March 15, 2010

Types of Laser Eye Surgery

By Staff in Categories: Featured, Laser Eye Surgery Info


Laser eye surgery is the most commonly practiced procedure to correct vision problems caused by refractive errors, including myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness) and astigmatism (distorted vision when looking at objects at any distance).

There are different types of laser eye surgery. LASIK - laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis – is one of the most common. Many patients who have LASIK end up with 20/20 vision. But, like all medical procedures, it has both risks and benefits. Only your eye doctor can tell if you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery.

Laser Eye Surgery for Laser Vision Correction, such as LASIK, Custom LASIK, PRK, LASEK, Epi-LASIK and other specialized LASIK Eye Surgery procedures offer those who have nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism the possibility of freedom from the hassle of eyeglasses and contact lenses. This requires that patients participate in their care by becoming educated consumers as well as patients.

During laser eye surgery, a surgeon uses a laser device to make permanent changes to the shape of the cornea. The laser used most often is the Excimer laser, which produces a beam of ultraviolet light to vaporize tissue. Surgically altering the shape of the cornea can correct mild to moderate refractive errors in most people.

Laser Eye Surgery in general, the procedure itself, LASIK surgeons and their experience and education, practice locations, understanding the costs and potential risks and complications. Also, in order to make up to date information and current thoughts about Laser Eye Surgery procedures readily available, we have included a LASIK News & Updates section that will present selected summaries of noteworthy publications, case reports and research that might be useful in your overall personal education and decision process.

Types of Laser Eye Surgery

LASIK Laser Eye Surgery

LASIK is a surgical procedure that uses a laser to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism. In LASIK, a thin flap in the cornea is created using either a microkeratome blade or a second laser. The surgeon fold backs the flap, and then removes some corneal tissue underneath using an excimer laser. The flap is then laid back in place, covering the area where the corneal tissue was removed.

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis and is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye, using an excimer laser. A knife, called a microkeratome, is used to cut a flap in the cornea. A hinge is left at one end of this flap. The flap is folded back revealing the stroma, the middlesection of the cornea.

When the vast majority of patients seriously consider Laser Eye Surgery it is common to encounter a number of different personal reasons why they do not wish to proceed. Usually these reasons can be separated into two categories-fear and cost.

PRK Laser Eye Surgery

PRK is a laser eye surgery procedure that treats nearsightedness, mild to moderate farsightedness and astigmatism by flattening the center of the cornea with cool beams of ultraviolet light. Based on the patient’s individual refraction, the computer generates an accommodating amount of laser light to remove a calculated amount of corneal tissue.

The laser eye surgeon uses an excimer laser to remove tissue from the surface of the cornea, allowing the cornea to focus light correctly. For nearsighted people, the doctor will perform PRK to flatten the too-steep cornea. For farsighted people, the doctor will use the laser to create a steeper cornea. Following PRK, vision begins to improve around three days following the treatment and steadily improves.

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