On Thursday morning I went in for Lasik surgery. They began on my right eye but abruptly stopped. They said there was "a wing" and informed me they had to stop the procedure due to a complication. It seems while they were forming the flap it must have torn (think of a lop sided pac man) just above my line of sight. The doctor worked to set the flap laid in place and placed in a bandage lens. I was told that I would have to care for my eye just as though I had the entire procedure done but I'll have to try again in 3-6 months. Is he seriously for real? I have to get all the medicated drops and artificial tears, wear my glasses constantly (since I certainly can't wear contacts anymore) AND take time off work for all the follow up visits now and when they decide to do the surgery again. I'm honestly feeling quite a bit put out and salty about this, but the doctor's office is acting like I should just be happy I have no current changes in my vision and that I'll still be able to get corrective surgery in a few months. I've been trying to find more information about this type of complication, but I've come up empty. Was this issue the fault of the doctor? Faulty machinery? My eye? Should I be comfortable trying to complete the procedure in 3-6 months with this surgeon? Do I have to wait an entire 3-6 months? Do I need a second opinion? Help, I'm feeling quite overwhelmed and lost
I'll start by saying that without examining you or knowing the particulars of your surgery the following is general rather than personal or specific advice.
Failure to create an acceptable flap is a known albeit rare problem which can arise during a LASIK procedure. There are multiple reasons why this can happen. Perhaps your surgeon can explain why this occurred in your particular case. If a suitable flap is not made, the vision correcting part of the LASIK procedure cannot be performed.
It sounds like your surgeon took the proper action and put the LASIK flap carefully back into place (without trying to correct your eyeglass prescription). If you can see pretty normally with your glasses it means that things are going extremely well.
While frustrating, no attempt at a new LASIK flap should be made for at least a few months. Trying to proceed sooner could create "intersecting" flaps, flap fragments and all sorts of big messes.
Some surgeons prefer to change plans from LASIK to PRK (LASIK without a flap) when this type of issue occurs.
Have you had a chance to sit down with your surgeon and have all of your questions answered? I am sure, especially in this type of disappointing circumstance that your surgeon wants to have especially good communication with you. Be assertive, tell all the support people that you want to talk directly to your surgeon about what happened.
LASIK starts out with such high expectations which are met the vast majority of the time. When situations like this arise, disappointment is understandable and poor communication makes it worse. Both you and your doctor need to form the best kind of professional relationship because you are going to get to know each other well during the coming months.
This type of "complication" can be fixed and often times with a result every bit as good as if it never happened. However, patience is a virtue.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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