Diabetes and LASIK Surgery

Jan 1, 2018 @ 10:27 AM — by susand

Visual imperfections such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism can interfere with a person’s ability to complete basic daily functions. Since clear vision is vital to so many tasks, people who suffer from refractive errors must rely on prescription lenses for sharp, focused, eyesight. Wearing and caring for these lenses can grow tiresome. Thankfully, LASIK surgery offers a long-term solution that can free individuals from prescription lenses. LASIK reshapes the cornea to correct abnormalities that cause visual impairment. LASIK has a proven record of success and is one of the most popular elective surgeries in America. Unfortunately, not all patients are ideal LASIK candidates. One condition that has the potential to interfere with LASIK results is diabetes. Here we discuss diabetes and LASIK and whether our Philadelphia, PA patients who are diabetics can still benefit from LASIK treatment.

LASIK laser focused on an eye

Potential LASIK Complications for Diabetics

Any surgical procedure has the potential for complications. However, in patients who are considered ideal candidates for LASIK, the risk of complications is extremely minimal. Over 99% of healthy LASIK patients achieve positive LASIK results. The risk of LASIK complications is greater in patients with diabetes. Diabetes interferes with a patient’s blood sugar levels and can compromise their immune system, both of which can have a negative impact on healing after LASIK surgery. Potential LASIK complications for patients with diabetes may include:

  • A need for glasses or LASIK correction in the future due to unstable vision needs
  • Delayed healing
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Issues with blood vessels in the retina

LASIK Candidacy for Diabetics

Due to the potential complications, LASIK may not be a viable option for some patients with diabetes. If blood sugar levels are out of control, the risks of LASIK will outweigh the possible benefits. However, for patients who have their diabetes under control, LASIK should be a suitable option. With monitoring and the use of prescribed medication, many diabetic patients are able to keep blood sugar levels within the appropriate range. One thing that is important for LASIK patients to understand is that blood sugar levels must remain steady over an extended period of time. It is not enough for a patient’s blood sugar to be at an appropriate level solely on the day of surgery.

To best assess whether LASIK is an appropriate option for diabetic patients, our doctors will examine their A1C test readings. An A1C test shows the patient’s average blood sugar level over a span of three months. Diabetic patients who may still be considered ideal candidates for LASIK surgery are those whose A1C test results show a glycated hemoglobin count between 4% and 5.6% Any patient with a count that is over 7% will be deemed a poor LASIK candidate, at least until they have gotten their blood sugar levels under control.

Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about LASIK treatment, and whether you may be an ideal candidate for this vision correction surgery, contact us at your earliest convenience. The experienced team of doctors at Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons will be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

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