Could my corneal flap become loose?

It is very, very rare for the corneal flap to loosen after the laser eye surgery.  In cases where loosening has occurred, it generally has happened overnight after the actual treatment.  Certainly periods of longer than that, a week after the surgery, a month, three months after the surgery, these cases are extremely rare and generally the patient has undergone some form of heavy trauma to the eye, which has resulted in not only the flap moving but more than likely to cause the flap to move and would have resulted in a lot more damage to other structures in the eye at the same time.

Corneal flap complications explained further…

The corneal flap attaches to the rest of the cornea by a hinge. So there is no chance of losing it. However, if you rub your eye shortly after surgery, you may dislodge the corneal flap. Your surgeon would then have to reposition the corneal flap in the operating room. Very rarely, the microkeratome instrument will cut a free cap, without a hinge. This affects about one in 1,500 cases. If this happens, the surgeon will replace the cap after the laser part of the procedure. We will tell you this has happened and warned to take extra care not to rub your eye soon after surgery, to reduce the risk of losing the free cap. Even in the days when surgeons did surgery without a hinge, it was extremely rare for anyone to lose the part of the cornea that a surgeon had cut and replaced.

If your cap was lost, your cornea would become thinner, and there would be a chance of scarring. Overall, your vision would still probably be quite good, although surgeons consider this a serious complication. There is a very remote possibility that you would need a corneal transplant.


Mr Carp explains how rare it is for the corneal flap to become loose as a result of laser eye surgery. Click to see the video.

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Surgery was not as traumatic as I thought it would be Dr. Dan Reinstein puts you at ease and the whole team at London Vision Clinic are very helpful in answering any questions.
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