“They ran some tests and that my cornea was too thin to perform the LASIK surgery.”
- Lourdes Benito
Have you been turned away from LASIK because you have thin corneas? Many people have and think that they would never be free of contacts or glasses are unfortunately unaware of the other available, sometimes better, options out there.
What’s a cornea?
The cornea is the transparent eye tissue that is altered when LASIK is performed. The surgeon first cuts a flap into the cornea, unhinges it and then uses a laser to cut away tissue to reshape it. The higher the degree of nearsightedness, the more tissue has to be cut. Once this is done, the flap is replaced and allowed to heal.
The trouble with thin corneas is that for some people, there isn’t enough corneal thickness for cutting. The worry is that if too much tissue is cut, the structure of the eye becomes substantially weakened. This leads to issues like ectasia, where the cornea is so weak that it starts to bulge outwards and can cause permanent blindness.
There are other procedures such as Epi-Lasik, LASEK, and PRK which people do consider as well. However, each process still involves removing tissue from the eye using a laser or blade.
- Epi-Lasik: Similar to LASIK except the flap is created from the top most layer of the cornea.
- LASEK: Eye drops loosen the cells on top of the cornea, these 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: The other most layer of the cornea is scraped and reshaped. No flap is created.
The Visian ICL
Perhaps the safest choice for people with thin corneas is the Visian Implantable Collamer Lens. Instead of needing to cut away eye tissue, the Visian ICL is a biocompatible, advanced lens placed inside the eye for lifelong vision correction. Additionally, the lens provides UV protection, does not contribute to dry eyes (unlike procedures that require corneal reshaping) and can be reversible if necessary.
If you’ve been turned away from LASIK because you weren’t a candidate, contact a qualified Visian ICL surgeon today to learn about your options!