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Is It Possible to Have Laser Eye Surgery Twice?

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A woman wearing blue mask and patient kit as her eye doctor helps her place her head properly under the laser system to perform an eye surgery.

Refractive surgeries, such as LASIK or PRK, are 2 potential solutions to ditching your frames or contact lenses if you are near or farsighted. Even though modern laser eye surgery techniques are considered safe and effective, they aren’t guaranteed procedures.

Occasionally, a person may need a second laser eye surgery or laser enhancement.. Each situation will vary, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. If your vision isn’t as clear as you’d like, your eye doctor can review the factors of your eye health, such as cornea thickness and correction needed, to determine whether you’re eligible for laser eye surgery for a second time.

Laser Eye Surgery Overview

Laser eye surgery is the most commonly performed vision correction procedure for refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. Recent advances have additionally allowed ophthalmologists to use laser eye surgery to correct presbyopia, which is a normal part of aging that may require reading glasses or multifocal lenses for correction.

In Canada, two of the most common laser eye surgeries used are laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK).


During LASIK, the eye surgeon may use a computer-assisted laser to create a microscopic incision in the cornea to access the tissue beneath the eye’s surface. Once the tissue is exposed, the ophthalmologist removes a predetermined amount of tissue to reshape the cornea. After the procedure, the outer layer of the eye is put back in place to heal. Sutures aren’t typically required, as the incision is so small.

Recovery from LASIK is usually quick and side effects, such as dry eyes or some minor discomfort, are often minor and usually resolve themselves. Your eye doctor can review potential complications and risk levels with you.


Instead of an incision, the ophthalmologist removes the outermost layer of the cornea from your eye during a PRK procedure. Following this, the doctor uses a laser to reshape the cornea to achieve the desired vision correction.

PRK can have some advantages over LASIK. For example, if someone suffers from dry eye disease or has thin corneas, it may be the better option.

Which Procedure Is Right for You?

There isn’t a single answer for which (if either) procedure is right for you without a proper consultation. Your eye doctor can assess the health of your eyes, determine what your vision goals are, and evaluate your lifestyle to provide you with a personalized solution.

Getting Laser Eye Surgery Twice

It is possible to get laser surgery twice. Laser eye surgery is meant to be a long-term solution, but that doesn’t prevent your eyes from changing as you age.

For example, a person may have astigmatism corrected with LASIK and then develop presbyopia in their 40s. The person could use reading glasses or multifocal lenses, or they may be eligible for another LASIK procedure setting them up for monovision, when the non-dominant eye may be set for computer/reading and the dominant eye for distance.  A kind word of caution as monovision is not for everyone and must be tested for efficacy with your eye doctor prior to laser eye surgery.

PRK can also be performed twice. Because the top layer of the cornea grows back over time, it can be removed again and left to heal once more.

A woman having difficulty reading the newspaper after eye surgery due to natural development of presbyopia.

Reasons for a Second Laser Eye Surgery

While it’s uncommon, a couple of reasons could result in a second laser eye surgery.

Natural Changes in Your Eye

Typically, our eyes are finished growing by our early 20s. But by a person’s early to mid-40s, their eyes may begin changing again. This is usually when reading glasses or multifocal lenses become a necessity. A second laser eye surgery could be an option to help restore clear vision. Additionally, it’s possible for a refractive error like astigmatism to change over time as well.

Inaccurate Correction

With modern technological advances, errors in correction may be less frequent, but it’s still possible. Regardless of why the desired results weren’t reached after the first procedure, a second surgery may be an option.

Talk to Us About Laser Eye Surgery

Our team of ophthalmologists is experienced with cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment techniques to help you achieve the clear vision you desire.

Contact us today to start the conversation about your long-term or permanent vision correction options. The team at Vector Eye Centre can answer your questions and schedule you for a consultation with our trusted team.

Written by Dr. Jamie Bhamra

Dr. Jamie Bhamra is an ophthalmologist with advanced training in cataract and corneal surgery, including refractive surgery, corneal cross-linking, external disease, ocular surface disease, and dry eye disease. He practices comprehensive ophthalmology in Calgary, Alberta.
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