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Lasik Surgery for Eyes


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#1 Clementine

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 10:11 AM

Hello,

Just wondering if anyone here with scleroderma has had lasik eye surgery for correction of nearsightedness. If so, what was your experience?
I've done some research and I know it's not that great of an idea due to the higher risks of infection and healing time.

Thanks.

Tang

#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 10:42 AM

Hi Tangelo,

Generally speaking, as I understand it, connective tissue disease is a contraindication for Lasik eye surgery. I had an evaluation for it anyway. I was under the impression that I was breezing right through the qualification since they hadn't said anything negative and I even was allowed to watch the happy-wappy promo tape about what the surgery would entail.

Then the doctor came in and had the audacity to run a Schirmer's test on me. I not only flunked the Schirmer's but the doctor put me into double over-time on it -- and I still had no tears at all <sigh>. If only they'd told me I was flunking out, that would have been enough to make me cry (and pass the test!).

Anyway, I got a lecture, a big lecture, about how people with Hashimoto's and Sjogren's and scleroderma should NEVER have Lasik, and that I had not only one but at least 3 (or more!) risk factors. They also do not particularly like anyone who is on medication, although they probably make allowances for many meds.

I was also silly enough later on to confess to my opthalmologist that I had gone for the Lasik evaluation and flunked. He was quite concerned, saying, you've been my patient for over 40 years and we do Lasik so why didn't you see me about it? I said, well, you know my medical history so I didn't think I'd have any chance at all.

He said that's right, that I should never have Lasik under any circumstances; and that I really should have known better than to ask.

And really, I wouldn't have asked at all, except I'd just love to be able to see more than 3 inches in front of my face without glasses -- and I had read that they were loosening up restrictions on Lasik and hopeful that would also help scoot me in the door. Plus, I was (obviously wrongly!) under the impression that my Sjogren's had improved a lot, since I had been having less eye pain than usual.

You can explore it yourself, of course. But in general, it seems it is not a good idea for a systemic scleroderma patient to have Lasik.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#3 PrincessB

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 09:30 PM

Hi Tang,

I had it done when I was 25, then redone when I was 29. I didn't know that I had scleroderma at the time and I didn't experience any particular problems except that my eyes were very dry and I had to have my tear ducts plugged to help with that. Maybe they wouldn't have done it if I had known I had scleroderma though. It's a shame if you can't have it, it changed my life not having to bother with contacts anymore.

B x
Diagnosed diffuse systemic scleroderma December 2005 (on my 30th birthday, as if turning 30 wasn't enough?!)

#4 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 06:56 AM

Hi Jen,

I had my consultation about a year ago. I was not having a corneal flap done (whatever that is?). They had also talked very positive to me when I made the appointment, strongly encouraging me to come in. It was entirely positive and uplifting I thought it would be a shoe-in...until the actual doctor eventually stumbled upon the scene and ruined it all for me. ;((

Just make sure you go to a respected center, and that you actually consult a board-certified doctor. It wouldn't hurt to also ask your rheumatologist, to see what they think of the idea, given your particular health situation.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#5 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:04 AM

Hi Jen,

Oh look what I found, on our own site, no less, on our Scleroderma and Eye Involvement page:

LASIK in Patients with Rheumatic Diseases A Pilot Study. In this small series, we found good outcomes when correcting refractive errors using LASIK in selected patients with controlled rheumatic diseases. In this series, a favorable postoperative visual outcome was obtained with no operative or postoperative vision-threatening complications. PubMed. Ophthalmology. 2005 Sep 14.

Perhaps the key is "well-controlled" and also, it was a small study of a wide variety of arthritis patients, and they did not specify what type of scleroderma (localized or systemic) or number of scleroderma patients were included. It also did not include anyone with Sjogren's or Hashimoto's, which frequently accompany systemic scleroderma.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#6 Sweet

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 08:07 AM

Oh Yippee, I see Jenny getting her eyes done!
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)