March 14, 2007 / 11:30 AM / 13 years ago

Singapore halts Lasik surgery after inflammation cases

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A key Singapore eye hospital has suspended Lasik eye-sight correction surgery after a surge in the number of patients suffering from inflammation.

The Singapore National Eye Center (SNEC) halted all Lasik surgeries last week after 17 patients suffered from the Diffuse Lamellar Keratitis inflammation following treatments, according to Ravi Chandran, the center’s spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“SNEC has recently seen an unusual increase in inflammatory reaction in patients after lasik treatment,” Chandran said, adding that the cause of the inflammations is still unknown.

Singapore is trying to establish itself as a medical center for foreigners. Some 200,000 overseas patients seek medical care in Singapore each year, more than half of them from neighboring Indonesia.

Patients who suffer from the Diffuse Lamellar Keratitis inflammation do not experience any pain or discomfort, but may have blurry vision for one to two weeks, Chandran said.

The suspension, which is the first-ever in the Southeast Asian city-state, is expected to at least last until the end of the month, according to Chandran.

Lasik stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis and involves changing the shape of the cornea using an ultraviolet laser to correct vision.

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