Pioneering cornea surgeon Francis W. Price, Jr., MD of Price Vision Group in Indianapolis, IN is scheduled to become the first in the U.S. to perform the revolutionary LIKE procedure. LIKE (LASIK and Intrastromal Keratoplasty) is the next generation in refractive surgery to correct extreme farsightedness in people who cannot be helped by current LASIK or refractive techniques.
Clear, focused vision depends on the cornea and lens, which refract, or bend, incoming light, projecting it precisely on the retina, which sends visual information to the brain. Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is a condition where the eyeball is too short, causing images to project past the retina and affects about 10-20% of the population in the U.S. This makes up-close objects appear extremely out of focus, while far away objects are less out of focus but still not clear. Glasses or contact lenses are the most common treatments. Surgical options have been limited, especially for those with high degrees of farsightedness, because there is no procedure to extend the length of the eye.
Refractive procedures, such as LASIK, have been successful in treating low levels of farsightedness. Currently, higher levels of farsightedness can only be treated with corrective eyewear, cataract surgery, or in patients without cataracts, with a refractive lens exchange where the natural lens in the eye is replaced with an artificial lens (IOL). These options work well for those in their 40’s or older, but cause younger people, who still have the ability to focus up close, or accommodate, to lose that ability. There is also more risk with having surgery inside the eye, rather than on the surface as with LASIK.
What is LIKE? (LASIK and Intrastromal Keratoplasty)
LASIK and Intrastromal Keratoplasty, or LIKE, offers a cutting-edge surgical treatment for those with farsightedness starting at 3 diopters and up to 10 diopters, a level which has been previously untreatable with LASIK.
LIKE is a two-part procedure which places a portion of a donor cornea into the stromal, or structural, layer of the cornea and upon healing, LASIK is performed. The insertion of the structural donor layer alters the shape of the cornea so that light and images are precisely focused on the retina resulting in excellent, clear vision. This procedure has similarities to a standard LASIK procedure where a flap is created and then lifted to begin treatment. Unlike LASIK, instead of using an excimer laser to remove tissue (ablation), a donor cornea is implanted (to add tissue). After the vision has stabilized, (~2-3 months), the LASIK treatment will be performed on the donor tissue (not the patient’s tissue) to fine tune the vision.
Dr. Francis Price, Jr., who is a world-renowned surgeon and founder of the Cornea Research Foundation of America, has trained more than 600 eye surgeons on advanced surgical techniques, and routinely cares for the most complex eye conditions in patients from around the world. He, along with other Price Vision Group surgeons, have helped pioneer and perform more cornea transplants and specialized procedures than any other clinic in North America. As a result of his excellent track record in pioneering surgical treatments, he was chosen to become the first in the U.S. to perform this ground-breaking new technique.
Stroma – the structural part of the cornea, the window of the eye
Keratoplasty – cornea transplant, placing a donated cornea from another person into some one’s cornea