Reviewed by Leslie Doctor, M.D.
LASIK enhancements or retreatment are occasionally necessary to fine tune the optical correction that is achieved during the initial or primary LASIK procedure. After having a thorough consultation with your LASIK surgeon, LASIK Eye Surgery is really quite predictable when performed for patients who have well established goals and motivation. Experienced LASIK surgeons will take the time to perform all necessary diagnostic testing and carefully consider the treatment options to deliver the best possible results. Nonetheless, while the surgeon and the staff can take every precaution and pay painstaking attention to every detail, each of your eyes will heal in an individual way. In some small number of patients, if there is an overcorrection or an undercorrection as a result of your individual healing response, it may require an enhancement surgery to help you obtain the best possible results.
Enhancement procedures after LASIK are usually performed about 3 months after the initial procedure so as to allow stability of the results. It is rare to require an enhancement beyond six months after the initial treatment. An enhancement is a second surgical procedure and should be carefully considered as to whether it is actually necessary. Your eyes take time to heal. This is especially the case with Custom LASIK that can take as long as six to eight weeks before you will see the "custom" effect. Do not be disappointed if you experience a dramatic improvement in your vision within the first 24 hours and then have a more modest improvement each day for the following several weeks. This is normal and you should NOT jump to the conclusion that you need an enhancement. Whether you have Custom LASIK or traditional LASIK, give your eyes the necessary healing time before you begin to ask if you need an enhancement. Do not demand an enhancement of your LASIK surgeon. Enhancements should only be performed if there are specific activities that you are unable to perform due to residual overcorrection or undercorrection. Do not get an enhancement to "improve the numbers". That is if you are able to do the things you wish to do without being dependent on eyeglasses or contacts after your procedure, do not seek an enhancement to "see a little better".
Enhancements are second surgical procedures. Enhancement is a somewhat misleading word to use for a second surgery. It says that the LASIK surgeon is going to make your vision better. It should say that the surgeon is going to try and make your vision a little better, but may make it worse. Enhancements have many of the same risks as the initial surgery so they should be considered only if medically necessary and at the suggestion of the surgeon.