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About Pellucid Marginal Corneal Degeneration & LASIK

Reviewed by Leslie Doctor, M.D.

If present, Pellucid Marginal Degeneration can be a problem for those considering LASIK. Pellucid Marginal Degeneration, referred to as PMD or Pellucid Marginal Corneal Degeneration, sometimes even simply called “Pellucid”, is a rare degenerative non-inflammatory corneal eye condition that is characterized by a normal thickness of the central cornea, thinning of the peripheral cornea, a normal outermost layer-called the corneal epithelium and considerable amounts of astigmatism. The peripheral corneal thinning associated with Pellucid is typically identified during a patient’s 20’s through their 50’s and is slowly progressive over many years without any real predilection for gender or race. It is sometimes easy to confuse PMD with Keratoconus and is often misdiagnosed as Keratoconus.

For anyone considering Laser Eye Surgery for Laser Vision Correction of any type, in particular LASIK, it is quite important that Pellucid Marginal Degeneration be recognized and diagnosed prior to having a LASIK Surgery procedure as the results can be unpredictable, unstable and lead to greater progression and ectasia or additional “bulging” of the cornea.

As a patient considering LASIK, as part of your LASIK consultation, be sure to tell the LASIK Surgeon if you have had changes or progression in the amount of astigmatism that you have and if possible bring any and all eyeglasses with previous prescriptions to your consultation. Also, be sure to tell the LASIK Surgeon if you have had a difficult time “getting a good prescription”, especially if it was due to high amounts of astigmatism. Also, be sure to tell the LASIK Surgeon if you have not been able to be corrected to 20/20 with eyeglasses in the past. Providing this kind of information is of particular importance if you currently wear Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses. By providing this information your LASIK Surgeon will be alerted to use extreme scrutiny during your LASIK consultation to uncover any of the subtle signs of Pellucid Marginal Degeneration in order to be sure you are a good candidate and get you the best possible LASIK results.

©2011 The Medical Management Services Group

updated 3/12/12