Refractive surgery is a term given to a surgical procedure that is performed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. The most commonly performed surgeries are LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy). These procedures use a laser to reshape the cornea (clear front part of the eye) to adjust the focusing power of the eye. Both procedures are performed on an outpatient basis with topical anesthesia so the patient remains awake and comfortable.
In the LASIK surgical procedure, the surgeon corrects vision by reshaping the cornea with an excimer laser. The first step in the surgery is the creation of a flap. This is a partial thickness flap of the cornea that is created using the IntraLase femtosecond laser. Our surgeons do not use a blade or microkeratome for this portion of the surgery. After the flap is created, it is reflected back and the excimer laser is applied to reshape the cornea. The flap is put back in place without stitches and most people return to their normal activities within 24 hours with their vision corrected.
In the PRK surgical procedure, the surgeon corrects vision by reshaping the cornea using an excimer laser. The very surface of the cornea is gently removed prior to the application of the laser. Because of the removal of a portion of the surface of the eye, the eye could be sore or scratchy after the procedure for a few days while the surface layer heals. Bandage contact lenses are placed on the eye to aid in comfort. PRK is advantageous for some patients, especially those that are not good candidates for LASIK.
The excimer laser used to reshape the cornea is the same for either the LASIK or PRK procedure, but the difference between the two is the flap. For either procedure, wavescan technology is utilized to map even the tiniest imperfections of the cornea, and allows your surgeon to perform a customized treatment specifically for your eyes.
If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for LASIK or PRK, please call to schedule your complimentary consultation.
Please note: patients over the age of 40 will likely experience the need for readers.