LASIK Eye Surgery Alternatives
While LASIK offers great results for a large number of patients, it also comes with certain requirements. Patients who are unable to undergo LASIK surgery have some alternatives available to them. Here are the best LASIK alternatives available for patients.
Wavefront Guided LASIK
Wavefront guided LASIK uses computer imaging technology to create a 3D model of the patient’s cornea. This map is then used to program the excimer laser with more accuracy, since wavefront technology provides highly precise measurements of the patient’s cornea. This is the main reason why Wavefront guided LASIK provides patients with better results than glasses or traditional LASIK. Not only that, but this new technology has been proven to reduce post-op side effects such as contrast sensitivity and problems with night vision. A higher percentage of patients achieve near-perfect vision by undergoing Wavefront guided LASIK instead of the traditional procedure.
LASEK eye surgery uses a micro-instrument called a trephine modify the epithelial corneal tissue, creating a flap. Alcohol solution is then applied to the area in order to further loosen the epithelial cells. The flap is then moved aside and the rest of the procedure is comparable to PRK eye surgery – the cornea is sculpted, the flap is repositioned before being secured in place with the help of a contact lens that will help with the healing process.
EpiLASIK uses a very small micro-keratome called an EpiKeratome to detach a small sheet of the epithelial tissue from the cornea itself. The sheet is then moved to the side and the procedure continues as with PRK treatment. This thin sheet will be moved back in its place, under a contact lens that will help the healing process.
CK or Conductive Keratoplasty
Conductive Keratoplasty is a minimally invasive thermal refractive procedure that’s usually performed on patients over 40 years old. This procedure is used to treat mild or moderate cases of hyperopia. Conductive Keratoplasty does not use a laser at all, but instead the doctor will use a micro-probe that releases radio frequency energy, applying heat to certain portions of the cornea. The extra heat will cause the cornea to shrink and tighten, increasing its curvature and improving eye sight. Conductive Keratoplasty can also be used to treat presbyopia for patients with fair vision but poor near focus. CK is unfortunately not a permanent solution and some patients may require further procedures.
Phakic Intraocular Lenses or IOLs
Phakic intraocular lenses are best suited for patients suffering from severe refractive errors that cannot be treated with surgery. Phakic intraocular lenses are also called implantable contact lenses – these are placed in front of the eye’s natural lens, either in front or behind the iris. Once the lenses are inserted, the patient’s vision is corrected.
Refractive Lens Exchange or Clear Lens Extraction
Refractive Lens Exchange uses an artificial lens to replace the patient’s natural eye lens in order to improve their vision. This procedure is very similar to cataract surgery, with the addition of an artificial lens.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in January, 2019.