Over the past several decades, considerable vision care advancements have occurred, especially in the field of laser eye surgery for correcting distinct types of vision problems. Most laser eye surgeries involve an advanced procedure to reshape the cornea and allow light to better travel through it; and as a result, creating clearer more focused vision for patients. Some laser surgeries replace the eye’s natural lens, also allowing better focusing. LASIK, PRK, Lasek, and RLE are the four major types available today. Read on to learn more about each distinct form of laser eye surgery!
Formally called laser in-situ keratomileusis, this procedure is performed on patients who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism by reshaping the tissue underneath the cornea to ultimately correct each patient’s scope of vision. Professional eye surgeons, like Dr. John Goosey, will also make a flap in the outer layer of the cornea to get to the underlying tissue. The flap is what makes LASIK different from other laser eye surgeries. Bladeless LASIK, which uses a femtosecond laser to create the corneal flap, is a major variation of the procedure. The beauty of LASIK is that there is little downtime after the patient has the surgery, and patients can see clearly immediately.
PRK, an acronym for photorefractive keratectomy, is a type of eye surgery that uses the same WaveLight® Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q Laser technology as LASIK to correct mild to moderate near and/or farsightedness, or astigmatism by reshaping the cornea’s surface. PRK doesn’t reshape the underlying tissue, but has been found effective in helping reduce night glare after surgery is completed. PRK is sometimes the best alternative for patients who aren’t good candidates for LASIK; moreover, they can get the same results for vision correction. The greatest difference with PRK as compared to LASIK, is that recovery time is longer, taking a few weeks before true results are obtained versus days.
Like PRK, laser epithelial keratomileusis or LASEK, uses an alcohol solution to loosen corneal tissue and a laser to reshape the cornea. A soft contact lens will hold the ultra-thin flap created by the procedure in place until the eye heals. LASEK also treats nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is the formal name for cataract surgery done by laser. This procedure involves removing your natural lens through a small, yet precise, laser cut at the edge of your cornea. A silicone or plastic focal intraocular lens implant (commonly called an IOL) replaces your natural lens. In addition to correcting cataracts, it is also used for extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness. When combined with a LASIK procedure, it can correct astigmatism.
Based on your corrective vision needs, consulting with an experienced cornea specialist and laser eye surgeon like Dr. Goosey is vital to obtaining the best medical recommendations, learning if you’re a suitable candidate for corrective surgery like LASIK, and for getting the best results. If you’d like to learn more about the kind of laser eye technology that Dr. Goosey utilizes, give us a call at 713-234-6134 today, or freely schedule your FREE LASIK consultation now!