Laser vision eye surgery is performed to correct certain irregularities of the eye(s). Some conditions are astigmatism, myopia or mild hyperopia. PRK and LASIK is known as refractive laser eye surgery and can only be done by a licensed and trained professional, mostly ophthalmologists but in some states by trained and certified optometrists. When laser vision surgery (LVC) is done correctly the patient can achieve almost perfect vision acuity and no longer have a need for (prescription eyeglasses). For most patients, they can stop using their corrective eyewear almost immediately following the surgery.
LVC reshapes a person’s cornea, the very front part of the eyeball. A person’s vision is mostly determined by the shape of their eyeball; so, by changing the shape of the eyeball, the power to focus is also changed with laser surgery.
There are a few different types of LVC available today that can be performed. Talking to your eye doctor and doing some research on your own is recommended to determine which procedure is best for you to have done.
An Excimer Laser is used to perform this more invasive surgery which requires more time to heal and recover. During PRK surgery the laser removes, or burns off the cornea to get to the eyeball that is removed.
LASEK surgery is one of the newer versions of the invasive PRK laser vision correction. The outer cornea is not cut into with LASEK; instead, laser energy is directed to the surface, removing or burning the thin, outer layer, epithelium, of the patient’s eye. LASEK surgery then proceeds to reshape the cornea with an Excimer laser. The outer layer that was removed will grow back over time. All forms of PRK surgery are more uncomfortable than the LASIK procedure. The discomfort and pain associated with the procedure is due to the epithelium being removed and the healing time for the cornea is much longer than with LASIK. However, infection and problems occurring with LASEK are less likely than with LASIK.
LASIK surgery, perhaps the most commonly known. Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis is reshaping the cornea with the use of a highly sensitive laser. First, a cut is made to form a tiny flap on the outer cornea and is then lifted and folded back out of the way. The laser then uses very deliberate and small beams to remove minute pieces and reshape the cornea. Once all the intended cornea is removed, the flap is folded back over the eyeball and settled back into its spot to heal naturally. Recovery time is limited due to the surgery being less invasive meaning the cornea isn’t destroyed or removed. Because there is the making of a corneal cap less heal time is needed for recovery.
Some of the most common complications arising from LASIK surgery are night vision problems, dry eyes, and infection. There have also been reports of over or under eyesight correction occurring too. Each patient’s results will vary but LASIK surgery has been very successful in producing 20/20.
Choose a Laser Vision Doctor
Those who are looking into any type of laser vision correction need to be aware of the facts about the procedure. It is extremely common today, and the risks of serious complications are very small. It is important to find the best doctor that you can to perform the surgery, however, as it is a very delicate procedure.
To find the best surgeon, do your research and ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Always look for a doctor who has been practicing laser surgery for many years and has a great reputation. Don’t feel too uncomfortable to ask to see the laser equipments maintenance records. It’s important to be sure the equipment is serviced and inspected frequently. You’ll feel more comfortable and secure knowing the doctor’s equipment inspection is current. Mistakes in this type of surgery are most likely than not irreversible.