- Generally speaking, we prefer pregnant women to wait to have LASIK if there are visual changes without a steady prescription.
- Some pregnant women encounter hormonal fluctuations thereby affecting vision. Vision must be stable before any surgical intervention such as LASIK, or PRK vision correction. If however, there are no fluctuations in vision, we can proceed with surgery after the woman has resumed a menstrual cycle following childbirth.
The question of "Can I get LASIK while pregnant" is not dependent so much on being pregnant as it is on visual fluctuations. Many women have had successful LASIK procedures, perhaps in the early stages of pregnancy and maybe some were unaware they were pregnant. So, can you get LASIK while pregnant? The American Academy of Ophthalmology advises on refraining from LASIK eye surgery during pregnancy because the thickness and curvature of the cornea can increase as a result of hormonal changes thereby distorting the accuracy of visual results. The purpose of LASIK eye surgery is to help patients achieve their best-corrected vision unaided by glasses or contacts, with favorable visual results, so if we understand the impact of hormones on vision, there would be no need to risk surgery during this time.
Pregnancy & Your Vision
It is common to see visual fluctuations during pregnancy. LASIK should not be performed on any individual if the vision is not stabilized without changes in the eye prescription, usually for an entire year. It is also not unusual to see women who have worn contact lenses for years become intolerant and switch over to glasses, during pregnancy. As a result of hormonal changes and visual fluctuations, ophthalmologists tend to err on the side of caution and recommend waiting on LASIK eye surgery until vision has stabilized. This can happen once a baby is born and breastfeeding or nursing a child has ended. Typically, we recommend LASIK once a woman has had a couple of regular menstrual cycles to ensure the regulation of hormones.
Can You Get LASIK While Pregnant?
Some patients ask if it is better to have LASIK before or after pregnancy. This depends on several factors like age and the overall health of the woman. Generally speaking, both are perfectly fine. If a woman had LASIK shortly prior to pregnancy and vision changed afterward, she may need an enhancement to factor in the hormonal changes thereafter.
Pregnancy and LASIK are both exciting, life-changing events, so consult with your ophthalmologist to guide you on an informed decision for you.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the risks of getting LASIK while pregnant?
Sometimes a pregnant woman’s vision changes as a result of hormonal variations. Proceeding with LASIK surgery, while pregnant, may not give the most accurate result so it is better to wait to examine the woman’s vision before, during, and after pregnancy to get the most unbiased assessment. Ideally, it is also a good rule of thumb to proceed with LASIK surgery following a menstrual cycle to ensure a return to pre-pregnancy hormone levels.
How long should I wait to get LASIK after pregnancy?
Dr. Iskander prefers to wait for a woman to have a menstrual cycle after pregnancy to ensure a return to normal hormone levels before proceeding with LASIK or PRK vision correction. Suppose you are interested in LASIK while pregnant. In that case, it is advised to have your vision examined before, during, and after pregnancy to measure any visual deviations, if at all, to assess the best time for vision correction. Consult with Dr. Iskander at San Antonio Eye Specialists to learn more about the most suitable time frame for your LASIK procedure after pregnancy.