LASIK stands for laser assisted in situ keratomileusis. It is a surgical procedure for patients whose vision prescription has not changed over the last year and who are interested in reducing their dependency on contact lenses or prescription glasses.
The procedure itself involves changing the shape of the cornea using both laser and blade devices. A flap is opened in the cornea, the modifications are made and the flap is then reclosed. People with imperfect vision have what are known as refractive errors. Glasses and contact lenses are designed to correct these imperfections. LASIK is a surgical procedure which can correct refractive errors by reshaping the cornea and allowing it to increase its focusing power.
LASIK is an effective treatment for people who suffer with nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. It is very effective in over 90% of patients. It has the additional advantages of having very little pain associated with the procedure, no stitches or extensive bandaging is necessary and immediate vision enhancement is achieved.
PRK stands for Photorefractive Keratectomy. Unlike the LASIK procedure which makes cuts into the cornea, PRK uses a laser to sculpt the outside of the cornea without entering the cornea itself. This allows the surgeon to make extremely accurate modifications to the cornea with little trauma to the eye.
PRK is particularly useful in the treatment of nearsightedness. Approximately 80% of patients achieve 20/20 vision after the procedure and no longer need glasses or contacts.
While 95-98% of patients achieve at least 20/40 vision, vision correction is not necessarily immediate.
LASEK or Laser epithelial keratomileusis, is a hybrid of the LASIK and PRK procedures. It is used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
During the procedure, a microkeratome, is used to make an incision in the cornea. Unlike LASIK, however, a flap is not created. Only the outer layer of the cornea is lifted and an excimer laser is used to reshape the tissue.
This procedure prevents complications associated with opening a corneal flap and causes somewhat fewer postoperative complications.
LASEK, however, does require bandaging, may result in post operative pain and does not result in immediate vision correction.
The Visian ICL procedure is a short 15 minute outpatient procedure that involves surgical placement of a corrective lens based on your prescription. The lens is placed behind the iris of your eye. This allows the lens to be invisible to others and imperceptible to you.
Improved vision may be evident immediately following this relatively simple procedure.