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LASIK providers reprimanded by FDA for not accurately reporting surgical risks

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LASIK eye surgery is designed to improve eyesight for those who are nearsighted, farsighted or have astigmatism. A laser is used to reshape the eyes' surface. This area of the eye is known as the cornea. The goal is reduce and/or eliminate the need for glasses and contact lenses. In the best-case scenario, a patient’s 20/20 vision is restored and their need for corrective lenses is eliminated.

However, as with any medical or surgical procedure, these results are not guaranteed and there may be side effects. Common side effects include dry eyes, glares, halos, (as in the patient may see halos and glares) the continued need for glasses or contacts and decreased night vision. Serious complications are rare, but they can occur. There is also the risk of infection and in extreme cases complete loss of vision.

The FDA has warned some LASIK providers in Florida and other states, such as Indiana, California, Texas and Georgia, because their advertising fails to alert potential patients about the possible risks and side effects.

The FDA wants consumers to know that once the cornea is reshaped, it cannot be undone. There is also a risk that additional procedures may be needed to achieve optimal results. Providers who ignore the FDA warning could face civil penalties.