LASIK Alternatives

SightMD. Your vision. Your choice.

LAISK surgery is extremely popular, but is not for everyone. There are a variety of factors that may exclude you from being able to get LASIK. Fortunately, you have options. There are procedures that offer similar results to LASIK surgery, without the risk!

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)

SightMD offers PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), a laser eye surgery (LASIK alternative) suited for patients with refractive error who are not good candidates for LASIK vision correction. PRK uses the same type of excimer laser to reshape the cornea so that light may properly focus on the retina, and you can see clearly. In this procedure the surgeon uses a computerized excimer laser to reshape the cornea. The laser removes only a minimal layer of the cornea- approximately the thickness of 1 to 3 human hairs- so the completeness and strength of the cornea is retained.

The main drawback of the PRK is the outer part of the cornea- called the epithelium- is removed during the procedure, which can cause a longer healing time and some unease during the healing process. However, this procedure is sometimes still used for correcting mild nearsightedness. Because of this drawback with PRK, the newest form of surgery, LASIK is now the preferred procedure for laser vision correction.


PRK differs from LASIK vision correction in that it does not involve the creation of a flap to reshape the cornea. The advantage of PRK is that patients who are not candidates for LASIK may still regain better vision through refractive laser eye surgery. However, PRK does require a longer recovery process, and vision is not restored as quickly as LASIK vision correction. Also, a temporary, protective contact lens is worn after PRK to reduce postoperative discomfort.

For those patients that don’t qualify for LASIK or other Laser refractive procedures due to having a highly nearsighted or farsighted prescription, and/or corneas that are too thin, we offer the option of premium lens implants with refractive lens exchange as well.


LASEK, a variation of PRK, is also a viable alternative to LASIK. Instead of removing the outer layer of the cornea or making a corneal flap, the outer layer is lifted using an instrument called a trephine. The lifted corneal tissue is preserved until the end of the surgery and replaced on the eye’s surface. LASEK has decreased in popularity due to its slower recovery time.

Phakic Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)

Phakic IOLs are designed for people who have high degrees of refractive error that cannot be safely corrected with LASIK or other corneal-based refractive surgeries. The phakic IOL, often referred to as an implantable contact lens, was designed to be implanted inside of the eye in front of the eye’s natural lens. This natural lens is located behind the iris and pupil and helps focus light onto the retina. By placing an IOL with refractive power in front of this lens, light is better focused onto the retina a vision becomes clearer.

Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive lens exchange (RLE), also called clear lens exchange, replaces the eye’s natural lens with a clear artificial lens. This procedure is performed much like cataract surgery. During RLE, your natural lens will be removed completely and replaced by an IOL, which improve focus and provides clear vision.

RLE is a good option for those who have severe hyperopia (farsightedness) and cannot safely undergo LASIK surgery.

Have you been told that you are not a candidate for LASIK surgery? Worried that you may not be able to undergo LASIK? Our trained professionals will be able to determine which procedure will be safest and most effective for you! Contact us today for your LASIK consultation.

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