Detecting Non Candidates for LASIK in Wash DC, Northern Va, Maryland
By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on October 02, 2010
Over the last decade, our job in making sure that ONLY excellent candidates have LASIK Laser Vision correction has gotten much easier. Most non candidates are due to Corneal disorders, with thin or weak corneas the vast majority of the issues. We have 3 D cameras at our office at TLC Tysons, called Pentacams (by Oculus), which are able to accurately map out the corneal structure. This way, we can look at the entire cornea in 3 dimensions, and are able to see where there are potential weak or thin areas. I have been asked to present a series of cases at the upcoming American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago, concerning usage of the Pentacam in preop LASIK testing. This has become an area of interest for me and is so important in making LASIK safe for all who undergo it. Some patients with thin corneas are not candidates for LASIK, but are good candidates for PRK Vision Correction. The PRK procedure has gotten very refined and now it is very easy for patients to undergo--- much easier and safer than it ever was... I prescribe special medications and we have updated protocols which have changed the outcomes and speed up PRK healing dramatically.
Sometimes the patient isn't a good LASIK or PRK candidate because of a medical condition. Most common medical disorders which are problematic are Automimmune disorders such as Rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus. Some Diabetic patients, and patients with uncontrolled hypertension causing retinal problems, are also non candidates. We do a very thorough eye exam with dilation and glaucoma detection in our Tysons office, to see if patients qualify.
One thing is for sure, we WILL NOT operate on anything other than an excellent candidate. This takes the fear out of LASIK for both the patient and the surgeon! we turn away 15-20% of the patients visiting the office, and these are the patients that we feel should not do the surgery. the good news is that 80-85% of visiting patients are EXCELLENT candidates for the surgery and almost all of them undergo the surgery. more good news--- Almost all of them end up 20/20 or even better at 20/15! a great procedure has gotten even better and safer over the years, so this is a great time to visit our office.