Pregnancy and LASIK Don't Mix

Posted by Admin on December 2, 2008
When a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding, her hormonal balance shifts dramatically. This causes her body to retain more fluid. And when this happens, her eyes' lenses swell, too, making a correct diagnosis to fix her vision problems with LASIK surgery all but impossible. When the lens swells, it changes how a woman sees, making her more nearsighted, farsighted or astigmatic. But when her pregnancy is over, and when she stops lactating, her hormones - and her eyes' lenses - return to normal. If a LASIK diagnosis is performed on a woman during the period when her lenses are distorted, the readings will be invalid for her normal bodily state.

If a LASIK surgical procedure were done based on the distorted diagnosis, the woman's vision would be "corrected" but then thrown out of whack once her hormones returned to normal. The operation would then have to be performed again. In addition, drugs used during the LASIK procedure are absorbed into the bloodstream and could damage the baby's health, particularly during the first three months of pregnancy.

There are no data on whether the drugs can enter the mother's milk, but if it does, it could threaten the baby. The drugs include a mild sedative to help the patient relax, post-operative antibiotic eyedrops to ward off infection, cortisone eyedrops to diminish inflammation, and eyedrops used to enlarge the pupils.

Dryness in the eyes is another reason pregnant women should avoid LASIK. The condition and the procedure both cause eye dryness, making it difficult for many women to use contact lenses. LASIK-caused dry eyes usually return to normal before long - although dry eye syndrome sometimes develops, which lasts a lot longer. So if a woman is pregnant with some eye dryness, undergoing a LASIK operation would make her eyes very dry.

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