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There are several options other than LASIK. Alternatives to LASIK may include photorefractive keratectomy, phakic intraocular lenses, or refractive lensectomy. Although different surgeries are available for various vision problems, each one is specific to a certain group of people and may not be appropriate for you. LASIK alternatives also include simply continuing to wear your glasses or contact lenses.

What Are the LASIK Alternatives?

LASIK is an effective surgical procedure to lessen or eliminate your dependency on glasses or contact lenses. However, other types of eye surgeries are available to treat certain vision problems. It is important to remember that each of these LASIK alternatives are specific to a certain group of patients and may not be appropriate in your particular situation.
 
These include:
 
  • PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)
  • Intracorneal rings
  • Phakic intraocular lenses
  • Refractive lensectomy
  • RK (radial keratotomy)
  • AK (astigmatic keratotomy).
     
Another alternative is that you may simply continue to wear your glasses or contact lenses.
 
PRK
PRK is a laser procedure used to treat some of the same conditions as LASIK. It is an option for people whose corneas are too thin for the LASIK, or whose eyelids are too narrow for the microkeratome to be placed. Instead of making a flap in the cornea, PRK actually removes the top layer of the cornea, called the epithelium, and the laser is used to reshape the eye.
 
Because no flap is created, PRK does not have any possible flap complications. However, PRK does carry a higher risk of haze or scarring; for people who need a greater correction, sometimes original successful results can decrease over time. PRK also requires a longer recovery period, usually 7 to 10 days, and patients may experience more discomfort during healing.
 
Your doctor may advise you that PRK is an option for you if LASIK cannot be performed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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