I’m Pregnant. Can I Get LASIK?
Pregnancy and LASIK eye surgery are not a dynamic duo. Pregnant LASIK is not advised by most reputable refractive surgeons—the same surgeons who also suggest female patients wait a couple months after they are finished nursing their baby before having LASIK.
While it’s not unsafe for you or baby, LASIK while pregnant may not work as well as it should during this delicate time. As you know, your body goes through intense hormonal changes during pregnancy, and it most definitely affects your eyes.
Hormones, especially the dominant one, HCG, can throw off your prescription—in other words, these hormones can change the quality of a woman’s vision. Vision fluctuations are common for moms-to-be. For one, women are likely to be more near-sighted during pregnancy. Dry eyes are also a factor, as hormones cause decreased tear production and inevitable irritation. This is also why many pregnant women are extremely uncomfortable wearing contacts due to dry eyes during this time.
At the same time, hormonal changes during pregnancy cause your body to retain more fluid, which can increase swelling of the cornea and create changes in the curvature of the cornea, thus affecting vision. You might also experience blurred vision during pregnancy, which is why you should be on the lookout for potentially more serious vision problems related to gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.
While nursing, the same restrictions on LASIK surgery apply. Hormones take time to return to normal levels following pregnancy and nursing; hence, vision takes time to regain its original prenatal prescription.
For these reasons, Mann Eye Institute recommends patients wait at least one to two
months (two menstrual cycles) after your baby arrives and/or after nursing ceases. This gives your eyes time to revert to normal.
What Else to Expect About LASIK Surgery
Other reasons you may not be qualified as a good candidate for LASIK surgery include:
- Age. While you must be at least 18 years of age to have LASIK, you must also consider that once you reach 40, you may still need corrective reading glasses for near vision due to normal, age related “over-40 vision”, also known as presbyopia.
- Thin corneas. Performing LASIK on a thin or misshapen cornea may compromise expected results. Thin corneas can prohibit you from being a good candidate for LASIK. But, don’t worry. You may still be well-suited for one of our other vision-correcting procedures.
- Unusually dry eyes, which must be treated by your ophthalmologist at Mann Eye Institute prior to proceeding with LASIK. Also, your eyes must be healthy in general. Other conditions such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), infection or eye injury will prevent you from having LASIK until corrected.
- Prescription strength. You may be advised against LASIK if your eyeglass prescription is very high. However, advances in diagnostics and in laser technology allow us to successfully perform LASIK on people who may not have been good candidates in the past due to their refractive error.
Give Yourself the Gift to See Life Better
Your newborn is a gift to you and the world, and you will be in nurture mode for just about… forever! So after pregnancy and nursing are complete, it’s time to think about yourself, so you can watch your baby grow into his or her happiness and success. It’s time to plan your LASIK surgery and give yourself the gift of better vision. Imagine not having to fuss with glasses, contacts and your active baby!
At Mann Eye Institute, our team of expert surgeons is committed to helping you See Life Better. The best part about LASIK surgery is that you can live without restrictions—with the exception of your precious baby. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your readiness for LASIK after pregnancy.