Can You Get LASIK If You’re Diabetic?

Woman after LASIK

If you have diabetes, you may know that getting any surgery is riskier than if you weren’t diabetic. Diabetics are more susceptible to complications, and it can take longer to recover. But what about for procedures like LASIK?

Many doctors recommend not getting LASIK if you have severe or uncontrolled diabetes. But what about if your diabetes is under control? Keep reading to learn more about LASIK for diabetics!


When you have diabetes, there are risks that go along with any surgery and that includes LASIK. Along with a lengthened recovery time, diabetics have higher risks of developing infections.

They also can develop retinopathy. Retinopathy causes retinal inflammation, which untreated could lead to blindness. Other complications associated are corneal erosion and ulcers.

These risks are avoidable if the patient has their diabetes under control. This requires three main things:

Glucose Levels

The patient needs to have stable hemoglobin. This means diabetes needs to have stable blood sugar levels. Before LASIK is ever considered, the patient’s Hemoglobin A1C must be taken.

This shows how stable the patient’s glucose levels have been over a three month period. If they are healthy and within limits, then other factors can then be evaluated.

Eye Health

A patient with diabetes should have no history of eye diseases caused by diabetes. This includes retinopathy, blood vessel leakage, glaucoma, and cataracts.

If the patient has had one of these conditions in the past, they may be more likely to have complications. It doesn’t mean that they can’t get LASIK but it’s an indicator that they may have a longer recovery time.

For example, if all else is well but the patient has had cataracts, it is possible to have safe LASIK surgery. But the patient’s medical history in regards to ocular health should be as clean as possible.

Your LASIK surgeon will take your health into account while deciding if you are a good candidate.

Visual Stability

One of the qualifying factors for any patient seeking LASIK is having stable vision. To undergo LASIK, you need to have a stable prescription that hasn’t changed in a year or more.

Diabetes, even when controlled, can cause fluctuations in the eye that affect how well you see. There should no visual change for a prolonged period for diabetics.

This ensures the efficacy of LASIK, as well as its safety. If you have visual fluctuations, it could signal that your eye health isn’t strong enough.

One of the most important factors for LASIK candidacy is avoiding complications. If your eyes don’t seem strong enough to avoid complications, getting LASIK may not be right for you.

If you’re healthy and your diabetes are under control, you should be safe to get LASIK. The only way to know for sure? You’ll need to consult both your general physician and eye doctor about if LASIK is right for you.

If you want LASIK and you have diabetes, it’s important to be in the best hands for your procedure. Consider Ellis Eye and Laser Medical Center! Contact us today to request a LASIK consultation at one of our locations in the San Francisco area.


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