This is the most exciting time in the history of vision care. Laser vision correction has revolutionized eye care and has helped millions of people achieve good natural vision. These results are attained with the use of a computer-guided excimer laser to gently alter the shape of your cornea through a series of ultra-precise pulses.
There are two ways of utilizing this extraordinary technology, LASIK and PRK. There are also other non-laser surgeries to eliminate your need for glasses.
LASIK is the most frequently used procedure for laser vision correction. LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis. A wide range of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism can be corrected by the LASIK procedure. It is a delicate surgical procedure that allows for a very predictable healing response. Your vision stabilizes rapidly, and you can expect to have little or no discomfort following LASIK. Most patients have driving vision within 24 hours of treatment.
- Step 1: The corneal flap is created by the surgeon using a laser. The corneal flap stays attached to the rest of the cornea on one side.
- Step 2: The laser treatment is applied below the flap.
- Step 3: The flap is repositioned smoothly and easily. Pressure holds the flap in place as it heals.
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) is the same laser procedure as LASIK. It differs, however, in being performed on the surface of the cornea, after removing or lifting the corneal epithelium, instead of a corneal flap. Today, PRK is more commonly referred to as “surface ablation,” meaning a laser procedure that is applied to the surface of the cornea. There are two other surface ablation techniques available which differ in the way the corneal epithelium is managed, LASEK and epi-LASIK. These procedures have not as yet proven to be more beneficial than PRK.
- When the cornea is too thin for LASIK.
- When a pre-existing problem is present on the cornea which can be eliminated with PRK and result in better vision than LASIK.
- When there is a structural abnormality in the cornea that makes LASIK unsafe.