LASIK Alternatives

eye exam

Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA)

If you’re not an ideal candidate for LASIK eye surgery, ASA (Advanced Surface Ablation) could be an option you may want to consider. ASA can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

If you have been doing some LASIK research, you may come across a term called PRK Photo-Refractive Keratotomy). PRK has been refined since its inception and is now called ASA. ASA is a form of laser vision correction that was actually FDA-approved before LASIK eye surgery and may have potential benefits for you. Advanced Surface Ablation was the first laser refractive surgery approved by the FDA and received final approval in 1995. Advanced Surface Ablation is a refractive eye surgery procedure that utilizes the excimer laser to reshape the cornea and improve nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism much like LASIK eye surgery. Once the cornea has flattened, light rays are more easily focused upon the retina. Advanced Surface Ablation differs from LASIK in that no flap of tissue is created prior to re-sculpting the cornea with the excimer laser. In LASIK, this flap creation does enable a faster recovery period.

Eye exam with the letters

Laser Vision Correction

The procedure can be performed once the eye has been numbed with anesthetic drops. A speculum will be positioned to hold your eyelids back just like in LASIK, so your eyelids will not interrupt the actual surgery. The ophthalmologist will then remove the outer cornea cells and proceed with the actual laser treatment. The laser is then positioned to directly treat the cornea. This laser delivery takes less than one minute to complete for most patients. Once the laser treatment or refractive ablation is completed, the corneal curvature is reshaped, thus improving the refractive error. Your ophthalmologist will then place a bandage contact lens on the eye for improved comfort along with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops.

Post-operatively, our patients will be re-evaluated one day, three days, one week, one month, two to three months, and four to six months following the PRK procedure. The bandage contact lens can usually be removed on the second or third postoperative day when the epithelium is healed. Most patients will only require eye drops to control healing during the first 6 to 12 weeks, but other patients may require topically applied medications for up to 6 months or more following the procedure. In general, the greater the refractive error, the more likely the patient is to require eye drop medications for a prolonged period following the procedure.

EVO Visian Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) Eye Surgery

There are some patients who are not candidates for LASIK or PRK who may be candidates for vision correction surgery with the EVO Visian Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL). The ICL is an implantable contact lens that is placed over the natural lens of the eye. The collamer material it is made from is biocompatible, which makes the ICL a safe permanent implantable lens.

The EVO Visian ICL may be a great vision correction surgery for a patient who is nearsighted with or without astigmatism even if other surgeries are not well suited for his or her eyes. ICL surgery is designed to treat moderate to high myopia (nearsightedness) with or without astigmatism. A patient may also be a candidate for ICL surgery if they have been told their cornea is too thin for LASIK. Moreover, the ICL lens itself blocks UV light for built-in sun protection. The EVO Visian ICL presents minimal risk of postoperative dry eye or corneal complications in the way the procedure is performed. The quality of night vision after the EVO ICL is reported as very good by patients, and 99% of patients who had the ICL implanted would choose to have it performed again (reference)

Recovery from ICL surgery is fast, patients often have recovered most of their vision the next day and only need to use post-operative drops for about 2 weeks after the surgery is finished.

Boy holding eye examining tools

Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery (RLE)

Refractive lens exchange surgery is a vision correction procedure generally intended fro patients who are over 45 years old and its purpose is to reduce patients’ need for glasses and contact lenses. When we age into our 40s the natural lens becomes dysfunctional and we lose the ability to focus up close, which is called presbyopia. As the lens continues to age throughout our life it becomes increasingly dysfunctional and many patients progress to needing bifocal glasses, and eventually cataracts. The refractive lens exchange procedure can correct your vision and will also eliminate the need for cataract surgery in the future. Patients who have myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), moderate or severe astigmatism and are over the age of 45 may be excellent candidates for refractive lens exchange. Moreover, if you are over the age of 45 and have been told you are not a candidate for LASIK you may also be a candidate for refractive lens exchange.

Refractive lens exchange surgery takes approximately 20 minutes to perform. Your eye surgeon will replace the dysfunctional lens of your eye with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). There are several types of IOLs that can be used for this procedure and these can be tailored to meet your specific vision goals. You and your surgeon will discuss which IOL may be the best suited for your eye and your lifestyle. There are IOLs that give excellent distance vision, IOLs that correct astigmatism and trifocal or extended depth of focus IOLs that give a wide range of vision. Depending on which IOL you and your surgeon choose you may not need any glasses for distance or near work after refractive lens exchange surgery.

Legal Disclaimer: The information on this Atlanta website page should not be interpreted as legal advice. If you have questions regarding LASIK, PRK, EVO Visian ICL, Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) or other vision correction surgeries in Atlanta or you would like more information regarding our Atlanta vision correction specialists, feel free to contact us through this website.