Friday, March 11, 2011

Thin Corneas NOT a LASIK Risk!

A massive study under the supervision of Dr. Steven Schallhorn looked at LASIK surgery performed in almost 82,000 eyes and found that thinner corneas were NOT at any greater risk for severe complications than corneas with more normal thickness! Prior to this very large study there had been a nagging question about whether it was safe to do LASIK with a corneal thickness under 500 microns.

Dr. Schallhorn: "Somewhat surprisingly, patients with thin corneas were not younger than the overall LASIK poplulation and they did not have higher levels of myopia (nearsightedness) or astigmatism. They appear to be normal in every respect but happen to be on the end of the  [thickness] distribution."

The study was performed at Optical Express and patients have been followed for more than one year. Some of the worrisome complications of LASIK, like ectasia, can develop over longer periods of time. The study will continue to monitor all of the patients going forward.

Our own Dr. White, our Skyvison Centers LASIK surgeon, had this to say: "It's still unclear just why a very small number of people develop ectasia after surgery. Two things are cleared up from this study, though: it appears that having a thinner cornea is not , in and of itself, a risk factor, and secondly that it is STILL impossible to identify every person who might have ectasia prior to surgery."

LASIK remains one of the most exciting surgeries in all of medicine, and each year hundreds of thousands of people all over the world are able to bid "so long" to their glasses and contact lenses after LASIK surgery!!

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