I Have A Thin Cornea, and Diagnosed With Ankylosing Spondylitis. Lasik/PRK or Problems to Be Aware Of?

I have been advised that I have a thin cornea size of 478 microns. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. My contact lens prescription is -6.00. Would you recommend any laser corrective surgery such as Lasik or PRK? Also do I need to be aware of any other eye care issues?

Doctor Answers 3

PRK or LASIK for thin corneas

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you can't get LASIK if you have thin corneas

you can only get a surface ablation which doesn't cut a flap so is safer for thin corneas

the old method of this was PRK, which i stopped performing in 1999

the new method is called Advanced Surface Ablation, or ASA
this means LASEK or epiLASEK

i really think that in 2012 you should go with LASEK or epi, not PRK (which is so 90s)

you can learn more about all of this on my website

since i am one of the few surgeons in the world exclusively performing LASEK and epi

New York Ophthalmologist

PRK in thin corneas

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Your prescription is more amenable to a PRK procedure due to the corneal thickness. However there are several other tests that you need to fully answer the question of whether or not you are a candidate.  The anklyosing spondylitis is not an absolute contra-indication to having the procedure, and many patients with that diagnosis have gone on to have extremely successful procedures.  That in and of itself is not a reason not to proceed, however Ankylosing Spondylitis can be associated with other conditions which may make candidacy for surgery more questionable.  Make sure you are also checked for other autoimmune conditions, especially Rheumatoid Arthritis.. 

Andrew E. Holzman, MD
McLean Ophthalmologist

Refractive surgery and thin corneas

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In order to have a safe refractive procedure, it is essential that the laser correction not go below a certain depth in the cornea.  With a -6.00 prescription and a 478 micron cornea, PRK would be the best option.  When you add in a diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis, only an experienced refractive surgeon can make that determination after a careful preoperative evaluation.

Mark Golden, MD
Chicago Ophthalmologist

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.