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Can I have laser eye surgery when pregnant?

Laser eye surgery is one of the safest elective surgeries in the world. The results for patients who are treated are outstanding and at Optical Express we’re extremely proud to report that after undergoing treatment, over 99% of our patients enjoy 20/20 vision or better.

But what if you’re pregnant or planning on having a baby? Is it advisable to go ahead and get treatment?

Clinical Services Director at Optical Express, Stephen Hannan, says there are a few risk factors to consider.

“When pregnant, a woman’s body goes through significant changes that can affect the eyes. Fluctuating changes in hormones, metabolism, fluid retention, and blood circulation can all cause changes to your vision (or in a very small number of cases, get better). The onset of gestational diabetes can also cause changes to the eyes. Continuously shifting blood sugar levels can cause the lens of the eye to swell and can result in blurred vision.”

He added that there was no way of knowing if any changes to the eyes will be temporary or remain the same after giving birth, so it would be best to wait a year or so afterward.

“This will allow hormones to return to their pre-pregnancy levels and you’ll be able to gauge whether any changes that affected you during pregnancy linger.”

After undergoing laser eye treatment, patients receive prescribed medication such as eye drops to aid in the healing and recovery process. Stephen said this can also be an issue, adding “ These medications have not been tested on pregnant women. As these medications will enter the bloodstream, their safety for use during pregnancy would be a point of concern. It is advisable to wait until you have given birth and finished breastfeeding if you choose to do this. This will allow your body and eyes to return to normal which will allow for accurate pre-operative assessments.”