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What is Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA)?

If you have been informed that you are not a good candidate for LASIK because your corneas are too thin, your physical activities are too strenuous, or your astigmatism is too advanced, you don’t need to give up on laser vision correction altogether. While the popular LASIK treatment may not be a viable option for you, you can still undergo a different type of laser vision correction procedure that is effective at treating certain types of vision problems. This alternative laser vision correction procedure is called advanced surface ablation (ASA). It is also commonly referred to as PRK, and if you qualify for the procedure you could be on your way to crisp, clear vision in a short period of time.

The ASA Difference

Advanced surface ablation is different from LASIK in a couple of key areas. While LASIK requires the top creation of a flap, ASA does not have this requirement. Instead, the very top layer of the cornea is gently removed, leaving the majority of the cornea intact. Because there is no cornea flap created, you don’t need to worry about the possibility that part of your cornea may become damaged or lost during the procedure.

ASA Procedure Steps

While it may sound scary to have part of your cornea removed, the ASA procedure is really quite safe, painless, and only involves a few steps:

  1. Numbing
  2. Removal of top layer of cornea
  3. Cornea reshaping


To ensure your comfort, numbing anesthetic drops will be placed into your eyes before any work is done on them. Although your eyes will be numb and unable to feel pain, you will still be able to move them freely and see what is going on around you.

Removal of Top Layer of Cornea

Once your eyes are completely numb, the top layer of your cornea will be gently and carefully removed with the use of specialized tools. Once this outer layer is removed, you can then undergo the laser vision correction procedure.

Cornea Reshaping

Your vision will be corrected with the help of laser beam pulses that are controlled by computers. These laser pulses will sound and look strange to you, but you won’t be able to feel them as they carefully re-shape the outer layer of your cornea. The process is quick and will be over before you know it. You will then be instructed to cover your eyes and put special drops in them while they heal.

If you live a very active lifestyle, have thin corneas, or are not a good candidate for LASIK for any other reason, ASA may be the perfect vision correction solution for you.

Posted on by Maria Afonso in Uncategorized