What's new in refractive surgery?
What’s new on the horizon for refractive surgery? Many of you have already heard of LASIK and no doubt this has become a household term for refractive surgery in general. However, did you know that there are many options for vision correction. Some include laser cornea surgery like LASIK. Others require the use of implants and intraocular surgery. We’ll review in this article some of your options.
LASIK is a cornea laser surgery during which your surgeon makes a flap in the cornea. This can be made with a mechanical microkeratome which is essentially a very small blade that cuts a thin flap in the surface of the cornea. This flap is then lifted, the laser makes the vision correction, and the flap is laid down to heal. Did you know the flap can be made with a laser? There is a lot of scientific evidence that the laser flap can be more predictable and safer than a mechanical microkeratome. Both are safe but laser flaps are becoming increasingly popular.
PRK is another method of cornea laser refractive surgery that does not require a flap. For some lifestyles, it is best to not have a flap that potentially could lift with trauma. These patients do very well with PRK during which your surgeon takes off the epithelium (or skin covering of the cornea), makes the laser correction, and then places a bandage contact lens while the epithelium heals. This surgery has exactly the same outcome as LASIK in the long term. However, the healing process is a little more uncomfortable during the first few days and will take a little more time until the final vision is achieved. For many patients, PRK is a preferable method of cornea laser refractive surgery.
For some patients, cornea laser refractive surgery is not recommended. Some patients have certain types of refractive error that are too great to correct with the laser. Instead, these patients could benefit from the placement of a lens inside of the eye. These lenses are called phakic intraocular lenses and have become an excellent alternative to laser surgery for select patients.
If you are interested in vision correction with refractive surgery, then contact us for an appointment.