Can I Get LASIK If I Have Thin Corneas?
Are you wondering whether thin cornea LASIK eye surgery is possible? The answer is somewhat complicated, so the real question is whether your corneas are thick enough for the procedure. In preparation for LASIK, or any other laser eye surgery, one of the most important parts of the process is the eye exam before the procedure to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for LASIK. One of the measurements required for that determination is checking your corneal thickness for LASIK.
Corneal tissue is removed during LASIK, so it’s important that you have enough tissue for the procedure to be successful. In some cases, your corneas could be too thin, but there are other factors to consider as well. Let’s take a look at what it takes to qualify for LASIK eye surgery for thin corneas.
What is the importance of corneal thickness for LASIK?
LASIK eye surgery improves your vision by reshaping your cornea to correct the way light is refracted to your retina. Because of the nature of LASIK, your eye surgeon will need to determine the thickness of your cornea to ensure that there’s enough tissue for your cornea to be reshaped as needed. With a thin cornea LASIK is a higher risk procedure, though not necessarily impossible. Your eye surgeon will need to do a number of tests and measurements to ascertain whether there is enough tissue for a successful corneal flap and whether there is enough tissue to reshape the cornea correctly.
What are the risks of eye surgery for thin corneas?
If you have insufficient corneal thickness for LASIK, getting the procedure puts you at a higher risk for post keratorefractive ectasia. Also called post-LASIK corneal ectasia, this is a complication of laser eye surgery when too much corneal tissue is removed or corneal tissue is damaged during surgery. This is a rare complication that only affects 0.02% to 0.6% of patients, but it can cause progressive myopia and astigmatism, which leads to worsening eyesight over time. People with pre-existing corneal problems are at a higher risk of developing this complication.
Because of the risk of developing this progressive eye condition with thin cornea LASIK, it’s essential that you see an experienced eye surgeon who has worked with patients with thin corneas before. Your surgeon should be careful about determining whether you are a good candidate for LASIK or not and should have ample advice for laser eye surgery with thin corneas.
Is thin cornea LASIK possible?
That depends on a number of different factors. First, your eye surgeon will need to measure your corneas to see just how thin they are. Generally speaking, if your corneas are thinner than 0.5mm, you may not qualify for LASIK. Additionally, your unique eyes and refractive errors will need to be considered. Patients with strong prescriptions and thin corneas may not be a good match for LASIK. Your surgeon will also look at your overall health, your age, and whether you have other complicating factors, like dry eyes, before making a final decision about whether or not LASIK is right for you.
Some patients with thin corneas can successfully get LASIK with great results. Multiple studies have found patients who received myopic refractive LASIK correction had very good results. Post-LASIK corneal ectasia complications did not occur in any patients in these studies, indicating that LASIK eye surgery with thin corneas can be a safe and effective option for many patients.
What if my cornea is too thin for LASIK?
While LASIK is a viable option for laser eye surgery for thin cornea patients, it’s not the only option. Patients who do not qualify as LASIK candidates, or patients who simply want to consider other laser eye surgery thin cornea options, can look at several alternatives. For these patients, PRK is often an excellent solution. PRK was the precursor to LASIK and, in this case, it can be more effective because no corneal flap is required. Instead, a small piece of the epithelium, or the cornea’s thin outer layer, is removed, allowing your surgeon access to the deeper corneal tissues.
PRK has a longer recovery period than LASIK, with vision improvement taking longer to develop as the epithelium heals. However, in terms of final vision correction, the results are typically quite similar for patients. If your eye surgeon determines that you’re not a suitable candidate for LASIK due to your thin corneas, ask if PRK would be a good solution for you.
Choosing an expert eye surgeon for your eye surgery
Choosing the right eye surgeon is a crucial aspect of getting the best possible results from laser eye surgery for thin corneas. In order to ensure that you’re choosing the right procedure for your eyes and vision goals, make sure you find an eye surgeon who is an expert in the field. While it can mean a little more research, there are few reasons to put in the extra time on this.
First, choosing an expert surgeon who has a lot of experience performing laser eye surgery helps ensure that they’ll know what adjustments need to be made to give you the best results. You want a surgeon who has experience with the latest laser eye surgery techniques and who has worked with the most up-to-date technology to ensure that your procedure is precise. In addition, the more experience a surgeon has, the more likely they are to have worked with patients with thin corneas. That means they’ll know more about what is and is not likely to provide the results you’re after.
Finally, when you choose an expert eye surgeon, you can rest a little easier knowing that you’re putting your eyes in experienced hands. This is your vision, after all, and the results of this type of surgery are permanent. It’s important that you feel good and confident about the surgeon you choose to perform your procedure. If you’re worried, “What if my cornea is too thin for LASIK?” your first step is to make an appointment for a consultation with an experienced eye surgeon.
Find world class eye surgeons at Dello Russo Laser Vision
Come see us at Dello Russo Laser Vision and find out whether thin cornea LASIK is right for you. Founded by pioneers in LASIK surgery, Dello Russo Laser Vision offers you the expertise and the state-of-the-art facilities to help you get excellent vision results. Our world class LASIK surgeons have performed over 170,000 laser eye surgeries, so you can feel confident that we’ve seen our fair share of patients with thin corneas.
We use wavefront mapping to get a thorough picture of your eyes and their needs before your procedure. Once we determine which procedure is right for you, we create a custom treatment plan just for you and your unique eyes. This helps ensure that your procedure is precise, personalized, and produces excellent vision results. That’s why we’re one of the most celebrated LASIK centers in the Northeast. Our proven history of excellent care, combined with our contributions to the field, have earned us a trusted reputation in our communities.
Discover the difference Dello Russo Laser Vision could make for you and your eyesight. Make an appointment for your complimentary initial consultation today. In the meantime, find out what to expect during your consultation and check out our LASIK FAQs page for more information about laser eye surgery. If you have any questions along the way, contact us online or by phone at (855) 646-2020. We’ll see you soon!