Laser and refractive eye surgery is a vision correction surgery. This type of surgery allows patients to see better by correcting or adjusting the eyes’ focusing ability either through reshaping the cornea or add lens inside the eye . The cornea is the clear round-shaped dome at the front of the eye.
Laser and refractive eye surgery might be a good option for you if you:
- Desire to reduce your dependence on contact lenses or eyeglasses
- Do not have an eye disease
- Have an appropriate refractive error
- Accept the potential side effects and inherent risks associated with the procedure
- Understand that you may still need to wear contact lenses or eyeglasses after the procedure for some task to achieve your best vision
There are different types of laser and refractive eye surgery procedures and these include:
LASIK or laser-in-situ keratomileusis is done on patients who are farsighted, nearsighted, or have astigmatism. It involves making a flap in the outer layer of the cornea so as to access the tissue underneath. Now we use laser to create the flap called intralase lasik or femto LASIK which is much safer and precise method to create the flap than tradition microkertome ( Blade ) created flap. Laser is then used to reshape the tissue under the cornea so it can be able to focus light correctly. The flap is what differentiates LASIK from other procedures.
PRK – photorefractive keratectomy can be used to correct farsightedness, nearsightedness or mild to moderate astigmatism. Similar to LASIK, a laser is also used to reshape the cornea. However, it is only performed on the surface of the cornea and not the tissue underneath. Computer imaging may also be used during the procedure. Recent we also use Trans PRK which is newer way of PRK doing the surgery without need the surgeon touching the eye.
RLE and PRELEX
RLE –refractive lens exchange is also known as clear lens exchange (CLE), refractive lens replacement (RLR) and clear lens extraction (CLE), This procedure is similar to cataract surgery usually done after 50 years old. It involves the doctor making a small cut at the edge of the cornea, removing the natural lens and replacing it with a artificial lens implant. This procedure can be used to correct extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness. It works especially well for patients who have dry eyes, thin corneas, or other minor cornea problems. Now we can also correct the astigmatism with special lens in the same procedure.
PRELEX –presbyopic lens exchange is a procedure used to correct loss of flexibility or presbyopia. It involves removing the lens and replacing it with a multifocal lens. It is similar to RLE but with a multifocal implant to aid the patient in seeing far and near.
Phakic Intraocular Lens Implants
Phakic intraocular lens implants or implantable contact lenses are used by patients who are too nearsighted to undergo PRK or LASIK procedures. It involves making a small incision at the edge of the cornea and either inserting the implant lens behind the pupil or attaching it to the iris. With this procedure, the natural lens stays in place.
LRI –Limbal relaxing incision or astigmatic keratotomy is surgical procedure that is used to treat astigmatism. In normal instances the eye is round-shaped but with astigmatism, it has mismatched curves. The procedure involves making one or two incisions at the steepest part of the cornea thus helping it to relax and making it more rounded.
LRI can be done alone or in combination with other procedures such as catrcat or PRELEX.
Intacs also called intracorneal ring segments is a procedure that involves making a small incision in the cornea and placing two crescent-shaped rings at the outer edge. These flatten the cornea by changing the way rays of light focus on the retina.
This procedure is used to treat keratoconus – an irregularly-shaped thin cornea that causes vision loss.
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