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Reassurance about the Safety of LASIK

We know very well the importance of your safety concerns, as we have addressed this vital issue with thousands of equally concerned patients. As much as we would like to be able to tell you that laser vision correction carries no risk, that's not the case. There is some risk. However, the reason many millions have LASIK is that the risk is quite small.

Issue Risk
Vision loss from LASIK > 2 lines on eye chart 1 in 10,000
Lifetime risk of being struck by lightning 1 in 3,000
Lifetime risk of vision loss from contact lenses 1 in 2,000

In 2006, researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University published an article in the American Medical Association's peer-reviewed journal, Archives of Ophthalmology, that estimated the number of LASIK patients who lose more than 2 lines of vision on the eye chart at 1 in 10,000. The interesting comparison they made was to patients who wore contact lenses, as they found that the lifetime risk of vision loss from contact lens wear is 1 in 2,000 – five times greater – due to the frequent occurrence of contact lens related infections.

To further illustrate LASIK's excellent safety profile, consider another common measure of remote risk – the chance of being struck by lightning. According to the National Weather Service, the lifetime risk of being struck by lightning is 1 in 3,000. Therefore, it is more than three times as likely you will be struck by lightning than lose more than two lines of vision on the eye chart with LASIK.

At Q Vision, we are conservative and risk-averse. When gray-zone issues arise, we often recommend for our patients to wait until we can offer a better treatment option. Overall, we turn down about 20% of the Mesa, Scottsdale and Phoenix LASIK patients who seek our services, and we are often thanked more profusely by those we don't operate on than those whose vision we correct.

Before your procedure, we will discuss your individual risk profile with you. We excel at providing you the information you need to make an informed decision, because this critical discussion is always held directly with your surgeon and never delegated to assistants, as is common elsewhere.

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Member of: American Academy of Ophthalmology ASCRS