Have you been rejected as a LASIK candidate due to thin corneas?
This is the case for many patients. After being turned away from LASIK surgery, many people believe they’ll never be free of contacts or glasses, but there is a better alternative to LASIK if you have thin corneas.
What are thin corneas?
A cornea is the transparent eye tissue that is altered when LASIK is performed. During a LASIK procedure, the surgeon cuts a flap into the cornea, unhinges it and then uses a laser to cut away tissue to reshape it. The more nearsighted you are, the more tissue the doctor has to remove. After this procedure is completed, the flap is replaced and given time to heal.
With some patients, however, the corneas are not thick enough to withstand cutting. Cutting into these patients’ corneas could lead to a substantially weakened eye, something no one wants. Other problems can develop, as well, including ectasia, where the cornea becomes so weak it begins to bulge outward and can even lead to permanent blindness.
People also consider alternative procedures such as LASEK, Epi-Lasik and PRK, but each of these involves removing tissue from the eye using a laser or blade.
Let’s take a closer look at these alternative procedures:
Epi-Lasik: With this procedure, the flap is created from the topmost layer of the cornea.
LASEK: With the similar-sounding LASEK procedure, eye drops loosen the cells on top of the cornea, the cells are scraped to the side, a laser is applied to reshape the cornea, cells are smoothed back on and a contact lens is placed on top to help the healing.
PRK: During the PRK procedure, the outermost layer of the cornea is scraped, then reshaped. With PRK, no flap is created.
The Visian ICL: Possibly one of the strongest choices for people with thin corneas is Visian Implantable Collamer Lenses, a procedure that uses a biocompatible, advanced lens rather than cutting away eye tissue. As a bonus, the lens provides UV protection and does not promote dry eye syndrome. If needed, the lens can be removed.
Just because you have thin corneas, it doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.