Other Eye Surgery

There is other eye surgery besides Lasik, although it is probably the most well-known eye surgery. Problems with vision can be caused by changes or damage to any part of the eye. Some changes to the cornea aren’t treatable by laser eye surgery. Keratoconus is one of these diseases.

Others include:

  • genetic characteristics
  • damage from previous surgeries
  • injuries, corneal swelling
  • scarring caused by diseases such as herpes of the eye or fungal kertitis.
  • The cornea is the clear covering over the iris and pupil that allows light to enter the eye. Its normal dome shape bends the light so that it lands on the retina, allowing us to see.

    When the cornea is misshapen, the light is bent too much or too little, and is directed to a point before, beyond or to the side of the retina.

    This causes blurry vision. Keratoconus thins the cornea and distorts its shape. This produces a bulge that is off center. This bulge causes blurry or distorted vision. When glasses or contacts are no longer able to correct, vision eye surgery is indicated.


    Intacs are one solution for keratoconus. These crescent-shaped plastic inserts have improved vision for keratoconus patients.

    Either one or two Intacs are inserted between corneal layers to raise the outer edge of the cornea. The effect of raising the periphery of the cornea is to pull the central area of the cornea down, flattening the bulge and eliminating or reducing the distortion.

    Go to: Intacs vs Corneal Transplants for more information on other eye surgery

    Corneal Transplant

    Corneal transplants have the least rejection and most success of all tissue transplants. There are now three types of corneal transplants.

    Penetrating keratoplasty (PKP), the standard method transplants and a full-thickness cornea. Up to 95% of these corneal transplant surgeries are successful.

    A newer eye surgery method approved in 2009 is called Descemet’s Stripping Endothelia, Keratoplasty (DSEK). This method has shown better results with fewer risks by transplanting a thin layer of corneal tissue.

    As with all new procedures, long-term outcomes are not available for comparison. Already there are variations of this procedure, and each shows potential for success.

    There are also synthetic corneal transplants. The synthetic disc is made of a biocompatible material that is implanted under the cornea. Over several months natural tissue attaches itself to the synthetic cornea. When this stage is completed, the damaged natural cornea is removed.

    Laser Refractive Surgery

    Laser refractive eye surgery is not recommended for keratoconus, a condition known for its weakened corneal tissue. Pressure from the fluid within the eye presses outward, against a weakened cornea. Laser ablation, which destroys corneal tissue, would only weaken the cornea more, worsening the keratoconus.

    Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)

    Conductive Keratoplasty (CK) may be helpful for improving hyperopia or astigmatism in patients with keratoconus, but the primary problem of a weakened or scarred cornea is not treated by CK.

    Other Eye Surgery Options to Treat Presbyopia

    Presbyopia surgery options mean that we don’t have to settle for wearing bifocal glasses in our later years. Presbyopia typically results in the loss of our near vision and the ability to read without glasses.

    Implantable Lenses – Phakic IOLs

    Implantable lenses, also called phakic IOLs, or intraocular lenses, treat nearsightedness, as does laser eye surgery, but in a very different way. The surgeon implants specially designed lenses, much like contact lenses, either in front of or behind the iris. No changes are made to the natural cornea.

    Corneal Inlays and Onlays

    Corneal inlays and onlays are more like a contact lens than a lens implant. Still in clinical trials, corneal inlays and onlays are being investigated as a treatment for presbyopia and may have potential for other refractive errors, as well.

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