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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Dangers of LASIK eye surgery

Laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is a surgical procedure to reduce nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism by reshaping tissue in the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye. Its purpose is to reduce a person's dependency on corrective devices, such as glasses or contact lenses.

It evolved from a variety of refractive surgery techniques including photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). In LASIK, an automated device called a microkeratome is used to create a thin flap in the cornea that is lifted; an excimer laser is then used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue and the flap is replaced over the treated area.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the excimer laser in 1995 for the PRK correction of nearsightedness and in 1998 for the LASIK correction of nearsightedness with or without astigmatism.

LASIK is the most popular elective surgery in the U.S. About 1.35 million total LASIK procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2004, up from 1.15 million procedures in 2003.

Tiger Woods had LASIK surgery in October 1999, and claims it helped his golf game. Other celebrities like tennis play Jennifer Capriati, U2 bass player Adam Clayton, and professional golfer Ian Leggatt have had complications from the surgery.

Before anyone gets this surgery they should understand that some patients suffer complications. Here are some of their stories:

VisionSimulations.com - help individuals with normal vision understand the visual aberrations and complications of refractive surgery (i.e., LASIK, LASEK, PRK)
SurgicalEyes.Org - Deals with LASIK and other refractive surgery complications
Banker Gets $7 Million in LASIK Suit [consumeraffairs.com, Aug. 2, 2005]
LASIK Advisory: Warning Label for Eye Surgery [TJN]

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