March 04, 2010

Understand the Different Types of Lasik Surgery

By Staff in Categories: LASIK

Interesting article

Lasik surgery cost ranges anywhere from $499 to $2,500. The cost of Lasik is based on your surgeon’s experience and the type of Lasik surgery performed. There are options when it comes to which Lasik procedure you can choose. Your decision should rest on an appropriate surgical procedure for your eye condition, a trusted Lasik surgeon and a price you’re comfortable paying. Understand the different types of Lasik eye surgery and decide which types of Lasik surgery is best for you.

Lasik Background

Lasik is among the most popular forms of laser eye surgery. Lasik eye surgery involves a procedure to permanently reshape the cornea and elicit vision correction. A microkeratome blade is used to create a flap in the thin outer layer of the cornea, called the epithelium. An excimer laser reshapes the cornea, and the flap is replaced. The procedure takes about 15 minutes and the recovery time is fairly fast. Most patients can return to normal activities the next day.

PRK as an Alternative to Lasik Surgery

PRK removes the epithelium with a metal surgical tool. The earliest form of laser eye surgery, PRK typically involves a longer recovery time, allowing for the epithelium to grow back. It can cause more discomfort than Lasik eye surgery. Results often take longer for PRK.

Though PRK involves a longer recovery process, it has been the preferred method for patients with thin corneas and large pupils. However, there are a number of newer variations to the original Lasik eye surgery. Many of these different types of Lasik surgery minimize the risk of original Lasik, and can be performed on patients with thin corneas and other eye conditions.

Lasek Surgery

Lasek is a refractive procedure that uses alcohol to separate the outer layer if the cornea, rather than a surgical blade. A laser reshapes the cornea and the epithelium is replaced. By eliminating the risk of a microkeratome blade, Lasek is an option for people with thin corneas.

Through its swift recovery process, Lasek may be a better alternative to PRK. However, Lasek is not without potential complication. The use of alcohol can cause eye irritation and inflammation.


Epi-Lasik is similar to Lasik and Lasek, but employs a fine surgical blade, reducing the risk of a wide corneal flap. Instead of alcohol, a plastic cutting tool separates the epithelium from the eye. Epi-Lasek thereby eliminates possible irritation to the eye.


IntraLasik, All-Laser Lasik, or Blade-Free Lasik very simply conducts the procedure through lasers, without the use of a microkeratome. IntraLasik is praised for precision through eliminating mistakes that can occur with a surgical blade.

While IntraLasik significantly lowers the risk associated with other refractive surgery, there are some possible complications to consider. The excimer laser is still subject to possible visual errors. A small percentage of patients have also reported issues with light sensitivity. The cost of IntraLasik can be substantially higher than other forms of Lasik surgery.

Wavefront Lasik

Wavefront Lasik is the most precise form of Lasik eye surgery. Much like IntraLasik, lasers replace blades during Wavefront Lasik. But where IntraLasik employs a freehand excimer laser, wavefront technology guides the excimer laser in Wavefront Lasik. The procedure also reduces the risk of night glare, a common complication associated with Lasik surgery. Though the most accurate, Wavefront Lasik is also the most costly among the different forms of Lasik.

Discuss options with your Lasik surgeon and decide which procedure is best suited for your needs. The Lasik eye surgery procedure you choose should be appropriate for your specific condition, at a Lasik surgery cost that is comfortable for you.

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