REFRACTIVE SURGERY: LASIK + PRK

Refractive surgeries, such as LASIK or PRK, are procedures that aim to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses by surgically reshaping the cornea, or front surface of the eye, to change the amount of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism prescription. LASIK and PRK surgeries operate only on the front surface of the cornea, and do not enter or penetrate the globe of the eye.

*Although a laser is used with LASIK and PRK, these procedures are different from laser assisted cataract surgery or laser glaucoma surgeries.

ABOUT LASIK (Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis):

The LASIK procedure involves creating a thin flap on the surface of the cornea with laser technology, using a device called the Intralase. (This is an advancement over the traditional technique were the cornea flap was created by a mechanical knife called a microkeratome). After the flap is created, Dr. Singh lifts up the corneal flap and applies a pedal laser beam to the exposed interior surface of the cornea to re-shape the tissue. After the area has been sufficiently treated to the appropriate new shape (flatter for nearsighted patients, and steeper for farsighted patients), he then replaces the flap. This corneal flap serves as a natural bandage, eliminating the discomfort commonly associated with other types of refractive surgery and expediting the healing process. Stitches (sutures) are not needed to help keep the flap in place after LASIK surgery is performed. Visual recovery is rapid and painless.

Custom LASIK:

Custom LASIK is a variation of the LASIK procedure that utilizes advanced technology in corneal mapping and wavefront imaging to create a customized prescription amount for each area of the cornea and a custom treatment zone size for each individual eye, based on imaging taken after the flap is made. This data allows the doctor to customize treatment for tiny imperfections in the eye that otherwise may impact the quality of vision. This digital can measure imperfections in the eye to provide a treatment up to 25 times more precise than conventional LASIK.

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy):

PRK refractive surgery is very similar to LASIK eye surgery in the sense that they have the same goal (to correct the prescription to eliminate the need for glasses), and the same type of laser is utilized. Just as in LASIK, Dr. Singh uses the laser as a precise tool to reshape corneal curvature thereby treating nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

However, the main difference between LASIK and PRK is that a corneal flap is not created during PRK. Instead of creating a flap, the laser beam in PRK is applied directly to the surface of the eye to reshape the cornea.

PRK gives similar long term results when compared to LASIK, though the initial healing and visual recovery takes longer. Patients experience some discomfort for a few days after PRK, but do not have any risk for corneal flap issues that can occur in LASIK (because no corneal flap was created, so the surface heals as a cohesive surface without a flap scar). While LASIK is the more popular technique, some patients are better suited for PRK due to their prescription amount or corneal thickness or curvature.

Dr. Singh will inform you of your options for either LASIK and/or PRK after a thorough examination. Contact us to find out more!

lasik.png