LASIK and Pregnancy: Everything You Should Know

LASIK surgery is an amazing procedure that allows patients to correct their vision without a long recovery period and gain freedom from glasses and contact lenses. But unfortunately, it isn’t for everyone. If you are in the midst of starting your family, you may run into some roadblocks when considering LASIK surgery. Here is what you can expect and why.

Can Pregnant or Nursing Women Have LASIK?

LASIK surgery is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea to allow for proper light refraction. This new cornea shape allows your eyes to focus light, resulting in clear vision. LASIK surgery is highly effective, and is able to safely treat a wide range of patients. However, pregnant and nursing women cannot safely undergo LASIK surgery. Here’s why!

How Pregnancy and Nursing Can Affect Your Results

Pregnancy, as we all should know, creates massive changes in the way the body functions and the hormones it produces. When you become pregnant, you may notice a large amount of swelling, commonly in the face, feet, and legs. This is caused by water retention and hormone production. What most people don’t know is that this swelling can affect your eyes too! As your eyes swell, your vision may become blurrier. This is because the swelling is actually changing the shape of your eye. This typically reverts when hormone levels return to normal after pregnancy.

Before a patient undergoes LASIK surgery, their doctor must first take a detailed measurement of the cornea. This includes corneal curvature and topography. This information is then used to determine what kind of adjustments should be made during surgery. Since pregnancy affects the shape of the cornea, these results would be skewed.

For these reasons, getting LASIK while pregnant is ill-advised. It may lead to under or overcorrection of your vision. While it may not result in debilitating complications, your results will surely be affected once your eyes return to their “natural” state after pregnancy.

In addition to corneal swelling experienced during pregnancy, pregnant women are more likely to develop dry eye syndrome. Because dry eye syndrome is also a common side effect of LASIK surgery, this issue could exacerbate an already frustrating symptom of pregnancy.

Getting LASIK Before and After Pregnancy

If you are planning your family but would like to get LASIK surgery, you will find that most doctors advise avoiding pregnancy for at least 6 months after LASIK surgery. This will ensure that your vision does not revert as your hormone levels spike and return to normal after pregnancy.

You will also find that doctors recommend waiting at least six months after you finish nursing to undergo LASIK. This is for the same reason. Your hormone levels will not return to their normal state until well after you finish nursing.

Here at Malik Eye Care in Manhattan, we value women as a part of our diverse patient base. We are always here to help with women-specific issues in mind. If you have questions about whether or not LASIK is a good fit for you, contact our office to schedule your LASIK consultation! Call us at 1-88-MALIK-2020 or schedule your appointment online. We look forward to helping you achieve the vision you’re looking for.