An Introduction To Corrective Laser Eye Surgery
Corrective laser eye surgery is commonly referred as refractive or laser eye surgery. It is an eye surgery procedure used to correct one’s visual problem such as farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism.
Different types of laser eye surgeries
Lasik (laser in-situ keratomileusis) is a laser type of eye surgery treatment where the corneal tissue is reshaped to correct a patient’s visual error. Under this procedure a thin flap is created. In today’s advanced technology, a Lasik treatment can be performed alongside a computer imaging known as the wavefront technology, so that a more accurate image of the patient’s cornea can be derived and guide the eye surgeon for a successful treatment.
Prk (Photorefractive keratectomy) is another form of laser eye treatment ideal for individuals with mild to moderate levels of farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. The surgeon uses a laser to reshape the cornea and no flap is created. Prk eye surgery can also be aided with the computer imaging device to get a better view of the cornea.
LASEK also known as “laser epithelial keratomileusis” is used also to correct various refractive errors such as farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. Here an epithelial flap is made and the epithelial cells are loosened thought an alcohol solution, then, a laser instrument is used to reshape the cornea. The flap is then replaced and secured with soft contact lens as the healing progresses. It is a modified form of PRK.
RK or radial keratotomy is another eye surgery method that was used for the treatment of individuals with nearsightedness and rarely used nowadays as more advanced laser technologies are being offered in the eyecare industry like Lasik and Prk.
Possible side effects of any laser eye surgery procedure
- Undercorrection or overcorrection due to a patient’s own healing response (remedied through another surgery called “enhancement”).
- Infection and/or delay in the healing process due to an autoimmune condition if not previously detected prior to surgery
- Excess corneal haze (part of the natural healing stage) seen only with PRK not Lasik.
- Halo effect (occurs in dim light).
- Corneal flap damage (rare case that may require repositioning after a few days of a Lasik eye surgery), more commonly seen in flaps created by a blade.
Other requirements before anyone can undergo a laser eye surgery
- Patient must have healthy eyes condition prior the surgery (free from any retinal problems, scarring and other eye diseases).
- Patient must have a stable eye prescription for at least a year before the surgery.
- Patient must also have realizable expectations of the final outcome of the eye surgery.
Questions you may wish to ask with your eye surgeon
- Can my existing health insurance plan cover all the medical expenses incurred for my chosen laser eye surgery treatment?
- What is the normal Lasik eye surgery recovery time?
- How much is a bladeless Lasik?
- Where can I avail a free Lasik eye surgery screening/information guideline?
Take note of the above questions and use them as your checklist when you have a private consultation with your eye doctor. Being well-informed of the needed facts in any laser treatment is your ticket of getting the best corrective solution or better eye care services.