If you’ve researched Lasik eye surgery, you’ve probably heard that not everyone is a candidate for this kind of treatment. If you’re not a candidate, does that mean that you’ll have to wear glasses forever? What factors would make Lasik inappropriate?
According to Dr. John Blaylock, a leading eye surgeon, there are a number of situations where Lasik is not advisable. For instance
- • those younger than 21,
- • people whose corneas are too thin
- • those who require extremely thick prescription glasses
- • those who suffer from ‘dry eye’ syndrome
- • those with glaucoma
The good news is that if you can’t have Lasik, there are plenty of other options to improve your vision. PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) or ICL (Implantable Collamer Lenses) could be an option.
Lasik is also not the solution if you just want to ditch those reading glasses.
If you need both distance and reading vision correction, KAMRA inlays or the newer multi-focal lenses may be the solution.
If you’re between 45 and 50 years old, Kamra Inlay could be an ideal solution. The key to KAMRA inlay is a tiny ring with an opening in the center that repositions your focal point back onto the surface of your retina so you can again have crisp, sharp reading vision. It can be done even if you’ve had previous Lasik, PRK or cataract surgery.
Blaylock strongly advises patients against ‘bladed’ Lasik treatment. iLasik which is 100% laser surgery is more accurate, safer and produces more predictable results. It’s more costly, but the results are worth it.
Lasik surgery has evolved significantly. Twenty years ago, monovision Lasik was in vogue. One eye would be treated for distance and the other left for near vision. Not surprisingly, many chose to have this treatment reversed. Today treatments are far more sophisticated and provide a far higher level of success.
Most people have some trepidation when it comes to eye surgery. What if there’s a problem? Could I go blind?
During his career, Blaylock has performed over 45,000 procedures – enough to be able to speak with authority about the risks.
“There’s always a certain amount of risk,” he says, “but with technology available today, and with an experienced surgeon, risks of blindness are miniscule. With iLasik, they’re somewhere in the region of one in half a million, far less than the odds of being killed in a car accident.”
Infections are also rare, and usually as a result of the patient not taking their antibiotics as prescribed. Fortunately, they’re also usually easy to cure.
With Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICL) replacement treatments, there’s a small risk of cataracts or glaucoma. If cataracts develop, they can easily be removed. With glaucoma, implanted lenses should be removed. Once the patient is recovered they can be reassessed for alternate treatments.
In some cases, an enhancement might be necessary after the initial surgery to ‘tweak’ the results.
Blaylock suggests doing a lot of research and asking questions to understand what each eye surgeon offers.
Some questions you’ll want to ask are:
- Do they offer all laser Lasik?
- Do they offer PRK or surface ablation?
- Do they offer ICL?
- Do they offer refractive lensectomy, or can they refer you to someone who does ?
- Do they offer KAMRA inlays?
“Look for a surgeon owned clinic offering a wide range of treatments. Make sure the surgeon has a lot of experience and ‘feet-on-the-ground’ outcomes. Don’t settle for industry standards. Ask about the outcomes they’ve had with their own work,” says Blaylock.
A good eye surgeon does an in-depth, best practices assessment before deciding on any particular treatment. This is the only way to perfectly match the treatment to your specific situation and to ensure that the retina is healthy and that no contra indications are missed.
Assessment should be on a good eye not irritated by dust, or used to read all day. This provides a good baseline. Part of the assessment should be a fully dilated cycloplegic refractive exam. This requires special drops in the eye. The effect of these drops lasts for 3 to 4 days. Treatment can only begin after this.
At Blaylock’s own clinic, Valley Laser Eye Centre, he insists that every surgery is videotaped and patients are invited to come back after the surgery to watch the video. This is a way for the surgeon to constantly assess and improve results and gives patients peace of mind.
About Dr. John Blaylock:
Dr Blaylock is one of the foremost Lasik eye surgeons in the world and has performed over 45,000 surgeries. But he’s not only a surgeon, he’s also a clinical researcher and, as he terms it ‘compulsive’ about continually improving.
He began researching and developing procedures in 2001 during a visit to the Bahamas, with a revolutionary eye surgery to correct reading vision. This procedure, known as Laser Ace, was performed with modified dental lasers.
A recognized leader and pioneer in eye surgery, he developed The Blaylock Procedure™, now used by thousands of ophthalmologists worldwide. He is also an international speaker and has produced a number of publications on refractive surgery.