Laser eye procedure before giving birth?

In the old days – and even sometimes today – there was a common belief that laser eye procedures can only be performed on women who have already given birth. It is, however, a misconception.

"We perform operations on women before they have given birth, and children or pregnancy are not decisive factors when it comes to laser eye procedures," explains KSA Vision Clinic’s eye surgeon, Dr Ants Haavel. "As a matter of fact, a large number of women have laser eye procedures just before pregnancy and have no issues during pregnancy or labour," adds Dr Haavel.

It is quite a common belief that women who have had a laser eye procedure prior to giving birth will be at greater risk of harming the fundus of the eye (the back portion of the interior surface of the eyeball) during labour. However according to Dr Haavel, any woman is at risk, albeit small, and laser eye surgery will not increase that risk at all.
"Even if the fundus has weak areas (macular degeneration), it is extremely rare that the fundus will get damaged during labour. In the old days, or in a highly unlikely case today, the eye sight may have weakened as a result of damage caused during labour, yet today’s advanced technology can easily fix the fundus," explains Dr Haavel.

More comfortable labour

As per Dr Haavel, prior to carrying out a laser eye procedure, the fundus will be carefully examined. "If any weak points are discovered, we will "weld" them using an argon laser which eliminates the issue," reassures Dr Haavel.
Dr Haavel also notes that labour is a stressful exercise, hence any concern about changes or damage to the body is totally understandable. However, there is no need to worry as the likelihood of something going wrong is extremely low.

"I would dare to say that laser eye procedures only have a positive effect, as women will feel more comfortable after the procedure. There is no need to stress about glasses or contact lenses – one less thing to worry about," clarifies Dr Haavel.

Laser eye procedure is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding

As part of a laser eye procedure, eye drops are needed prior to and after the operation. Therefore, it is recommended that the procedure is done before pregnancy or after breastfeeding. However, it is still worth doing.

"Mums who have had laser eye procedures are very happy, as they can see their babies without glasses or contact lenses. It is especially useful when feeding a baby at night, as this is considerably easier with perfect vision. Also, over time babies tend to start to grab things and many mums have seen eye glasses being broken, leading to unexpected expenses," Dr Haavel explains as he highlights some of the many benefits.

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