Can I Get LASIK if I’m Pregnant?

Ophthalmologist & LASIK Surgeon Serving Chicago, Lombard & Naperville areas of Illinois

Posted: July 30, 2018

LASIK can provide important benefits that will dramatically improve the quality of your life. However, there are some situations where you will need to delay the timing of your procedure due to other life events. The most common example of this situation involves women who are pregnant.

If you’ve recently become pregnant, you should delay your plans for LASIK until after you have given birth and are done breastfeeding. While LASIK isn’t performed under general anesthesia and probably will not negatively impact the developing fetus, Dr. Foulkes prefers to wait to perform LASIK until after pregnancy and breastfeeding is complete in order to ensure the best possible results.

Reasons to Delay LASIK until after Pregnancy

pregnant woman considering LASIK in ChicagoThere are several important reasons why LASIK isn’t recommended while you are pregnant or breastfeeding:

  • Pregnancy may result in changes to your vision prescription – In order to be a good LASIK candidate, you must have a stable vision prescription for at least one year prior to undergoing surgery. If your vision isn’t stable, it can result in an over-correction or under-correction during your procedure. It’s common to experience changes to your vision during pregnancy, resulting in more severe nearsightedness or farsightedness than previously existed. For this reason, Dr. Foulkes always recommends waiting until after pregnancy and breastfeeding to ensure your vision has stabilized again. This will allow him to make the precise adjustments to your cornea that are necessary to ensure excellent vision after LASIK.
  • Sedative medications and eye drops are used during LASIK – While general anesthesia isn’t used for LASIK, you will receive sedative medications and eye drops as part of your procedure. Most of these medications haven’t been tested on pregnant women, and Dr. Foulkes prefers to be safe and not expose your baby to any unnecessary risks.
  • Steroids and other drops are used during LASIK recovery – You will need to administer certain eyedrops and medications after LASIK to promote proper healing and prevent infection. The ingredients used in these eyedrops can enter your bloodstream, which means the baby will be exposed to them. While these medications are most likely not going to pose a danger to the baby, Dr. Foulkes prefers to avoid exposing an unborn child to these drugs.

For these reasons, Dr. Foulkes recommends waiting at least 1-2 menstrual cycles after you are done breastfeeding before undergoing LASIK. This will ensure that your vision has stabilized and that your baby won’t be exposed to any potential side effects of the medications you’ll receive during the LASIK process.

Other Candidacy Requirements to Consider

It’s important to keep in mind that pregnancy isn’t the only factor impacting your candidacy for LASIK. Once sufficient time has passed after childbirth and breastfeeding, Dr. Foulkes will make sure you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. In general, good LASIK candidates:

  • Are over the age of 18
  • Are in good overall health
  • Have a stable vision prescription for at least 1 year
  • Have sufficient corneal thickness to accommodate the creation of a LASIK flap
  • Are free from any serious eye diseases

Even though you will have to delay LASIK for several months until you are done with childbirth and breastfeeding, you will still have the rest of your life to enjoy the many benefits that come with clear vision. Ultimately, ensuring the best possible results and maintaining safe conditions for your baby are a small price to pay for a slight delay in the vision improvements you’ll experience.

Contact our Chicago LASIK Surgeon

Please contact Foulkes Vision using the form on this page or call 630-724-1400 today to schedule your free LASIK consultation. We serve patients in Chicago, Lombard and the surrounding areas of Illinois.