Can Diabetics Have LASIK Surgery?

Nov 10, 2015

Diabetes is a systemic condition that can have a significant effect on the health of the eyes. When considering having the LASIK procedure, there are factors regarding diabetes that are taken into consideration; however, if a patient’s diabetic condition is stable and there are no ocular complications, LASIK may be a very safe and successful procedure.

The main factors that the surgeons at 20/20 Institute consider when making a recommendation for or against LASIK for a patient with diabetes are:

  • Hemoglobin A1c: These levels are considered an indication of how stable a person’s blood sugar levels are over approximately a 3 month period. Our surgeons recommend that a Hemoglobin A1c level of 6.5 % or below lowers the possibility of complications with LASIK.
  • Refraction stability: It is important that the patient has a stable eyeglasses prescription for at least 1 year. Most doctors define stable as a 10% or less change in a one year period of time. If a patient’s eyeglasses prescription is changing at the time of the LASIK procedure, then the patient is more likely to either have an enhancement or a non-successful procedure.
  • Ocular health: When a patient either has diabetes that is not well controlled or has had diabetes for many years even when well controlled, the disease can cause leakage of blood vessels in the back of the eye resulting in swelling and potential loss of vision. Diabetic patients typically develop cataracts earlier in life compared to those without diabetes. It is important to establish that these eye conditions are not present or affecting vision prior to LASIK surgery.

At 20/20 Institute, we complete a full dilated eye evaluation to establish that diabetic patients do not have these risk factors. Our surgeons have completed hundreds of refractive surgeries successfully and without complications for diabetic patients who have had an evaluation that revealed them to be a good candidate for the procedure.