Is LASIK Surgery The Best Option For Thin Corneas?

LASIK Surgery for Thin Cornea

Frustrated with the constant irritation of contact lenses? If you’ve been considering getting rid of your glasses , you’ve probably heard of LASIK– the popular vision-correcting procedure that has transformed millions of lives worldwide. But what if you’ve been told you might not be a candidate for LASIK because your corneas are too thin? If this is the case, you’re likely filled with questions and concerns. Can you still have vision correction surgery? Are there risks involved? And, importantly, are there other options? In this article, we’re going to dive deep into the subject of LASIK surgery for thin cornea, answering these questions and more. So let’s quickly get started!

What Causes Thin Corneas?

What Causes Thin CorneasHave you ever wondered why some people have thin corneas? What even causes a cornea to be classified as “thin”?

First, let’s understand that corneal thickness varies among individuals and can be influenced by several factors. The average corneal thickness is about 500 to 550 micrometers. Anything less than that is generally considered “thin.”

Genetics often play a significant role. Just as the color of your eyes is passed down through your family tree, so too can the thickness of your corneas. You might simply be born with thinner corneas.

In other instances, certain eye conditions may cause the cornea to thin over time. Keratoconus is a notable example of this. It’s a progressive eye disease where the cornea thins out and bulges into a cone-like shape, leading to blurry and distorted vision.

Other factors can include long-term wear and tear from contact lenses, certain corneal dystrophies, and eye injuries.

Despite these causes, having thin corneas isn’t necessarily a problem on its own. The challenge arises when you’re considering LASIK surgery. But why is that? Let’s delve into the intricacies of LASIK and how it relates to thin corneas.

Can LASIK Surgery Be Done With Thin Cornea?

When it comes to LASIK surgery and thin corneas, things get a bit tricky. You might be wondering, “Can I undergo LASIK if I have thin corneas?” The answer is, it depends.

LASIK involves creating a thin flap on the cornea’s surface, which is then lifted to allow a laser to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. This procedure corrects the light’s path entering the eye and improves vision. To do this safely, you need to have a certain minimum corneal thickness.

Typically, the average minimum corneal thickness required for LASIK is about 500 micrometers. This ensures that there’s enough tissue left after the procedure to maintain the structural integrity of the cornea.

However, if your corneas are too thin, performing LASIK might not leave enough residual tissue, which could lead to complications. One such complication is a condition called post-LASIK ectasia, where the cornea bulges outward after surgery, causing distorted vision.

That’s not to say LASIK is entirely off the table for thin corneas. In some cases, surgeons might still perform LASIK with extra precautions, using advanced technologies to minimize the risk. But these cases are evaluated very carefully and on an individual basis.

So, what if you’re not a suitable candidate for LASIK due to thin corneas? Is there a dead end to your quest for clear, unaided vision? Absolutely not! There are alternative surgical procedures available that may still help improve your vision. Let’s explore those next.

Alternatives Of LASIK Surgery For Thin Cornea

If your corneas are too thin for LASIK, don’t lose hope. There are other types of refractive surgery that may be suitable for you. Let’s take a closer look at some of these LASIK alternatives:

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

Alternatives Of LASIK Surgery For Thin CorneaPRK is often considered a suitable alternative to LASIK for individuals with thin corneas. It was actually the precursor to LASIK, offering the same benefits but with a different procedure.

Unlike LASIK, PRK doesn’t involve creating a corneal flap. Instead, the outer layer of the cornea (the epithelium) is gently removed, and a laser is used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. This eliminates the need for a specific corneal thickness, making PRK a viable option for those with thin corneas.

Laser-Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy (LASEK)

LASEK is another LASIK alternative. Similar to PRK, LASEK also does not involve creating a corneal flap. Instead, a thin flap of only epithelial cells is created and then replaced after the laser reshaping is done.

While the recovery time for both PRK and LASEK can be a bit longer than LASIK, they provide a safe and effective option for people with thin corneas seeking vision correction.

Implantable Contact Lens (ICL)

ICL is a procedure where a contact lens is implanted into the eye, providing high-quality vision correction without the need for reshaping the cornea. This procedure is often recommended for patients who are not suitable candidates for LASIK or PRK.

Contoura Vision

Contoura Vision, also known as topography-guided LASIK, is another alternative. It is an advanced form of LASIK that uses detailed mapping technology to guide the laser in reshaping the cornea. It’s designed to correct vision irregularities that traditional LASIK can’t address.

While Contoura Vision still involves creating a corneal flap like traditional LASIK, the procedure can sometimes be performed on patients with thin corneas, assuming there’s enough residual corneal thickness.


Deciding on an eye surgery is a significant decision and not one to be taken lightly. However, it’s also an exciting prospect – the idea of saying goodbye to glasses or contact lenses and greeting each day with clear, natural vision.

While LASIK may not be suitable for those with thin corneas, remember that it’s not the only path to improved vision. LASIK surgery is a safe, 10-minute procedure designed to help you get rid of glasses. And guess what? At EyeMantra, we offer the most advanced LASIK options, including  PRK, Femto Lasik, SMILE surgery, Standard lasik, ICL and Contoura vision.  If you have any questions on Lasik surgery in Delhi, Lasik surgery cost and Lasik procedure, call us at 9711116605 or email at [email protected].


1. Who is not eligible for LASIK?

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for LASIK. Some reasons you might be deemed ineligible include having thin corneas, unstable vision, certain medical conditions like autoimmune disorders, or a history of corneal disease. It’s also generally not recommended for individuals under 18 years old since their eyes are still changing.

2. What is the minimum corneal thickness for safe LASIK?

The minimum corneal thickness for safe LASIK generally is about 500 micrometers. This can vary, however, based on individual circumstances and the surgeon’s preferences.

3. Can a laser reshape the cornea?

Yes, in refractive surgeries like LASIK, PRK, and LASEK, a precise laser is used to reshape the cornea, altering the way light enters the eye to improve vision. This is typically done to correct conditions like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.

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