With the advanced technology that is available today and the skill of our surgeons at Yonge Eglinton Laser Eye + Cosmetic Centre, laser vision correction is considered one of the safest, most effective long-term treatments for vision impairment. Using a precision laser, our surgeons make changes to the shape of the cornea in order to correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. LASIK is a quick procedure that is performed under local anesthesia and allows the patient to return home almost immediately after surgery. While the procedure is considered safe, there are some of our Toronto patients who do not make ideal LASIK candidates and this includes women who are pregnant and breastfeeding.
LASIK and Pregnancy
At YELC, the safety of our patients is our top priority. While we strive to give patients the convenience they seek from laser eye surgery, we would never do so at the risk of the patient’s safety. While LASIK surgery does not require general anesthesia, there are aspects of the procedure that could potentially harm a woman’s developing fetus. This includes the medications and anesthetic eye drops that are used during the procedure, as well as the medicinal drops that are used throughout a patient’s recovery. In order to err on the side of caution, it is best that vision impairment be treated with corrective lenses for the duration of a woman’s pregnancy.
In addition to the potential risks of LASIK for pregnant women, there are hormonal changes that take place throughout pregnancy that may affect a woman’s vision. These hormonal changes may cause the natural vision impairment that is experienced by the patient. It is never a good idea to perform LASIK on a patient whose vision prescription is unstable.
LASIK and Breastfeeding
As a safety precaution, our doctors do not perform LASIK on women who are breastfeeding. Just as with pregnancy, the medication and anesthetic eye drops that are used during and after LASIK may enter a woman’s system and get into the breast milk.
The hormone changes that take place throughout pregnancy are also likely to continue while a patient is breastfeeding. These changes in hormone levels can affect the patient’s vision prescription and make LASIK a poor choice at that time.
LASIK after Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Once a woman has given birth and ceased breastfeeding, she will likely be a good candidate for LASIK. We typically recommend waiting two menstrual cycles following the cessation of breastfeeding in order to ensure that the body’s hormone levels have returned to normal and that the eyes have returned to their pre-pregnancy prescription. A consultation with one of our surgeons can determine if the patient is ready for LASIK.
Schedule a Consultation
At Yonge Eglington Laser Eye + Cosmetic Centre, we care about our patients and put their safety first. While we will not perform LASIK on women who are pregnant or nursing, we are happy to consult women who have delivered and are through with breastfeeding to determine if they are now good candidates for the procedure. Schedule a consultation with one of our laser eye surgeons at your earliest convenience to learn more about LASIK following pregnancy. We look forward to meeting you!