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What Role Does Corneal Thickness Play in Eye Surgery LASIK?

How the Size of Your Cornea Affects Whether or Not You Are a Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery

The laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK, is currently the most popular surgical procedure for treating refractive problems. In fact, more than 700,000 individuals go through with this surgery each year. 

Even though LASIK eye surgery is an excellent choice for the vast majority of patients, the procedure may not be appropriate for everyone. Your corneas must be of sufficient thickness to treat your whole prescription in order for you to be a candidate for eye surgery with LASIK.

You might be wondering, “Why is the thickness of my cornea significant for LASIK surgery?” The answer to this question is straightforward and has to do with safety.

LASIK Eye Surgery

Corneal Thickness and the Concerns Regarding Eye Surgery LASIK

To ensure that eye surgery using LASIK is a risk-free procedure for all of our patients, the staff at Personal Eyes performs a pre-screening exam. Your corneal thickness will be evaluated as part of the screening process for LASIK eye surgery, which is how it will be determined whether or not you are a good candidate for this kind of laser eye treatment.

When performed on a patient with thin corneas, LASIK eye surgery can result in major problems, which can further compromise both the patient’s eyesight and overall health. At Personal Eyes, your well-being and peace of mind come first in every decision we make. If it is found that your cornea is not healthy enough for the LASIK eye surgery procedure, you will not be a candidate for the procedure.

Calculating the Size of Your Cornea


Imaging and ultrasound technology are both utilized here so that we may get a precise reading of the thickness of your cornea.

Developing a Corneal Flap Through the LASIK Procedure

Your corneal tissue will have a flap cut in it using a laser as part of the LASIK surgery process that your ophthalmologist will perform. Your corneal stroma can be reshaped to repair a refractive mistake if your surgeon is able to access it thanks to this flap that they created. 

Because LASIK surgery involves removing tissue from the cornea, if your cornea is not already sufficiently thick, it will not be able to support any additional reduction in its thickness after the procedure.

Specifications Regarding the Corneal Thickness Needed for LASIK

Corneal Thickness

In most cases, the cornea of a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery will have a measurement of between 500 and 600 microns in its thickness. This is the best possible scenario given that the thickness of the corneal flap will need to be approximately 110 microns and the operation will remove approximately 16 microns per diopter of vision correction that is necessary.

Your LASIK eye surgeon will want to make sure there is a minimum quantity of tissue left after the procedure in order to comply with FDA rules.

What Happens If the Cornea of My Eye Is Too Thin for the LASIK Procedure?

At Personal Eyes, our ophthalmologists are committed to delivering individualised care and assisting you in locating the eye treatment choice that is most suitable for your particular set of visual requirements. 

You may be a good candidate for alternative refractive operations, even if you have been advised in the past that you are not eligible for traditional LASIK eye surgery because your corneas are too thin.


Laser eye treatment known as Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (ZEISS SMILE) is a minimally invasive surgical method that does not need the formation of a corneal flap during the process. During ZEISS SMILE surgery, your eye surgeon will use a cutting-edge femtosecond laser to reshape your cornea. 

The incision required for this procedure is only 3 millimeters long. Patients whose corneas are only slightly thin or have an uneven shape can be good candidates for this surgery as an alternative to LASIK surgery.

Photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK

This method of laser refractive surgery is comparable to eye surgery with LASIK, however, it does not include the formation of a flap in the cornea. Because of this, less tissue is removed, and as a result, PRK can frequently be conducted on corneas that are thinner than those suitable for LASIK eye surgery. 

The recovery time for PRK is typically longer than that of LASIK eye surgery, despite the fact that PRK is a faster operation. In contrast to LASIK surgery, PRK is performed on an individual eye at a time.

Visian ICL Refractive Implant Surgery

The Visian ICL, also known as the Implantable Collamer® Lens, is a type of refractive implant that may correct common types of refractive defects without the need to remove any corneal tissue. Instead of reshaping your cornea for vision correction, ophthalmologist will make a small incision in your cornea and implant a lens into your eye that will correct your vision. 

This procedure will be performed. If you have tried and failed to qualify for eye surgery with LASIK in the past, you might be a good candidate for the Visian ICL procedure instead.

Find out more about the alternatives to surgery LASIK that are offered at LaserVue Eye Center and how they can help patients who have corneas that are thin.

At Personal Eyes, you can get a free consultation to determine which type of laser eye treatment would be best for you. At Personal Eyes, the ophthalmologists who are board-certified and have leadership positions in the field of refractive eye surgery. 


Personal Eyes’ mission is to provide information to everyone interested in learning how to better their eyesight. And if you are seriously considering laser vision correction, you need first ensure that you are a suitable candidate.

If you are having any question or inquiry about how to have a correct vision, Laser eye surgery procedure, Corneal tissue problems, Lasik surgery, laser beam in healing process, excimer laser usage, refractive error, laser treatment, glasses or contact lenses, blurred vision, contact sports, the surgical procedure for refractive surgery or Lasik laser eye surgery – you should get in touch with us via our Personal Eyes website to book your free assessment today.

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