LASIK Eye Surgeon Directory
What is LASIK?LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (whew! What a name!). The traditional procedure involves cutting a flap in the stroma of the eye and use of an excimer laser to reshape the cornea, producing better vision. Most people assume LASIK is the only refractive surgery available to help correct visual disturbances. This couldn't be further from the truth.
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There are many different types of LASIK procedures:
- Wavefront LASIK (Custom LASIK) - this procedure, often-called wavefront or wavefront-guided LASIK, allows more precision surgical intervention by providing doctors with a 3D map of the cornea and eye. Using this map, surgeons are able to offer more exact vision correction. Many traditional surgeons are turning to this technique as it offers fewer risks for complication.
- Bladeless LASIK - in traditional lasik procedures, a surgeon uses a microkeratome or special tool to cut a flap in the cornea to reshape the eyes surface. This new procedure developed in conjunction with the IntraLase makes traditional vision correction safer. Using this technique, the surgeon uses a special laser to create the flap previously created using the microkeratome instrument. That is why the procedure is referred to as bladeless. The new procedure reduces the risk of complications associated with buttonhole flaps or corneal ablation.
- Epi-LASIK - modern technology continues to provide surgeons with new choices for addressing visual disturbances. This new laser surgery helps solve many of the complications associated with traditional surgery. It offers a combination of LASIK and LASEK procedures. In the epi-LASIK procedure, the surgeon cuts the cornea's outer epithelium using a plastic oscillating blade in lieu of a fine blade. Epi-Lasik also involves use of an epithelial separator. This procedure is recommended for people with low visual disturbances including myopia. Once the epithelial flap is created the surgeon uses traditional techniques to reshape the corneal tissue beneath.
- PRK - PRK refers to photo refractive keratectomy. This refractive surgery was more popular than LASIK before lasik procedures became well known. This procedure involves slower response and healing times among patients but is a good choice for patients with complications or risk factors including thinner corneas or larger than average pupils. PRK uses an excimer laser to help reshape the cornea. PRK is helpful for those with hyperopia and myopia.
- LASEK - this stands for laser epithelial keratomileusis, and is a new procedure similar to the original PRK procedure. Sometimes referred to as E-LASIK, this procedure is typically the best choice for patients with thin corneas or those with flat corneas. Patients with these risk factors are more likely to experience complications with traditional LASIK surgery. This procedure allows a surgeon to use a fine tool (trephine) instead of the microkeratome to cut the corneal flap needed to perform laser surgery. The surgeon typically follows by coating the eye in a solution of alcohol and water to help loosen the epithelium. An excimer laser can then be used to sculpt the tissue lying below. Some patients report minor eye irritation following surgery, and typically recovery times are a bit longer than traditional lasik (up to four days usually, but can be as long as seven).
- CK Lasik - Conductive keratoplasty (CK) is a new type of surgery using mild heat and radio waves to help steepen the cornea. This procedure is recommended for farsighted patients and those with presbyopia. The result is better near and distance vision. This procedure is not recommended for patients who are near sighted.
This is just a small sampling of your choices when interested in refractive surgery. Your eye doctor can help you decide what procedure will help expand and enhance your vision!