What are Enhancements?
Enhancement procedures are second surgical procedures designed to “fine tune” the vision result from the initial surgery.
Does needing an Enhancement mean something went wrong during the surgery?
No. We base how much we laser to treat your prescription on how thousands of eyes before you have responded to laser treatment. Although we plan the initial treatment with the expectation of a complete correction, some patients respond more or less than we would anticipate. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as differences in healing rates, regression, size of prescription, and corneal anatomy. A patient may under or over respond even with a perfectly planned procedure.
When are Enhancements preformed?
A decision to do an enhancement involves assessing the risk of the second surgery versus the potential benefit. Typically, we do not recommend an enhancement if a patient is seeing better than 20/30 on the chart. For example, if a patient has one eye heal to 20/20, and the other to 20/25, we will likely recommend leaving well enough alone. However, if the second eye healed to only 20/40, we would almost certainly do an enhancement as long as we deem it safe to do so.
How often are Enhancements necessary?
Overall, national average rates for enhancements are most often cited as 7-10%. In general, the chances for needing an enhancement increase as pre-operative prescriptions size increases. However, any patient could potentially need an enhancement regardless of prescription.
How are Enhancements different from my initial surgery?
Most often, enhancements are performed by re-lifting the original flap and treating residual prescription with the laser.
How soon after my initial surgery would an Enhancement be performed?
The soonest an enhancement would be performed would be three months after the initial procedure, or until vision is deemed stable. Some people need enhancements because they under or over-responded to the initial procedure, others respond perfectly to the initial procedure but regress in their prescription over the course of months or years.
How many Enhancements can I have?
While there is no number limit as to how many enhancements can be performed on an eye, in general the less surgery done to an eye the better. Enhancements have some of the same risks as the initial surgery so the decision to perform an enhancement must be made with careful consideration. Rarely are more than two procedures performed on an eye.
What is the most important thing to understand about the Enhancements?
The ultimate goal of laser vision correction is to decrease, and ideally eliminate dependence on glasses or contact lenses as much as possible. An enhancement can be a poor idea simply to “improve the numbers”. However, if there is a significant residual prescription port-operatively, an enhancement can be a good way to increase patient satisfaction with vision. Ultimately, the decision to perform an enhancement is one made by the doctor and patient together.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Dr. Joseph King is a renowned LASIK surgeon in Bellevue who has helped thousands of patients enhance their vision and quality of life. If you are interested in learning more about laser vision correction, including enhancement procedures, contact him today at 425-525-1000.