Noninvasive Alternatives to LASIK

LASIK eye surgery is an excellent solution for several common vision problems and recovery is often faster than alternatives, but not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. That leaves some patients wondering, “Is LASIK the only option?” Thankfully, there are alternatives to LASIK eye surgery.


LASEK is a procedure that combines methods from both LASIK and PRK to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Like PRK, it lifts the very thin epithelium to allow access to deeper corneal tissues but creates a flap with a very thin blade rather than removing the tissue altogether.

This epithelial flap technique is better suited for patients with thin corneas and aren’t ideal candidates for the thicker corneal flap made during LASIK. LASEK’s thinner flap can also reduce the risk of dry eye after surgery and may be a better option for patients at a higher risk of dislodging the corneal flap made during LASIK.

Phakic Intraocular Lens Implants

Phakic intraocular lens implants, also called phakic IOL or pIOL, are an alternative to LASIK and PRK used to correct moderate to severe nearsightedness. These plastic or silicone lenses work like contact lenses but are placed surgically in front of or behind your iris to help light focus correctly on your retina. Your natural lens remains in place.

You won’t feel phakic IOLs in your eye like you would contacts. They also provide a permanent solution to your vision problem. For patients who don’t qualify for LASIK because their nearsightedness is too severe, phakic IOLs can be one of the successful alternatives to LASIK eye surgery.


Epi-LASIK is another one of the alternatives to LASIK eye surgery and has similarities to both LASIK and LASEK procedures. During epi-LASIK, a flap is created in the epithelium layer of the cornea using an oscillating plastic blade with a thin, blunt edge. This thin flap allows access to the deep layers of the cornea. The rest of the procedure is just like LASIK.

Epi-LASIK can be an ideal alternative to LASIK for patients with thinner corneas or patients who may be more prone to dislodging their corneal flap.

What Are Noninvasive Alternatives to LASIK Surgery?

If you’re looking for a noninvasive alternative to LASIK, orthokeratology, or ortho-k, may be an option. Orthokeratology involves wearing specially fitted contact lenses while you sleep to temporarily reshape your cornea.

While this noninvasive alternative to LASIK doesn’t require surgery, it may require a series of ortho-k lenses to achieve the desired vision correction results. Ortho-k is not permanent. The lenses must be worn regularly to maintain the corneal reshaping and the provided vision correction.

Which Alternative to LASIK is Right for You?

If you recently learned you’re not a candidate for LASIK, you may wonder, “Is LASIK the only option besides glasses and contacts?” It’s not the only option. An experienced eye surgeon can help you find the right solution for you. Make an appointment at Dello Russo Laser Vision to learn what’s best for your eyes.