Refractive Laser Eye Surgery
Refractive Laser Eye Surgery
Vision correction is accomplished with various minimally invasive procedures that reshape the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Patients are able to achieve 20/20 vision or better after treatment. These procedures are customized to provide the best possible results for each individual patient, allowing the doctor to correct the very specific refractive errors that obscure your vision.
Laser vision correction procedures help patients eliminate the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses, a costly and bothersome hassle that millions of people deal with everyday. The reshaping the cornea change the way the eye is able to focus light, allowing patients to enjoy clear vision.
There are several different vision correction procedures available to help patients achieve clear vision without glasses or contacts. Please call us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wandzura to figure out which procedure is best for you.
LASIK, also known as Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis or laser vision correction, is a refractive procedure that reshapes the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
LASIK is the most common type of refractive surgery. Using targeted excimer laser beam energy, the LASIK procedure reshapes corneal tissue to correct refractive errors so that light rays are focused more precisely on the retina to produce clear, sharp vision. Patients who choose to undergo LASIK achieve clear vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses, while also benefiting from minimal downtime and little to no post-operative discomfort.
LASIK is performed on an outpatient basis using only numbing eye drops to reduce any potential discomfort during the procedure. The entire surgery takes less than five minutes to perform, although patients can expect to spend a few hours at the office. If requested, patients can receive an oral sedative prior to surgery to reduce any anxieties they may have.
LASIK is considered a safe procedure, yet it is not ideal for everyone. A thorough medical evaluation of the patients eyes will be performed in order to determine if the LASIK procedure is appropriate, or if the patient would benefit from another type of refractive procedure.
Candidates eligible for the LASIK procedure include patients who meet the following requirements:
- Are over 18 years old
- Not pregnant or nursing
- In general good health
- Has had stable vision for at least six months
- Has a healthy cornea thick enough for a flap
- Has refractive errors that fall within the treatable range
It is also important for patients to fully understand the details and risks of the procedure, and maintain realistic expectations as to the outcome of the procedure.
Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
PRK uses an excimer laser to remove a small amount of the anterior portion, or front, of the cornea to correct refractive errors. Unlike the LASIK procedure, where a flap is created to access the cornea, PRK removes the epithelial, or outer layer, of the cornea so that it can be reshaped using an excimer laser to remove tissue from the surface. This process flattens the cornea and achieves the corneal steepening needed for vision correction.
The PRK procedure provides the surgeon with greater control over the location and amount of tissue being removed, which allows patients to enjoy much more accurate results. The PRK method involves gently sculpting the cornea rather than cutting, allowing the surgeon to treat greater degrees of nearsightedness, as well as farsightedness and astigmatism.
Up to 95 percent of patients with a correction of up to -6.00 diopters achieved a vision of 20/40 or better after PRK, with up to 70 percent achieving 20/20.
The results of PRK are considered comparable to those of LASIK, although some patients may experience vision of only 20/40, and others may still need glasses or contact lenses after their procedure. PRK does not correct presbyopia, a natural change in the eyes that affects everyone over the age of 40, so patients that need reading glasses will continue to need them after surgery. It is important for patients to maintain realistic expectations in order to be satisfied with the results of PRK.