Transcript for Is laser eye surgery riskier than people think?
Now to that headline about Lasik eye surgery. Millions of Americans have it to avoid wearing glasses and contacts but according to "The New York Times" some patients are experiencing significant side effects. ABC's Linzie Janis is here with more. Hey, Linzie. Reporter: Millions of Americans as you say had Lasik eye surgery and most of us think of the procedure as virtually foolproof but Lasik may be more risky than a lot realize and the fda is now issuing new guidance asking doctors to make sure that patients are aware of potential problems. Dry eyes, pain, seeing triple. Not the symptoms you usually associate with Lasik eye surgery. This procedure gets sold but the real risks get hidden. Reporter: Giovanni Ramirez says his dream of perfect 20/20 vision camely became a nightmare. My vision is worse than before Lasik surgery. Reporter: Two years ago he decided to get Lasik eye surgery to correct his vision but says instead his eyesight only got worse with severe dry eyes, sensitivity to light and even seeing everything in threes. Your vision is how you experience the world and so when something happens to you that takes your vision even partly away, it definitely has an impact on your quality of life. Reporter: But most ophthalmologists say Ramirez's experience is the exception, not the rule. Now, there are rare complications associated with any surgery, but Lasik today is the safest most effective procedure we have ever seen in ophthalmology. Reporter: Over 190 million Americans wear corrective lenses. With over 9 million undergoing Lasik eye surgery since the fda approved it in the 1990s. More than 95% of satisfied patients experienced 20/20 vision after surgery according to the fda. However, post-surgical risks like soreness, dry eye, even chronic pain, plus blurred and double vision are still risks. Lasik is a highly risky procedure. It takes a Normal healthy cornea, damages it permanently. Reporter: The fda telling ABC news they now plan to issue new Lasik patient labeling guidance to the tri to clearly communicate risks of Lasik to patients. The fda also noted that their recent study on it found up to 2% of patients reported difficulty performing daily activities without corrective lenses. However, experts on both sides agree there are some people who may have worse outcomes. The most important aspect about Lasik is to make certain that a very good doctor performs the evaluation making certain you're a good candidate. Reporter: So Ramirez says none of the surgeons he consulted ever warned him he could sustain permanent damage to his eyes. It's worth remembering this is an expensive procprocedure. It's up to you to ask the Ricks. Make sure you're not susceptible to some of these problems, like you don't have thin corneas. How do you know? That's what the doctors will tell you. That's true. That's why you got to really ask. Get in there and ago a lot of questions.
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