Types of Laser Eye Surgery in detail

What are the different types of laser eye surgery and what do they mean?

 The vast majority of people have heard of laser eye surgery but very few people know exactly what it is and how it works. In addition to this, there are a lot of related laser eye surgery terms that can be confusing as they are often explained in a complicated manner. The aim of this article is to explain all the different types of laser eye surgery in simple, jargon free language:

Laser eye surgery: Laser eye surgery is the general name given to any procedure that corrects the vision by means of a laser. The way that laser eye surgery corrects the vision is by changing the shape of the cornea (outer surface of the eye) in such a way that the prescription in your glasses/contact lenses is eliminated. If you are short sighted, the laser needs to flatter the curve of your cornea, whereas if you are long side the opposite applies. The 2 most common types of laser eyes surgery are Lasik and Lasek eye surgery.

Lasik: Lasik is a type of laser eye surgery and is by far the most common procedure currently being carried out. Approximately 90% of all laser eye surgery procedures are performed using the Lasik method. During Lasik eye surgery a thin outer layer (flap) of your cornea is cut and lifted from the surface of your eye. The laser is then applied to the inner layers of the cornea to eliminate the prescription in your glasses or contact lenses. The flap is then returned back to its original place and is left to heal naturally.

Lasek: Lasek,which is also referred to as PRK, accounts for about 10% of all laser eye surgery procedures. It is generally only performed if your surgeon recommends that you have it as a result of your corneas being too thin for Lasik. During this procedure no flap is created as the laser is applied directly to the outer surface of your cornea. The procedure produces just as good results as Lasik but the recovery time is far longer and more painful. Most people require about 1 week off work following Lasek, compared with only 1 – 2 days following Lasik.

Intralase: Intralase is actually a type of Lasik and relates to the way in which the flap is created during the procedure. With standard Lasik the flap is created using a surgical blade (microkeratome), whereas with Intralase the flap is created using a special type of laser. Intralase Lasik is also referred to as bladeless Lasik and is generally considered to be slightly safer with a quicker recovery time.

Wavefront laser eye surgery: Wavefront, which also referred to as custom laser eye surgery can be performed in conjunction with both Lasik and Lasek. Wavefront relates to the way in which the laser is applied to the cornea. During standard laser eye surgery the laser corrects the vision in a generalised fashion, whereas with Wavefront the laser corrects every tiny imperfection of your prescription giving you a higher chance of achieving 20:20 vision.

I hope this helps explain all the different procedures and terminology in a way that is understandable. As laser eye surgery is a rapidly changing field there will always be newer techniques being introduced. The laser eye surgery clinics also confuse things further by giving their own brand name to certain procedures. For example Intralase Lasik with Wavefront may be given the name Ultra Elite laser eye surgery. You just need to ask the clinic what exactly it refers to and with the knowledge acquired from this article you should be able to understand exactly what they are offering.

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Tiffany Wahlberg on May 26, 2013 at 5:53 PM said...

I have found this article so very informative which is you'll get more interested when you read it. Thank you for sharing this post regarding to types of Laser Eye Surgery in detailed. Me and my az eye specialists really informed well.

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