This information provides an overview of the various types of laser eye surgery, including LASIK, PRK, LASEK, and SMILE. Each procedure uses a laser to reshape the cornea and improve vision, but the techniques and technologies involved can differ. Understanding the differences between these procedures can help individuals choose the best option for their specific needs and circumstances. The article also emphasizes the importance of consulting with a qualified eye surgeon to determine the best course of action for vision correction.
Procedures at BDP LASIK
At BPD LASIK, we specialize in two types of laser vision correction:
Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
LASIK remains the gold standard of laser vision correction, which is why BDP LASIK chooses to specialize in this procedure. In LASIK, your doctor uses laser tools to lift a small flap of the top layer of the cornea and reshapes the underlying tissue. The top layer of tissue is replaced and heals on its own. The process takes about 15 minutes.
Most people have dramatic improvements in their vision following LASIK. Recovery is usually quick, with most people able to return to work within 2 to 3 days.
Intraocular Lenses (IOL/ICL)
Intraocular lenses are corrective lenses that can be implanted under the surface of the cornea. The technique is similar to cataract surgery, where your doctor uses lasers to remove the clouded lens of the eye and replace it with a clear, artificial lens.
With corrective intraocular lenses, no tissue is removed from your eye. Your doctor makes a small incision in the cornea and places a corrective lens beneath the cornea. Unlike procedures that change the shape of the cornea itself, this procedure is reversible. The lens can be removed at a later time if needed.
At BDP LASIK, we offer intraocular lens procedures using EVO Visian ICL, the latest technology in implantable lenses. This procedure can benefit younger adults whose vision is still changing, so they are not good candidates for LASIK. The procedure has fewer side effects, like dry eyes. The recovery period is short and effective for people with and without astigmatism.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
In a PRK procedure, your doctor uses specialized tools such as a brush, blade, or alcohol solution to remove the outermost layer of the cornea. They then reshape the cornea with a laser. Unlike LASIK, there is no flap of corneal tissue to replace. This has a small advantage in healing because there is no risk of a flap becoming dislodged.
However, the recovery from PRK is more uncomfortable than LASIK, with moderate pain and blurred vision for several days after the procedure. PRK is not as effective as LASIK at correcting severe nearsightedness.
Other Laser Vision Correction Procedures
Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK or intraocular lenses. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get laser correction surgery. There are alternative options, and the doctors at BDP LASIK can refer to qualified providers who offer these procedures.
- Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy (LASEK): The LASEK procedure uses a non-laser cutting tool to create the corneal flap. Your doctor then uses an ethanol solution to reshape the cornea. This has the advantage of removing less corneal tissue than traditional LASIK. People with naturally thin corneal tissue are good candidates for this procedure. LASEK has a longer recovery time than LASIK. You may not be able to return to normal activities for at least a week.
- Epithelial Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (epi-LASIK): In epi-LASIK, your doctor will separate the epithelium from the middle part of your cornea using a non-laser tool called an epikeratome. They will then use a laser to reshape the cornea before replacing the top layers of tissue. This procedure has similar results to LASEK and may be a good option for people with thin corneas. Epi-LASIK can produce less post-procedure discomfort and quicker healing time.
- I-LASIK: The IntraLase Advantage: This type of LASIK combines blade-free flap creation with Custom LASIK, resulting in a highly personalized and precise treatment. The IntraLase femtosecond laser is used to create the corneal flap, which is then lifted to reveal the cornea underneath. The cornea is then reshaped using an excimer laser to correct the patient’s vision. I-LASIK offers the benefits of both Custom LASIK and Bladeless LASIK.
- TransPRK: A New Twist on PRK: This type of laser vision correction involves using a brush-like device to remove the epithelial cells from the cornea before reshaping it with an excimer laser. The epithelial cells are then rinsed from the cornea, leaving a smooth surface for healing. TransPRK is a new variation of PRK that offers a faster recovery time and reduced pain compared to traditional PRK.
- Small-Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE): The SMILE procedure, like LASIK, is performed using only lasers and no other surgical tools. Doctors use a single laser to make a small incision on the surface of the cornea. They then use the laser to form a lenticule, which is a small disk-shaped piece of corneal tissue. The lenticule is removed through the original incision. Removing that small amount of tissue reshapes the cornea to improve your vision. There is no corneal flap. The incision in the core heals on its own after the procedure. You can expect to resume normal activities five days after the procedure.
Each type of laser eye surgery has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best option for an individual will depend on their specific needs and circumstances. It’s important to discuss the options with a qualified eye surgeon to determine the best course of action.
To discuss the differences between refractive eye surgery and whether LASIK is right for you, contact us today.