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Why LASIK Isn’t Performed on Women Who are Pregnant or Breastfeeding

LASIK is a great option to consider if you would like to see clearly and reduce your dependence on corrective lenses (i.e., glasses, contacts). It’s a great option to consider for people suffering from refractive errors, which you may know better by the following names:

  • Myopia (Nearsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism

While many people can be aided through laser eye surgery, certain people are not good candidates for care. We’d like to take a few moments right now to explore why women who are pregnant or nursing are not considered good candidates for surgery.

About LASIK Surgery

First it’s a good idea to go over some of the basics of LASIK surgery. LASIK surgery involves the uses of a laser to reshape the cornea, the clear, frontal/outer portion of the eye. By correcting cornea shape, light will properly focus on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye.

LASIK is performed under local anesthetic which is administered through eye drops. Overall recovery from surgery is generally quick and free from major complications.

Why Pregnant Women Are Not Good Candidates for LASIK

While LASIK is safe an effective option for care, surgeons will not perform the procedure on women who are pregnant. This goes for all stages of pregnancy.

The reason for this is that hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can change the quality of a woman’s vision. In addition, there are anesthetic eye drops and other medications that are administered as part of the LASIK procedure and LASIK aftercare, both of which may have adverse effects on a developing fetus.

In order to ensure proper vision correction and to protect the health of the baby, it’s ideal for surgeons to act conservatively and delay the surgery until a few weeks after the woman has had the child.

Why Women Who Are Nursing Are Not Good Candidates for LASIK

The same restriction on LASIK holds for women who are nursing as well. The reason for this is the same as the reason why pregnant women are not allowed to undergo LASIK. A woman’s hormones will take time to return to normal levels following pregnancy, and hence their vision may take time to reach its pre-pregnancy prescription. In addition, the eye drops and medications associated with surgery can make their way into the breast milk.

Candidacy for LASIK After Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

A woman’s candidacy for LASIK following pregnancy and breastfeeding will be determined by eye doctors on a case by case basis. It’ll be important for a woman’s hormones to be leveled out and for breastfeeding to have ended. As a general rule, LASIK is deemed viable for a woman roughly two menstrual cycles after giving birth.

LASIK Alternatives to Consider

While pregnant or breast feeding, the best option for vision correction will be the use of corrective lenses such as glasses or contacts. This helps ensure good vision and the health of the baby.

Learn More About Laser Vision Correction

For more information about LASIK surgery and how it can be of great benefit to you and your needs, be sure to contact our refractive surgery centers in Chicago, Highland Park, and Hoffman Estates. We will be more than happy to go over all of your options for care in greater detail and discuss potential alternatives to refractive surgery if you are not a good candidate for laser treatment.

LASIK eye surgery is a procedure that is designed to reduce your dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Here at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our LASIK surgeons and eye doctors use the latest in laser vision correction technology to ensure each patient receives optimal results.
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