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The Risk Factors of Eye Surgery

Updated: Mar 25

Everyone has heard about corrective Laser eye surgery Lasik or PRK. What you don’t hear is how wrong things can go. There is a 5 percent chance of an eye surgery going wrong according to the Laser Eye Surgery Hub.

A “life-changing” surgery sounds like a wonderful idea, that doesn’t mean it is life-changing for the right reasons or for the best. I have not posted any news lately, due to my corrective eye surgery, which was done on October 10, 2019. I now want to share my experience.

My personal experience was unexpected and unfortunate. I considered Lasik eye surgery for years, and I did a fair amount of research before deciding to have it done. I chose a company that has very good reviews, which came highly recommended by some family friends.

The surgery took 18 minutes. The day of the surgery there were no notable issues, I was able to open my eyes to some extent and had the ability to carry out the rest of my day. The extreme pain began to set in, not even 24 hours after the surgery. I was unable to sleep or open my eyes for days, so I called them and set up a follow up appointment. The doctors kept referring to the immense pain as “normal.”

On the third day the pain was so great I could not open my eyes, a family member took me to the follow up appointment. When the doctor looked at my eyes, she noticed that the contact lenses used to protect the eyes from damage after surgery was too small. When she removed and replaced the contact lens, the cut made during the surgery reopened, resulting in prolonged healing in the left eye. The pain continued despite replacing the contact lenses for the correct size.

The optometrists of the office, who refer to themselves as doctors, said everything I was experiencing was normal, but they did not realize that it was not “normal” as they had forgotten to give me the secondary medicated pain eye drops.

As a result, I spent five days in complete darkness as the pain was terrible. It was one of the worst pains I have ever experienced. I would not wish it on anyone. After two weeks of pain and not being able to see, the optometrist that had been seeing me, called in the ophthalmologist who had actually done my surgery, to see my eyes. My surgery was on October 10, 2019, and I am still having problems.

The doctors said the recovery period would be about two weeks and to be at 100% six months. Everyone recovers differently, and no one could foresee complications. Often, doctors use the word “normal” to establish confidence and patient security. Vague wording should not be used by medical professionals who perform eye surgery or any high-risk surgery because the wording is imprecise and unique to the individual. Surgery with a supposed recovery process of two days to two weeks ended up putting my life on hold with no outside interactions for a month and a half.

In the research of these article I found out, that what happened to me is not uncommon and I was lucky, with this Laser surgery there are far worst things that can happen.

According to “LASIK: Know the Rewards and the Risks” by contributor, Cameren Rogers, Jason Esveld a 28-year-old engineer conducted research after his post-op which led him to believe that LASIK had left him with ocular neuropathic pain, a result of nerve damage in the cornea.

He has been prescribed blood serum tears, steroid drops for inflammation, various therapies for nerve pain such as anti-seizure medications and antidepressants, and even medical marijuana. Also case studies as far back as the 1990s document patients having pain, discomfort in their eyes, and impaired vision to the point of affecting mental health, sometimes leading to depression and even suicide.

I would also like to point out the enormous difference between an “Optometrist” and “Ophthalmologist” they are both referred to as “Doctors.” The Optometrist has a four-year degree and are not “medical doctors” nor do they have a doctorate degree.

The Ophthalmologists are medical doctors with an average 12 years education and training.

One should be made aware of any and all complications which may occur during or after surgery. The appropriate doctor must be consulted and a detailed description of condition and treatment options must be discussed.

By Alex Fernandez