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Can I have LASIK Eye Surgery if I am Pregnant?
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Can I have LASIK Eye Surgery if I am Pregnant?

19 Dec 2019

If you’re already pregnant or planning to get pregnant soon while toying with the idea of undergoing a Lasik eye surgery, then this post is relevant to you and you should continue to read on to find out more. Eye doctors in London suggest that it is very important for both new and soon-to-be mothers to know what is safe and what is not when it comes to Lasik eye surgery.

Lasik treatment is an assured way to clear your vision. But, is pregnancy the best time to have the surgery?

Let’s see what doctors performing laser eye surgery in London have to say on this matter.

Lasik is usually not recommended while you are pregnant or breastfeeding your baby. This convention has gradually developed based on certain facts, which we are going to explore in the following paragraphs.

Pregnancy and your vision

Altered hormonal activities are common in every pregnant woman. Such abnormal hormonal activities nurture foetus development. These hormones include the following:

  • Progesterone
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG
  • Oxytocin
  • Estrogen and
  • Prolactin

The list of hormones not only helps the foetus to grow but also prepares a mother’s body for the upcoming labour and nursing.

On the flip side, changes in these hormonal levels may also trigger the instability in your glasses and you may even have to get fresh prescriptions for contact lenses and glasses. In such circumstances, the Lasik outcome may prove inaccurate. This is also the reason for which stable prescriptions for glasses are one of the basic necessities for Lasik.

How changes in hormone levels can affect glasses prescription

It is proved beyond doubt that power in your glasses and contact lenses may change when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Factors like fluid retention and the resultant corneal swelling are considered as probable reasons behind it, although the exact mechanism is still unknown. The shape of the corneal tissues determines how light rays are focused on your retinal photoreceptors placed at the back of each eye. In other words, the shape of your corneal tissues plays a crucial role in determining your vision as well as corresponding power requirements.

The corneal shape changes on its own in some pregnant women. This results in significant changes in vision. In this condition, one requires a fresh prescription for glasses or contact lenses. Once the baby is born, the hormone levels will keep changing. This is the reason why nursing mothers also experience or suffer from vision changes. These fluctuations in vision may either be for the time being or permanent. Either way, they make Lasik treatments much less predictable. Patients usually require more additional surgical corrections under such conditions.

Your pregnancy, dry eyes and contact lens

Pregnancy is also known to cause decreased production of the tear. Thus, you may suffer from eye dryness, which fuels the increasing discomfort with your contact lens. On the other hand, pregnant women go through much slower recovery following a Lasik treatment.

Common medical complications during pregnancy

Pregnant women often complain about vision changes. They also succumb to medical conditions like diabetes and uncontrolled high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia. These complications must be taken care of promptly to avoid any permanent or long-term damage to the eyes. And this is yet another factor that must be considered by both pregnant women and breastfeeding women who are looking to undergo a Lasik treatment soon.

Medication both during and after Lasik surgery

Before conducting the Lasik surgery, patients are administered with a mild sedative. This includes low-dose Valium or Percocet. These low-dose sedatives enhance patient comfort. These medications are recommended to be avoided by pregnant women unless they are an acute medical necessity.

Lasik patients have usually prescribed two medication eye drops for the first week following the surgery. One is an antibiotic eye drop to prevent any infection to the eyes while the other is a steroid eye drop to cure inflammation. The exact effect of these medications on pregnant women is yet to be determined.

Other oral medications in post-Lasik eye surgery cases are optional but the two eye drops mentioned above are mandatory. Considering all the complications, Lasik is usually avoided by pregnant women.

Excimer laser exposure during Lasik surgery

Lasik procedures make use of excimer laser for refractive correction. The laser emits a little amount of UV or ultraviolet radiation. This small exposure does not affect normal patients. But when pregnant women are concerned, it can create unknown risk in foetus development. Even nursing women are also advised to steer clear of UV radiation.

How long should you wait after the delivery to undergo Lasik

Different eye specialists have different opinions about the exact time frame. Most of them usually suggest waiting at least one menstrual period after the baby is born. The same time period is also recommended for nursing women after breastfeeding stops. The time factor is also affected by the stability of your current glasses and some other vital pre-operative test results.

There are many reliable clinics for Lasik eye surgery in London. Qualified and experienced eye surgeons attending patients at those clinics share some effective tips.

If you are pregnant or intend to get pregnant any time soon and want to undergo Lasik surgery in the immediate future, do follow these tips.

  • Learn everything that you can about the Lasik eye surgery.
  • Do your research and collect information about Lasik specialists near you.
  • Ask your doctor to recommend you a reliable Lasik surgeon.
  • Calculate your finance options.
  • Prepare a list of questions to carry with you to your Lasik consultation.
  • Ask the surgeon how long you should wait after pregnancy to undergo the Lasik procedure.

You must be very careful when you are pregnant and obviously stay cautious and take every step toward Lasik treatment only after sufficient care and consideration. The same is more or less applicable to breastfeeding mothers.