Five LASIK Statistics You Should Know
LASIK surgery is one of the most commonly performed selective procedures in the world, offering an effective solution for both nearsightedness and farsightedness. Recent developments in LASIK technology mean that those who suffer from higher-order vision aberrations, such as halos and astigmatism, can also enjoy significantly improved vision in one 10-minute procedure.
What Is LASIK?
To perform a LASIK procedure, your doctor will create a very thin flap in the surface of your eye, either manually or using surgical lasers. After carefully lifting up this flap, the surgeon can access the cornea, which he or she will reshape with a computer-driven laser. By reshaping the cornea, the surgeon corrects the refraction of light as it passes through the eye. This enables the retina to send a sharper, more accurate image to the brain. When the surgery is complete, the doctor will gently lay the flap back down, where it will heal naturally on its own.
By the Numbers
If you have struggled with vision problems and the hassle of corrective lenses for many years, all this may seem too good to be true. However, a look at the statistics shows that LASIK surgery is indeed a remarkable procedure with a high level of success.
1. Over 700,000 LASIK procedures are performed in the US each year.
According to data from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, hundreds of thousands of patients receive LASIK surgery annually. The number of LASIK patients is expected to rise, particularly as the economy improves and technological advances allow doctors to address a wider range of vision problems. In total, more than 8 million patients in the United States alone have received LASIK. The immense popularity of the procedure speaks volumes about its safety and effectiveness.
2. 97 percent of LASIK surgeries are successful.
Because the exact degree of vision correction cannot be guaranteed, "success" in this case is defined as at least some degree of improvement in a patient's vision. According to the Journal for Cataract and Refractive Surgery, success rates are slightly higher when patients only require a small degree of correction. However, this margin is quite small, and many patients with severe vision problems enjoy much sharper, clearer vision after the surgery.
3. 7 out of 10 LASIK patients have 20/20 vision or better following the LASIK procedure.
Even patients who cannot achieve 20/20 vision through LASIK will usually enjoy at least 20/40 vision after the procedure (This is the minimal amount of vision required to obtain a driver's license in most states.) More than 90 percent of LASIK patients enjoy vision somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40 after surgery.
4. LASIK patients report a 95.4 percent satisfaction rate following their surgery.
A high degree of patient satisfaction is not limited to patients in the United States; researchers from the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery examined 19 separate LASIK reviews from around the world to determine the overall satisfaction rate.
5. The complication rate for LASIK surgery is between 0.3 and 5.7 percent.
While up to 5.7 percent of patients may experience some complications, particularly with the corneal flap, these difficulties are usually mild and temporary. With improved LASIK technology, the rate of serious complications is less than 1 percent - a remarkable statistic by any surgical standards.
Ask a LASIK Surgeon
Because LASIK is a relatively recent development, there is no comprehensive database for LASIK statistics, and the numbers will vary, according to various studies. However, while the exact numbers may be different, the vast majority of researchers agree that LASIK is remarkably safe and effective. To learn more about this procedure and to find out if it is right for you, contact a LASIK surgeon in your area.
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