By Dr Lee Mun Toong

Patient fitness for femtolasik is always essential to ensure a successful surgery and happy outcome.

The outcomes are almost always favourable; however, not everyone is a good candidate for vision correction surgery.

The following checklist is a good start to help you determine whether you are a good candidate for femto-lasik.

1. Eyes must be healthy

It is very important for the doctor to carry on various clinical investigations to exclude some absolute or non-absolute contraindicated condition like keratoconus, ectasia, cornea scarring, severe dry eye, retinal detachment, glaucoma etc. From my past experience, I  accidentally found a partial localised retinal detachment condition where the patient vision was still perfect during screening. The patient felt surprised after she knew about this problem where hitherto  she thought that her eye was healthy. For such instances, detailed examination is of absolute importance before surgery.

2. Cornea must have sufficient thickness

Femto-lasik should not be carried out on  thin corneas. Performing laser eye surgery on a thin cornea is risky.

3. Pupils must not be too large

If your pupils are naturally large, you could be at increased risk of side effects such as halos, glares and starbursts in low light, especially when driving at night. However this type of individual usually does not drive at night and they are not a happy driver since they were young. They thought it was  due to astigmatism. The surgery will free them from glasses but not cure the halo and glare because femto lasik is a cornea surgery but not pupil surgery.

4. Your eye power must be within certain limits

Results of LASIK surgery for the treatment of very high refractive errors are less predictable and may not be worth the cost and potential risks.

In addition, very high amounts of myopia, for example, could require removal of too much corneal tissue and put you at increased risk of vision complications. The highly myopic eye is always more complicated than the normal eye .They are more prone to retinal detachment, glaucoma and early cataracts.

5. You must be old enough

Certain procedures require you to be 18 years old.Patients younger than this  age can be treated as an exception at the discretion of the LASIK surgeon with permission from the patient's parent(s) or guardian if  overseas.

Generally there is no upper age limit for laser eye surgery. However, it is important to note that once you hit your 40s, you may still need reading glasses to correct near vision due to a normal, age-related condition called presbyopia.

Of course, your surgeon may also consider you a candidate for surgical correction of presbyopia such as monovision femto LASIK (Laser blended), which can improve your near vision without reading glasses or bifocals

6. Your vision must be stable

Teenagers and many young adults often experience changes in their contact lens prescription and eyeglass prescription from year to year. It's important for refractive errors to be stable for at least 6-12 months before undergoing LASIK or other refractive surgery.

7. You must be in good health

Contraindications to laser eye surgery may include certain uncontrolled degenerative conditions or uncontrolled autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, cancerous diseases and AIDS

8. If you are pregnant, you should delay surgery

Surgery should not be performed until your hormones and vision have returned to normal after pregnancy. This could take a few months.

9. You must have realistic expectations (not perfectionist)

While the vast majority of LASIK surgery results are excellent, you should be fully aware of the possible side effects, risks and potential LASIK complications before you choose to undergo the procedure.

An experienced LASIK surgeon will advise you whether you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery, or if another type of refractive surgery may be more appropriate.

It's important to tell your surgeon all pertinent information relating to your health and medical history including psychiatric condition to ensure you achieve the best possible results. Lasik in a psychiatric patient could possibility be disastrous even after successful surgery.