There are a lot of considerations before starting a family. One of the questions you may be wondering is the optimal time to get LASIK surgery. When you are pregnant, your body goes through many changes, including changes in hormone levels. These changes can produce swelling in the body. What is not as commonly discussed are the ocular changes during pregnancy. In addition to swelling in your legs, feet, and face, your corneas can actually swell too. Other ocular changes from pregnancy include dry eyes, decreased intraocular pressure, corneal sensitivity, increased corneal curvature, and increased corneal thickness.
Because of the changes that your body, including your eyes, goes through during pregnancy, it is not advisable to have LASIK surgery while pregnant. A good refractive surgeon will not perform LASIK surgery on a pregnant patient. When you are pregnant, hormones cause your body to retain fluid. The fluid retained in the cornea changes its shape. During LASIK surgery, a thin flap is created on the surface of the cornea to allow a laser to reshape the cornea. Since pregnancy can cause temporary refraction changes, it is recommended to wait until your eyes have returned to their pre-pregnancy state before having LASIK.
Other pregnancy changes include dry eye, seeing halos or glare around bright lights, and decreased intraocular pressure. These effects can complicate LASIK surgery, which is why it is recommended to wait until your eyes have stabilized again.
LASIK surgery also requires using medication in the forms of antibiotic eye drops, steroid eye drops, and lubricating eye drops. Although these medications are very safe and are used to provide the best possible outcomes for LASIK surgery, they could have adverse effects on a developing fetus. Developing fetuses are highly sensitive to their environment, and some eye drops can enter the bloodstream. This would not be safe for a developing fetus as well as a nursing baby.
Recommendations for how long to wait after pregnancy before you can get LASIK surgery to differ from doctor to doctor. However, most doctors recommend waiting at least three to six months after you have finished nursing. This is because hormone levels are still increased while actively breastfeeding. Waiting three to six months after nursing will allow your eyes to return to their pre-pregnancy condition and stabilize for safe and effective LASIK surgery.
It is recommended that you wait at least three to six months after you have finished breastfeeding to have LASIK. This is because your hormone levels are still elevated while nursing. Elevated hormone levels can affect the cornea’s shape. It is best to wait until your eyes have stabilized again before having LASIK surgery. Additionally, medications used for LASIK can enter the bloodstream into breastmilk, so it advisable to wait.
Coastal Vision Medical Group LASIK counselors are available to help you determine your LASIK options. Visit the LASIK page on our website for more information. When you’re ready, schedule a free LASIK consultation by calling (888) 501-4496, or use our online submission form to request an appointment.