Is Corneal Thickness Important in LASIK Eye Surgery?

Is Corneal Thickness Important in LASIK Eye Surgery?

The cornea is a vital part of the Eye handled during eye surgery using the LASIK procedure. Also, all laser eye surgeries attempt to correct the cornea utilizing different methods and technology. Meanwhile, LASIK remains the most commonly performed surgery that efficiently corrects refractive errors. But it is not an indication that LASIK is suitable for everyone.

One of the significant factors to determine if the LASIK eye surgery is perfect for you is the condition of your cornea. Mainly, what is the thickness of your cornea before the laser eye can proceed? In other words, your corneas must be thick enough before the doctors can approve you for a complete prescription and proceed with the surgery. If not, you may have to consider other laser eye surgery methods apart from the LASIK procedure.

Then, you may wonder why the thickness of your cornea is a prerequisite for laser eye correction surgery. A simple answer will be surgery. However, we will attempt to expand on that a bit further. 

What is the relationship between Corneal Thickness and LASIK Safety?

It is crucial to do a pre-surgery examination or screening before scheduling your surgery. A primary reason for this step is to evaluate the general condition of your eyes to avoid any complications during the surgery. A professional surgeon understands the importance of your LASIK screening process to determine the thickness of your cornea. This step also concludes your final approval to have a particular type of laser eye surgery and not the other.

When a patient’s cornea is too thin, it can lead to severe complications during the surgery. And instead of obtaining a better vision, it could further adversely affect the visual quality and overall health. Personal Eye is committed to ensuring that you are completely safe during eye surgery with LASIK as a company with utmost concern about your health and safety. If your cornea’s thickness could cause complications by any chance, you may not qualify for LASIK.

Is Corneal Thickness Important in LASIK Eye Surgery?

Corneal thickness and the LASIK Procedure

To sufficiently answer your question of the relationship between your cornea and your LASIK procedure. During LASIK, your ophthalmologist uses laser technology to create a flap from the surface of the corneal tissue to access your corneal stroma. Removing this flap allows your surgeon to access the cornea stroma and then work on it to reshape and correct your vision. 

The eyes’ refractive error happens in the diverging or converging or light rays traveling through the cornea into the lens to form an image on the retina. Therefore, the correction of a refractive error is done on the cornea and requires removing the corneal tissue. However, if your cornea is not thick enough to create a flap, it may not support any thinning process on the cornea. 

Corneal Thickness Requirement for LASIK

Now we have analyzed the importance of your corneal thickness to the LASIK procedure. The next question will be, what is the standard measurement of the corneal thickness valid for a LASIK candidate? Indeed, the ideal LASIK candidate must have a corneal tissue thickness that ranges between 500 and 600 microns. This range will erase any complications as a result of the procedure. 

On the other hand, this optimum range is suitable because the corneal flap to be created should be about 110 microns in thickness. Moreover, the procedure can remove up to 16 microns per diopter of vision correction as an essential requirement. And according to the standard medical guideline, a professional eye surgeon ensures that a certain amount of the corneal tissue remains on the Eye’s surface.  Click here to read about How do I find the right LASIK Eye Surgeon?

How to Measure your Cornea

There are two essential methods to measure the cornea of your eyes in preparation for laser eye surgery. These include direct imaging or technology mapping and ultrasound technology. 

Is Corneal Thickness Important in LASIK Eye Surgery?

What do I do if my cornea is too thin for a LASIK Eye Procedure?

After measuring your cornea tissue thickness, what if you discover that it is too thin for a LASIK procedure? You still have many options for laser eye surgery that can also produce excellent results. Firstly, our professional eye experts at Personal Eye Care ensure you understand your condition’s uniqueness and the peculiarity of your options. More so, we guarantee you get the proper treatment that can sufficiently remove the problem. 

Moreover, if another doctor told you before that you don’t qualify for LASIK, our judgment is always objective. While options abound, we will let you know why LASIK may not be perfect for you. And more importantly, which of the other options is ideal for correcting your refractive error. Below are two of the essential alternative procedures for LASIK patients with thick or irregularly shaped cornea tissue.

SMILE Laser Eye Surgery

The Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) is one of the least invasive surgical laser eye procedures to treat refractive errors of the eyes. Meanwhile, this procedure is particular for you because it does not require the creation of any corneal flap. Moreover, the SMILE surgery procedure involves the eye surgeon reshaping your cornea by making a 3 mm incision instead. 

This procedure is done through an advanced femtosecond laser tool. Therefore, the SMILE laser eye procedure is a possible alternative for patients who do not qualify for LASIK due to having a thin or irregularly-shaped cornea. 

Is Corneal Thickness Important in LASIK Eye Surgery?

Visian ICL Refractive Implant Surgery

The Visian Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) is a refractive implant that can correct many common refractive errors. Meanwhile, the uniqueness of the procedure is that it corrects refractive errors without removing any corneal tissue. But instead of reshaping the cornea in the vision correction, your expert ophthalmologist implants a vision-correcting lens into your eyes. The implantation is done through a small incision on your cornea. When any patient has a thin corneal tissue that cannot sufficiently work for LASIK, then the Visian ICL is a credible alternative. 

Is Corneal Thickness Important in LASIK Eye Surgery?


On a final note, the Personal Eye center does not compel patients to undergo the LASIK procedure to correct refractive errors. We understand the risks of forcing it on patients if it can cause complications, and we avoid that. However, it is crucial for patients to undergo a pre-operational examination to evaluate the preexisting prescription or condition of the Eye and for our surgeons to draw up professional conclusions and recommendations.