Lasik or Prelex? – Dr Rajesh Khanna Answers
The book ‘Prelex’
BY K B NAIR
Rajesh Khanna, MD is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He has specialized training in LASIK, Prelex, Cataract, and Corneal surgery from the University of Cincinnati. He is known as the LASIK surgeon to the stars, as he has performed over 10,000 vision correction procedures on many Olympic medal winners and Hollywood personalities
Khanna has just released a book titled ‘Prelex’ which is a relatively new procedure which was approved by the FDA in 2005 and the results of which since then have been excellent when done by skilful eye caregivers. The surgeon explained that a few years ago Lasik became extremely popular but 7 or 8 years ago it became evident that it did not work very well for everybody, especially those over the 45-50 age bracket. The Prelex procedure allows individuals over this age to see near, middle, and distance in each eye (not monovision) without the use of glasses or contacts.
According to Dr Khanna, Lasik was suitable for not more than 30-40 million of the US population whereas Prelex would be the preferred procedure for over 132 million people in the country. He added that everyone over 45 should be knowledgeable about this procedure and when he found 3 or 4 years ago these patients were not receiving the proper advice he decided to write a book which is reported to be selling very well.
The book explains in simple terms that in a normal eye adjusts its focus because the lens changes shape but with age it hardens and loses the ability and therefore needs replacement. Till now there were no lenses to mimic the human eye but now with nanoengineering technology it is possible to create lenses which can see far and near.
Dr Rajesh Khanna
Lasik has certain disadvantages when compared to Prelex in that Lasik could develop dry eyes and there is a certain loss in depth of perception and vision can still change. In some older patients they even develop cataracts. The advantage of Prelex over Lasik is that it is a permanent fix and vision will not change for the rest of one’s life, cataracts will not develop and one can see far and near without losing depth of perception and vision will actually improve with time.
Because of the fact Prelex is done in a sterile surgical suite and under anesthesia the cost of the procedure is higher than. The charges vary from city to city but as an example the average cost of Lasik in Beverly Hills would amount to $5,000 to 6,000 where Prelex would run from $12-15,000 for two eyes. The down side is that it is not covered by insurance but under certain circumstances Medicare does cover part of the charges.
Lasik surgery takes about 2 minute per eye whereas Prelex takes between 7 and 8 minutes. While Dr Khanna laughs and states some patients would like to get straight back to work, he does not recommend it. Also in accordance to US standards there is a recommended gap of at least 2 weeks between the procedure on the two eyes.
The book also describes how to be an educated consumer by learning to understand what qualities to look for in a Prelex surgeon, how to select an ideal facility and the questions to ask. This is important because only a handful of eye doctors have the skill to do it to perfection. Dr Khanna added such specialists need to already be good lasik, cataract and lens exchange surgeons.
Prelex can also be performed successfully on those who have already had Lasik or radial keratotomy procedures.
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