LASIK surgery is a laser vision correction procedure that is widely performed in the US. While there are other laser procedures used to correct refractive errors, LASIK is the most popular. It has been available in the US since the 1990’s, and is regularly used to remedy vision problems such as astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness.
About LASIK surgery
LASIK surgery corrects vision problems that are the result of an abnormally shaped cornea or eyeball. After surgery, most patients either don’t need to wear their contact lenses or eyeglasses anymore, or they are less dependent on them.
Surgery involves the use of the excimer laser to create a thin flap of tissue on the cornea. The flap is then folded backwards, so that the laser energy can penetrate the cornea. As it does so, it reshapes the cornea and corrects the refractive error.
LASIK surgery is a very safe and effective laser correction procedure. The total treatment time is 15 minutes on average, which makes it a very convenient option. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis.
Photorefractive Keratectomy – PRK
While LASIK is often recommended for vision problems, PRK and EpiLASE are also performed. PRK surgery does not require the creation of a corneal flap, but instead the outer layer of the cornea known as the epithelium, isremoved. This is done manually, or with the use of alcohol. After it is removed, a laser is used to reshape the cornea in a similar manner to LASIK surgery.
In this laser vision correction procedure a very thin layer or sheet of surface cells are created using the epithelium. The sheet is thrown away, and the laser is then used to reshape the cornea.
The procedure chosen by the ophthalmologist, will be the one that is best able to achieve the desired outcome.