LASIK Surgery: A Viable Option For Diabetics

Health & Medical Blog

Many people believe that having diabetes disqualifies them for LASIK surgery, which stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. This refractive laser procedure can dramatically improve certain vision problems such as nearsightedness and astigmatism. While uncontrolled diabetes poses risks for virtually all types of surgery, including eye surgery, you can still enjoy the benefits of LASIK surgery, a type of refractive laser surgery, if you meet the following criteria. 

Retinopathy Assessment

Before you can qualify for refractive laser surgery, you will need to get clearance from both your primary care physician and your opthalmologist. They will perform comprehensive examinations and take your detailed medical history into consideration to determine if you are a candidate for laser eye surgery. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to serious eye disease. 

Many diabetic patients have an ocular condition known as diabetic retinopathy, which may disqualify them for LASIK surgery, in certain cases. Diabetic retinopathy is caused by retinal blood vessel damage and it can lead to poor vision and even total blindness. If you do not have diabetic retinopathy, or if your retinopathy is minimal, then you may be an excellent candidate for laser eye surgery. 

Stable Blood Sugar Levels

To help ensure that your recovery from refractive eye surgery will be uneventful, you will need to have well-managed diabetes. This means that your blood sugar levels will need to be stable and within normal limits.

Many ophthalmologists require documentation from the diabetic patient's primary care physician or endocrinologist stating that their blood glucose levels have been stable and that their disease is being well-managed. Prolonged high blood sugar levels are a risk factor for eye surgery because they can increase the risk for postoperative complications and poor wound healing after surgery.

Even though refractive laser surgery is minimally invasive, it still requires the surgeon to incise a small flap inside your eye so that they can access your cornea. If your diabetes is poorly managed, your corneal flap may be slow to heal and your risk for infection may rise. 

If you have not been seeing your primary care doctor regularly to manage your diabetes, you can start now. It's never too late to start getting routine diabetic care to help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, renal problems, and eye disease. Once your diabetes is well-managed as a result of regular doctor visits, taking your prescribed medications, consuming a therapeutic diet, and maintaining a healthy weight, you may be an excellent candidate for LASIK surgery.

If you have diabetes, work with both your primary care physician and your ophthalmologist to help stabilize your disease so that you can enjoy the benefits of laser refractive eye surgery, such as improved vision and the ability to see clearly without wearing corrective lenses. 

For more information, contact an eye surgery center that performs surgeries like LASIK surgery.  


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