Can I have laser eye surgery to improve vision if I have keratoconus?
While LASIK is strictly contraindicated (inadvisable) in keratoconus, for some suitable patients, Dr Gupta can combine topography guided PRK laser treatment with crosslinking to improve vision. As structural changes occur during laser treatment, the aim of combining it with the strengthening effects of crosslinking helps to neutralise this effect. This can be done according to one of the following two protocols:
The Cretan Protocol – using laser for PRK to remove the skin of the eye instead of using alcohol during cross-linking has been shown to improve eyesight in selective groups of patients. For more information, see J Cataract Refract Surg. 2014 Sep;40(9):1439-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2014.01.040.
The Athens Protocol – combining PRK with crosslinking for mild to moderate keratoconus. Suitability for combined treatment is decided on the basis of a corneal scan (topography) and your spectacle or contact lens prescription (i.e. the amount of refractive correction required). For more information, see J Refract Surg. 2014 Feb;30(2):88-93. doi: 10.3928/1081597X-20140120-03.
Note: The aim of combined treatment is to improve the quality of vision with or without glasses. It is not to make you independent of glasses which is the case in routine laser refractive surgery patients. Only mild to early moderate keratoconus patients can benefit from this treatment and suitability is decided on case by case basis after detailed assessment.