How soon after pregnancy can I go for LASIK if I am breastfeeding?

Doctor's Answers (4)

Dr David Chan

"Ophthalmologist with over 20 years of experience"

Congratulations on your new bundle of joy!

You’re right to suggest that as refractive surgeons, we do have reservations about offering laser vision correction (i.e. LASIK, PRK, ReLEx SMILE) to pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.

Primarily, this is due to the fact that the refractive errors may change temporarily during pregnancy and breastfeeding as a result of the hormonal changes involved. In addition, we would prefer to avoid the use of steroid eyedrops in pregnant or breastfeeding mums.

With regards to your inquiry about when would be the optimal time to have LASIK surgery after pregnancy and breastfeeding, a general rule would be to wait out at least 2 menstrual cycles after breastfeeding and only provided the measured refractive errors after breastfeeding indicate stability. 

Ultimately, your trusted surgeon would have to take all factors into consideration before offering you any form of laser vision correction.

As long as it’s been approximately a month after delivery and all the pregnancy edema has settled, its fine to go ahead for LASIK!

All the topical  eye drops are not a concern at all during breastfeeding. There is no significant absorption. 

Hi Jo

Congratulations! It would be best to wait until after you finish breastfeeding to have LASIK done. The main reason is that hormonal changes during this period of time may continue to affect stability of your spectacle power while breastfeeding, hence possibly leading to a less accurate LASIK treatment. The bigger risk is during pregnancy, but many ophthalmologists have concerns regarding stability of spectacle power during breastfeeding as well.

There is no specific concern regarding the use of most eyedrop medications (including steroid eyedrops), during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, as Dr Jasmine points out. This is because the amount absorbed into the body via eyedrops is so small as to be negligible, with regard to exposure to the baby.

Lasik in pregnancy is a common question! In summary - its best to delay any form of refractive surgery until at least 3-6 months post partum and after completion of breast feeding.
The main concern is that of changes to corneal rigidity due to fluctuations in pregnancy hormones. This may cause variations in the refraction which would of course affect the target of refractive surgery.
A secondary concern would be that of the medications used during and after the surgery. The systemic absorption of topical medications is low, and can be further reduced with maneuvers including punctal occlusion. 
All things considered, you should of course discuss these concerns with your attending ophthalmologist, and together you should be able to get your surgery performed at the soonest date after your pregnancy!
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