Thanks to modern technology, approaches to the different laser eye surgery range from reshaping the curvature of the eye's clear front surface, known as the cornea in procedures such as LASIK and PRK to the surgical insertion of artificial lenses to refocus light rays to sharpen vision and correct a patient’s eyesight. You need a laser-specific eye exam to determine which of the following laser eye surgeries are ideal for your specific needs:
- LASIK or Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis for nearsightedness is the most common outpatient laser eye surgery that takes about 15 minutes per eye under local anesthesia. It involves creating a super-thin flap in the thin outer layer of the eye known as the epithelium then floating it away from the eye's surface with alcohol so that the laser reshaping of the eye can occur. Recovery from this procedure is fast with only minor irritations such as dry eyes.
- PRK or Photorefractive Keratectomy laser vision correction surgery uses a laser to treat vision problems caused by refractive errors, which is when your eye does not refract or bend light properly. Over 21-year olds with the dry-eye syndrome, thin corneas, myopias, astigmatism, including those who are near and farsighted and can benefit from this laser eye surgery in which the ophthalmologist changes the shape of the cornea to improve how light rays are focused on the retina. Healing after this surgery takes about five days where a patient “may” end up with a 20/40 vision without glasses or contact lenses.
- LASEK or Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis eye surgery is used to treat patients with thin corneas, including those with astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness. During surgery, a surgeon creates a thick flap using a mechanical device under which the cornea sculpting is done. The entire laser eye surgery process takes approximately two hours during which patients remain awake and made comfortable using anesthetic eye drops. Individuals who undergo this procedure notice a distinct improvement and regain a level of clarity and sharpness without the need for glasses or contacts.
- Epi-LASIK or Epithelial Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis laser vision correction procedure is like LASIK surgery, except the flap created on the cornea is thinner than a LASIK flap and its created with surgical a tool that has a sharp blade known as an epithelial separator. Many patients do report a 20/40 or a 20/20 vision a few days after surgery.