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There are patients with thin corneas, which will make creating a flap very difficult. For these patients, a procedure known as Advance Surface Ablation (ASA) is used. Instead of creating a flap using a metal blade or IntraLase, the superficial cells in the cornea are removed using alcohol solution. The information gathered during the wavescan is fed into a computer which provides wavefront-guidance to the laser during treatment. A customized wavefront-guided treatment is applied to help patients see things clearer than before. Then, a contact lens is placed on the eye so that the top layers of cells can regenerate. The contact lens is removed after a few days. One setback of this treatment is that it takes several days for the cornea to heal and during the first few days, the patient may experience fluctuations in his vision. It also takes longer for the patient’s eyes to completely heal or recover.

Advanced Surface Ablation is almost the same to PRK in the manner of applying treatment to the surface of the cornea. The main difference is that in ASA, customized “wavefront-guided” treatment is applied. However, patients experienced discomfort, slow recovery and instability of vision a few days after treatment. In some cases though, ASA can successfully help patients with very thin corneas who are disqualified from undergoing LASIK.

By Amjad Khokhar