Alternatives to LASIK
So you’re interested in vision correction surgery, but you aren’t a candidate for LASIK. Are there other options? The answer is yes! At The Eye Institute of Utah, we offer a variety of vision correction procedures as alternatives to LASIK that may be a better option for some patients. If you have high levels of nearsightedness, thin corneas or dry eye problems, you may be a better candidate for the Visian ICL, or implantable contact lens. If you are over the age of 45, refractive lens exchange (RLE) surgery may be the best option to help correct presbyopia and other refractive errors. PRK is another optional procedure that is very similar to LASIK because it uses a laser to reshape the cornea, but it may be a better procedure for some patients. You will want to meet with one of our refractive specialists for a complimentary refractive consult to determine which procedure is best for you!
Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK)
What happens during the PRK procedure?
During PRK, or Photo-Refractive Keratectomy, the surface cells of the cornea, called the epithelium, are removed using a dilute alcohol solution. The surgeon then uses the WaveLight EX500 Excimer laser to reshape the cornea to the desired correction. A laser treatment typically lasts 30 seconds or less depending upon the amount of correction desired. A soft contact lens is placed on the cornea to act as a “band aid” and promote comfort and healing. This will be removed by the doctor in 5-7 days.
What about recovery?
PRK will result in some discomfort post-operatively. The bandage contact lens along with medicated eye drops help significantly. Over-the-counter pain relievers, cold compresses and ice packs are also helpful. Make up should not be worn around the eyes until the soft contact lens is removed. Patients should avoid hot tubs and swimming pools for 1-2 weeks and untreated water sources such as lakes and oceans for 4 weeks. Patients may return to driving, work or other activities when they feel comfortable to do so. The Eye Institute recommends patients take 5-7 days off from work or school.
If your doctor said you weren’t a good candidate for LASIK or PRK because you had thin corneas, dry eyes, or your prescription was out of range, then the Visian ICL may be just perfect for you! The Visian ICL is an implantable contact lens. It’s different from LASIK because it doesn’t involve a laser to treat the top layer of your cornea. The Visian ICL is actually an implant! The surgeon will make a tiny incision and insert the contact lens inside the eye. You will never have to worry again about foggy glasses or losing a contact lens. You may be a good candidate for the Visian ICL if you:
- Are between the age of 21 and 45
- Are nearsighted without astigmatism (-3D to-20D in prescription)
- Have dry eyes, severe myopia, or thin corneas
To find out if the Visian ICL is right for you, contact one of our representatives today at 800-760-4171.
At first I was nervous about the surgery, but the people at The Eye Institute were great! The procedure was a wonderful experience from beginning to end. My vision before surgery was -9.00 in both eyes so everyday of my life for me was contacts or glasses all day-everyday. Now it is so wonderful to lie in bed at night and to wake up every morning and be able to see with no glasses! I have and will continue to recommend the ICL at The Eye Institute of Utah to my friends and family. Thank you Dr. Cionni!*
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
If you are over the age of 45 and interested in correcting your vision, then Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) surgery may be a great option for you! As we age, everyone develops presbyopia, making it difficult to see objects up close. Refractive lens exchange replaces the eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens to reduce the overall prescription and improve the range and focus of vision. It is basically cataract surgery done for the purpose of correcting vision even when no cataract is present. Here at The Eye Institute of Utah, we have premium intraocular lenses including multifocal and toric IOLs that can reduce or eliminate your dependency on glasses or contacts. Multifocal lenses correct vision at all ranges (near, intermediate and distance). A toric lens is an astigmatism correcting intraocular lens that corrects vision at one distance. You will want to discuss your lifestyle needs and concerns with your doctor when deciding which lens is right for you.
Ideal RLE Candidates
- People over the age of 45
- People with presbyopia
- People wanting to prevent the possibility of developing a cataract
*Individual Results May Vary