothers, it’s important to go over the basics of the procedure first.
What is Lasik surgery?
Lasik involves reshaping the cornea using a laser so that the eye can properly focus on light and produce clear images. It’s a highly effective option for people who struggle with refractive errors, such as:
Recovery from laser eye surgery in Orange County is generally fast with minimal complications. While most people qualify for Lasik, certain individuals like pregnant women are encouraged to postpone the procedure at a more ideal time.
Pregnancy and Laser Eye Surgery
Lasik surgeons will not perform laser eye surgery on expectant mothers due to factors that can affect the outcome, such as:
- Hormone Fluctuations
Pregnant women typically experience hormone fluctuations and fluid retention that can cause vision changes. It can also affect the thickness and shape of the cornea, the part that’s manipulated during laser eye surgery. This can have an impact not just on the success of the operation, but also on the healing process.
- Dry Eyes
Most Lasik patients experience dry eyes for weeks or months after the procedure due to the regeneration of the corneal nerves that were severed during the operation. This process impedes tear production, thus leading to dry eyes and prolonging recovery. Since pregnancy-induced hormone changes also lead to dry eyes, the recovery period may take twice as long for expecting women.
Lasik surgery requires dilated eyes, and medications are administered to maintain this state. After the procedure, Lasik surgeons in Los Angeles usually prescribe steroid eye drops and antibiotics. Some narcotics or mild sedatives may also be given before and after the surgery. These medications are generally safe, but since their effects on fetuses are not yet fully known, it’s best not to expose the baby to any potential risk.
The risk of radiation exposure from the laser is minimal, but any exposure to potentially harmful materials should be minimized, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy.
How soon after pregnancy can you undergo Lasik surgery?
Since hormones will continue fluctuating right after pregnancy and during breastfeeding, most Lasik surgeons encourage women to wait until after at least two menstrual cycles after discontinuing breastfeeding to undergo the procedure.
Some surgeons even recommend delaying the operation at least six months after breastfeeding to ensure that the body and hormones have stabilized.
Restore Your Vision with LASIK Surgery
Once your prescription and hormones are back to normal, you can start discussing Lasik eye surgery cost and other concerns with your eye surgeon. They’ll look at other criteria to determine if you’re a good candidate such as:
- Stable prescription
- Healthy eyes
- Pupils with the proper thickness
- Good health
Lasik is your ticket to permanent clear eyesight you can enjoy for a lifetime. Set yourself up for success by consulting with your Lasik surgeon before you go for laser eye surgery!