Although many individuals can be considered good candidates for LASIK, sometimes another procedure may be more appropriate. If LASIK is not right for you, our surgeons will complete a thorough assessment to help you find a more suitable corrective surgery that can better address your unique needs. Below, we have provided general information about each of the LASIK alternatives offered at our practice.
A great alternative to LASIK is the Visian ICL™ procedure. Patients with dry eyes, thin corneas, or a prescription that is out of range may be candidates for Visian ICL™ (Implantable Collamer Lens). The Visian ICL™ is inserted beneath the iris and in front of the eye’s natural lens to help enhance vision. Once placed, the collamer-based lens is undetectable by the naked eye, and it remains comfortably in place for the patient. If vision changes occur in the future, your surgeon can remove and replace the Visian ICL™ as needed. Typical candidates for Visian ICL™ are between the ages of 21 and 45, and are nearsighted without astigmatism. Patients with nearsightedness and higher levels of astigmatism may be eligible for the newer FDA-approved Visian Toric ICL, which has been specially designed to accommodate the irregular cornea shape. Patients interested in the Visian ICL™ procedure should not have a history of eye disease, and they should not have had a previous corrective eye surgery. Patients who develop (or have) presbyopia may still require reading glasses, in addition to Visian ICL™ or Visian Toric ICL.
Patients with presbyopia who are not candidates for LASIK (or who prefer an alternative procedure) may be ideal for the FDA-approved KAMRA™ Inlay™. This inlay is a tiny ring that is placed inside the cornea of the patient’s non-dominant eye. The ring allows light to pass through and focuses it from the front to the back of the eye, improving near vision in that eye while retaining distance vision in the dominant eye. Ultimately, the KAMRA® Inlay™ treats presbyopia by enabling the eyes to work together so the patient can more easily and clearly adjust between up-close and distance vision. Although patient satisfaction with the KAMRA® Inlay™ has been high, it is possible for your surgeon to remove the inlay, if desired.
One of the most common LASIK alternatives, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is often an excellent option for individuals with thin corneas, dry eyes, or those who have corneal scar tissue, as these patients are typically not considered good LASIK candidates. Unlike LASIK, a corneal flap does not need to be created for PRK. Instead, the protective tissue on the outer surface of the cornea is removed using a special solution. Once this tissue has been eliminated, your surgeon can use our VISX STAR S4 IR® Excimer Laser to gently reshape the cornea. After surgery, a specialized soft contact lens is placed on each eye to protect it as it heals and the cornea’s outer tissue regrows. Due to the fact that no corneal flap is needed for this particular surgery, PRK is sometimes preferred over LASIK by athletes, military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and other similar professionals. For the majority of patients, PRK is able to produce outcomes that are comparable to that of LASIK.
Refractive Lens Exchange
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) can help improve the vision of individuals who may not be ideal candidates for LASIK or other laser vision correction surgeries. This procedure can also eliminate a patient’s chances of developing cataracts later on in life. Using the same technique that is employed for cataract surgery, RLE replaces the eye’s natural crystalline lens with an intraocular lens (IOL). Certain specialized types of IOLs offer unique vision correction benefits, so depending on your individual needs, your surgeon will recommend an IOL that can provide you with the best possible results.
If you are interested in corrective vision surgery and would like to know more about LASIK and the LASIK alternatives offered at our practice, please feel free to contact us today. For more personalized answers to your questions, and to determine which procedure is right for you, we recommend scheduling a consultation with one of our skilled and experienced surgeons.