The number one question in my mind that deters me from laser eye surgery to correct my vision is “what if the doctor screws up and I’m blind?” My sight is an important part of my life, as it is for most people, and I can’t imagine trying to function in life without it. I’ve joked in the past that I’ll get lasik when they have replacements on hand in case something goes wrong. Well, now they will. It has taken them 20 years, but the Boston Retinal Implant Project has designed an implant that will “provide patients with a sense of their surroundings – to detect shapes and obstacles in their pathways”. It’s not a perfect replacement for your natural eyesight yet, but it will allow you to get around on your own without a guide dog or a white cane. Most of the hardware is kept outside of the eye, with only a small strip of plastic actually implanted. This plus the reports that LASIK can improve eyesight beyond 20/20 continue to make the procedure more attractive to me. If you want to check out more info on the retinal implant, there’s a good article on The Boston Herald with more details on how it was designed.