Monday, May 30, 2011

LASIK Surgery and Epilepsy Medication

Question: I have some peripheral vision loss due to the use of Vigabatrin. I don't use this medication any more is there any possibility that LASIK Surgery may be able to help me.

Answer: LASIK Eye Surgery is used to help patients suffering from nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism see clearly at distance with a reduced dependence on or even no need for eye glasses or contact lenses. LASIK Surgery does not have any indication for resolving or reversing visual field defects. Vigabatrin, which is also known as Sabril®, is an anticonvulsant medication used to treat epilepsy. It was FDA approved in 2009 and is potentially helpful for the 30% or so of patients who otherwise have treatment resistant epilepsy. Because of the substantial risk for permanent visual field defects, Vigabatrin can only be prescribed by physicians who participate in the SHARE (Support, Help and Resources for Epilepsy) program. The purpose of SHARE is to monitor patients for the development of visual field defects, and to stop the drug as quickly as possible if these develop. The field defects are permanent, but stopping the drug may limit the damage. If you are an eyeglass wearer with a high degree of correction and the eyeglasses restrict your visual field, and if this compounds the visual field loss from the Vigabatrin, if your eyes and general health are otherwise adequate it is possible that you might be able to have LASIK Surgery and experience some functional benefit. The best way to determine if this might be the case is to have a consultation with a LASIK Surgeon who can then confer with your neurologist about whether this might be possible. You should know that the fixation light in the laser that patients view as part of any Laser Eye Surgery treatment does “flicker” and has on rare occasion been a problem for some patients with epilepsy who are not otherwise well controlled.

Important Note: The information presented on the See With LASIK Blog or provided in response to a request for information in the Ask LASIK Surgeons section on is not intended to diagnose or treat eye problems, eye conditions or eye diseases including appropriateness of treatment, risks, complications or side effects as related to LASIK. In particular a response to an inquiry made on the Ask LASIK Surgeons section of is not meant to take the place of the professional medical care provided by your eye doctor, ophthalmologist and LASIK surgeon. Contacting us via e-mail or any other means is not a substitute for medical care.

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