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LASIK Risks -- Flap Complications

Clip Number: 18 of 36
Presentation: LASIK
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Complications related to the creation of a flap are uncommon. Studies have reported that these complications occur in 1 to 2 out of 100 patients. Complications can include irregular, incomplete, or an excessively thin or torn flap.
The treatment and long-term effects of these types of complications depend on the type and severity of the flap problem. In most cases these complications can be resolved without a loss of vision. Although additional procedures may be required, healing may be delayed and vision correction may or may not be achieved.
For example, a free cap occurs when, instead of producing a flap, the cornea is completely cut. Surgery can continue, however, in this case, stitches may have to be placed to hold the cap in place for proper healing.
Another complication is when an "incomplete flap" is created. In this case, the surgery is stopped and the flap is replaced. Three months later the surgery can be performed as planned, nearly always with an excellent result.
If a flap complication does occur, your doctor will make you aware of the specific complication, the treatment options, and the excepted outcomes with these treatments.

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