Surgery after LASIK/PRK
With over seven million corneal refractive procedures having been performed in the United States, the most common circumstance I encounter in patients with previous eye surgery who come in for consultation is when they have had previous LASIK or PRK. Fortunately, this is typically a straightforward circumstance, unless the patient has an irregularity of the cornea from a previous treatment. In this circumstance, I recommend that the patient wait for topography-guided laser technology to perform the procedure (see the next chapter). The more common situation is where the vision is easily treated with currently available technology. If the LASIK is less than three to four years old and there is adequate corneal thickness, I will lift the previous flap and apply additional laser treatment. If the patient has had PRK, or the LASIK flap is more than three to four years old, I will perform surface laser treatment (PRK or LASEK, which is PRK with alcohol applied at the time of surgery to loosen the surface cells). As described earlier, the main downside of surface treatment is slow vision recovery, but it is quite effective at restoring good vision.
Dr. Paul J. Dougherty
Medical Director – Dougherty Laser Vision