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Studies Shed Light on LASIK Risk

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Ron Link agrees. A former firefighter, Link now runs an Internet-based support group for people who have had negative experiences with vision correction surgeries. He says most people are told in very general terms about the potential postsurgical problems, but few are warned about their specific level of risk.

"People may sign an informed consent without being told that with their particular preoperative condition their individual risk is extremely high," he says.

California ophthalmologist Richard L. Abbott, MD, says better screening and technological advances are already helping to reduce the incidence of surgical complications associated with LASIK. Over the next few years, such advances may make the procedure an option for more people. Abbott is co-director of the corneal and refractive surgery department at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center.

"For the vast majority of patients, the technology we have now does a superb job," he tells WebMD. "But clinical trials going on now offer the promise of helping those people who are considered poor candidates for LASIK surgery."

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