Am I a Candidate for Refractive Surgery? Part 2

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by Dougherty Laser Vision

“Am I a Candidate for Refractive Surgery?” Part 2

Keratoconus may be controlled with two different treatments to stabilize the cornea, including Intacs (small plastic wedges that are inserted in the cornea); and crosslinking of the cornea with riboflavin followed by ultraviolet light that stiffens the weak cornea. Both treatments are not yet approved by the FDA, but have shown great promise at stabilizing this disease. These treatments are available in my practice under a clinical study protocol.

We have promising results in treating many diseases at Dougherty!

Surgeon friends of mine have also done work overseas using the Toric (astigmatism-treating) ICL to correct vision with patients experiencing early keratoconus. This procedure promises to be extremely viable, since absolutely no corneal tissue is removed, maintaining the stability of the treatment. We hope to have the Toric ICL available in the United States at some point in the near future.

Diabetes and Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis can pose a threat to the surgery.

The two general medical conditions that tend to present contraindications in performing refractive surgery (because of poor wound healing) are severe diabetes with retinopathy and severe rheumatoid arthritis. Milder forms of both diseases, however, respond quite nicely to refractive surgery. There is some misconception that refractive surgery is not safe for patients with the wound-healing disease known as keloid formation, various autoimmune diseases, and inactive herpes simplex (cold sore virus). While patients with diagnoses like these were prevented from being enrolled in the various FDA studies of the technologies because of initial concern that these conditions would affect the outcome, both long-term clinical experiences, as well as peer-reviewed publications, show that LASIK and other procedures are safe and effective in these populations. Because patients like these were not enrolled in the FDA studies, such treatment is considered “off-label,” that is, not on the FDA labeling guidelines for the technology. If you fall into these special categories your surgeon will ask you sign a special consent form. Most of the things that we do in medicine are off-label (for instance, using aspirin to prevent heart attacks, or using ophthalmic antibiotics which were approved for bacterial conjunctivitis prior to surgery to prevent infection).

If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, contact us or call at 866-987-2020.