Refraction (eyeglass or contact lens prescription) within a certain range and stable for at least 2 years – LASIK today does have an safe upper limit; beyond this range, patients might be recommended other options that would best fit their needs safely. A stable refraction ensures that the treatment goal is not a ‘moving target’ and increases the likelihood we hit that target the first time and ensures stability into the future. Your corneas must be within a normal range of thickness and curvature. Corneas that are too thin may not be treated safely if too much tissue is removed.
Reasonable expectations – LASIK takes the place of your glasses or contacts. It doesn’t give you superhuman abilities. We don’t chase theoretical numbers. Instead, we create 20/Happy patients.
No significant eye disease – there are some conditions that may exclude a patient from having the LASIK procedure including, but not limited to, severe dry eye disease, certain corneal dystrophies, Herpes simplex of the eye, significant cataracts, thyroid-related eye disease, and possibly glaucoma or retinal disease. Additionally, certain systemic conditions are contraindicated unless they have been well-controlled such as rheumatoid arthritis.
No history of prior corneal refractive procedures – this is assessed on a case-by-case process, as some patients who have had LASIK elsewhere before, and for which there is good documentation, may qualify for an ‘enhancement’ procedure. Similarly, certain patients who have had prior PRK, CK, or InTacs may also be qualified.
Not currently nursing or pregnant – hormonal changes during these stages have been known to affect wound healing and so are contraindications.
Not currently on certain medications – certain medications are contraindicated because they can affect wound healing: Retina-A and Accutane.
No history of auto-immune or immunodeficiency disease – these can cause healing problems (rheumatoid arthritis or related conditions) or inability to fight infection (HIV), respectively.