LASIK Xtra is an add-on corneal strengthening procedure (cross-linking) that is performed during a LASIK surgery. During LASIK, an excimer laser corrects for LASIK errors by thinning the cornea. As a result, patients who have had higher degrees of spectacle power corrected have proportionately thinner corneas. On rare occasions, corneal ectasia (a condition where thin or weakened cornea may bulge forward) may occur. Given its ability to strengthen the cornea, LASIK Xtra is postulated to reduce the risk of corneal ectasia.
LASIK Xtra uses Riboflavin (a vitamin) and Dextran to stimulate the cross-linking of fibres within the cornea, making it stronger. Following the LASIK surgery, the Riboflavin solution is applied to the cornea and UV light is applied for about 1 minute. LASIK Xtra adds about 2 minutes on top of the normal LASIK procedure and causes no added discomfort.
The risks are essentially the same as they would be during LASIK.
Will patients that were not suitable for LASIK due to inadequate corneal thickness now be deemed suitable after having LASIK Xtra?
No, they are typically still not suitable.
Everyone who is suitable for LASIK is generally suitable for LASIK Xtra.