You are probably NOT a good candidate for refractive surgery if:

  • You are not a risk taker. Certain complications are unavoidable in a percentage of patients, and there are no long-term data available for current procedures.
  • It will jeopardize your career. Some jobs prohibit certain refractive procedures. Be sure to check with your employer/professional society/military service before undergoing any procedure.
  • Cost is an issue. Most medical insurance will not pay for refractive surgery. Although the cost is coming down, it is still significant.
  • You required a change in your contact lens or glasses prescription in the past year. This is called refractive instability. Patients who are:
  • In their early 20s or younger, 
  • Whose hormones are fluctuating due to disease such as diabetes,
  • Who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or 
  • Who are taking medications that may cause fluctuations in vision, 

are more likely to have refractive instability and should discuss the possible additional risks with their doctor.

  • You have a disease or are on medications that may affect wound healing. Certain conditions, such as autoimmune diseases (e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis), immunodeficiency states (e.g., HIV) and diabetes, and some medications (e.g., retinoic acid and steroids) may prevent proper healing after a refractive procedure.
  • You actively participate in contact sports. You participate in boxing, wrestling, martial arts or other activities in which blows to the face and eyes are a normal occurrence.
  • You are not an adult.  Currently, no lasers are approved for LASIK on persons under the age of 18.


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