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Qualification and risk


A laser correction surgery is preceded by detailed and complete ophthalmologic examination consisting of the following:

  • evaluation of near and far vision acuity,
  • refractometry before and after cyploplegy,
  • keratometry (measurement of the cornea curvature),
  • the cornea topography (map),
  • pachymetry (corneal thickness measurement),
  • measurement of the pupil and cornea sizes,
  • A- and B-scan USG examination of eye balls,
  • tonometry (intraocular pressure examination),
  • perymetry (vision field examination),
  • gonioscopy (drainage angle examination),
  • evaluation of front section of the eye,
  • eye bottom examination,
  • Schirmer's test (tear production assessment)

The examinations aim at exact determination of kind and size of vision defects and collecting data needed for setting of a laser beam individually for each eye and excluding ophthalmologic surgery counterindications.
Apart from ophthalmologic qualification, the ophthalmologist conducts an interview concerning a patient’s general condition of health in order to determine whether a patient can undergo laser correction surgery (see: counterindication). Where necessary, other consultations, especially those of the dentist and laryngologist, may be obtained.
Patients using contact lenses should stop their use a few weeks before the planned surgery depending on the type of lenses.


Laser vision correction surgeries are considered as safe and burdened with minor degree of risk. The clinical examination, which have been carried out for many years, have shown that there is a low percentage of mid – and post –operative complications reaching the level of 1% of all operated cases. One need to be aware that laser vision correction is a surgery and, similarly to any other, even the most minor, surgeries, it interferes with the human body. None of responsible ophthalmic surgeon or a respected refractive surgery centre can guarantee that the procedure will be effective in 100% and vision will be much better than before the surgery. Therefore, before taking decision to undergo laser vision correction, each patient has to consider benefits from the surgery and potential risks of unplanned effects carried by the surgery.

The following belong to possible undesired effects:

  • Overcorrection (excessive correction) or undercorrection (incomplete correction).
  • Lowering of vision acuity with optimal defect correction at the same time.
  • Irregular astigmatism.
  • The cornea inflammation.
  • Corneal hazing.
  • Drying of corneal epithelium.
  • Increase of intraocular pressure connected with the use of steroid preparations.
  • Weakening of vision contract in weaker lighting.
  • Dazzling effect (strong light in the darkness)

Undesired effects connected with epithelium flap cutting:

  • Dislocation of epithelium flap – may occur up to 24 hours after the surgery and later only as a result of an injury.
  • Epithelial in-growth of the flap.
  • Irregular or complete cutting of the flap.
  • DLK (Diffuse Lamellar Keratitis) – very rare type of cornea inflammation.

Most of the above mentioned complications are of temporary character and they can be effectively cured.
During qualification examinations the ophthalmologist will provide a patient with exhaustive information concerning potential risks of particular types of surgeries.

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 January 2011 01:42