Laser Eye Surgery Options

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 12-Oct-2012

photodune-1401767-eye-xsVision correction surgical techniques, tools and procedures have evolved greatly over the past 25 years. As techniques and procedures have been fine-tuned, more patients are able to benefit from corrective eye surgery with better results and fewer risks.
Radial Keratotomy (RK) was the first form of corrective eye surgery. This procedure evolved into the first laser eye surgery, photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). While this is still commonly used, LASIK eye surgery is now the most common form of vision correction surgery.
The first corrective eye surgery -- radial keratotomy -- used spoke-like incisions to flatten the surface of the eye, correcting nearsightedness. Results of this procedure often created long-term problems for patients, including glare and night vision problems.
Advances in laser procedures have made radial keratotomy virtually obsolete. It has been replaced by photorefractive keratectomy and LASIK. PRK, which is also known as surface ablation or LASEK, uses a laser to remove specific predetermined amount of tissue from the surface of the eye therefore reshaping the cornea, without first making a flap in the cornea, as is done in LASIK. The reshaping allows light rays to bend and focus for improved vision.

LASIK eye surgery is becoming increasingly more popular as a form of vision correction. It is used to treat a number of eye conditions, including refractive errors and cataracts.
Not all laser eye surgery is the same. Though different lasers and technology may be used, traditional LASIK eye surgery corrects vision by creating a thin flap in the cornea. The flap is folded back and the curvature of the eye is reshaped. Your vision is dependent on how your eye is shaped. When the curvature of your eye is reshaped, your eye will refract light more precisely, allowing you to see more clearly.
Different lasers are used in different procedures, and will produce varying results. The doctors at Key-Whitman use the Wavelight® Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q for OptiLASIK™ and Intralase® blade-free lasers to perform LASIK eye surgery.
o IntraLase -- During the surgery procedure, a flap is created using IntraLase and it is gently lifted and folded back. The laser reshapes the underlying corneal tissue by emitting a computer-controlled beam of light that removes the exact amount of tissue in a matter of seconds. The corneal flap is then placed back into its original position. Due to the cornea's extraordinary bonding qualities, no stitches or patches are required.
o OptiLASIK -- This procedure is designed to adapt to the unique curvature of your eye, reshaping it more closely to the curve of an ideal, natural eye. As a result, OptiLASIK™ helps preserve the quality of your vision by ensuring your eyes are reshaped to be able to focus more accurately.
Another option for treating myopia (nearsightedness) is the Vision ICL (Implantable Collamer® Lens). This is a phakic intraocular lens (IOL) used during refractive surgery for correcting myopia. The ICL is placed between the iris and the natural lens. Because the phakic IOL does not replace the lens, but supplements it like a prescription contact lens, it is sometimes referred to as an implantable contact lens.
To determine which laser eye surgery procedure is right for you, schedule a free consultationwith Key-Whitman.

The decision to have LASIK is an important one that ultimately only you can make. It is important to have realistic expectations and that your decision is based on facts, not hopes or misconceptions. As with any surgery, there are risks and the possibility of complications. These will be discussed in the office. While there are many who benefit from vision correction surgery, there are potential side effects including glare from bright lights, halos (rings around lights), light sensitivity, night driving glare, and visual fluctuation. Your individual risks will be discussed at the time of your consultation. For more information regarding the risks and benefits associated with the Wavelight® Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q treatment, please visit http://www.alconsurgical.com/wavelight-allegretto-wave-eye-Q-laser.aspx or www.fda.gov.

Do you have questions about laser eye surgery? Ask us in the comments below or on our Facebook page!
Categories: Eye Surgery, LASIK
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