Lasik Surgery And Pregnancy: Everything You Should Know
Posted in Uncategorized | July 5, 2018
The decision to start a family is huge and one that should be made only if it feels right. If you are in the midst of starting your family but have been thinking about getting LASIK, there are some things you should know first. Weve gathered all of the information we think women should know before attempting laser eye surgery while pregnant or nursing.
What Effect Does Lasik Have On The Eye
LASIK surgery changes the shape of the cornea, which changes the prescription. In the case of nearsightedness, the laser will flatten the cornea. Farsighted women will have a steeper curve carved into their corneas by the laser.
Due to the permanence of such a procedure, it is critical that the eyes be in a stable condition prior to surgery, something that is simply not the case during pregnancy. It is for this reason that adolescents are not candidates for LASIK, their eyes, like those of pregnant women, are simply not finished changing.
If, after pregnancy, the eyes return to their pre-pregnancy shape, the LASIK results would most likely be imperfect.
Can Lasik Surgery Be Done During Pregnancy Or Early Motherhood
Dr. Vandana Jain
Pregnancy is a wonderful period and particularly so as a woman becomes even more beautiful when she is pregnant. Often it is also the time when we slow down on our day to day activities. Some women take a break from work and concentrate on their and the growing childs health. The free time makes some women want to utilize it better. Some of them who have been planning to get LASIK to get rid of the glasses and contact lenses think this is the perfect time. Their busy schedules never allowed them to get it done earlier and now their free time gives them ideas. Let me get it done before baby is out and I get even busier These situations are common especially for me as cornea and Lasik surgeon and I have to deal with these from time to time. I feel and understand the issues of these women who due to their hectic and busy lives have not been able to spare time for Lasik surgery. But pregnancy is certainly not the time for any form of eye surgery unless it is an absolute emergency! During pregnancy due to hormonal alterations a lot of changes can happen in the eye for example glass power can change, corneal curvature undergoes changes and to add to that we cannot prescribe some medicines after Lasik eye surgery due to their potential harmful effect on the growing baby. Hmmm.. Let me explain more:
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Can You Get Lasik While Pregnant
Getting LASIK surgery while pregnant is not advisable, and it could lead to incorrect changes to your corneas, the American Academy of Ophthalmology says. Because the thickness and curvature of your corneas can increase due to hormonal changes in pregnancy, vision correction could be inaccurate. This can cause vision problems once the hormones go back to normal, resulting in the need for additional eye surgery.
âMost eye doctors recommend having laser vision correction either before pregnancy or waiting until after delivery of your baby,â ophthalmologist Gregory Parkhurst, MD, tells WebMD Connect to Care. âWhile these temporary vision fluctuations are rarely considerable , laser vision correction is designed to last you for many years to come, and your doctor will want to treat your baseline, permanent eye prescription, not your slightly altered pregnancy one.â
According to the Preeclampsia Foundation and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, common pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia can cause leaking blood vessels in the eyes and blurred vision, which could complicate eye surgery. The FDA recommends waiting until after pregnancy is over to get LASIK surgery so that your vision becomes more stable.
Pregnancy Changes Your Prescription & Lasik Outcome
In order to receive the best results from LASIK surgery a patient must have a stable prescription. A stable prescription allows the LASIK eye doctor to perform vision correction to the exact specifications of the patient. Women who are pregnant or nursing may experience a fluctuation in their vision and would most likely be left with an over-correction or an under-correction after LASIK eye surgery.
Hormone changes and corneal pressure due to fluid retention can also affect the vision of a woman who is pregnant or nursing. If they undergo LASIK eye surgery during this time, then the LASIK procedure will be performed based on the specification to the wrong prescription and when hormone changes return to normal these women will need to get their prescription adjusted again.
Women tend to experience the best results from LASIK eye surgery if they undergo the procedure at a time when they are not pregnant or nursing. Beyond relying on the stability of a prescription to receive accurate results from LASIK there are other health concerns that could lead to complications during LASIK for women who are pregnant or nursing.
Pregnant women often experience dry eyes. Some women even find it uncomfortable to wear their contacts during their pregnancy. Prior to surgery dry eyes can cause complications. Seeing as dry eyes can be caused by pregnancy it is better to wait and post pone LASIK eye surgery.
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What You Can Do Now
So, if you are expecting , but want to have LASIK eye surgery in the near future, what can you do now?
You can start your research!
- Dive into the available procedures in the world of LASIK eye surgerytraditional, bladeless LASIK, PRK, Contoura LASIK, etc.
- Research LASIK providers in your area. Ask your eye doctor for a referral to a trusted provider.
- Look into your financing options.
- Create a list of questions to take with you to your LASIK consultation.
- Dont forget to ask your eye doctor or the LASIK provider to see how long you are recommended to wait after pregnancy before considering LASIK.
It may be hard to wait once you have your heart set on;LASIK eye surgery, but its best for your body to wait until after pregnancy and nursing. Thanks to the quick procedure and fast recovery time, LASIK eye surgery will help you achieve your vision goals without missing time with your baby.
Why Lasik Needs To Be Delayed Because Of Pregnancy
Since LASIK is a vision correction surgery, it’s important that a person’s vision be normal when the correction is performed. As such, it’s not recommended for women who are pregnant. Since their vision is altered during to hormonal changes, the results of LASIK surgery performed during pregnancy would not be particularly good, increasing the risk of overcorrection or undercorrection.
In addition, medicated eyedrops are administered during the procedure and in many cases issued as part of early post-operative care. If a woman is carrying a child to term, we’d rather not risk possible complications to the child’s development as a result of any medications needed during LASIK. Better safe than sorry.
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Can Women Who Are Pregnant Or Nursing Have Lasik
LASIK surgery is a common procedure, which does not require the patient to be put under anesthesia or stay in a hospital. Although LASIK eye surgery is a popular outpatient procedure there are some restrictions and not everyone who desires LASIK surgery is a candidate for the procedure. Women who are pregnant or nursing are not candidates for LASIK eye surgery.
There are several reasons why pregnant women or nursing moms are not eligible for LASIK surgery. Beyond considering the health of the baby, having LASIK surgery while pregnant or nursing would not give women the desired results.;
How Long Should I Wait To Have Laser Eye Surgery After Pregnancy
When patients ask us about;laser eye surgery and pregnancy, our usual advice is to wait until three months after the birth, or if you breastfeed your baby, three months after you have finished breastfeeding.
That being said, you may feel that now is the right time for vision correction. Perhaps you have not experienced any fluctuations in your prescription during your pregnancy, or you plan to breastfeed for an extended period and dont want to wait that long for perfect vision.
Everyone is different, so the best course of action is to;contact us;to discuss your own individual circumstances.
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Answer: Pregnancy And Lasik
The major hormonal changes that women undergo during pregnancy can cause unpredictable healing.; For that reason, I suggest that women avoid pregnancy for the first three months after LASIK and suggest that they wait until no longer pregnant and no long breast feeding;before having surgery.; Women who have had LASIK outside of these time periods rarely have any change in their vision.
Lasik And Pregnancy: Everything You Need To Know
Pregnancy forces you to make various health and lifestyle changes, from quitting smoking to watching your diet to taking a break from contact sports. Doctors will also tell you to avoid certain medications and procedures during pregnancy to ensure the best outcome for you and your baby. LASIK vision surgery falls in this category.
During the LASIK procedure, a specialist surgeon uses a precision laser to change the shape of your cornea, the clear front layer of your eye. The surgery can treat nearsightedness , farsightedness , and astigmatism, the American Academy of Ophthalmology says. In order for you to qualify for LASIK, your corneas have to be stable and unaffected by medications and health conditions.
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Pregnancy And The Eyes
Pregnancy is a time of major change for the body and that includes the eyes. Water retention can cause the cornea to change shape, leading to minor changes in your vision. Hormones can also affect your vision. During pregnancy, dry eye and visual disturbances are more common.
These side effects of pregnancy typically go away shortly after delivery when hormone levels revert to their pre-pregnancy state. If you plan to breastfeed, vision changes may linger until the baby is weaned.
Why Lasik Needs To Be Delayed Because Of Breastfeeding
Similar concerns are present when it comes to the issue of breastfeeding and LASIK. Medications issued during the surgery and part of post-operative care will wind up in the mother’s breast milk. We don’t feel that it’s worthwhile to risk the early development of a nursing baby.
In addition, a woman’s vision will still be returning to normal during this stage. It’s important to continue waiting until after nursing is completed so that the vision can be properly corrected.
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Is There Anything About Lasik That Is Dangerous To A Fetus Or A Nursing Baby
The laser procedure itself does not affect anything but your eye. However, LASIK patients are prescribed eye drops and medications that can enter the bloodstream. The eye drops include those that dilate your eyes before surgery and antibiotic and/or steroid drops afterward. Not all of these drops have been determined to be safe for pregnant women. In addition, patients are often prescribed Valium or a similar medication to help them relax during the procedure and immediately afterward.
If you have had a baby and are currently nursing, be aware that there are still hormones in your body that affect your eyes and eyesight. And since the medications listed above can enter your breast milk, ophthalmologists routinely recommend waiting.
Can I Have Lasik If Im Pregnant
If you are expecting a baby , and considering;LASIK eye surgery, it is important to know what is considered safe for expectant and new moms. ;Of course, you want the clearest vision possible to see your little bundle of joy and you may already know the possible development of contact lens discomfort during gestationbut is pregnancy the best time to consider undergoing a LASIK procedure? There are several reasons that LASIK is not generally advisable during pregnancy and breastfeeding timepoints.
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Lasik Before Pregnancy: Anything To Worry About
If you are thinking about starting a family at the same time youre thinking about correcting your vision, there are a few things youre going to want to consider. Here at Stahl, we believe LASIK is especially beneficial to new mothers. Having one less thing to worry about each day can be a relief while meeting the high demands of a newborn. So, what should you take into consideration before getting LASIK surgery and becoming pregnant?
Lasik Surgery During Pregnancy: Is It Safe Or Not
LASIK is perhaps the best known and most commonly performed laser eye surgery to correct vision problems. Youve finally decided to go for a LASIK surgery after months of consideration. The thing is, youre already a few months pregnant. The most obvious question you have in mind is, can I have the surgery safely during my pregnancy?
To answer this question, we need to look at the changes your body goes through during pregnancy. Some of those changes may have some effect on your eyes, which in turn, will determine if youre eligible for LASIK surgery.
LASIK is a popular type of laser refractive surgery aimed at treating nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Like other types of laser eye surgery, the LASIK procedure reshapes the cornea to enable light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina. The surgeon takes measurements that tells the laser-guided instrument where to remove corneal tissue to improve your vision.
During LASIK surgery, a thin circular flap is created on the surface of your cornea. This flap is pulled back to expose the inner layers of your cornea that will then be reshaped using a laser. Once your cornea is reshaped, the flap is smoothed back into place, and the surgery is over!
During pregnancy, a number of your hormones all take on important roles. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is the dominant one since it sends signals to all the crucial parts of your body to nurture and protect the developing fetus.
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Can You Have Lasik Eye Surgery While Pregnant
Refractive surgeons advise against undergoing LASIK while pregnant.
Hormones in the female body change during and after pregnancy. This can make LASIK results vary and also alter the healing process following the procedure.
The developing baby absorbs nutrients through the mother, and because of this, the medications that accompany LASIK are potentially harmful. Patients are given a mild sedative to relieve anxiety on the day of their surgery and following the surgery are told to take an antibiotic and steroidal eye drops. Although there is no definitive answer as to whether or not these are harmful, the effects are not fully known and the risk is not worth it.
A side effect of pregnancy can be dry eyes. Do not be alarmed, this is common. As a result, wearing contact lenses can become very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. To help alleviate the discomfort, it is recommended that you update your eyeglass prescription prior to becoming pregnant. This way, you will have a fallback if your contacts should become unwearable.
Another benefit of the pre-pregnancy eye exam is that it will provide a baseline for your refractive surgeon. After your pregnancy, the surgeon will test to see how stable your refractive issue is and be able to provide the perfect amount of correction.
Can I Get Lasik Surgery While Pregnant
LASIK surgery isnt recommended during pregnancy. Fluid retention can temporarily change the shape of the eye, but this will resolve after pregnancy. Since LASIK adjusts the shape of the eye, it is best performed when you arent pregnant. Waiting for fluid levels to normalize ensures that we can contour the eye properly for long-lasting results.;
Additionally, some of the medications used during LASIK surgery arent tested for use during pregnancy. Wait until after pregnancy and breastfeeding to schedule your LASIK surgery. Most women are good candidates for surgery within one to months after pregnancy and breastfeeding.
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Is Lasik Safe During Pregnancy
Nope. You should stay away from laser eye surgery such as Lasik while youre pregnant. I advise against corrective eye surgery within six months of pregnancy, through pregnancy and until two months after finishing breastfeeding, says Suzanne Merrill-Nach, MD, a San Diego-based OB/GYN. Why? Because pregnancy can really affect your eyes. Hormone changes can make your eyes itchy, red and sensitive to light. Also, your cornea may swell and theres a decrease in tear production, which makes your eyes dry and uncomfortable.;Dry eyes may affect how long it takes you to recover after the procedure. The hormone changes that affect the cornea could compromise the healing and the success rate of laser eye surgery, says Merrill-Nach. I suggest avoiding any elective surgery during pregnancy. Complications such as preterm labor can arise from surgery, so you might want to avoid the risks if you can postpone the procedure.
Plus, you might experience some temporary vision changes when youre pregnant, so its definitely not a good idea to lay out all the money for laser eye surgery until you know what your prescription will be after pregnancy. Same thing goes for glasses and contacts: Its not a good idea to get a new prescription while youre pregnant. Wait it out since your vision will likely change back to normal or close to it a few months after you give birth.
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Lasik Recommendations For Pregnant Mothers
While LASIK is a safe, minimally invasive procedure, your surgeon may prescribe medications which are not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing. Those medications, combined with the hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, mean that its simply safest to wait until after pregnancy and nursing to have laser eye surgery.
The good news is that with a quick recovery time and even quicker procedure, you can have LASIK eye surgery after your pregnancy without missing much time with your child. Here are a few tips to help expecting mothers prepare for LASIK after pregnancy and nursing:
The gift of clear vision is truly something worth looking forward to, and with a bit of research youll be more than ready to go when the time is right for . Until then, Happy Mothers Day to all of the wonderful moms who make each day special.
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