What are the most used laser eye surgery procedures used?
LASIK (Laser Assisted in situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy) are two types of corrective eye laser surgery. They are the most frequently used laser eye surgery techniques in the United States, UK and Canada.
PRK appeared in the early nineties while LASIK made its appearance in the mid to late nineties.
Laser Eye Surgery – PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy)
With PRK laser eye surgery a laser beam guided by a computer is used to dissolve or vaporize small quantities of tissue on the surface of the cornea. Improved vision is achieved by this reshaping of the cornea. The healing process after PRK laser eye surgery takes approximately 7 days.
After PRK laser eye surgery some patients may experience hazy or blurred vision during the healing process but this does not usually last for long. A mild pain or discomfort is sometimes experienced after PRK laser eye surgery. It is not known why but there are cases when, the treated eye returns to the state it was in prior to the surgery. If this regression is going to occur it generally does so within six months of surgery. Patients who suffer from this condition may need further surgery or can opt to return to wearing glasses or contact lenses.
Laser Eye Surgery – LASIK (Laser Assisted in situ Keratomileusis)
There is more involved with LASIK laser eye surgery than PRK. The surgeon must first cut a flap of skin in the cornea of the eye. The flap is then lifted up and with a computer guided laser (similar to the PRK procedure), superfluous amounts of eye tissue found on the inside surface of the cornea are removed. Once this is completed, the flap of skin is replaced and healing of the eye begins.
The healing time for Lasik laser eye surgery is normally faster than PRK laser eye surgery and generally there is less discomfort after Lasik laser eye surgery. However, because the procedure involves cutting into the tissue of the cornea the risk of serious complications is greater than for PRK laser eye surgery.
Laser Eye Surgery – summary
Whichever laser eye surgery you receive it is of paramount importance that you attend every post-operative appointment arranged for you to ensure that the condition of your eyes and the healing process is monitored accurately.
Laser eye surgery has established a good record of success and safety but sometimes there are complications. Ensuring that the fullest enquiries are made into your eligibility for laser eye surgery are made by a qualified and ethical professional will greatly reduce the risks of post-operative complications. Your doctor will tell you if you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery and if you are not, consider alternatives. If you have a chronic health condition like lupus or diabetes you would not be advised to have eye surgery because these conditions make healing difficult. Certain medications such as prescriptions for acne and steroids hinder natural healing of the body.
The future of laser eye surgery
Laser eye surgery techniques continue to improve, with more medical research advances in eye surgery is inevitable and only a matter of time before new, improved procedures are discovered.
If you have been seriously considering improving your eyesight through laser corrective eye surgery you should read more information about the different types of surgical procedure and finding recommended and suitably qualified consultants in your area before deciding it is definitely for you.