It was previously thought that refractive surgery might not be suitable for patients who are breastfeeding because of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and the potential risk to infants from medications that can pass through breast milk. Researchers recently reported that this is not the case, at least not for LASIK and photorefractive keratectomy; both were deemed safe and effective in breastfeeding women.

This multicenter, retrospective interventional case series evaluated patients who were breastfeeding during either procedure and compared their results with those obtained from patients who stopped breastfeeding at least three months beforehand. A total of 237 eyes of 168 women were included.

The team did not report significant intraoperative or postoperative complications. No significant differences were found between the groups in visual acuity, postoperative spherical equivalent, efficacy index, predictability, safety index or retreatment. They noted that no infants experienced adverse effects.

“To our knowledge, no other studies have addressed breastfeeding and refractive surgery, and this area warrants a prospective study,” the study authors concluded.

Alonso-Santander N, Ortega-Usobiaga J, Beltrán-Sanz J, et al. Laser in situ keratomileusis and surface ablation in breastfeeding patients. Cornea. January 30, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].