How Does Cornea Thickness Affect My Candidacy For LASIK?

January 16, 2019 by Sam Ven21

Corneal thickness scan

When a patient comes to our office for a LASIK screening, one of the first things we check for is cornea thickness. So why is cornea thickness important for LASIK? During LASIK, an excimer laser is used to remove tissue (ablation) and reshape the cornea so images can focus accurately onto the retina. Since corneal tissue is permanently removed during the LASIK procedure, we want to make sure there is enough tissue remaining to ensure the cornea is structurally safe.


Layers of the cornea


How much corneal tissue is removed during LASIK?


Typically, we will make a LASIK flap that is about 120 microns thick. Our excimer laser will remove approximately 14 to 16 microns of corneal tissue per diopter of treatment. To ensure that the cornea is structurally safe, there should typically be a minimum of 300 microns (μm) remaining before the LASIK flap is repositioned.

The following animation shows a hypothetical LASIK procedure for a patient that has a -4.00 diopter prescription with a cornea thickness of 500 microns (μm).

  • A 120 micron (μm) LASIK flap is created and lifted.
  • 56-64 microns (μm) of corneal tissue are removed during the ablation process.
  • 316-324 microns (μm) of corneal tissue remain before the flap is repositioned.


If it has been determined that your corneas are too thin for LASIK, we have several options to correct your vision and help get you out of glasses and contacts. Options include making a thinner LASIK flap, PRK, or Visian ICL.

To learn more about your options, schedule a free screening here at Price Vision Group, or call us at (317) 814-2933.



21 comments

  • Sagar

    August 17, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Sir orbscan shows i have thin and uneven cornea with central corneal thickness of right eye 499 and left eye 504 with high myopia right eye 6.5 and left 7.00 so can u please tell me whether i am the ideal candidate of femto second lasik or not because i have two different opinions of one dr that u r not an ideal and one is saying you r an ideal

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      August 18, 2020 at 7:48 am

      Thank you for your message, Sagar. Based on your numbers, you are right on the border so it makes sense that you are receiving two different opinions. Unfortunately, we can’t determine if you are a candidate based on the numbers you’ve provided alone, we can only be sure when you are tested on our machines and have been seen by our doctors.

      Reply

  • Mounika

    September 28, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    Sir My corneal thickness is 7mm cornea front and 5.84 mm cornea back for right eye and 6.98mm coenea front …5.76 mm cornea back for left eye …please tell me whether iam suitable for lasik treatment?

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      September 28, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      Are you sure those numbers are correct? We are unable to advise if LASIK is suitable or not without other measurements such as your prescription strength and level of astigmatism. Even with those numbers, we can’t say for sure if you are a good candidate without our doctors seeing you in person.

      Reply

  • Anas

    January 27, 2021 at 5:12 am

    The thickness of my eyes corneas are 527 and 524 for my left and right eyes. I’m wearing glasses with high prescriptions Right eye (Sph: -7,25, Cyl: -2,75, Axis: 5) and my Left eye (Sph: -7,00, Cyl: -3,5, Axis: 170). My eye doctor told me that measuring the prescription of the Lasik differs than the glasses and provides the following prescriptions: Right eye (Sph: -6,00, Cyl: -2,00, Axis: 180) and my Left eye (Sph: -6,25, Cyl: -2,50, Axis: 165). One center said that I can’t do Lasik and advised me to go for implantable lenses. Other said that I still can go with LASIK, because he said, the thickness of my cornea will be 302 after the treatment and a 110 the thickness of the flap. Please advise!

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      January 27, 2021 at 9:31 am

      Thank you for your question, Anas. We sent your question to Dr. Peters and this is what she had to say. “I think we would need to do a screening to determine. The patient is on the high end. Running calculations on glasses RX does indicate the patient is too thin for LASIK. I agree the ICL may be a better option. The spherical equivalence is above 8D and when we get into RX above 8D even if there is enough cornea, the patient will get a better quality of vision w/ ICL.” I hope this answers your question, Anas.

      Reply

  • Ravi

    February 6, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    My corneal thickness came out to be 480 for left eye and 482 for right. I have -2D power(-1 cylindrical and -1 spherical) for both the eyes.
    Could you please suggest whether I am a suitable candidate for Femtosecond, SMILE or Contoura techniques?

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      February 8, 2021 at 8:31 am

      Hi Ravi. Thanks for your questions. Based on the numbers you’ve provided, you appear to have enough tissue for standard LASIK and CONTOURA Vision LASIK. We do not perform SMILE so we can’t answer your questions about SMILE candidacy. There are other factors to determine your LASIK candidacy and corneal thickness is just one of them. You will need to schedule a consultation to accurately determine if your eyes meet all of the requirements for LASIK.

      Reply

  • Shresth Shrivastava

    March 5, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    The thickness of my eyes corneas is 536 and 536 for my left and right eyes. I’m wearing glasses with high prescriptions Right eye (Sph: -7,25, Cyl: -2,50, Axis: 90) and my Left eye (Sph: -3.75, Cyl: -1.00, Axis: 70).One center said that I can’t do Lasik and advised me to go for implantable lenses. Others said that I still can go with LASIK And right now I’m getting confused about what should I do, Please advise!

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      March 8, 2021 at 8:52 am

      Thank you for your message, Shresth. Purely from a numbers perspective, it appears that your left eye qualifies for LASIK. Your right eye doesn’t appear to qualify. Again, these are just based on the numbers you’ve provided and we can’t positively say yes or no without performing an in-person examination.

      Reply

  • Jim

    April 6, 2021 at 9:44 am

    My CCT is 517 and 525 for right and left eye. Autorefraction shows -6.75/-2.25 x 5 and -7.00/ -1.75 x 170 for right and left eye. Would you be able to advise if LASIK would be possible and if not what are the alternatives? Many Thanks

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      April 6, 2021 at 11:31 am

      Hi Jim. Thank you for your message. Strictly based on the numbers you’ve provided, you are borderline and most likely we will not recommend LASIK as your corneas are thin based on your prescription. Using the math we provided as a general example 517-120(flap) = 397 microns. -6.75 x 16(microns per diopter) = roughly 101 microns of tissue being removed. You’re looking at roughly 296 microns of tissue remaining for the right eye where we want to stay about 300. We can certainly create a thinner flap but we can’t make that determination without a proper in-person appointment. We want to stress that these are just estimates and we can’t give you or anyone an absolute answer without an in-person visit with one of our doctors.

      Reply

  • Johnny

    April 25, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Hi I am about 480 mm with -3.25 on left and right eye. Would that work

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      April 26, 2021 at 8:07 am

      Thanks for your comment/question, Johnny. Based on the numbers you’ve provided, you would be a candidate for LASIK pending other factors that could alter that outcome such as astigmatism, prescription stability, and other variables that require eye testing machines to discover. In the end, you will need to have an in-person visit to truly learn if you are a good candidate for LASIK.

      Reply

  • Mike

    April 27, 2021 at 6:57 am

    Hi, would I be a suitable candidate for lasik?

    I have a cornea depth of 507 and 513 microns for left and right eye respectively.

    Right eye is SPH: -6.75, CYL: -1.25, Axis 80

    Left eye is sph: -6.75, CYL: -1, Axis: 130.

    Does CYL also affect the depth of cornea required?

    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Sam Ven

      April 27, 2021 at 7:47 am

      Thanks for your question, Mike. Based on the numbers you’ve provided, it doesn’t look like you have enough corneal tissue to safely have LASIK. CYL does play a role in the calculation because that is the amount of astigmatism you have. These are just estimates and should not be taken as fact because only an in-person screening will accurately determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK or not. So if you’re in the area, Mike, we’d love to have one of our doctors take a look and confirm. If you don’t qualify, the Visian ICL is also a great vision correction option.

      Reply

  • Majid Hussain

    August 4, 2021 at 6:35 am

    I have cornea thickness of 485 and 481 for right and left eye. My prescription is -5.00 -1.00 180 axis for right eye and -3.5 -1.5 180 axis for left eye. Which lasik procedure is suitable for me? FEMTO, PRK, ICL. Plz advise.

    Reply

  • sumitha poornachandran

    September 18, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    My cornea thickness is 435 and 447. My power is -2 on the right eye and -2.75 on the left eye . Age is 38 years . Please let me know if i am a candidate for the smile lasik procedure? My brother in the family has keratoconus but it is stable for the last 4 years and he is in late 30’s . He is doing fine as well .

    Reply

  • John

    January 6, 2022 at 2:49 am

    The thickness of my eyes corneas is Right 540 and Left 540. I’m wearing glasses with following prescriptions Right eye (Sph: -6,25, Cyl: -0,75, Axis: 3) and my Left eye (Sph: -7.25, Cyl: -0.50, Axis: 172).One center said that I can’t do Lasik and advised me to go for implantable lenses. Others said that I still can go with Femto LASIK And right now I’m getting confused about what should I do, Please advise!

    Reply

  • Venkatesh

    January 24, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    I have cornea thiness of 465 of my both eyes and eye sight of -3 can i eligible for prk

    Reply

  • Yash Balani

    June 5, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Sir, The thickness of my eye’s corneas is 511(Right Eye) and 500(Left Eye). I’m wearing glasses with following prescriptions Right eye (Sph: -6,50, Cyl: -05, Axis: 170) and my Left eye (Sph: -6.50, Cyl: 0). One center told me I couldn’t have Lasik and recommended implanted lenses instead. Others have told me that Femto LASIK is still an option. Can you guide me here?

    Reply

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