I Am a Candidate for Intralase LASIK, but should I Get PRK Anyway?

By Kristina Oneill on September 16, 2013


I Am a Candidate for Intralase LASIK, but should I Get PRK Anyway?

After consultation, I was told I am a good candidate for LASIK surgery. I currently am -6.00D with modest (-1.00D) astigmatism in both eyes. Upon further questioning, I learned that my corneas were a little thinner than average (~520 microns) and that my pupils were a little wider than average in dim lighting (a little more than 7mm). I'm concerned that, while within the parameters of LASIK candidacy, I'm on the wrong side of average. Also, the idea of flap displacement is scary. Should I go for LASIK or PRK?


Laser-created flaps are very useful at essentially reducing if not eliminating the added risk of having a steep cornea. The Intralase Laser will create a precise flap, independent of your preoperative corneal curvature.  The Intralase laser allows your surgeon to determine the depth of your corneal flap that will be created.  This means that your surgeon can determine more precisely how much tissue will be removed based on your corneal thickness.

An alternative to LASIK using the Intralase to make the flap would be PRK, a laser procedure that does not involve the making of a flap.  With the PRK procedure, PRK is performed without creating a corneal flap. Instead, Dr. Holzman removes the epithelium in order to expose the cornea for reshaping and correction of your vision.  This is what is referred to as surface ablation.  PRK is an excellent procedure and the visual outcome for the patient is the same as a LASIK patient.  The disadvantage of PRK is primarily a slower recovery of vision.

As far as flap displacement, while it is a concern, it does not happen that often if you follow our instructions post operatively.  If it were to happen to you, Dr. Holzman would have you come back in and he would reposition the flap back to its appropriate place.  It would be uncomfortable for you, but we get you back in right away so again, while it is a concern, the flap moving is not a reason to not have the LASIK procedure.

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