Dr. Brinton was asked to speak about LASIK with Robin Meade, the host of CNN’s national HLN Morning Express show.
Transcription of the interview:
Robin Meade (host of CNN’s HLN news program):
What should you know before deciding to have LASIK eye surgery? Well, the FDA has drafted a checklist to make sure people know the risk and the potential side effects of the vision-correcting procedure. I do want to bring in Dr. Jason Brinton, an ophthalmologist who specializes in LASIK and refractive surgery.
Dr. Brinton, so the FDA has released this checklist. What’s that all about? And why now? Because LASIK surgery has been around for several years.
Dr. Jason Brinton:
That’s right. LASIK eye surgery is one of the safest procedures in the world. The benefits of it are clear. LASIK can give better vision than glasses or contacts, most experts believe that it’s safer than contact lens wear, and for most patients it saves you a lot of money over a lifetime. And the more we learn about microplastics and the environment, having LASIK is probably better for the environment too.
But the key point is that not everyone is a candidate to have LASIK eye surgery. The more information, the better. The more we can get information into patients’ hands about the accurate facts about LASIK, we feel like that’s a positive. We have a saying in our office here in St. Louis at Brinton Vision — an informed patient is a happy patient. We applaud any efforts by the FDA and others to try to bring more information to the public.
Get your comprehensive Ocular Analysis and see if LASIK is right for you.
So what are some of the potential side effects of LASIK surgery?
Dr. Jason Brinton:
Common side effects may include:
- You’ll notice more halos and glare around lights and a ghost or shadow off to the side of letters.
- You’ll also notice that your eyes feel more dry, sensitive, and light sensitive.
Those are very common side effects that everyone experiences at first. The good news is, generally, those side effects fade away with time.
Another thing to be aware of is for most patients, if you’re really thinking about the worst common scenario, it’s that their LASIK procedure doesn’t fully correct all of their vision. There’s a very small percentage of patients, in the single digits for most surgeons, where if your eye over or under heals from the procedure, you’ll still have a small prescription left. Most people would see much better than they saw prior to the procedure. With that small, additional prescription that’s left, we can use use the laser again a few months later to adjust that out.
And you’re basically saying here that the FDA drafted this checklist really to make sure the doctors are informing patients to go over all the procedures.
Who is the ideal candidate for LASIK surgery?
Dr. Jason Brinton:
The ideal candidate is someone who wears glasses and contacts and sees much better with their glasses and contacts on than when their glasses and contacts are off. Others include people who want to be able to wake up and see clearly, to be able to fall asleep in bed and watch a movie or watch TV, people who are active, who like to swim, and who seek to be active. Those are the individuals who are likely to be a good candidates for LASIK, but the most important thing is to go to an exam with a LASIK eye surgeon, where the surgeon can individually, in-depth, evaluate your eyes to determine if you’re a candidate. Not everyone is a candidate. Also, we advise patients to go to a surgeon who charges you for the exam. I know it’s a novel concept, right? If you’re going to a doctor, their services are actually of value. So it’s important to go to a vision correction center where you pay for the exam. What you’re paying for is, first of all, a very thorough and detailed exam. Also, you’re paying for the doctor’s ability to say no – to say that you’re not an ideal candidate.
All right, Dr. Jason Brinton, thank you so much for your time today and away from your patients.