Refractive surgery, also called vision correction surgery, refers to any type of eye surgery that is done to correct and improve vision by treating different vision impairments such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism or presbyopia. Refractive surgeries are generally done with two techniques, which are either reshaping the cornea with laser or implanting a lens inside the eye.
Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is one of the most commonly performed laser eye surgery designed to treat hyperopia, myopia, and astigmatism. LASIK is a 15-minute procedure in which the eye surgeon treats vision disorders by making a minimal cut on the cornea, making a flap of it and then applying excimer laser to reshape the cornea. The procedure does not require aftercare because the results can be seen in 24 hours. LASIK cost varies depending on several factors. So how much does LASIK cost? Learn more!
In bladeless LASIK eye surgery, the bladed instrument (microkeratome) is not used, instead, a type of laser named femtosecond is used to create the corneal flap. Bladeless LASIK is also called as blade-free LASIK, all-laser LASIK, Intralase LASIK, IntraLASIK.
Epi-LASIK eye surgery is quite similar to LASIK surgery. The difference between LASIK and Epi-LASIK is that a special cutting tool is used in Epi-LASIK to be able to lift the flap of the cornea’s surface.
Laser Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy (LASEK), is a laser eye surgery which is generally recommended for patients who have more sensitive and vulnerable characteristic of the eye. LASEK eye surgery is similar to LASIK but the difference between them is that only one laser is used in LASEK while there are two laser procedures are performed in LASIK eye surgery. LASIK recovery time is generally around 24 hours whereas LASEK recovery time is around a week.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
PRK is also a laser eye surgery used to correct farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism. Similar to LASIK procedure, the eye surgeon uses excimer laser to reshape the cornea. But the difference from LASIK is that a flap of the cornea is not made, instead, the surface of the cornea is completely removed. PRK procedure is generally recommended for patients who have thin cornea and are not able to have LASIK because of this condition.
Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
Conductive keratoplasty (CK) is another laser eye surgery designed to treat farsightedness. CK is a relatively non-invasive eye surgery that steepens the cornea to correct near vision disorders. Conductive keratoplasty also can also treat presbyopia or improve near vision for patients who have had LASIK or cataract surgery before.
Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL)
Corneal cross-linking (CXL) is an in-office eye procedure in which the cornea is strengthened. CXL procedure is generally performed on patients who have weakened cornea because of keratoconus condition ( progressive eye disease which causes distorted vision). CXL is also called as corneal crosslinking or corneal collagen crosslinking.
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
Refractive lens exchange procedure is quite similar to cataract surgery. The eye doctor makes a small incision at the edge of the cornea, removes the eye’s natural lens completely and replaces it with an artificial lens. RLE is used to correct extreme myopia or hyperopia. This procedure is generally recommended for patients with thin corneas or dry eyes.
Which Option Is Best For Me?
Which type of vision correction surgery to choose depends greatly on some important factors such as your age, your corneal thickness, the humidity level of your eye and your health condition. For example, if you have diabetes, you may be a good candidate for LASIK or PRK. But if you have glaucoma, you may not be able to undergo LASIK surgery. However, you still need to consult to your ophthalmologist to know which method is the best for you. You may also get a free quote and compare clinics from here.