It is not surprising to learn that LASIK is the most commonly performed laser vision correction procedure today. LASIK has helped millions of people achieve 20/20 or better vision and bid farewell to their eyeglasses and contact lenses. While extremely popular and incredibly safe, LASIK is not suitable for every patient. San Diego laser eye surgery patients who have thin corneas or who are at high risk of trauma or injury to the eye are not ideal candidates for LASIK surgery. While there are many alternatives to LASIK, the most commonly performed and most popular alternative is ASA (advanced surface ablation).
Popular LASIK Alternatives: ASA
Problems with the corneal flap are the most common complications resulting from LASIK surgery. Because patients who have exceptionally large pupils or insufficient corneal tissue are at a greater risk of flap complications, LASIK is not the ideal vision correction procedure for these patients. Patients with these issues are not candidates for LASIK, but are often ideal candidates for ASA. Because ASA does not require the creation of a corneal flap, the risk of flap complications is completely eliminated, making it an excellent solution for a wide range of candidates.
ASA is performed on an outpatient basis to correct the refractive errors myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. During the ASA procedure, a diluted alcohol solution is used to loosen the epithelium from the surface of the cornea. Once the epithelium has been removed, an excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea as in traditional LASIK. After surgery, a special contact lens will be placed on the treated eye. This contact lens will act as a protective bandage. The entire ASA procedure takes about 15 minutes to complete. Patients of our San Diego LASIK center can expect to feel some mild discomfort for a few days after their ASA surgery. While the recovery period is slightly longer than that of traditional LASIK, patients who do not qualify for LASIK can find freedom from their eyeglasses and contact lenses through ASA.
Candidates for ASA include:
- Patients who desire to eliminate their need for eyeglasses and contact lenses
- Patients who are over the age of 18
- Patients who have had a stable eye prescription for at least one year
- Patients who have thin corneas
- Patients who do not qualify for LASIK
- Patients who do not want to undergo LASIK but still want to eliminate or reduce their dependence on eyeglasses and contact lenses
Risks of ASA
While there are many benefits of ASA, the procedure, like all surgical procedures, does pose some risks. It is quite rare for a patient to develop serious complications after undergoing ASA surgery. Some patients will experience visual side effects after their ASA procedure. These side effects are usually temporary and diminish over a couple days to a few weeks. Some visual disturbances such as glare, halos, and dry eye may be permanent for some patients.
Contact North County Laser Eye Associates Today
To learn more about popular LASIK alternatives, or to schedule a personal consultation, please contact North County Laser Eye Associates today. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.