There are many different procedures available to correct your vision. Today's technology helps us determine who is a good candidate for LASIK surgery – and who is not. All laser eye surgeries, including LASIK, reshape the cornea so that images properly focus on the retina. Your doctor will discuss with you which procedure is best suited to the unique contour of your eyes.
With LASIK, a microthin flap of corneal tissue is created with the Intralase FS femptosecond laser. The flap is lifted out of the laser’s path and the excimer laser is used to remove corneal tissue. The flap is placed back into position and covers the treated area. The advantages of LASIK are minimal discomfort, vision improvement within hours, reduced risk of haze, and the need to use medicated eyedrops for only one week.
Disadvantages of LASIK are associated with creation of the corneal flap and potential shifting of the corneal flap after the procedure.
PRK was the first laser vision correction procedure approved by the FDA. During the procedure, the corneal epithelium, the most superficial “skin-like” layer, is removed and an excimer laser beam is used to remove corneal tissue until the desired correction is achieved. The epithelium will grow back in the next several days, resulting in a smooth corneal surface. PRK is quick, straightforward, does not involve any cutting of the eye, and may be preferred in cases of certain corneal abnormalities.
Disadvantages include one to two days of discomfort, slower visual recovery, the chance of developing corneal haze, and the need to use medicated eyedrops for an extended time after surgery. Some patients may qualify for custom PRK.
INTACS are microthin polymer ring segments that are inserted under the outer edge of the cornea. INTACS reshape the cornea from within to allow better focus of light rays on the retina. If adjustments are needed, prescription rings can be replaced or removed. Advantages of INTACS include reversibility, structural integrity of the eye because tissue is not removed, independence on wound healing, and delivery of an excellent quality of vision.
The disadvantages are that it is only FDA approved for low levels of myopia and does not correct astigmatism.
During LASEK, a blunt plastic “separator” rather than a microkeratome creates a superficial corneal flap. A diluted alcohol solution is used on the eye to loosen the epithelium, which is then lifted out of position. The excimer laser is applied and the flap is replaced to cover the treated area. LASEK has fewer possible or potential complications than those associated with the microkeratome.
The disadvantage of LASEK is the potential discomfort for two to three days after surgery, delayed visual recovery, and the potential for haze and scarring.
Looking for information on Crystalens®? Our physicians implant a variety of IOLs to provide you with the best customized treatment for lens replacement. They will discuss all options with you.
AcrySof ReSTOR Apodized Diffractive Optic Posterior Intraocular Lenses (ReSTOR) are permanent artificial lenses. Made of soft plastic, the ReSTOR lens is folded and inserted into the eye through a tiny incision, smaller than the optic diameter of the lens. Once inserted, the lens gently unfolds to restore vision.
A ReSTOR lens is implanted in the eye when the natural lens is removed because of a cataract in patients with or without presbyopia (“over 40” eyes). This lens can also be used to correct presbyopia in patients without cataracts.
Prior to ReSTOR, the objective was to restore distance vision with a monofocal IOL. Today, the goal is to enhance your vision with an IOL that may provide you with a full range of vision, minimizing your dependence on glasses, including reading glasses or bifocals.
An alternative to laser eye surgery, implantable collamer lenses are inserted between the iris and natural lens of the eye. ICLs may remain in the eye indefinitely, but can be removed and/or replaced with a new lens if your prescription changes. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and usually takes 15 minutes to complete.