LASIK Candidacy - Corneal Issues

Providing crystal clear vision to Sacramento, Roseville, & nearby areas of California

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We frequently receive specific questions regarding a potential patient's candidacy for LASIK.  The best way to determine your eligibility is to make a free evaluation appointment with one of our doctors in Sacramento or Roseville. However, in this blog post we will address concerns regarding the cornea to potentially help patients with these conditions that can impact their candidacy for LASIK.  Having thin corneas, corneal scarring or keratoconus can all prevent a patient from having LASIK. Corneal thickness is important due to the flap that is made prior to the laser treatment portion of LASIK surgery.  Even though microscopic amounts of tissue are removed from the cornea during the surgery, the integrity of the corneal bed (stroma) must be maintained.  Our doctors perform extensive testing with our Pentacam in order to make sure that corneal thickness is maintained well within safe limits for your personalized LASIK treatment. Unfortunately, not all doctors have access to this technology but we view it as crucial to a proper evaluation process.  Some patients with thin corneas can still have laser vision correction with PRK since no flap is made with PRK and the laser treatment is the same and therefore a patient should expect the same visual outcome.  However, not all patients with thin corneas qualify for PRK.  For more information on PRK and how it differs from LASIK, click here. Corneal scarring caused by previous injuries or as a result of previous refractive surgery can impact a patient's candidacy for LASIK surgery since scars may interfere with the creation of the LASIK flap.  Each patient's situation is unique and your doctor can discuss your specific situation during your evaluation. Keratoconus is a medical condition in which changes in the collagen in the cornea cause the cornea to lose its structural integrity and bulge forward.  Since the laser removes corneal tissue, removing tissue from areas that are irregular is not safe.  The above mentioned Pentacam is extremely useful in identifying potential keratoconic issues. Many times during our LASIK evaluations, patients discover they have Keratoconus for the first time due to the thoroughness of our evaluation process by our doctors. If you have additional questions regarding corneal issues or other LASIK questions, please contact our LASIK department at 916-485-2020 or click here to email us.