Updated on  February 20, 2024
6 min read

How Many Times Can You Get LASIK for Retreatment?

6 sources cited
Vision Center is funded by our readers. We may earn commissions if you purchase something via one of our links.

LASIK, which stands for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis,” is a minor laser eye surgery people take to correct their vision permanently. This removes the need for glasses or contacts, which can be difficult to maintain daily.

While the effects of LASIK are permanent, it doesn’t make your eyesight immune to complications. People may develop eye problems later in life, making their previous LASIK procedure less effective.

In this article, we cover the effects of LASIK and its pros and cons so you can determine if it’s the right procedure for you.

Is There a Limit to Lasik Procedures?

You can get LASIK more than once. However, the maximum number of times you can get LASIK without health risks is three.

Patient under surgical microscope for vision correction

Each time you undergo LASIK, the surgeon removes corneal tissue. If your corneas are too thin after the first procedure, you may not be able to undergo LASIK eye surgery a second time.

Regardless of your corneal health, undergoing more than three LASIK procedures can harm your eyes and cause severe vision problems.

How Long Do the Effects of LASIK Eye Surgery Last?

The results of LASIK surgery last forever. However, there are a few reasons your vision might change after getting LASIK:

  1. If the original condition that affected your eyesight continues to progress.1
  2. A natural condition called presbyopia can develop as you age. It causes your lens to become less flexible, and you can’t focus on nearby objects.

Your age at the time of the LASIK procedure can also impact how long the results last. If you have any other progressive eye conditions, these can also affect your vision over time.

How Common Is LASIK Retreatment?

Retreatment rates for LASIK are typically between three and 37.9 percent, depending on the literature.5

One study discovered that 35 percent of people who had LASIK surgery needed retreatment within 10 years.2

Another study followed people with nearsightedness and/or astigmatism who had LASIK. After 12 years, they discovered around 10 percent of the participants experienced regression (vision changes) during that time.3

Keep in mind that the majority of people who have LASIK remain happy with their vision, even after a decade. Consult your doctor if you plan to undergo LASIK retreatment to treat your current vision problems.

Why People Seek LASIK Enhancement Surgery

If your eyesight becomes blurry following your first LASIK procedure, you may be able to get LASIK for a second time. This depends on your doctor’s method for extracting the tissue during the first procedure and how much they left behind.

The main reasons why people undergo a LASIK enhancement include:

Patient and/or Surgeon Expectations

In some cases, LASIK patients are content with a small amount of ongoing refractive problems if it doesn’t affect their daily tasks. However, if someone expects perfect eyesight immediately, they’re more likely to seek a LASIK enhancement.

Healing time can take up to 2 or 3 months, so full vision correction may not occur for some time after the procedure. However, vision will be clearer in the days after the treatment.

Stable Refractive Error

If an ongoing vision issue doesn’t change after 3 months, it may be time to seek an enhancement. This may be because the initial procedure didn’t fully correct the shape of the cornea.

Improper Refraction/Data Entered

As part of the LASIK procedure, the laser is pre-programmed with information to shape the cornea properly. If this is even slightly off, under or overcorrection can occur.

Flap Issues

During laser eye surgery, the surgeon cuts a flap of tissue and moves it aside. Then, they shape the cornea with a laser.

If the flap doesn’t heal properly or dislocates, you won’t get optimal visual acuity. This complicates retreatment, but it has been shown to help improve healing.

Cutting a new flap may be part of the treatment. This usually makes recovery longer but is more likely to improve vision outcomes.

Other Healing Complications

Treating epithelial ingrowth or flap melting after LASIK requires retreatment. These complications may require the surgeon to re-lift the flap during a second procedure.

LASIK Retreatment Costs

The average price of LASIK surgery is around $4,200 in total. In some cases, the cost can be less.4

Often, this price includes the cost of pre-op evaluations and post-op follow-up exams besides the procedure itself.

Sometimes, the price includes a second LASIK procedure to further correct your vision. Your doctor usually provides this if they didn’t remove enough tissue initially.

Insurance companies consider LASIK surgery to be an elective procedure, so most don’t cover its costs.

Benefits and Risks of LASIK Surgery Enhancements  

LASIK enhancement has several pros and cons.


  • A quick and familiar process
  • An improvement in vision that usually only takes a few days
  • Clearer vision without contacts or glasses, depending on the patient’s circumstances


  • A risk of a poorly healing flap from an infection or excessive tear production
  • A risk of an irregular healing pattern of your cornea underneath the flap, which can cause vision issues and discomfort
  • Astigmatism risk, where your eye can end up being an irregular shape because the tissue wasn’t removed evenly
  • Severe dry eye syndrome, which can cause discomfort and vision problems if your eyes can’t make enough tears
  • Long-term vision problems in dim light, leading to problems seeing at night or in dim light due to halos and glare
  • Too much or too little tissue can also be removed, resulting in less than perfect results due to over or under-correction
  • While rare, a decrease in or loss of vision can occur

How Does LASIK Work?

LASIK permanently reshapes the tissue in the front of the eye. It works best for people with vision problems, which include:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia). This is when you can see nearby objects clearly, while far-away objects appear blurry.
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia). This is when you can see far-away objects clearly while nearby objects appear blurry.
  • Astigmatism. This causes blurry vision, which occurs from an imperfection in the shape of the front of your eye.

LASIK corrects these eye conditions by reshaping your cornea with lasers. Once complete, light bends correctly and focuses on your retina.

As a result, you have clear, sharp vision close up and far away. The goal is to correct your vision completely so you don’t need to wear glasses or contacts.


LASIK procedures provide a quick and effective process to correct sight problems permanently. While uncommon, LASIK retreatments may be needed to further correct vision issues over time.

People who have undergone LASIK procedures are recommended to limit retreatments to three procedures. Since LASIK removes corneal tissue, any further treatments affecting it can lead to severe vision problems.

If you’re planning to get LASIK retreatment after recently having the procedure, consult your doctor to confirm if it’s safe for you to proceed.

Updated on  February 20, 2024
6 sources cited
Updated on  February 20, 2024
  1. ”Permanent or Temporary: How Long Does LASIK Last?”, American Refractive Surgery Council, 2022.
  2. Ide et al. ”Outcome of a 10-year follow-up of laser in situ laser keratomileusis for myopia and myopic astigmatism.” Taiwan Journal of Ophthalmology, ScienceDirect, 2014.
  3. Ikeda et al. “Twelve-Year Follow-Up of Laser In Situ Keratomileusis for Moderate to High Myopia.” BioMed Research International, National Library of Medicine, 2017.
  4. ”The Price of LASIK Isn’t As Expensive As You Might Think.” American Refractive Surgery Council, 2022.
  5. Ambrósio Jr et al. “Management of unsuccessful LASIK surgery.” Comprehensive Ophthalmology Update, National Library of Medicine, 2007.
  6. Moshirfar et al. ”Laser In Situ Keratomileusis.” StatPearls Publishing, National Library of Medicine, 2023.
The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.