When Should I Consider an Alternative to LASIK?

Ophthalmologist & LASIK Surgeon Serving Chicago, Lombard & Naperville areas of Illinois

Posted: March 28, 2018

LASIK is by far the most popular refractive surgery option to correct vision errors associated with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. More than 40 million people worldwide have undergone LASIK, and over 96% of these patients have reported high levels of satisfaction with their results. However, it’s important to understand that LASIK isn’t right for everyone. In some instances, you may achieve better results by opting for one of the LASIK alternatives available.

In general, LASIK may not be the right option for you if you experience one or more of the following:

  • Severe levels of myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Insufficient corneal thickness
  • Severe case of dry eye syndrome
  • Keratoconus

During your initial consultation, Dr. Foulkes will perform a thorough evaluation of your eyes to determine whether LASIK is right for you. If he detects any of the conditions listed above, he may recommend an alternative treatment plan in order to help you achieve the best possible results.

Visian ICL

refractive surgery patient in ChicagoVisian ICL is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to LASIK. During the procedure, Dr. Foulkes inserts an implantable collamer lens into your eye. This lens functions similarly to a contact lens, but it is permanently implanted into your eye. This provides you with the clear vision you desire while eliminating the need to deal with contact lenses or glasses on a daily basis.

Visian ICL is especially effective for individuals who have severe levels of myopia. The average Visian ICL patient has a prescription of -10.10 diopters, and these implantable collamer lenses can correct for prescriptions as strong as -16.00 diopters, a much more severe level of nearsightedness than can effectively be treated by LASIK.

There is also a toric ICL option which treats cases of astigmatism along with nearsightedness. With both the regular and toric ICL options, clinical studies have found results to be comparable to what is achieved by LASIK. In the vast majority of cases, both procedures have been found to achieve better vision than can be obtained using glasses or contact lenses.


PRK is another option that may be right for you if you’re not a LASIK candidate. This procedure is similar to LASIK in that it uses a laser to reshape your cornea so that light will focus more clearly on the retina. However, it doesn’t require the creation of a flap in order for the laser to access your cornea. Instead, the outer layer of your cornea is removed to allow the laser to correct your vision. This outer layer gradually regenerates in the days following your surgery as your eyes heal.

Since no flap is created as part of the procedure, PRK is an ideal option for individuals who lack the corneal thickness to undergo LASIK. As with Visian ICL, clinical trials involving PRK have found the results to be comparable to those achieved by LASIK.

Choosing the Right Vision Correction Option for You

Dr. Foulkes has over 20 years of experience performing refractive surgery procedures. This extensive experience gives him the perspective necessary to evaluate the ideal treatment option to achieve the best possible results for your unique situation.

During your initial consultation, he’ll explain all of your options in detail and provide you with his recommended course of action in order to ensure you’re fully informed before deciding which choice to pursue.

Contact our Chicago Eye Surgeon

Please contact Foulkes Vision using the form on this page or call 630-724-1400 today to schedule a free consultation. We serve patients in Chicago, Lombard and throughout the surrounding areas of Illinois.