For the vast majority of Americans, LASIK surgery benefits are permanent (and dramatic). However, roughly 2 percent of people who get LASIK surgery do require an “enhancement” procedure—a short follow-up surgery to further correct a person’s vision. Sometimes pregnancy will cause hormonal changes in our eyes, costing us some visual acuity. In rare cases, a person’s cornea will heal too much (or too little) after LASIK, leaving them with less-than-perfect vision.
Frankly, our eyes are always changing over time, so some patients can become nearsighted or farsighted again after many years. Again, requiring an enhancement at all is fairly rare, but it is a known phenomenon among LASIK surgeons.
However, not everyone is able to undergo an enhancement procedure. Eligibility depends on:
- If you have thick corneas
- If you have no eye infections
- If you’re in good general health
- If your vision is still blurred after initial surgery
Three months of slightly blurry vision following LASIK is normal; however, having blurry vision for longer than that is not normal and will make a person eligible for enhancement surgery.
How Is Enhancement Different from LASIK Surgery?
Enhancement procedures are actually far, far shorter than first-time LASIK procedures. The surgeon will use small instruments to open the flap in your cornea created in the first surgery. Then they’ll use laser instruments to reshape the curve of your cornea. The whole process takes only a few minutes.
That’s why eligible patients need to have thick corneas: if there’s very little cornea left, a corrective surgery wouldn’t be safe. When patients can’t undergo enhancement surgery, they’ll need to use corrective lenses instead.