What if LASIK Isn’t Right For You?

Alternatives to LASIK

Not all patients are good candidates for LASIK due to thin corneas or other conditions. Great Plains Eye Specialistsoffers the following procedures as LASIK alternatives:

  • Intacs® corneal implants
  • Monovision LASIK
  • PRK

Intacs Corneal Implants

Intacs are micro-thin corneal implants that reshape the curvature of your cornea from within to correct mild nearsightedness. Unlike laser surgery, no corneal tissue is removed from the central optical zone of your cornea. Intacs corneal implants change the curvature of your eye by adding ultra-thin ring segments, rather than removing tissue. An ophthalmologist inserts them under the outer edge of your cornea during a brief outpatient procedure.

Monovision LASIK

Monovision LASIK is a technique used to reduce the need for reading glasses or bifocals through LASIK. The need for reading glasses affects most people over 40. This condition is called presbyopia and it occurs when the natural lenses in our eyes lose flexibility. Many people have excellent vision without glasses all their lives, until ‘readers’ become necessary because of presbyopia. In monovision LASIK, one eye is corrected for near vision and the other eye is corrected for distance vision. Remarkably, the brain works out which eye to use and when, and the need for readers is reduced or eliminated. Although a person aged 40 or over may not currently be having problems with presbyopia, after LASIK some may experience the need for reading glasses due to a phenomenon called Sudden Presbyopia. Before LASIK the stiffness of the lenses was not an issue, but with the overall improvement in vision after LASIK, this situation becomes noticeable.


PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a type of laser surgery that can produce similar vision results to LASIK vision correction, and it can be performed on some patients with thin corneas. The difference between LASIK and PRK is in the corneal flap step of the refractive surgery procedure.

  • LASIK: A hinged corneal flap is created to allow access to the underlying corneal tissue for laser treatment
  • PRK: the cornea’s outer layer (epithelial) is gently removed to allow access to the underlying corneal tissue for laser treatment

The laser refractive treatment is the same for both LASIK and PRK: the cornea is slightly reshaped to correct the refractive error and allow light to focus on the retina for clear vision. Each laser treatment can be completely customized to your unique eye. After the laser procedure, the corneal flap is repositioned during LASIK. During PRK, the epithelial cells need time to regenerate over the eye. Recovery and final vision results for PRK will take longer and the healing process may be slightly more uncomfortable. However, there is no risk of corneal flap complications with PRK. Your doctor can determine which vision correction procedure is right for you. Schedule your free LASIK Consultation to learn more about LASIK alternatives in Rapid City.

Watch Kim’s LASIK Experience at Great Plains Eye Specialists

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