Doctor's Answers (2)
Any laser refractive surgery, whether LASIK, PRK, or SMILE changes the corneal shape. Sometimes more, and sometimes less, depending on the amount of spectacle power that is to be corrected.
There are a number of different types of contact lenses, but basically, you can differentiate them into soft versus hard/rigid, and corneal versus miniscleral/scleral.
Any of these lenses can be safe to wear after laser refractive surgery, provided that they are properly fitted by a qualified optometrist/ophthalmologist.
Having said that, the fitting of contact lenses is not as straightforward or predictable after laser refractive surgery, compared with someone who has not had such surgery.
The difficulty is more pronounced the greater the corneal shape has been changed, and in certain situations such as trying to correct residual astigmatism with a soft toric lens, which may rotate unpredictably. The effects of slight lens decentrations are also likely to be more pronounced after surgery like LASIK.
In considering contact lens wear after laser refractive surgery, it is not so much a question of what kind is safe. But rather, the question is what is the person trying to achieve (eg correction of residual spectacle power, correction of higher order aberrations, or even just for cosmetic purposes). In some cases, eg correction of higher order aberrations, rigid lenses of perhaps the miniscleral type might be necessary. For others with perhaps a low degree of residual myopia who might want to wear a soft contact lens occasionally, perhaps a daily disposable contact lens might help.
So it all depends. It depends as much on what the patient wants to achieve, as well as the characteristics of the particular post-operative corneal shape, as to what contact lens is best. Do consult with an optometrist or ophthalmologist if you have more specific questions on this topic.