Davis Vision would like to congratulate you on your pregnancy! Growing your family is a joyous occasion, as is new motherhood. LASIK is exciting for qualified candidates who require corrective surgery for their nearsightedness, farsightedness, and their astigmatisms. One of our frequently asked questions is, “Do LASIK and maternity mix?” We recommend you consult your doctor prior to treatment. Here is some information to help you on your way:

What is LASIK and What Does it Do?

LASIK is a procedure which reshapes and restructures your cornea to repair vision, so that you may see the world more clearly. It is not a time-consuming procedure, lasting approximately 15 minutes with minimal side effects, such as halo or blurry vision for a brief recovery period. It is a safe and effective method of achieving your ultimate goal of having stronger eyesight and saying goodbye to your glasses and/or contacts. Davis Vision is a trusted source regarding LASIK procedures and aftercare. 

LASIK is best suited for individuals who have: 

  • Farsightedness, otherwise known as Myopia
  • Nearsightedness, otherwise known as Hyperopia
  • Astigmatism

Eligibility

While LASIK is a great alternative to glasses and contact, it may not be right for everyone. You and your ophthalmologist will go over your options during your examination to determine what would be the best fit for you. But generally, those who qualify might be:

  • Although, typically an individual should wait until their mid-20s, when their vision is stabilized, they should be at least 18 years old or older with ophthalmologist recommendation.
  • Maintaining a steadied prescription for at least a year.
  • In possession of a thick enough cornea to undergo the procedure.
  • In overall good health. Autoimmune deficiencies could affect the healing process.
  • Someone who isn’t suffering from a current eye infection, inflammation, and/or dry eye syndrome.

Can I Have LASIK While Pregnant?

While it is advisable to have any LASIK procedure done prior to pregnancy, it is not safe to have LASIK surgery performed while pregnant.

Why Not?

While mom’s body begins the incredible process of accommodating her developing baby, her body will undergo some massive changes—including her hormones. Her hormones will vary, and this even affects her eyes, as well. The body accumulates a lot of fluid throughout, even behind the eyes that also affects the cornea, which will change the eye’s prescription. And the last thing you want is a potentially ineffective procedure. 

Due to the plethora of changes transpiring, moms may also experience light sensitivity among other things. Preeclampsia, diabetes, pregnancy induced hypertension, and other high blood pressure issues can exhibit themselves in the eye, thus putting mom at risk for worsening the condition. Pregnant women may also suffer from eye strain and dry eye, which does not heal well in LASIK procedures. Additional surgery may be required due to any deterioration in vision.

Medications

Once LASIK is performed, the patient is prescribed medication that is to be taken in the days following the procedure, these often come in the form of eyedrops. The drugs, when administered, are absorbed through the eyes and into the bloodstream. While these particular antibiotic and steroid drops are incredibly effective for you, it may be unsafe for a developing fetus.

So many changes occur once a woman discovers she is pregnant. Now, it is not only her that she is thinking about. She has to take on a whole new approach in order to prepare for her newborn. While the baby is developing, she is changing up her entire lifestyle, the way she eats, the procedures she can have, and the medications she is limited to. And it doesn’t end there, because once a baby is born, there are additional things to take into consideration.  

Can I Have LASIK While Breastfeeding?

LASIK is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding. 

Despite the fact that you’ve given birth to a healthy baby, the prescription of your vision will still continue to fluctuate. This could take months while you heal postpartum. If you receive the LASIK procedure post birth, but while breastfeeding, the same chemicals administered post op can be transferred into your breastmilk. Everything is still running on your varying levels of hormones, which will continue to alter the shape of your cornea, thus leaving you ineligible for LASIK. And even with the minor side effects, such as blurred vision and haloing, you’ll want a consistent clear eye on your baby. Because that is what you and your baby deserve. 

When is it Safe to Have LASIK surgery?

Many women opt prior to pregnancy, due to the fact that they’re going to be so busy running around regarding the little one. You might want to think about scheduling your consultation when the baby begins to start grabbing, especially your face and glasses, or when you misplace your glasses because you have so many things on your mind. And contacts are time consuming, whether the contact lens in question wishes to cooperate and insert properly onto the eye, if eyes are still dry and scratchy, etc. Time is of the essence when a little one is around. And case in point, priorities will be on the baby. 

But if you happen to be thinking about it around the time you discover you’re pregnant, then it’s suggested to have the procedure (minimally) a year after your baby is born, you’ve finished breastfeeding, and before you consider getting pregnant again. Only you and your doctor will know for certain when it’s the right time for you to get LASIK. 

Will My Vision Ever Go Back to Normal?

Most eye prescriptions will return to pre-pregnancy state post birth. When that happens will depend on you. Follow up with your doctor and ophthalmologist to come up with an action plan regarding the next steps forward. 

Once again, Davis Vision would like to congratulate you and your family on the exciting new arrival. You are going to want a safe, accurate, and rewarding experience with limited complications. Let this serve as a guideline towards making the right decision regarding your treatment. We will be here when you are ready.