Should You Have Laser Vision Correction While Pregnant?

Although everyone is entitled to pursue the goal of clear vision with laser vision correction, there are certain populations that are strongly encouraged to avoid or postpone surgery. One such group is women that are pregnant (or nursing). Here, Dr. Edward Hedaya and the team at InVision EyeCare explain why procedures like PRK and LASEK are not appropriate for pregnant women.

Pregnancy Hormones Can Change Visual Prescription

The eyes are sensitive to changes in hormones, and pregnancy causes significant hormonal fluctuations. Therefore, it is common for women that are pregnant to have small changes in their visual prescriptions — for example, their refractive error could become worse. They may become more nearsighted or more farsighted.

Laser vision correction patients are required to have a stable vision prescription at least six months to a year prior to surgery, to ensure that treatment is precise and accurate. Treating a fluctuating prescription could render the surgery ineffective, and require additional surgery in the future.

Hormonal Changes Can Complicate Healing

For regular patients, healing from laser vision correction is typically a quick and complication-free experience. But for a pregnant or nursing mother, this is not always the case. The hormonal fluctuations that can alter a refractive error can also cause the healing period to be unpredictable and possibly even prone to complications.

Prescription Medications Could Hurt the Baby

Laser vision correction patients usually receive a sedative medication such as Valium on the day of surgery to put them into a relaxed and calm state. After surgery, patients are required to use special antibiotic and steroidal eye drops to prevent infection and reduce inflammation in the eyes.

Although these medications are likely to be safe for the mother, their effects on the fetus are unknown. The medications could possibly hurt the growing baby once they enter the mother’s bloodstream.

Every doctor is different, but most conservative doctors recommend waiting at least six months after pregnancy (and, if nursing, six months after weaning the baby) to pursue laser vision correction. By this point, the hormones have calmed down and vision has stabilized.

Contact InVision EyeCare

To discuss whether surface laser procedures like LASEK and PRK are right for you, please contact InVision EyeCare and request an appointment with Dr. Hedaya. Call us today at (732) 210-0140 to schedule your free consultation.

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