LASIK and Refractive Eye Surgery Options
BayCare Clinic Eye Specialists offers several options for LASIK and refractive eye surgery, which allow people to go without glasses or contact lenses.
Refractive eye surgery is a generic term for a procedure that decreases someone’s dependence on glasses and contact lenses, and bends, or refracts, light to re-focus it to improve vision. Most refractive procedures use lasers to change the shape of the cornea, the transparent outer surface of the eye. Other procedures include implanted lenses, which are placed inside the eye.
What kinds of refractive eye surgery procedures are available?
Our surgeons offer the following types of refractive surgeries:
- Blade-free LASIK
- Advanced surface treatment, or PRK
- Premium lens implants
- Limbal relaxing incisions
- Monovision correction
What is blade-free LASIK?
Blade-free LASIK is refractive eye surgery performed without knives or blades. LASIK stands for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis.
LASIK surgery begins by creating a flap on the cornea with a computer-guided laser. The use of the laser minimizes tissue damage and creates a flap that heals quickly. A small portion of the cornea's top layer is folded back, allowing a second laser to reshape the inner cornea and improve vision. Once surgery is complete, the flap is folded back into place and locks naturally.
People who have blade-free LASIK surgery report better quality of vision and less eye dryness after the procedure relative to surgery using a blade.
Blade-free LASIK surgery can be customized to individual vision needs. BayCare Clinic Eye Specialists was the first in the area to offer custom LASIK surgery after it was approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.
Conventional LASIK surgery
This procedure can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. It is based on each person’s vision prescription. During conventional LASIK surgery, the laser is applied in a smooth pattern across the entire surface of the eye. However, conventional LASIK surgery may cause higher-order aberration, which results in side effects that include glare and halos around lights, night blindness or a loss of contrast sensitivity.
LASIK surgery done with advanced Wavefront technology captures the eye's individual characteristics, aligns treatment to match the eye and applies the laser in a customized pattern that more accurately reshapes the cornea. This reduces the possibility of side effects after surgery.
LASIK surgery done with Wavefront technology can be optimized to use the laser to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism, and to improve night vision and the sharpness or quality of vision. Doing so reduces the possibility of higher-order aberration.
What is advanced surface treatment, or PRK?
Advanced surface treatment, or photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), is a procedure that changes the way light is refracted into the eye, providing clearer vision.
During PRK surgery, a thin layer of cells is removed from the outer surface of the eye, using light energy from a laser reshaping the cornea.
PRK surgery corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. It is an option for people who have scars on the cornea or whose corneas are too thin for LASIK surgery.
The results from PRK surgery and LASIK surgery are similar. However, people who have PRK surgery may experience slightly more discomfort after surgery. Their visual recovery period also may be longer, while the corneal tissue regrows.
What are premium lens implants?
Premium lens implants are procedures in which the eye's natural lens is surgically replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. These lenses, also known as multifocal lenses, provide a more complete, natural range of vision.
Multifocal lenses are most often chosen by people having cataract surgery or who are over age 50 and are seeking to restore a full range of vision. People who have multifocal lens implanted may still occasionally need glasses after surgery.
Toric lens implants correct for cataracts and/or astigmatism. However, they are single-distance lenses, meaning peoplewill still need reading glasses after surgery.
Implantable contact lenses are surgically placed in the eye, in front of the eye's natural lens. The new lens alters the way light enters the eye, providing sharper focus. They allow people to keep the eye’s natural lenses. They are intended to be a permanent solution but can be removed, allowing the eye to be returned to its natural state.
Implantable contact lenses may be an option for people who are extremely nearsighted or whose cornea is too thin for LASIK eye surgery. In some cases, implantable contact lenses are combined with a LASIK surgery to correct astigmatism or fine-tune surgical results.
What is monovision correction?
People who have LASIK or other vision correction surgery are still likely to develop presbyopia, which causes difficulty with near vision in older people.
Monovision correction can be done during most vision correction surgeries. One eye is optimized for distance vision and the other eye optimized for near vision. The non-dominant eye is left slightly nearsighted. The eyes should often still work together with adequate depth perception.
People considering monovision correction are urged to test monovision with contact lenses before surgery.