LASIK & pregnancy / effects on vision and timing of surgery - A State of Sight #102

Pregnancy can affect the eyes and can change the prescription needed for glasses or contact lenses. Because of this, we do not perform LASIK during pregnancy. The changes can take some time to resolve after delivery and we usually prefer to wait six months afterwards before LASIK.

Watch this episode of A State of Sight to learn more about the relationship between pregnancy and LASIK.

Welcome to A State of Sight. I’m Isaac Porter and this is your update in eye care and ophthalmology from Raleigh. Today I would like to explain how pregnancy and LASIK relate to each other because many patients wonder if they can have LASIK when they are pregnant or after delivery.
This is an important question because the prescription needed for glasses or contact lenses can change along with the hormone changes of pregnancy.
First, lets consider the possibility of LASIK during pregnancy. Generally, we prefer that this doesn’t happen, although it may safe. We do not think that there are any risks to the mother or the child from the laser procedure. However, patients use medicated drops after LASIK and we like to limit any exposure of medication during the pregnancy unless it is approved by the  patient’s obstetrician.  
I’m sure there are many people who have had LASIK during the early stages of pregnancy when they may have not known that they were pregnant. I’ve heard OBs say that they try to keep mothers from worrying about what they may have done or not done before they knew that they were pregnant. So, those who have had LASIK during this time probably had a reasonable result without any have any trouble from eye surgery or from the drops.
Once you know you are pregnant, unfortunately you do not qualify for LASIK at that time. This is to minimize the exposures and to avoid treating any prescription changes that can be related to hormone changes during pregnancy. Usually, after pregnancy as the hormones go back to normal, we see the prescription go back to normal if there was any change during the pregnancy.
Afterwards, there is question of how long we should wait before performing laser vision correction. We want to wait until the refractive prescription has normalized again, because we would not want to treat someone’s eye with the laser and then have the prescription continue to change. I generally prefer to wait six months after delivery since we can be confident that the eyes have returned to normal.
The other factor that may affect hormones and the prescription after delivery is if the mother is still nursing at the time. So if this continues after six months, then usually I prefer to wait three additional months after the completion of nursing to know that everything has stabilized.

If you have any questions about the relationship between LASIK and pregnancy, or if you are around that age and you are thinking about LASIK, please post we will be happy to answer them. We hope to see you again soon next time on A State of Sight.