How many times can you have Lasik done?

You should rarely ever need more than one LASIK experience per eye. While it is possible (and sometimes necessary) to perform an "enhancement" or a second laser treatment to correct any residual refractive error (focusing problem), this should be quite a low percentage of cases for your surgeon and is usually done within a few months of your LASIK.

LASIK (or even PRK) should not be something you can expect to be able to resort to repeatedly for several reasons:

1) The myopia (nearsightedness) LASIK treats has finished its development and so should be stable by the time of the procedure. It is very rare to see random changes afterwards, even after many years. If more myopia does develop at a much later date, it is more likely to be caused by something further laser treatment is not best suited for. For example, one of the earliest sign of developing cataract is a "myopic shift." If this occurs, you should then have the cataract fixed. Further laser treatment will not stop the progress of cataract formation. If you have more laser to treat this myopic shift, you will just be back in a year or two with the same problem.

2) Once the LASIK flap is well healed (after a year or so) it can be tricky to peel it back without causing distortion in the corneal surface.

3) Trying to cut a second LASIK flap, while not impossible, is challenging and runs the risk of intersecting with the old flap.

4) The most common possible need for a much later laser treatment is Presbyopia. But LASIK does not cure presbyopia. It can be useful and safe to perform PRK on top of the flap to create monovision. But be sure you can tolerate the induced imbalance of monovision: you can usually determine this with a contact lens trial preview.

5) Each subsequent laser vision treatment is going to further thin your cornea, create more subtle corneal aberrations, and will not be as precise as the first.

So you can now see why you should consider LASIK as a one-time thing.

J. Trevor Woodhams, Chief of Surgery - Woodhams Eye Clinic