Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, more commonly known as LASIK, laser eye surgery, or laser vision correction, has boomed in popularity across the globe in recent years.
LASIK surgery in Singapore and other parts of the world is seen as a permanent alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Unlike glasses and contact lenses, which compensate for the eye’s refractive error, LASIK surgery corrects the refractive error. The procedure is often used to treat myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Since it is a surgery, however, the procedure comes with risks.
Effectiveness of LASIK
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) under the UK’s National Health Service said current evident shows photorefractive (laser) surgery for correcting refractive errors is “safe and efficacious for use in appropriately selected patients.”
“Clinicians should ensure that patients understand the benefits and potential risks of the procedure,” the NICE continued. The risks include failure to correct the poor vision, development of new eye problems, infection in the cornea, and complications with the flap.
The US FDA, for its part, said they have yet to determine the safety and effectiveness of refractive procedures for patients with non-eye-related diseases.
LASIK has been shown to be a very effective treatment for refractive errors, and most patients are satisfied with their improved vision following the procedure. When it comes to LASIK surgery in Singapore, the Ministry of Health says it is safe for patients with mild or moderate myopia (100 degrees to 600 degrees).
Risks and Complications
As with any surgery, however, there are risks and results may differ from patient to patient. The Singapore Ministry of Health says that in a study, results vary for patients with moderate to severe myopia (>600 degrees). Observations on the long term effects of LASIK surgeries in Singapore, however, are still relatively unknown.
The surgery is not for everyone. The procedure can cause dry eyes, or could worsen it. It may also cause loss of visual quality (e.g., difficulty seeing in dim light and an increase in visual disturbances at night). Corneal scarring, higher-order aberrations, halos, and subconjunctival haemorrhage are also rare but known complications.
In certain cases, patients could suffer vision loss due to infection. Researchers calculate the risk of significant vision loss due to infection from LASIK surgery to be about 1-in-10,000 cases.
One of the alternatives to LASIK that has been gaining popularity over recent years is the Visian Implantable Contact Lens or Visian ICL™.
Visian ICL™ is a lens transplanted within the cornea to correct high near-sightedness and other related problems. It does not require the removal of tissue or reshaping of the cornea. Several studies show the quality of vision post-Visian ICL™ is better than LASIK, especially for high prescriptions.
Similar to a regular LASIK surgery in Singapore, Visian ICL™ can be carried out on both eyes on the same day. The whole procedure, including pre- and post-op care, takes about 4 hours, but the implanting takes only approximately 15 minutes per eye. Recovery is relatively quick.
Numerous studies show Visian ICL™ offers superior results compared with LASIK. The risk of higher-order aberrations and other complications are also lower with Visian ICL™ compared with standard laser eye surgery.
Before getting LASIK surgery in Singapore, it’s best to know your options. Schedule your consultation with The EyeClinic today and ask about Visian ICL™ to see if it is the right option for you.