Woman talking(l+r), Someone getting lasik(c)

DS Tkachuk/Shutterstock @laineyostrom/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘One of the biggest regrets of my life’: Woman issues dire warning about getting LASIK

'I'm in eye care and I wouldn't do it.'


Charlotte Colombo


Posted on Apr 10, 2024   Updated on Apr 9, 2024, 1:01 pm CDT

An estimated 20-25 million LASIK procedures have been performed on Americans, but as TikToker Lainey Ostrom (@laineyostrom) can attest, there’s always a chance it can go wrong. As part of a “Get Ready With Me” video, Ostrom opened up about how LASIK is one of her “biggest regrets in life.”

She says she was initially told she was a “good” candidate for LASIK, but the day before her surgery, doctors were concerned her corneas were too thin. However, she says they appeared thicker on the day of the surgery, so the issue was boiled down to cold weather. Ostrom notes that during the procedure, “you can smell like the burning of your eye, and it’s really just kind of not a good time.”

“I get home, and you can’t see, [and] it feels like someone literally took sand with your eyes open and rubbed sand on your eyes,” she continues. “Like, it was not a fun experience.”

But Ostrom says things soon got worse when, after LASIK, she noticed she still saw halos and blurriness while driving, meaning she has to wear glasses on the road despite her surgery.

“When you get LASIK, you have up to a year to do a corrective procedure if needed, at no extra cost to you,” she adds. “So you bet your butt I was trying to go back to Florida to get that free corrective procedure to fix my eye that didn’t heal and was still blurry. I scheduled an entire trip to get this taken care of—to get this done—and when I arrived, they tested my eyes, and they’re like, ‘Oh, this doesn’t look good.'”

Ostrom says her corneas had thinned so much that she was no longer a candidate for corrective LASIK. She adds that she now has to get her eyes tested annually because she might develop ectasia.

According to Better Vision Guide, “Corneal ectasia occurs when the inner layers of your cornea become weak, causing the cornea to change shape, protrude forward and distort your vision.” The site notes that it’s “a serious condition that can cause permanent loss of vision if not treated,” and it can be a result of LASIK in “rare cases.”

@laineyostrom Why you should never get lasik… from someone who got lasik. Sorry this story was almost 5 minutes. I tried to shorten it 😆 – Makeup used: @IT Cosmetics cc cream @NARS Cosmetics laguna bronzer @ONE SIZE BEAUTY blush @NYX Professional Makeup concealer & lip liner @YSL Beauty mascara & lipstick @Benefit Cosmetics brow pen @Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow – #lasikeyesurgery #lasikcomplication #lasikcomplications #surgerytiktok #surgerytok #grwm #grwmaccount #storytimemakeup #storytimevideos ♬ original sound – Lainey

“I know so many people, including my sister, who have had LASIK, have zero complication,” she says. “But for me, I am like the less than 3% that had complications. So with every single surgery, you just have to understand the risks.”

The Refractive Surgery Council reports, “The LASIK complication rate is less than 1%.” However, “up to 30 percent of patients” report experiencing “short-term side effects.” The Council states that side effects “generally go away over time” while complications “require additional treatment [because] it could be harmful to leave them untreated.”

In contrast, it’s “extremely rare” for side effects to need additional treatment. The Council states, “Less than five percent of the time, glasses, contact lenses, or additional LASIK treatment may be needed.”

“If I could go back in time, there’s no way in hell I would ever do LASIK again. The gift of sight is such a beautiful gift. So please, if you’re considering it, just take caution,” Ostrom concludes.

She is far from the first person on TikTok to share her story of post-LASIK complications. TikToker Hayden (@hutchhayden) says he was left with the eyesight of a 50-year-old after his own surgery complications, while Erin Orchard (@erinorchard88) says she has been left with daily, excruciating pain after getting LASIK. Meanwhile, three years after getting LASIK, Shan (@shanswanz) revealed how she was slowly losing her vision.

Ostrom didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via Instagram direct message.

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

Share this article
*First Published: Apr 10, 2024, 2:00 am CDT