Is LASIK Safe When Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

When you learn that you’re pregnant, your world kind of stops and shifts at once. You might experience a mix of emotions and symptoms and have endless questions during each week or stage of your pregnancy. Having accurate and up-to-date information is critical for your baby and your peace of mind. The Public Health Agency of Canada offers an excellent guide to a healthy pregnancy, but if you have more specific questions, be sure to consult your family doctor or OB-GYN.

If you’re familiar with the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy, you know there is no shortage of foods, beverages, and risky activities to avoid. Breastfeeding allows for breathing room, but you still must be careful in many ways since you can pass harmful things to your baby in breast milk. And some babies have allergies or sensitivities to certain foods, so be sure to talk to your baby’s doctor if you notice that your baby seems fussy, gassy, or sleepless after you eat a particular food.


You can add LASIK to the list of things you should avoid while pregnant or breastfeeding. Laser eye surgery is one activity that is most safely performed before getting pregnant or after you have finished breastfeeding your child.

But why?

Your vision can change when pregnant and breastfeeding due to the hormonal and physical changes your body experiences. Hormonal changes can cause the cornea to change shape, precisely the thickness and curvature of the cornea. Sometimes these changes are temporary, and your vision returns to normal.

Other times the changes are permanent, and you will have to be re-examined by your optometrist for new glasses or contact prescription. According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, you should watch for troublesome symptoms like blurred vision, dry eyes, diabetes and gestational diabetes.

Herein lies the problem with LASIK surgery. The surgery is rendered ineffective if performed and the patient’s vision changes due to pregnancy or breastfeeding. Therefore, you should wait until after you have given birth and after you have finished breastfeeding your child to get LASIK.


Even if you’ve already given birth, you won’t be cleared to undergo LASIK eye surgery if you’re breastfeeding. There is not as much research on LASIK eye surgery safety when breastfeeding as on the impact of laser eye surgery on pregnancy. However, the available research suggests that LASIK eye surgery is safest and most effective after breastfeeding has stopped.

A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information states that LASIK, or other types of refractive surgery, is not recommended until all these conditions are met:

  • Cessation of lactation
  • Return of regular menses
  • Return to pre-pregnancy refraction

And refractive regression may still occur if a patient becomes pregnant within one year of getting LASIK. So if you are planning to become pregnant, consider postponing LASIK until the above conditions are met.

To determine when it’s safe to undergo LASIK, speak with your healthcare professional for evaluation and advice. And if you are cleared for the procedure, be sure to book a free consultation with our corneal surgeon, Dr. Mark Fava.