Myth: Vision correction surgery is not stable

Every surgery I perform, whether lens- or laser-based, involves a permanent change in the vision and is typically stable long-term. After the early to midtwenties, a patient’s prescription remains relatively stable, with the exception of the expected loss of accommodation that occurs in one’s forties (which does not change the distance prescription). With laser vision correction (LASIK and PRK), some patients can get some drift in effect towards the original prescription due to healing of the surface cells (epithelium) into areas where tissue has been removed from the cornea with the laser, particularly with farsighted and high nearsighted and high astigmatism treatments. This drift is usually small and typically never so much that it takes the patient back to where he or she started. Regardless, this circumstance is easily corrected with additional laser vision correction.

Believe it or not, lens treatments can outperform laser vision correction with stability.

Lens treatments are even more stable. After Vista Vision ICL, the only reason someone’s distance prescription might change is if they develop a cataract, which is a normal part of aging. In this case, cataract surgery with IOL is performed to restore the vision. As previously discussed, lens exchange (cataract surgery with an IOL) is the ultimate vision correction procedure. Anyone who lives to be old enough will eventually need this procedure—which is certainly preferable to the alternative of not living to be old enough! Once the natural lens has been removed and replaced with an IOL, the vision will remain stable.

Contact us with any questions you have regarding vision correction surgery or call us at 805-987-5300.

Paul J. Dougherty M.D.