If you are pregnant, considering getting pregnant or are still breastfeeding, it is important that you know the answer to the following questions:
- Can I have laser eye surgery if I am pregnant?
- Can I have laser eye surgery if I am planning on getting pregnant in the near future?
- Can I have laser eye surgery (Lasik or Lasek) if I am breastfeeding?
Before I answer these questions it is best to first consider what happens during pregnancy in relation to your eyes. During pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding) there will be a number of hormonal changes within your body which can cause various changes to your eye such as dryness and a change of prescription. These hormone changes will only return to normal about 3 months after giving birth or when you stop breastfeeding.
Can I have laser eye surgery if I am pregnant?
The answer to this is no as your prescription in your glasses or contact lenses could change during pregnancy. This would mean that the measurements taken during your laser eye surgery consultation would not be accurate. An example of this is as follows: If prior to getting pregnant your prescription was -2.50 dioptres and during pregnancy, your prescription changed to -2.00 Dioptres. During the laser eye surgery consultation (if pregnant) your prescription would be measured as -2.00 and the laser would therefore aim to correct this amount of prescription. So providing everything went to plan following surgery your prescription would be zero. The problem lies in the fact that after you have given birth and your hormones have returned back to their normal levels, your eyes could revert back to their previous prescription (-2.50). This would mean that you would be left with -0.50 dioptres of short-sightedness and your vision would not be perfect anymore.
Another important reason you should not have laser eye surgery whilst pregnant is that you will be given steroids and antibiotics following the procedure. These can theoretically cause harm to your baby whilst you are pregnant.
It is therefore advisable to wait at least 3 months after giving birth before you even consider laser eye surgery. By this time your eyes and prescription will have changed back to what they were prior to pregnancy.
This applies to both Lasik and Lasek which are the 2 most common types of laser eye surgery.
Can I have laser eye surgery if I am planning on getting pregnant in the near future?
For all of the same reasons as above, if you are planning on having a baby within the next year or two you would be better advised to wait until after you have had the child. This way you can be sure you will have the best chance of getting an accurate and long-lasting visual correction.
Can I have laser eye surgery if I am breastfeeding?
If you are still breastfeeding then your hormones are still likely to be affected, meaning your vision and prescription could fluctuate. Furthermore, there is a risk that the drugs used following laser eye surgery could pass to your baby during breastfeeding. It is therefore advisable to wait at least 3 months from the cessation of breastfeeding before you consider surgery.
In summary, if you are either pregnant, considering getting pregnant or breastfeeding, it is not advisable to have laser eye surgery. As with all surgical procedures the final decision will be made by your surgeon.